Envisioning an outback trip, you dream of vast blue skies, red earth, rugged landscapes and starry nights, but unbidden also come the visions of snakes, dehydration and being stranded in an empty and arid wasteland. Realistically though, these nightmarish thoughts are actually unlikely to come to pass – especially if you are prepared and use some good old common sense.
Snakes and spiders
- Although snakes and spiders generally top the list for animals that outback visitors fear, the reality is that these creatures generally want to stay well away from you too, so if you walk carefully they aren’t going to be a problem.
- Central Australia is home to some very venomous snakes, but the closest you are going to get to these reclusive reptiles is in one of the region’s wildlife parks.
- With temperatures reaching up to 40°C in the summer months, the risks of dehydration are very real.
- Even in the winter months though the daytime temperatures still soar, so staying out of the midday heat is important too.
- Keeping the fluids up by drinking copious amounts of water should keep any dehydration at bay.
Breakdowns and accidents
- Close to Alice Springs, particularly on the seal, there is always going to be plenty of traffic around. But, you don’t need to head far off the tourist trails to end up in some isolated country where you don’t know when the next vehicle will pass. Although a lot of travellers will be worried about mechanical failure, the locals warn more about the less obvious outback driving pitfalls, like hitting an animal at dusk.
- Unexpected road conditions, like severe corrugations and patches of bull dust, can also be a problem for the unwary.
- If your worst fears do come true, then the best advice we can give you is to always stay with your vehicle. The cavalry should be on its way soon if you have made sure to tell someone where you'll be.