It’s important to be mindful when travelling in Outback Queensland that things work a little different to other main highways. Whilst we can guarantee a show stopping drive and famous Outback hospitality, road hazards such as livestock, long hours, hot weather and flat, straight roads can take a little to get used to. The spaces between towns can often feel overwhelming if you aren’t prepared for the distance so correct packing, planning, and knowing what to bring is going to be your life saver!
These Travellers’ Tips are aimed at ensuring you experience a safe and pleasant journey through our great, red nation. Indigenous Australians have called these lands home for thousands of years and we do ask that you acknowledge and respect the values and beliefs of Indigenous Australians and the Kalkadoon People throughout your stay in Mount Isa and surrounds.
Pre-Trip Planning & Fuel Stops
A little bit of preparation goes a long way on long Outback drives, so ensuring you have a good map and a plan for the trip ahead is imperative. If your plans include going ‘off the beaten track’ then preparing your communication options and alternative routes are key, especially if you’re travelling during Mount Isa’s wet season (November – April).
These months often invite the most rainfall. You’ll find a large detailed Queensland map within the Outback Queensland Travellers Guide, which details the distances between towns and petrol stations.
Fuel stops on major highways are rarely more than 200 km apart, so it should not be necessary to carry spare fuel. However, where you do see a “no fuel” sign, it means exactly that. A mechanically sound vehicle packed with extra water, a first aid kit and spares for tyres, radiator hoses and fan belts together with a good tool-kit are also recommended. Don’t forget to ensure that your spare tyre is at the correct pressure. Please keep in mind if you are carrying extra weight on your vehicle, you will notice the fuel depleting quicker than usual.
You will notice Road Condition signs between townships throughout your drive. If you are concerned, have something to report or just keen to get more info call 19 40 for current road conditions.
Whilst the Outback summers are hot, they are far less humid than the coastline. Most tourist facilities and transport tour services are air-conditioned and suitable for those on long haul experiences. As storms and heavy rains can occur during summer, minor flooding can cut access towns you may be travelling to. The most temperate weather occurs between the beginning of April and the end of October. For those heading to the remote areas of Outback Queensland, we recommend checking the road and weather conditions prior to your adventure. For more details on our weather click here.
Heavy Vehicle & Single Lane Driving
Always take care when passing and overtaking road trains, heavy vehicles and other caravans. If you need to overtake, then ensure you have a clear line of sight, allow plenty of room and be prepared for large vehicles to move a little from side to side as you pass. Remember that if a road train is approaching to overtake you, move as far to the left as possible and stop if necessary to allow it to overtake safely. Always be patient of the stock, kangaroos and emu friends when travelling. It always pays to be vigilant when driving in the Outback, given kangaroos tend to be most active during sunrise, sunset and at night.
Many roads are gated and cross station properties. The rule of the Outback is to leave gates in the same way that you find them. If the gate is closed when you get there, close it after you drive through, if it is open as you drive through, leave it open.
Visitor Information Centres
Outback at Isa can help you grab the latest local and regional information for our surrounding areas. If you’re on your way here, all regional Outback Queensland Visitor Information Centres will carry any local information you should require for your journey. Click here to view the list of the accredited Visitor Information Centres in Outback Queensland.