Road Trip Australia -- a Safety Checklist

Posted on: 5 August 2016

Australia is a beautiful country with so much to see -- travelling by car allows you to see it up close. If you're planning a road trip around Oz, read this checklist and make sure you're travelling safely.

Choose the right tools for the job

Driving between states in Australia is on a par with driving between countries elsewhere in the world. The distances can be immense, and the quality of roads can drastically change as you go across land. If you're buying a car for the trip, then you'll want to consider the following: the running costs of your car, its reliability and safety, and its capability to handle rough terrain.

A four-wheel drive vehicle will be the ideal choice if you're heading through less developed areas. If you're planning to tow a caravan or trailer on your trip, you'll need to check your car meets the specifications set out in law. Check it against the driving rules for all the states you'll be travelling through as the rules can change across the country. Ensure you've taken out adequate roadside assistance insurance. Accidents and breakdowns can happen, and you'll want to know that you'll be able to get help if you need it.

Make Sure You Have the Right Survival Kit

Before you travel, you'll want to create an essential survival kit like the one below. While modern phones are well equipped with maps and information, you should have a backup in case of phone failure.

  1. The latest detailed maps of the areas you're travelling through.

  2. A thorough list of service stations and rest stops.

  3. A high-quality compass.

  4. A loud whistle.

  5. A medical kit that includes the usual plasters, bandages, antiseptic creams and painkillers as well as a broad spectrum antibiotic. Pack enough doses for everyone on your trip.

  6. As much water as you can carry. Seriously, don't underestimate how much you'll need.

  7. Non-perishable food for everyone on your trip for at least two days.

  8. Lighters, matches and fire-lighting blocks.

  9. A car tool kit that includes a jack, spare tyres, fuses, bulbs, and a fan belt. You'll also want a shovel and a large torch. Of course, none of these will be any good if you don't know how to use them. Take a basic car maintenance course before your trip.

  10. A working radio -- your car will have one as standard, but you should also consider a wind-up portable in case of engine failure.

  11. If your trip is going to take you deep into the outback, you won't always be able to rely on your mobile phone, unless you're thinking of buying or renting a satellite phone for your trip. You should have a 2-way, high-frequency radio on board. Before you rent or purchase one, check that it will pick up the Telstra and Flying Doctor frequencies.

Keep Non-Travelling Friends and Family in the Loop

Wherever you plan to go, it's a good idea to have an itinerary that you share with people who are not travelling with you. Tell them when you're leaving, the route you'll be taking, and your expected time of arrival. If your contacts don't hear from you, they'll be able to call the area's authorities and inform them of your failure to arrive. Stick rigidly to the check-ins with your contacts and inform them of any deviations from your journey plan.

These tips and packing suggestions should give you the information you need in case of a travel emergency, such as being stuck along a road and in need of roadside assistance or towing.

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Towing With Damaging Tire Treads and Other Towing Tips

Welcome to my blog. My name is Rita, and I have always lived in the country. As a result of living in remote areas, I have taken care of a range of things including towing broken down cars miles to the nearest mechanic, pulling machinery out of mud pits and towing heavy farming equipment from place to place. Through those experiences, I have learned a lot about how to tow safely and, in particular, how to not cause damage to the vehicle being towed. If you want to learn about towing and you have questions, you have come to the right blog – please explore, read and enjoy.

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