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Outback SA Travel & Driving Tips
South Australia

Care should be taken when venturing off the beaten track in the outback, especially when conditions are extreme.

Always carry enough fuel, water and provisions for several days - be prepared to look after yourself. Distances between towns are often large - check carefully a good map before leaving.

On unsealed roads, corrugations may make the going uncomfortable if not dangerous and sometimes an even speed is the best way to obtain reasonable comfort and minimise danger.

Water can damage roads quickly. If you encounter rain, it's best to wait until the next day or until the road is dry before going on. If you come across water covering the road, drive carefully and gauge the depth with a stick before you proceed. Extreme care should be taken at river or creek crossings.

Dust can also be a hazard and it's best to pull off the road when you encounter excessive dust from a passing vehicle.

Watch out for stock and native animals crossing the road, even on sealed roads, especially between sunset and sunrise. Birds of prey feeding on carcasses at dawn have been the cause of many accidents. At all times it pays to match your speed to the conditions, and err on the side of caution.

Avoid the Strzelecki and Birdsville Tracks during the summer as conditions are likely to be at their worst - temperatures will be high, road conditions at their worst and water in poor supply.

Travellers should be aware of the extreme heat and isolated nature of travelling on outback roads. Please take special note of the following recommendations and check the Hotline number for road conditions before commencing your journey. Northern Area Road Condition hotline (08) 811633

When you travel into the outback, you're in one of Australia's most sensitive environments. Here are some basic do's and don'ts -

  • Notify a friend or relative of your travel arrangements. Advise dates, times and the intended route. Contact the relevant party upon arrival .


  • Don't use soap or detergents except in areas where toilets and showers are provided - otherwise they pollute.


  • Protect water supplies and do not interfere with stock watering points. Water is more valuable than property.


  • Do not leave the main road. In case of accident or breakdown, stay with your vehicle.


  • Respect gates, private roads and private property. Always close a gate you pass through.


  • When travelling in national or conservation parks, consult the ranger before setting off both to find out the best locations and to determine the local conditions. Carry your own power source and strictly observe fire regulations.


  • Do not tamper with road or Property signage.


  • Travellers who may wish to camp in a national or conservation park or regional reserve will require a Desert Parks Pass or an overnight Camping permit. Telephone (08) 8204 1910


  • Leave the area as you found it - take your rubbish with you. Don't interfere with or frighten stock. Don't bring pets, as these are banned in most areas.


  • Respect Aboriginal land and culture. Don't touch paintings or carvings, relics, sites or historical monuments or buildings.


  • It is highly recommended that you install an H.F radio transmitter in your vehicle before attempting outback travel.


  • Take extreme care when wandering around opal diggings.

South Australian National Parks | Camping in South Australia

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