Australia is huge. Most inhabitants live within an hour of the coast because of the restricted water supplies the further in towards the centre you go. But don’t let this put you off the barren Northern Territory: a drive through the Outback shouldn’t be missed on a trip to Australia; you just need to listen to a few words of advice.
Cairns, Australia, is a popular starting point for anyone exploring the Australian Outback. It’s often the last stop before venturing across the barren land of the Northern Territory where water is a treat. So before you leave the relative comfort of the Cairns hotels make sure you’ve got all the water and snacks you need for your journey.
The current recommended daily intake of water is to drink 8 x 8oz glasses a day – around 1.9 litres. The climate in the Australian Outback is a lot drier than most places so you should aim to try and double this.
The Royal Flying Doctor Service says that if you’re not used to the dry atmosphere in the Outback it’s possible you’ll need a litre of water every hour to quench your thirst; so bare that in mind when you prepare for your tour or pack up your car.
Of course you need good maps, a clear idea of where the gas stations are, spare food, a first aid kit and an HF Radio and the right clothing too.
It can take more than 40 hours to make the journey from Cairns to Darwin and that’s with no breaks. Of course there are homesteads on the way where you can buy beers, soft drinks and water, but there’ll be no superstores or motorway services along the way to fill up so carry all you can.
If you’re going on a long journey the chances are you won’t want all this fluid in your system, but it’s more important than ever. The sun in the Australian Outback is ferocious and can drain you really quickly, so make sure you take plenty of fluids on the journey.
Beware of a breakdown
When you’re travelling through isolated areas like the Australian Outback you also need to bear in mind the chance that you could breakdown along the way. It can take at least a few hours for someone to get to you and this is when you’ll be most grateful of a car full of fluid.
Don’t rely on waterholes, dams, bores, mills, tanks or troughs.
Top water tips
Use several small containers rather than one big one and check them all for leaks before you leave.
If you’re planning on getting out of the vehicle and exploring the Outback on foot then keep in mind that you’ll need even more water. The Royal Flying Doctor Service says that you shouldn’t wait to feel thirsty before you drink, but just make sure you do it at regular intervals.
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/61520356@N07/6509976333 and http://www.flickr.com/photos/61520356@N07/6866872250