Driving Western Australia's Golden Outback route
Posted by: Cal on 7/05/2014
Australia's Outback is a beautiful and unique environment, and every Aussie should make an effort to visit it at least once in their lifetime.
What better way to see it all than by taking a road trip through the desert itself?
Before you hit the road, there's plenty you need to think about and prepare for. The Outback can be an unforgiving region, and with extremely vast distances between towns and civilisation, you need to be prepared.
Here are some tips to help you on your way.
Plan your route
First of all, plan your route thoroughly. Will you be leaving from Perth and travelling to destinations such as Wave Rock and the town of York?
There's so much to see and do, so you'll need to pick your priority must-see stops and plan around them.
Make sure you have an up-to-date map and preferably a GPS system on hand to guide you as you go.
You also need to be aware that there are long stretches of road between food and fuel availability, so you can organise your stops accordingly.
Prepare your vehicle
Outback roads can be challenging for your vehicle.
While you'll be treated to stunning scenery, you might have to take some rough roads to get there. Your car needs to be completely road worthy and comply with all the relevant rules and regulations of the region. It's best to have had a recent service of your vehicle and its tyres.
Furthermore, make sure you have safe and appropriate car tyres for the journey. If you are planning to take on some of the 4WD off-road tracks that run throughout the region, you'll need to be prepared with the correct variety of tyre.
In addition to this, you should always have at least two spare tyres with you at all times, according to Australia's Golden Outback Road Safety. You'll also need the appropriate tyre-changing tools and equipment, and of course you will need to know how to use it. If you're rusty on your tyre changing technique, brush up with a practice run before you leave to be sure.
You'll need more than just car tools with you, though. Make sure you bring a comprehensive first aid kit along, too. If you are injured in the Outback, it may take some time for emergency services to reach you, so it's best to be prepared.
Bring extra supplies
Ensure you also have extra food and water with you, enough to cater for all your travellers for a couple of days.
Travelling with warm clothing, such as jackets and blankets, is also a good idea. The Outback can become freezing overnight, and if you're stuck these items can be lifesavers.
Your mobile phone is another essential and worth bringing even though reception may be sporadic.
Follow the rules
Remember, the road conditions are likely going to be very different to what you are used to. Even sealed roads are subject to dust appearing quickly and obscuring vision, and other adverse weather events can also occur.
Always follow the speed limits, which will be clearly displayed along the way, but also alter your driving to the conditions if necessary.
Animals, such as kangaroos, cows and more, can also wander onto the roads, so make sure you're alert and on the lookout. The most dangerous time for animals on the roads is dawn and dusk, so be extra vigilant at these times.
Finally, only drive if you are well-rested and prepared.
Inform somebody reliable of your plans before you set off. Make sure they know your planned stops and estimated times of arrival, so they can raise the alarm if they don't hear from you.
Beyond that, remember to have fun and enjoy your time in this stunning region of Australia!