These Travellers’ Tips have been compiled to assist you in ensuring a safe and enjoyable journey. Indigenous Australians have long held the view that the landscape is the core of all spirituality, the spirit of ‘country’. When travelling in Outback Queensland we ask you to please acknowledge and respect the values and beliefs of Indigenous Australians.
A little bit of preparation goes a long way in the Outback, so ensure you have a good map and a plan for the trip ahead. If you’re going ‘off the beaten track’ then preparing alternative routes, especially when travelling during the Australian summer (Nov – Apr) is always advised. These months often invite the most rainfall. Not to mention that if you have a copy of the latest Outback Queensland Travellers Guide, our large detailed Queensland map will actually detail the distances between towns for you (how handy is that!).
Fuel stops on major highways are rarely more than 200 km apart, so it should not be necessary to carry spare fuel. However, where you do see a “no fuel” sign, it means exactly that! A mechanically sound vehicle packed with extra water, a first aid kit and spares for tyres, radiator hoses and fan belts together with a good tool-kit are also recommended. Don’t forget to ensure that your spare tyre is at the correct pressure.
If you’re intrigued to see what the roads may lie ahead, visit your closest local Visitor Information Centre. You may also like to visit the Queensland Government Traffic and Travel Information Website on www.131940.qld.gov.au, or chat to someone on 13 19 40 for current road conditions.
Whilst the outback summers are hot, they are far less humid than the coastline and actually considered more bearable then places like Brisbane! Most tourist facilities and transport tour services are also air conditioned and suitable for those on long haul experiences.
As storms and heavy rains can occur during summer, minor flooding can cause some towns to become cut off. But of course this is all part of the adventure of the Outback 😉 The most temperate weather occurs between the beginning of April and the end of October. No matter the season though, a broad brimmed hat and sunscreen is recommended for any time of the year.
While Longreach, Mount Isa, Charleville and Birdsville have coverage from Telstra and Optus networks, the Telstra Next G network will still be available within a 20km radius of most other towns. Whilst there is limited mobile phone coverage in the far South West corner Queensland and west of Quilpie to Bedourie (sorry to any big instagrammers!) you can still pick up a public phone in the closest town you’re travelling to. If you’re on an extensive Outback adventure, then a satellite phone is also recommended.
Always take care when passing and overtaking road trains, heavy vehicles and other caravans. If you need to overtake, then ensure you have a clear line of sight, allow plenty of room and be prepared for vehicles (i.e. big trucks) to move a little from side to side as you pass. Remember that if a road train is approaching to overtake you, move as far to the left as possible and stop if necessary to allow it to overtake safely.
When meeting road trains and heavy vehicles on single lane roads, slow right down and move off the road to the left. If it is safe to do so, move off the road entirely and stop to avoid driving into any obstacles on the verge. In wet conditions road verges tend to be soft and/or slippery, so when pulling off to the left you should always keep your right wheels on the bitumen and keep moving slowly to avoid getting bogged.
Always be patient of the stock, kangaroos and emu friends when travelling! It always pays to be vigilant when driving in the Outback, given kangaroos tend to be most active during sunrise, sunset and at night.
Many roads are gated and cross station properties. The rule of the Outback is to leave gates in the same way that you find them. So if the gate is closed when you get there, close it after you drive through, if it open when arrive, leave it open when passing through as well (super easy stuff!).
Always check road and weather conditions before travelling into remote areas. It’s always important to advise our mates at ‘Stay on Track Outback’ on your intended itinerary that you should report back to on your arrival.
Most roads run through private property or national parks and open fires should never be lit. You should always contact your local Visitor Information Centre for information on free camping locations, permits and laws regarding campfires.
Help us keep Outback Queensland beautiful for future visitors by properly disposing of your rubbish. Our wildlife friends will also thankyou for your consideration!
Many newcomers to Outback Queensland may find themselves stepping into the shower at the end of a day of adventure to find the water from the pipes smells a bit off – don’t panic! To read more on Bore Water and The Great Artesian Basin, click here.
Our Visitor Information Centres can help you grab the latest local and regional information. Click here to view the list of the accredited Visitor Information Centres in our region.