Travelling to the outback for the first time presents a host of exciting challenges to campers. You might be well prepared with your new Goldstream RV pop top and your towing vehicle but you will feel much better prepared if you are aware of the following tips that might just make your camping trip that much more comfortable.
1. Mobile phone coverage is taken for granted in most urban areas, but when you head into the outback, mobile coverage can be iffy. To be sure and safe, it could be worthwhile to invest in a satellite phone or a UHF radio. Satellite phones can be rented and may be the best answer to ensuring that you can communicate with the outside world.
2. Shade is hard to find even at the best camp sites, you’ll find that there is often little shade to be had. The best remedy is to pack your own shade shelters.
3. Flies could drive you crazy unless of course you bring some fly nets. Don’t worry about ‘the look’ – face fly nets work, and that’s all that matters.
4. Travelling off-peak makes a better holiday. Peak holiday times will see many attractions and camp sites packed with travellers, if you can swing your travel times to avoid peak periods, you’ll get to appreciate the outback without the crowds.
5. It’s a long way between petrol stations and towns. You won’t really appreciate how long ‘a long way’ is until you get into the outback. Plan for the distances and make reasonable allowances for travel and rest time. Avoid travelling at night whenever possible to avoid colliding with wildlife on the road.
6. Beat the afternoon heat by getting up early and seeing what you want to in the early part of the day. Afternoon temperatures rise quickly, and you don’t want to be exposed to the baking sun for too long.
7. Food costs more than you’re used to paying. The remoter the area, the higher the cost. Stock up on food at major centres and try to keep your purchases at remote areas to the bare minimum.
8. Petrol is going to cost plenty. Particularly when you get close to known tourist destinations. Try and fill your tanks at major centres and have several jerry cans filled as well. It’s a long way between fuel stops, and topping up is always a good idea.
9. It’s called a holiday – so why rush? It isn’t a race, so plan your day to make sure that you have plenty of time to see and experience everything that you want to. Sit back and enjoy the view and be sure to take plenty of photos. Camping in the outback is a great way to enjoy the peace and quiet of this great continent – don’t waste the opportunity.
10. Most roads are sealed making most places accessible to most vehicles, but some roads aren’t and some are 4WD only. Before setting off on any trip, check to see what the road conditions are like and how long the journey will take.
Always tell somebody where you are headed. The outback is a vast area, so if something does go wrong, you are more likely to be found if people know where to look.
Enjoy your journey!