Australia is one of the biggest countries in the world (in fact, it’s an entire continent) so if you wish to explore it, you’re going to have an amazing time. While you can fly or take other types of transport, having a personal vehicle at your disposal will provide you with all the freedom you need. With a car, you can plan everything, take your time and be as flexible as you wish. However, Australia has some extreme terrain, weather and animals, all of which can make your road trip challenging. So, here’s a little guide for a smooth Australian adventure.
Pick the right vehicle
If you’re taking a road trip, you obviously need a good car. While all types of vehicles will server you will on the sealed road, unsealed ones are not as forgiving. Sure, a sedan can handle such a road well, but an all-wheel-drive vehicle or a dedicated 4WD car will make even the most challenging of terrains a piece of cake. So, if you’re planning on taking remote and extreme tracks, you need 4WD in your vehicle. Also, you will need a long-range fuel tank if you’re planning very long road trips in remote destinations (or at least get a car that can have such a fuel tank installed.
Don’t forget registration and insurance
Before you embark on your adventure, make sure your car is registered and insured. While a valid registration is obvious, many people neglect insurance, even though its importance can’t be overstated. There are plenty of insurance types in Australia, so study them and pick out a package that fits your road trip needs. In case something happens, you’ll be glad all of your documents are valid and you and your vehicle are protected.
Your car needs to be ready to take big distances through rough terrain and harsh temperatures, so make sure you equip it well. Start from the most important upgrade—the tyres. If you’ll be going through the outback, make sure you have the proper tyres to take you the distance. Sand, mud and other terrain are not easy to cover, so sturdy and properly-designed tyres are a must. You might also want to get a power winch or something similar. If you get stuck and even your mighty tyres can’t get you out, you’ll need a reliable winch cable and power winch to get you out of trouble.
Consider investing in highly durable, custom-fit car mats for your vehicle. A long road trip in a place with such a diverse landscape, like Australia, can take a toll on not only the exterior of your vehicle but also its interior. Getting durable car mats and car seat covers are one way to protect the interior from permanent stains or damage.
Buy some gadgets for the trip
While the point of road trips is to enjoy nature and detox from electronics, some Australian roads through the outback don’t have much to offer in the fun and excitement department. When you hit a straight road that stretches for 500 kilometers, you’re bound to get bored. In that case, invest in some in-car entertainment like a good sound system and remember to bright tablets and other gadgets. You can also stock up on audiobooks and movies so you can kill the boredom—just don’t be too distracting for the driver.
Stock up on supplies
You’re going to need a lot of provisions for your trip, so make sure to pack well. Concentrate on water (very important if you’re going through the outback) and some non-perishable food. You also want to have spare tyres and a few flares in case you get in trouble in the middle of nowhere, and Australia is an easy place to get lost in. You might also want to budget well, so you don’t run out of money on the road.
Think of safety
The outback is generally a safe place to drive, but it needs some getting used to. Sure, there aren’t many cars there, but the roads stretch for hundreds of kilometers without a single traffic light or town—distances are huge and roads are straight and uneventful. When hitting these roads, make sure to stay awake and alert, since it’s so easy to nod off when there’s nothing much going on around you. You also need to know how to navigate road trains and keep wildlife in mind, especially at night.
There you have it, a short guide to Australian road trip. Keep these things in mind, but also remember to have fun, appreciate the country and its unique scenery and enjoy the freedom of an open road in front of you.