Down that dodgy looking rutted dirt track, across that creek crossing or up the beach

in travelfeed •  9 months ago 

Getting away from the city is one of my great passions; As often as I can I'm out in the country, as far as I can get before having to turn back for work or whatever. I just feel better out there. There's something about the hum of my wheels on the blacktop heading out of town and that familiar feeling of righteousness as I hit the dirt and leave civilisation behind in a cloud of dust and shower of rocks flicking back from my tyres.

I was talking to a chap the other day who is planning (hoping) to make his own getaway; A trip around the country for 12 months or so and whilst he has some great ideas he also admitted that it was difficult to know where to start his planning. It's not the first time I've had that conversation and won't be the last as more and more people discover the allure of the open road, the solitude of far away places and the beauty this country has to offer once away from populated areas.

We've been to some amazing places and had some truly incredible experiences in the outback and remote places of Australia. Travelling around this vast country takes effort though, planning and knowledge. One simply can't take off in a typical road car and expect to get it done. Chances are you won't come back.

Having the right vehicle, knowing how to use it over various terrains, how to maintain it and load it is a critical factor in safe outback driving and there's a lot of vehicle choices out there. Add to that the accessories and equipment required and then accommodation choices like caravan, camper trailer, tent, swag, motor home and the many other options available and one is left more than confused, like our friend above. There's medical emergencies to consider, communications, and navigation as well as food and water considerations also. It's complicated.

My off-road vehicle for instance carries $25,000 worth of accessories and equipment over and above the purchase price and that's without any of the personal equipment I need. Then there's my camper trailer, a full-off-road version with onboard water, power, kitchen, fridge/freezer, hi-lift jack, axe, shovel, solar panels and so on. Another $32,000 worth of kit. You get the idea? It's not cheap, but the outback is harsh, unforgiving and deadly to the unprepared.

My advice to the guy was to research and then research some more. When it comes to the vehicle, accommodation and equipment decisions it's best to make them based on fact and research rather than someone else's opinion or on what's popular; What's right for them may not be right for you. There are industry shows and events offering a chance to get up close and personal with stuff and of course loads of online resources. It's a great place to start. Also in speaking with people who have done it for a while, I've been doing this sort of thing for 28 years for instance, will also help as learning from other people's errors is a cheaper way of learning. Trust me. Understanding one's limitations is also advisable and with so many resources, training video's and courses there's really no excuse not to have at least a basic understanding.

Travelling around this huge country doesn't always mean off-roading, low-range gears, winch recoveries and getting bogged however to see the best of it some off-road work is required. Getting to that spot where all the caravaners are might be nice, but I can assure you that a little further down that dodgy looking rutted dirt track, across that creek crossing or up the beach a ways is something amazing. It's Australia after all.

Images in this post are:
Spear Creek - Southern Flinders Ranges, SA (Heading to the summit to see what's there)
Northern Rivers - New South Wales (Pristine beaches as far as one can see)
Willow Springs - Central Flinders Ranges, SA(My off-road vehicle and camper trailer and wife)
Katherine Gorge - Northern Territory (If you don't see this you are stark raving mad!) :)
Mindl Beach - Darwin, NT (Sunsets take on a new meaning here. Silhouette of my wife between the trees)

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Traveling in your own car is a great experience. Until two years ago, every December I traveled through Venezuela with my father and my brother to Colombia and it is the maximum to be able to decide where to go, what route to take, where to park to rest, etc. But as well as enjoy a lot, we also had accidents on several occasions, and luckily my dad always carried the spare.

On one of those occasions they repaired the car but it was already night so we decided to stay at the nearest hotel, I remember it was in a town with a small population, and it had nothing fancy, it was just a 1 star hotel. I did not want to stay there, but my dad told me that this was actually a 5 star hotel and he pointed out to me that the sky were full of many stars. It really was beautiful.

What I want to say is that we have to prepare for this mode of travel, but in the end if something does not go as we want, we should be grateful and enjoy what we get 😄

A big hug, @galenkp. Thanks for share your experience.

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I did not want to stay there, but my dad told me that this was actually a 5 star hotel and he pointed out to me that the sky were full of many stars. It really was beautiful.

Your dad has a good outlook on life. Wise man.

but in the end if something does not go as we want, we should be grateful and enjoy what we get 😄

So do you.

Thanks for your comments. Very much appreciated.

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Nice.

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Thanks @melip, travelling is a passion of mine, either in or out of Australia.

Awesome photography .and lovely post.my dear lovely friend galenkp . 👸I always follow you, please support me. Thank you

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I'm neither dear or lovely, I can assure you. I checked out your blog however didn't find enough words, enough real content, to give you a follow or a vote. Keep trying though, maybe you'll get there someday.

I'm the type that would plan to make annoyingly frequent stops along the way. Which only works in some areas around here XD There's awesome things to see around the place, would love to get out and see more of it.

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  ·  9 months ago (edited)

Frequent stops aren't a bad thing I guess, depending on where one is travelling.

I'm the type that would plan to make annoyingly frequent stops along the way.

So, you'd plan these stops to be annoying to yourself?

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Annoying to other people XD My partner is happy to drive long distances and will cover as much ground as possible enroute to the end destination. If we have a time limit or want/need to do something at the end point then obviously I'm happy enough to just cruise all the way there. Otherwise I kind of want to stop and look at all the interesting things along the way, which would work out well for me and the youngest (who are not that keen on being in a car sitting still and cramped for ages) and the middle child (who can get motion sick) but would annoy the partner a bit because it would exponentially blow out our travel time and probably make it more expensive if it was a multi day trip (as we probably wouldn't drive overnight).

You got a 39.79% upvote from @ocdb courtesy of @galenkp!

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