Expect the unexpected

With long travel distances, high-speed limits, and some unpredictable conditions, driving in rural and remote areas takes some serious concentration. If conditions change, slow down – because the faster you go the less time you have to react to the unexpected.

Silver 4WD pictured driving on a dusty gravel road in outback Queensland and leaves a trail of dust.


Queensland Police captured footage on outback roads at Windorah and Birdsville showing visibility hazards while driving.

Learn more
Four brown horses eat grass on the side of a wide empty regional road with a herd of cows not far behind.


Wildlife—particularly kangaroos—are more active at dawn and dusk and cattle and sheep might stand in the middle of the road to watch you approach.

Learn more
A picture taken inside the passenger seat of the vehicle looking out window towards an empty wet road in a rural grassy area. The sky is overcast.


Dry weather can create dusty conditions and limit your visibility, while wet weather can make roads muddy, slippery and boggy. Keep yourself safe by slowing down.

Learn more
A yellow road sign that says 'Take a break every two hours'


Long distances and stretches of unchanging outback landscape can make a driver very tired. Drifting, yawning, or trouble keeping your eyes open? It’s a sign you should take a break.

Learn more
kangaroo hopping across an empty dirt gravel road in an outback area.

Unsealed roads

In rural and remote areas, you may encounter gravel, sand or dirt roads. Driving on unsealed roads can be challenging – your tyres can lose traction, while loose dirt and gravel can be thrown up by other vehicles.

Learn more
Sunset travelling south east of Cloncurry on Landsborough Highway

Time of day

When driving at night, many rural and remote roads are unlit. If you’re driving towards the west, the afternoon sun from 4pm can impact your visibility and mean you might not see oncoming vehicles or animals.

Learn more

Plan ahead

Planning your trip ahead can save you trouble on the road.

Before you leave

Learn more about journey planning for regional and remote roads here.


Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2017). Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2006-16: Population by Statistical Area Level 2

2 Bureau of Infrastructure Transport and Regional Economics. (2016). Road Trauma Australia 2015 Statistical Summary. Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia

3 Data Analysis, Department of Transport and Main Roads (2023) Road Crash Data.