If you are planning to visit us at Club Boutique Hotel, heading to Cunnamulla for one of the towns incredible events or just planning an outback adventure, be sure to take note of our top 10 outback tips for travelling bush! It’s important to us that you have a safe an enjoyable trip and get the most out of your country experience. Lets get started with outback travel tip no 1!
Driving in the country is very different to the city. Not only do you have to remember general road rules and how to drive your car (as if that’s not enough 😉). In the country they add wild-life, road trains, longggggg straight roads, dirt roads, potholes, wandering live- stock and km’s after km’s to the mix!
Tip 1: Be prepared on the roads.
Always carry additional / emergency water and fuel in your car. This will help you avoid getting into a sticky situation 100’s of kilometres from the next town. There can often be more kilometres between towns than your cars fuel tank can hold so you may need to fill up with your own supply on the way. It’s also a good option to carry additional fuel in case you mistakenly forget to top up with fuel on your way through town and run out with 200km to go! It happens! Emergency water is another necessity when travelling in the outback, you never know when you may need it. Cars can break down and help can sometimes be hours away. It’s important to have a water supply with you in these unfortunate times!
Tip 2: Try and avoid driving at dawn and dusk
Australia is known for our unique wildlife. The outback is where our native animals thrive and their favourite times to hop, skip and jump are dawn and dusk. They are unpredictable near roads and can change direction very quickly resulting in a very unenjoyable encounter for you, your car and the animal!
It is best to try and avoid driving at these times and if you must, slow down and be very aware that wild life will be out and about.
Outback Travel Tip 3: See skid marks on the road? SLOW DOWN
You will know you are truly in Outback Australia when the fences stop, and cattle begin to freely roam the open landscape. Yes, this includes the road! Not only do you need to be aware of wildlife but now cattle and sheep to. It’s important to be aware that they may be roaming roadside, however there can be clues to help.
Skid marks on the road, all in the same area, will often mean there is livestock ahead and cars are continually slowing down in this area. Do the same, slow down when approaching the area and be sure all livestock are clear of the road before speeding up again.
Tip 4: If you are driving off road, check the ground isn’t wet, or even damp, before driving on it
Soil in Cunnamulla, and the rest of the outback, when slightly wet can cause you to get bogged. Getting bogged can be especially difficult when travelling alone as it can take hours for someone to arrive to assist in pulling your car out of the mud. Alternatively, it could take you hours to dig yourself out (the old-fashioned way) Neither are very fun! If you are unsure its best to hop out of the car and check if the ground is damp, wet or soft as you could sink. This also applies even if you are driving a 4WD, you may get further but you won’t be immune to the wet soil!
Tip 5: When driving on dirt roads, don’t pull over and immediately open your car door’s (unless you want a car full of dust!)
One of the first things you will notice when you start driving on the outback roads is the dust! A big trail of dust! If you’d like to get home with a clean car (well at least clean on the inside) make sure when you pull over on the side of the road, let the dust cloud pass your car before opening your doors! You won’t end up with dust in your car or mouth!
Outback Travel Tip 6: Don’t park your car, camper or put your tent up under gumtree’s.
Gumtree’s are known to drop their branches frequently and unexpectedly so be sure not to set up camp under them or you might be in for a rough night’s sleep.
Tip 7: Put your camp fire’s out!
I think one of the best parts about camping in the outback is campfires. Keeping you cosy in the winter and ‘who can cook the best marshmellow’ competitions always get the rivalries going! It is important to always obey the rules when having a campfire, read the signs and know the fire restrictions of your area. If you are lucky enough to have a fire, be sure to put it out the following day before you leave. Just don’t use your emergency water 😉. It keeps the area safe for the next campers and ensures the fire won’t continue to burn unsupervised when you leave.
Outback Travel Tip 8: Wear closed in shoes when hiking or in the bush.
Another wonderful thing Australia is known for is our snakes, spiders, and other creepy crawlies. While it’s not likely you will be bitten, it can happen, and you should always take precautions to reduce the possibility. Wearing closed in shoes when hiking, walking, running, or pretty much whenever you can will help ensure our not so friendly friends won’t nibble on your feet!
Tip 9: Carry a First Aid kit at all times.
Travelling the outback is all about being prepared for the unlikely! You should always have a first aid kit in your car and one packed in your bag when venturing away such a hiking. Another general safety tip to keep in mind is to let a family member or friend know your itinerary before you leave and your expected arrival time at each location. Be sure to update your contact each time you reach mobile service as reception can be very scarce or almost non-existent between towns. Emergency frequency channels are noted on road signs so be sure to write them down in case of emergency.
Tip 10: Be prepared for THE FLIES
Along with our snakes and spiders the outback has an abundance of flies! By abundance I mean millions (probably billions). And boy are they annoying!! Flies in your food, buzzing around your eyes, ears and often unfortunately end up down your throat! An entertaining experience for those who don’t swallow the fly but not so much when it’s you. The best thing you can do is be prepared. Don’t do the typical Aussie “I’ll be right” “I can just shoo them away” it doesn’t quite work (if you can’t tell I’m speaking from personal experience) BUY A FLY VEIL – your trip will be much more comfortable!!
Hopefully our 10 Outback Tips for Travelling don’t deter you from experiencing the outback. It is a truly incredible place with beautiful scenery and an abundance of unique experiences, (including the flies) These are the things that make the outback one of a kind! We look forward to seeing you in Cunnamulla and beyond (along with your emergency water 😉