Survival Guide: Travelling The Outback

September 21, 2015 - 4 min read

Before you head on another beach holiday, have you thought about an adventure to the outback? Some of Australia’s most iconic landmarks are tucked away in the outback, just waiting to be explored. And better still, the lines are no where near as long (think nonexistent) and you’ll be lucky if you see another car, let alone traffic. Check out our outback survival guide to make the most of an Aussie adventure.

The Australian Outback is a beautiful place to visit, full of spectacular sights and interesting native wildlife. If you’re planning to take a Bear Grylls-style outback adventure, you need to be prepared for the worst, or you can soon find yourself stranded or in danger. Whether you’re planning a hike or a road trip, we’ve got a few survival tips to help you get through your exploration with only great stories to tell.

Plan Your Australian Outback Adventure

When travelling through the Outback it’s important to let someone know where you plan to visit, when you plan to leave and for how long you’re expected to be away (so they can sound the alarm if something happens). Always wear suitable clothing and try to avoid travelling during the hottest part of the year—December to February.

You should always pack an Outback survival kit which should include:

  • Water in multiple small containers
  • Canned food & can opener
  • Lighter
  • Good quality map
  • Wide-brim hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Detailed map
  • Compass
  • Torch
  • Whistle
  • Tarp & rope for shelter
  • Warm clothes

When Travelling In A Car

The unsealed roads of the Outback can be rough and treacherous. Always reduce your speed and braking distances, as well as being on the lookout for local wildlife and livestock.

Remember to avoid taking risks on dusty Outback roads as it can often obscure your vision and never drive tired or fatigued! While many open Outback roads don’t have obvious speed limits to adhere by, try sticking to a speed where you can stop safely. If you can, fit your car with a HF radio (compatible with the RFDS) for help if you break down.

When Travelling By Foot

You should always seek advice from locals about where you intend to travel on foot and what possible issues you might expect to come across.

Indigenous Land

You must apply for a permit before travelling through any sacred Indigenous land or may incur trespassing penalties. Visit the Northern Territory Government website for information on Indigenous land permits. It’s important that you always respect these sacred sites when you’re visiting.

In An Emergency

If you run into trouble around Alice Springs and the surrounding remote areas of the Northern Territory, call the emergency services for advice on 131 444 (or 000 if the situation is life threatening). If this isn’t possible, try the following:

On foot

Sit down and study your maps, before slowly making your way back in the direction you came. If you’re completely lost, head for higher ground and attempt to start a fire using green leaves. Be prepared to wait.

In A Car

If your car breaks down, never leave it! This makes you easier to locate for passers by and you can use it for shelter and shade. Call for help on your radio or phone if possible.

If you hear rescuers coming, signal with three torch flashes and by blowing your whistle.

If your car calls it quits during your Outback adventure, we’ve featured an Alice Springs towing expert who will be happy to help.

Outback Vehicle Recovery

Servicing: Alice Springs and surrounding remote Central Australian regions
(08) 8952 1087

If the rough Outback terrain has caused your vehicle to break down, Outback Vehicle Recovery can provide you with reliable transport solutions at a competitive rate. Their services include:

  • 24 hour roadside assistance
  • Accident & breakdown vehicle recovery
  • Transportation of cars, buses, prime-movers & more!

The team at Outback Vehicle Recovery has been providing 24 hour roadside assistants to Alice Springs and the surrounding Central Australian areas for more than 30 years. Visit the Outback Vehicle Recovery Localsearch profile for more information.

We’ve also featured an Alice Springs mechanic who can give your car a quality service, for the best chance of making it through your trip

Master Tech Automotive

Address: 8 Kidman St Alice Springs, NT
(08) 8952 9595

Whether you’re after a service or you need mechanical repairs done before continuing on, you can’t look past the experienced team at Master Tech Automotive. Their services include:

  • EFI diagnostic & repairs
  • All servicing & maintenance
  • Air conditioning repairs & servicing

Specialising in 4WD vehicles, the team at Master Tech Automotive can do everything from rego checks and suspension servicing to welding repairs, modifications and more! Check out their Localsearch profile for more information on their services.

Disclaimer: This information is to be used as a guide only. If in real danger, contact emergency services or seek help. No responsibility can be accepted by LocalSearch for actions taken as a result of information contained here.