The internet is packed with sad and bizarre stories of unprepared tourists getting lost in the Australian outback. Let’s be honest, you don’t even have to travel that far out of Sydney to be deep in the wilderness. But with a bit of planning (and a lot of common sense), there’s no reason you can’t safely explore some of the most spectacular and remote regions of NSW.
When it comes to travelling through remote areas of NSW, flying by the seat of your pants just won’t cut it. Plan every detail of your trip, like where the petrol stations are, where you’ll pick up supplies and where the Visitor Information Centres are located. Download any apps you may need (like Emergency+), pack a first-aid kit and basically be prepared for the worst. The chances of it happening are unlikely, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Since remote areas don’t have reliable mobile coverage, it’s a good idea to hire a satellite phone and GPS to take with your phone and car charger. If you’re going deep in the outback, you should also stop off at the Visitor Information Centre to pick up a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) and Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB). Be sure to let friends or family know where you’re headed and when you plan to reach each landmark, so they know roughly where you are at all times.
Roads in the outback range from beautifully-paved highways to dirt strips that could easily be mistaken for kangaroo tracks. Some roads aren’t suitable for 2WD vehicles and some aren’t passable after rain, so you’ll need to check the weather and road conditions before you set out and make sure you have a 4WD if needed. Your vehicle should be in top condition and have extra fuel, spare tyres and tools for repairs, just in case.