Life in the Australian Outback can go from spontaneous to urgent, in a flash. The Eyre Highway drive can be long and unchanging at times, but the unpredictability of the Nullarbor Plain as a whole requires travellers to be flexible when setting up camp in the wild.
Consider having a back-up plan for each of these situations or follow our advice for each of these emergency scenarios:
The Eyre Highway is said to be a monstrous stretch of black asphalt that eats up tyres that don’t make the cut. Cyclists need to pay particular attention to their tyres, while people driving caravans or four-wheel drives need to keep their engines cool and their fuel reserves topped up.
The chances of your vehicle breaking down exactly when you’re 100+ kilometres away from any road stop is high, so be prepared to be with a spare tyre and the required tools to change a tyre. If you do not bring the tools yourself, be prepared to shell out for equipment and labour time!
Most animals and insects you’ll meet while camping are only going to be curious creatures who are easy to shoo away. Prime examples are the flies, the stumpy-tailed lizard and assorted birds. To keep them away from your pitch, practice proper food storage and waste management.
Some motorists complain of encountering large, biting March flies over the last 300 kilometres of the Nullarbor. If you’re not inside a vehicle, their presence can be very distracting and their bites quite painful. Try to defend yourself with a can of bug spray or a fly-swatter, or just barrel on through until you reach the next clear area!
As a rule, do not attempt to drive at night even if you need to cover some ground by the next day. It’s very possible for you to hit a kangaroo on its way across the road, especially because they’re more vulnerable in the dark. If one jumps out while you’re driving, slow down your vehicle and prioritise the safety of your passengers first. Contact the local Rangers or the nearest wildlife shelter immediately if you happen to injure or crash into one.
Thunderstorms, bushfires, undercurrents, and even cave-ins can are elemental dangers that catch tourists off-guard when they try activities like camping, diving, or cave-exploring (if you are up to it). Having the right gear and equipment on you will set yourself up to be prepared for the unexpected
You can also take note of common camping practices, like being wary of anything that may fall from overhead (including branches and your own supplies). Your best bet will be weighing down things so they aren’t blown away by the wind.
Accidents and injuries
Scrapes or splinters are a few things Nullarbor campers need to watch out for, but what happens if someone slips and twists an ankle, or has a medical issue? Having some level of medical training will be especially crucial in these situations, especially when it comes to knowing what NOT to do or how not to worsen your companion’s condition.
Ensure you have a full stocked travel first aid kit, and have the required contact numbers of the place you are heading and where you have come from.
Nullarbor travellers can be very generous to travellers who need it, but don’t rely on this! Stock up at each stop and at the end of each day ensure to do a quick stock take to see what you need to pick up before heading off again at first light.
If you’re in need of shelter or just an extra Mars bar, the Nullarbor Roadhouse is a great place to stay in and stock up on other essentials. Contact the Nullarbor Roadhouse for accommodations and additional resources on making your holiday awesome.