“Road Conditions can change very quickly and drastically in wet weather conditions in remote Australia.”
Australia’s unsealed (gravel or dirt) roads that haven’t been graded for a while or don’t receive much upkeep, particularly in the outback, can have dips, potholes and corrugations which involve very bumpy driving. Slow down and take it easy on these roads for your own safety.
Avoid driving on dirt tracks in remote areas when the weather conditions are wet or the forecast is to become wet. In some cases, sandy tracks can turn to mud and leave you stuck for days until the rain stops and the track dries out.
One of our experiences which comes to mind is whilst fishing
on the Keep River near Kununurra in Western Australia. The weather was fine
when we arrived, but a few days later the rain set in and the track turned to
mud and slush. We made the decision to pack up camp promptly and attempt to get
back to civilization along the wet 4WD track. After a lot of slipping and
sliding we made it out (50km later), however the state of our vehicle proves
just how bad a track can become after plenty of rainfall.
If you are travelling in the outback or remote areas with non-bitumen roads, be aware that there are contacts you can call prior to travelling the dirt roads you are unsure of. If in doubt contact the closest Visitor Centre, Royal Automobile Club or Department of Environment & Conservation in the area. They generally have all the answers or can find out for you (scroll down for helpful Government department contacts).
Northern Australia’s fishing and four-wheel driving adventure tracks are subject to weather and road conditions in the summer months, or “wet season” when the rains are common (November to February).
You’ll find roads are closed when they are waterlogged and unsafe. Don’t ignore the signs and attempt to drive them, even in a four-wheel drive, as they are closed for a reason. They are not safe and generally impassable. The best time to travel in the north is during our winter months, the “dry season,” (May to September) when the skies are mostly clear and the weather is warm and mild.
Also take note that roads in the north are not the only ones subject to change. The south has plenty of remote fishing and camping tracks too. The track to Israelite Bay in Western Australia is a classic example of a dirt track with the potential to become muddy and impassable. Always do your homework before hand. Help and advice is just a phone call away.
HELPFUL CONTACTS – WEATHER CONDITIONS
Bureau of Meteorology – 1300 659 218 local call
HELPFUL CONTACTS – ROAD CONDITIONS
Western Australia - 1800 013 314 free call
- 1800 246 199 free call
Queensland - 1300130595 local call
New South Wales
- 1300131122 local call
Victoria - 131170 local call
South Australia - 1300 361 033 local call