Graphic: Travelling in the Outback
As winter settles over the southern states and retired travellers and end of term holidaymakers head off in search of sunnier climes, the Royal Flying Doctor Service's South Eastern Section (RFDS SE) is urging all Outback travellers to be prepared and careful on the roads.
"A quarter of the emergency medical evacuations the Flying Doctor responds to each year involve city travellers on Outback adventures," said Karen Barlow, Senior Flight Nurse at the RFDS SE.
It's essential that you plan and prepare before you set off, especially if you're not used to Outback conditions. The RFDS website has a range of free Outback travel tips, including:
- Get good quality maps and plan your route.
- Don't travel in the hottest part of the year.
- Be careful of how much you pack on your roof rack; a heavy load on top increases the chances of a roll-over.
- Store water in small containers instead of one large tank and check all water containers for leaks. In very hot conditions aim to carry ten litres of water per person per day and don't rely on waterholes, dams, bores, mills, tanks or troughs for water.
- Get a summary of your medical history and bring all medication and repeat scripts with you.
- Take a hat, sunscreen and insect repellent.
- In an emergency dial 000 and be prepared to give your location. If you own a smartphone download the 'Emergency +' app which will indicate your longitude and latitude and assist emergency services, including the RFDS, to find you. If you don't have a smartphone, keep an eye on the crossroads as you travel and mark your location on a map. Be aware that some very remote areas have no mobile coverage so make a Satellite phone part of your travel pack.
Read our full list of Free Outback Travel Tips