1 Jul 2021
Heading off on a road trip to discover your backyard is always an exciting adventure! But with adventure comes great responsibility (and preparation!). Some of the most arid landscapes in the world can be found in Central Australia, and navigating the roads there isn’t always a simple task.
We want to provide you with everything you need to know before packing up and driving off into the outback.
Explore Central Australia and stay with us at Discovery Parks - Glen Helen, opening soon in September. Discovery Parks - Glen Helen is the only accommodation located within the Tjoritja - West MacDonnell Ranges National Park, 130km west of Alice Springs!
Make sure your car is up to the challenge
When you think about driving in the Australian outback, red dirt and corrugated roads often come to mind. Not every car is equipped for cruising along unsealed tracks which is why it’s important to take one that is! Before heading off on your adventure, have a look at a map and consider what type of roads you’ll be driving on.
Are they specified 4WD tracks only? Or maybe rain can affect whether they’ll be open or not? Planning ahead is key to getting to your destination safely. A modern sedan might not be your best bet if you find you’ll be driving for hundreds of kilometres on a gravel road, so do consider whether your car is appropriate for the trip.
Take a paper map
Technology is a powerful tool, but in the Red Centre you’ll often find there isn’t much phone reception! This means that using your phone’s map is not always a reliable option. Packing a paper map and tracing out the route you need to take before your drive is always a great idea. Be sure to also note down where you can stop for fuel!
Preparing for mishaps
Once you’ve worked out whether your car is outback-driving ready, you’ll need to make sure you’re prepared for the worst! It doesn’t hurt to take your car to the mechanic for a once over to ensure it’s in sound technical condition. Double check that your spare tyre/s are ready to go and will be reliable if something is to happen. Corrugated tracks do damage your wheels, so a flat tyre isn’t completely out of the question. It’s also a great idea to fill up a jerry can and take it along for the drive – just in case.
Make sure you have plenty of water, 20 litres minimum in the car, and consider that if you were to break down, the general rule of thumb is 5 to 7 litres per person, per day. The more remote the destination, the more water you take with you. This applies to snacks as well!
If you find yourself broken down, don’t leave the car. Going walkabout into the bush is not safe so wait by the vehicle for someone to see you. It may not be right away, but often someone will be exploring in the same direction you are.
Explore Central Australia and stay with us at Discovery Parks - Glen Helen, the only accommodation located within the Tjoritja - West MacDonnell Ranges National Park, 130km west of Alice Springs.
Whether travelling alone, with your family or as a couple, telling someone at home about your travel plans is a priority. Before beginning your road trip, send them a text to say you’re leaving, and provide an estimate for when you think you’ll be arriving at your destination. You could even provide your full itinerary and planned route!
If you’re heading to one of our parks, pass on the park’s contact information so that if they don’t hear from you, your loved one can reach out to us to check. Be sure to let them know when you have made it or they’ll be up all-night worried!