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5 things you need to know about the outback now

by Penina

If you are planning on travelling in this dear country of ours (Australia) you best read on to discover some tips that will hold you and your loved ones in good stead for the trip. This is indeed a wonderful country and I’ve lived in pretty much every part of it including all the major cities, the outback, country areas and even up in mountains. Now, I’ve settled into a swell life by the beach, which I love BTW.
Here are just some of the random tips I can deliver fresh from my life in the Aussie outback (and some stories from other people’s lives), that will both scare and prepare you for your journey in Australia. If you take this good advice, you’ll discover one of the most wonderful and diverse countries in the world while you stay safe and enjoy an ‘ace’ (that’s ‘excellent’) Aussie adventure.

5 things you need to now about the outback now

1. Avoid travelling alone

Never travel alone if you are going off the beaten track in the Australian outback. All manner of things can happen to you and if something does happen, there will be no-one else to help you to call for help. Take for example a young man who decided to go on a ‘road trip’ across Australia. His car got caught in a ditch just out of Coober Pedy. After stepping out to check out the trouble he was bitten by a snake while collecting sticks to help wedge the vehicle out. It is likely his mobile phone was out of range and he couldn’t call for help. Needless to say authorities found his body three months later, with a cardboard note he’d written to his rescuers ‘I was bitten by a snake.’ You can read the full story here. 

2. Carry ample water, petrol and survival supplies

Always carry ample supplies in the Australian outback. For instance, carry large containers of water and also extra petrol (in Jerrycans) as distances can be very long between stops. Be sure to calculate all routes before leaving to anticipate how much petrol you will need. Take first aid kits and read reputable four-wheel drive and off-road travel sites to get in-depth information about what you will need to travel across Australia in your vehicle.
Oh, and don’t forget the sunblock! The Australian heat is extreme and you’ll get burnt to a crisp. Apply liberally and regularly.
Here’s a great list of 20 supplies you should consider taking on your trip. You will also find extensive information on what not to do at Outback Travel Australia.

3. Definitely invest in a bull bar

One of the biggest hazards on Australian outback roads are the Kangaroos, which appear out of nowhere at dawn and dusk. Drive with extreme caution during these times of the day and definitely consider installing a bull bar on your four wheel drive if you are considering a serious trip around Australia. Companies like Macquarie 4×4 specialise in 4WD accessories and repairs. Their steel ARB Bullbars and accessories are designed especially to meet the harsh conditions of the Australian outback and can handle the rugged treatment that is usually experienced by drivers on such an adventure.

4. How to keep those nasty roaches at bay

This one’s a keeper and since I hated the things so much, here is my one big tip for dealing with the big nasty bush roaches. If you happen to be staying in the outback for some time (actually this tip goes for pretty much anywhere there are roaches) definitely invest in some barrier spray. You can spray this stuff around the perimeter of your house (e.g doors and windows etc) to literally stop these bugs in their tracks before they enter your house.

5. Learn the lingo (that’s the local language)

Like any country language varies from region to region. But if you want to get a quick grip on what Aussies might be saying, here’s a fair dinkum list of slang terms for you. And this one’s a pearler too. This is important if you are stuck in a pub in the outback and you can’t figure out for the life of yourself, whether people want to cuddle you or rumble with you. And trust me – if you are a city slicker, you’ll need some words to talk your way out of things.
To finish off, here’s a nice little vid that will get you give you an idea of just how complicated the Aussie language can get.  

Oh, and just in case you are wondering, I’ve penned my Australian ‘to the outback and back’ story and it really is ‘a pearler’. Stay tuned!

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