Places to go, things to see and do. We’re very lucky to live in a country where it’s possible to use a 4WD’s potential to explore nearby and remote Outback areas. We give you the low-down on trip preparation and planning and suggest places you might like to visit. There are also useful hints on what you need to take with you and how to keep safe in the bush.
If you don’t own a 4WD, camping equipment, camper trailer, campervan, motorhome or caravan, hiring is a great option. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your Aussie Road Trip now.
There’s also some fun stuff: tall bush tales and some interesting characters we’ve met along the way.
BUSH CHARACTERS, YARNS & POETRY
Denis Bartell is one of Australia’s modern pioneers and was justifiably awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the general division, in 1989. Dick Smith, founder of Australian Geographic Magazine, presented him with its Adventurer of the Year Award Gold Medallion 1994.
We’re indebted to the late Ian Glover, long-serving editor of Overlander Magazine and many other publications, for his introduction to this story about one of the 4WD movement’s pioneers.
EVERYTHING LITTLE TOWN HAS SOMETHING
The City of Karratha has been transformed in recent years, becoming one of Australia’s most liveable regional cities, set in a beautiful natural landscape.
Adelong’s verandah-lined main street is classified by the National Trust (NSW) and some buildings date back to the goldrush era of the 1800s. The nearby Heritage Listed Industrial Site, Adelong Falls Gold Mill Ruins, boasts a remarkable collection of stone ruins and the remains of the Reefer quartz crushing mill.
HIRE – 4WD, CAMPERS & CAMPING GEAR
Many people are unsure of their exact camper trailer needs, or they simply want to enhance their camping flexibility by hiring a trailer when required. Some others are unsure if the camping life is for them and hiring a camper trailer is a much cheaper exercise than buying one and having to sell it if the experience isn’t a good one!
Hiring a motorhome can be an expensive business, especially when you factor in relocation fees and the onerous charges the major hire companies like to impose, but there is a cheaper alternative for those who are flexible with dates and timing for a motorhome trip.
OUTDOORS HEALTH & SAFETY
At OTA we have a simple rule: north of the Tropic of Capricorn, we never swim in creeks, rivers, billabongs or … the sea. We’re also very careful how close we camp to any stretch of water.
There are several brands of compact, non-pressurised fire extinguishers available and all seem to offer a much more convenient means of protection than traditional extinguishers.
PLANNING & PACKING
Many people seem to think travelling is a luxury reserved for later in life when you have no commitments: academic, professional, familial, or otherwise. For a student, the thought of travelling seems particularly daunting as you’re likely in a constant state of catch-up with assignments and exams while living on a tight budget.
TAG-ALONG TOURS & TOUR OPERATORS
A Lake Macquarie (NSW) couple has returned from an outback odyssey of more than 11,000 kilometres in a World War II-era truck, driving into the past and racing against time. We’re indebted to the South Australian chapter of the Wartime Vehicle Conservation Group for permission to publish this unusual Outback Travel story.
This 2022 tour bus is fitted with a road-rail wheel kit that allows it to run on historic railway tracks and on roads and bush tracks in Tasmania’s wild west.
The great east-west challenge is the Gunbarrel ‘Highway’, but years of neglect make it a severe 4WD vehicle test. The Great Central Road used to be an easier run from Uluru to The West, but the NT section has always been in worse condition than the WA part.
For many years it seemed that Australia wasn’t home to many large dinosaurs, but discoveries in recent years have revealed the exact opposite. The discovery of the fifth-largest dinosaur ever found and now fondly known as ‘Cooper’ (Australotitancooperensis) has put Australia right up there.