Prep Your Car for an Australian Road Trip

Australia is ranking high as a premier destination for roadtripping. Well-maintained roads, an abundance of exhilarating routes and countless landmarks separated by spans of unreal coastal and Outback landscapes make this country a roadtripper’s paradise. Whether you’re taking The Great Ocean Road or making a Top Loop from Darwin to the swimming holes of Litchfield National Park, there’s nothing like throwing your bags in the back and getting her into speed on a dewy road. However, in order for the rest of the Australian adventure to remain as fun as the beginning, you need to make sure your car is well-prepared for such an endeavour. Let’s look at the most important prep-tips.

What car?

Provided the weather is dry, most tracks across the Outback can be navigated by a sturdy conventional vehicle with good ground clearance. If you’re taking one of your cars, think twice before picking the newest one – Australia roads can get dusty, with debris and sand creeping everywhere, and gravel and stones spraying the bottom of your car. In addition, if your car breaks down, an Outback mechanic is more likely to have spare parts for a popular 10-year-old model than the latest Auto Show pick. Fancy electronics and leather seats have no much use out there. If you’re going to hire or borrow a vehicle, think about a proper, robust four-wheel-drive. These 4WDs can drive on unsealed roads in pretty much any weather, but also to take a rough side-track for that unreachable scenery vantage point.

Manage your fuel

While you should definitely fill up before you leave, keep in mind that distances in Australia are much longer than they might seem on the map, so take every chance to refuel, even if you think you have enough juice till the next stage. On the other hand, why guessing when you can map every petrol station on your route in advance. Sure, there are navigation apps with points of interest marked, but you should always double-check, as one of those stations might have gone out of business or relocated. Also, take note that prices of both petrol and diesel in the Outback tend to fluctuate between the regions, so you may pay $1.78 for diesel in Meekatharra, WA and $1.35 in Mount Garnet, QLD. Here’s a useful app for comparing fuel prices on the go.

Have your car checked

On long road trips, your car isn’t only the mode of transportation, but can also be your biggest asset in case of emergency, so you want to make sure it’s running properly with no strings attached. Now is the time to replace that pollen filter, as you’re surely going to need every bit of filtering capacity in the Outback. Have your mechanic top off the engine oil and other fluids, check the brakes and the transmission, and replace a faulty spark plug or, if you’re driving a diesel, a slow-igniting glow plug. However, roadtrippers in Australia have one more benefit – mobile mechanic service. Operating between towns of Maitland, Cessnock, and Kurri Kurri, this mobile mechanic of Hunter Valley can get to your home and do all the repairs on the spot.

Essential road trip pack

Plan your trip in advance and don’t forget to bring paper maps, or at least printed Google Maps sheets. This way you don’t have to rely on your mobile phone all the time. With mobile in mind, take an extra charger, as well as the one for the car. Australian tours can get thirsty, so pack 5-7 litres of water per person, and then some for the car. Make sure your windscreen wipers are in good shape and that windscreen fluid tank is full. Finally, in case you need to stop in the night in the middle of nowhere, those beautiful stars won’t give you enough light, so bring a torch and spare batteries.

If your road trip is expected to take more than two hours one way, you should really take some extra time and prepare and pack your car. A long-expected road trip isn’t only about beautiful Instagram snaps, but also about enjoying the time off with no breakages or shortages.


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Written by IslaWright

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