Driving through the Australian outback is something we will never forget. We ran out of gas, hit a kangaroo and totalled a rental car, had no cell service for hours, saw thousands of dead carcasses and had some of the best carpool karaoke of all time. I would do it again in a heartbeat, but next time I would be more prepared with outback essentials.
We had luck on our side during those days through the outback, but we wouldn’t recommend going in without all of the essentials for anyone who is considering taking on the wilds. So today I have prepared my ultimate list of outback road trip essentials.
The Right Vehicle
If you are renting, don’t go for the cheapest, smallest car you can find. Go for something more durable! Same goes if you are buying specifically for the trip. Always go for the bigger more resilient vehicle. Kangaroos are huge and Suzuki Swifts are no match.
Jerry can full of Gas
First things first, it doesn’t matter what you think you know out there. Gas stations are few and far between and your petrol is your lifeline. You need to have a Jerry can full of Gas at all times.
Secondly, bring enough water for you to survive if the worst-case scenario happens. We took a ridiculous route and didn’t see other vehicles for upwards of 8 hours in between, then one person, and nothing again. We totalled a rental car and had no cell service, luckily it still drove despite the ample amount of damage and the limited visibility through the windshield, but it could have gone a completely different route. Make sure you have enough liquids should you get stuck.
While we are talking about survival; Snacks are also super important, not only for general survival but so you don’t get cranky along the way. Remember, shops are roughly 400-600 km apart.
No cell service is no cell service, and ironically enough that also means no radio, so get yourself an awesome playlist with enough tunes downloaded to last the entire trip. Repeats will do your head in after a while. Also, don’t forget to make sure you have the equipment you need like an Aux cord or Bluetooth connector.
Bring a travel mate, it doesn’t matter who it is (as long as they aren’t a serial killer) just make sure you have someone with you who maybe can share the driving but definitely can keep you awake when you have been on the road too long.
It’s so beautiful and there are just some things out there that you don’t see every day so bring a camera and take lots of photos! Just don’t leave it on your dashboard to overheat.
We love this SONY Cyber Shot RX100 III it definitely makes our list of outback essentials.
Good car insurance / rental car with zero excess
Accidents happen, just be prepared or be unhappy with the bill at the end of it. We were fortunate enough not to have to pay out our rental car, but it would have been a ridiculous bill if we did have to pay it off.
You may not have the windows down on a lot of those red dirt roads, but you can still get burnt when the sun is on you for prolonged periods, and it just sucks. Avoid an uncomfortable ride and bring some sunscreen.
Bring a pillow so you can sleep when you need to. You could also bring a blanket, but your clothes work too. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend just pulling over on the side of the road for the night because the outback at night isn’t as forgiving as the outback during the day, and wild boars are rude but it will make your nap a little nicer.
Spare tire(s) and the recovery gear you need to replace it. Like I said earlier, no cell service. Roadside assistance isn’t coming to get you, so just be prepared to change your tires if you get a flat.
If one of Australia’s famous spiders or snakes decide to give you a little taste you can be prepared. We saw all sorts of ‘friends’ we wanted nothing to do with on our journey better to be safe than sorry it could buy you some time to get to the nearest medical centre or hospital.
The outback is so beautiful (extremely instagramable) and very alluring. It is still wild and not meant to be taken lightly. We got lucky in our naivety and are very thankful for how things all worked out (and the true blues who hooked us up with some petrol), don’t be stupid like us.
If you are heading around Australia check out more HERE.
Let us know when and where you are going in the comments below.