Top 10 steps for planning a trip in the outback

Head into Australia’s outback with confidence using this simple guide to plan a road trip.

  1. Plan your trip backwards to find out if you have the time, gear and vehicle capacity to complete the trip.
  2. Time your trip well. It’s recommended to plan your trip between April and October to avoid wet seasons and soaring hot temperatures.
  3. Organise your trip outside of peak school holiday times. This will reduce traffic and travel times.
  4. Plan your daily stops so that you don’t miss out on opportunities to buy food, refresh with water, fuel up or have a toilet break. There can be fewer stops available in regional areas.
  5. Keep plenty of water on you in case of an emergency such as a breakdown.
  6. Keep an informed point of contact so that someone at home knows your movements during your trip. Harsh outback conditions, poor phone service and distance from emergency services make this an essential safety measure.
  7. Ensure your vehicle is in good condition and ready for the journey. Pack necessities like spare tyres and recovery gear (depending on how far off-road you go) on hand.
  8. Know where you will be camping as remote areas may not have accommodation available. Campsite bookings, area or track permits should be paid for before you head off where possible, though some places require travellers to pay upon entry.
  9. Have offline navigation available as your GPS might break, run out of battery or lose reception.
  10. Be adventurous and explore. Some of the best attractions, campsites, lookouts and drives are away from the main thoroughfare, and it’s often those hidden gems and side trips which are the most memorable. Instead of planning a straight shoot through to a destination or along a tourist route, allocate some time and kilometres to exploring further afield, digging deeper into the Outback and making the most of your own journey.

Queenslanders love road trips, so we’ve put together our top tips to get motorists to and from their destinations safely