Many people that travel to Queensland want to take the opportunity to experience the outback for themselves. Many choose to do this by either driving from interstate in their own vehicle or sometimes they hire a 4WD for their adventure.
There are quite few important things to remember when choosing this type of Holiday in Queensland. For example it is worth knowing that there are quite a few roads in the outback that you will be required to lodge your intent to travel with the local police station in the place of departure.
Similarly, you are required to report to the police at the completion of your trip so that they can record your safe arrival. The reason for this may seem obvious (or not) but basically the locals know the dangers of travel on these outback roads and recording your departure and arrival can ensure that, the authorities will initiate a search for you if you fail to arrive when you are expected.
Please always visit the local police station or Queensland Tourism Information Centre for specific details of each route.
There are also a number of precautions that visitors may find unusual when taking driving trips in the outback. Such As:
Always ensure that you carry at least 20 Litres of water for each person travelling in the vehicle. This will ensure that you can survive for some time should your vehicle breakdown, on some roads you can go for days without a single traveller passing you.
Food is also an important consideration, particularly if you have children with you as they can really struggle if they have to go a day or so without food.
If you do experience a vehicle breakdown or other type of incident, never leave your vehicle, a person alone will be much harder to see from the air during a search than your vehicle is. Many a traveller has left their vehicle in search of help only to die of thirst long after their abandoned car was found by rescuers.
Spare parts for your vehicle are always handy in the bush, but most importantly take a towing cable or rope if at all possible, as this will make it easier for fellow travellers to assist you in the event your vehicle becomes bogged or breaks down.
Mobile phone services in the Queensland Outback are improving all the time but you should not rely on these services solely, if you can manage it take a high frequency radio transmitter with you as well, Citizen Band Radios (with long range antennas) are good, as authorities and long haul truck drivers keep a listening watch whilst travelling the outback roads.
Travelling around the base of Cape York Peninsular during the wet season is recommended for experienced local drivers only, so try to avoid this region. Remember, what may appear to be a dusty hardened track one minute can turn into a muddy morass in no time at all, leaving you completely stranded.
We hope these tips are of help to you, if there is anything you are unsure about when driving in Queensland's Outback please contact the RACQ as follows:
For Road Conditions 1300 130 595 (recorded)
For membership, insurance and emergencies 131905
For 24hr Road Side Service 131111