By Jade Johnston
Following our brief stop in Port Lincoln, South Australia, where Lauren faced her fears with Great White Sharks, we headed out for another long drive.
Destination : Outback NSW : Broken Hill
First of all, it should be mentioned that Broken Hill does not consider itself part of New South Wales, and that it tries to be as South Australian as possible – but I will tell that story in another post.
Broken Hill was a staggering 8 – 9 hour drive from Port Lincoln, and we had to leave early. This drive took us through parts of the Nullarbor – which we had previously seen from the windows of the Indian Pacific.
Even though this drive may not be through what you may assume would be called outback (i.e. red sand), it is still the outback, and the same driving precautions need to be taken.
Outback Driving Tip 1 : Bring Plenty Of Food and Water
The distances between towns can be vast in this part of the world, so take all the snacks and drinks that you will need. In fact, take more than you would need for the day. The last thing you need is to break down somewhere in the middle of the outback (ie. middle of nowhere ) and then realize you don’t have any drinking water.
Luckily, our Spaceship campervan (named Fanta Pants, and I will refer to her by her name from here on in) came with two large water containers which would last the four of us quite some time if anything disastrous were to happen. (And I have a habit of buying all the chocolate bars at the petrol stations, so we were fine on the food front as well.)
Outback Driving Tip 2 : Start Out With A Full Tank Of Petrol, And Take Extra If Necessary
For exactly the same reasons as discussed above, make sure you start out with a full tank of gas! And if you have a gas guzzler, then perhaps consider taking some extra. There is nothing more frightening than the gas light coming on when you are no where near a petrol station.
Outback Driving Tip 3 : Watch Your Speed
In Outback Australia, the horizon seems to stretch on forever. You can drive for hours without seeing another vehicle. The unchanging landscape, couples with the long straight roads make it very easy to suddenly find yourself speeding.
Yes, it is unlikely that there are speed cameras out here, but do you really want to risk an accident out in the middle of nowhere? Especially when you will likely not even have cell phone coverage.
Outback Driving Tip 4 : Rotate Drivers
The long distances between points of interest, and the monotonous landscape can easily make even a pro long distance driver drowsy. Make sure you regularly rotate your driver in order to combat driver fatigue.
Outback Driving Tip 5 : Watch For Animals
Animals such as dingos, kangaroos, and emus have either evolved out in the outback, or have lived for many generations out here. They are well adapted to survive in these conditions. And in the animal kingdom, survival often equates to the ability to blend in.
A collision with a kangaroo or an emu, would not only be extremely sad, but would also considerably damage any mid sized vehicle. You don’t want to be stranded out in the middle of nowhere right? So watch for animals.
We received a discount rental from Spaceships, but all opinions remain our own.