As can be seen from the Geographic Country Comparison map, Australia is a large country relative to some of the countries that tourists often come from. The greater distances between areas of interest highlight the remoteness of many of Australia's tourist destinations. Accordingly, extra planning and care are required to ensure the safety of your trip.
Some basic tips are provided on the Outback Safety Card which can be downloaded and kept in your vehicle.
It is recommended that visitors check the weather conditions that they are likely to encounter during their visit to their selected destination. It is important to remember that weather conditions vary significantly between different areas of Australia even though they do not seem very far apart. In addition, some areas are affected within hours by weather in areas hundreds of kilometres away. The weather conditions in most of the remote areas of Australia are often extreme and visitors must ensure that they are prepared for these climatic conditions.
Visitors should check weather conditions on the Bureau of Meteorology website at www.bom.gov.au for the areas they intend to visit.
Visitors should be aware of the remoteness of some areas within Australia and the implications for them if something unplanned occurs. Sometimes the distances between places of interest are hundreds of kilometres apart and there is no assistance available in between. Much of the road and track network between places of interest is unsealed and lightly trafficked meaning that breakdowns pose a significant risk to the lives of those concerned.
Travellers are advised to complete the Remote Trip Advice form and leave it with a responsible person (preferably someone in Australia who you will contact at the end of your trip). This will allow the responsible person to advise authorities of your non-return and assist search and rescue teams in locating you quickly in case of breakdown or other unplanned delay.
Due to the often vast distances between places where assistance is available it is unlikely that walking or hailing a passing motorist is likely to help. The most useful means of getting assistance is by having a radio capable of transmitting over large distances such as a High Frequency radio or a satellite telephone. Visitors should contact the ANFWDC radio group at www.vks737.on.net prior to their trip to find out about radio communication equipment.
Mobile phones do not operate in many inland areas of Australia and the coverage maps are provided as a guide only as network coverage by service providers varies. View coverage maps
Various permit systems for access exist across Australia and travellers are required to hold current and valid permits where required by the land owner/manager as appropriate. Information on permits required for various areas is contained in the document below, and while all precautions have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, contacts and other details can and does change. Travellers are advised to check the information for themselves and if any information is incorrect please advise us via our contact page.
LATEST NEWS & EVENTS
Four Wheel Drive NT Fights ABC Over Shortwave Shutdown
Date: 18 March 2017 - Saturday
Four Wheel Drive NT last week made a strong submission to the Senate Standing Committee, which was investigating the impact of the ABC's controversial move, in an attempt to have the decision to shutdown shortwave services overturned. More Info:
URGENT - ABC SHORTWAVE SERVICE STOPPED
Date: 3 February 2017 - Friday
The ABC has stopped its shortwave radio service as of 31st January. This means that information about emergency situations, weather conditions, general news and entertainment will no longer be available in remote areas where only shortwave has worked. More Info:
Four Wheel Drive NT MOU Announcement
Date: 25 June 2016 - Saturday
Northern Territory Deputy Chief Minister Announces Four Wheel Drive NT MOU Renewal. More Info:
National Four Wheel Drive Council Meets Senator Ricky Muir
Date: 2 October 2015 - Friday
4WD Australia recently met at Traralgon, in Eastern Victoria, for its quarterly general meeting, this meeting provided the council with the opportunity to meet with Victorian Senator Ricky Muir. More Info:
FOUR WHEEL DRIVE AUSTRALIA CHANGES
Date: 25 June 2015 - Thursday
Officebearers for 2014/15 have been elected by the Council delegates. More Info:
PROTEST RALLY AT STOCKTON BEACH
Date: 7 February 2013 - Thursday
A large protest rally about restrictions to access to Stockton Beach was held in the Newcastle suburb of Stockton on Saturday 2nd February. More Info: