"Vehicle choice and preparation are both very important considerations when travelling long distances and particularly if you plan to venture into the rugged Australian outback."


A two-wheel drive (sedan or similar) will be sufficient if you intend to stick to the main highways and bitumen roads, for example Highway 1 which follows mainly the coast and connects all Australian mainland capital cities.

A four-wheel drive will be essential if you plan to drive on beaches, unsealed roads (non-bitumen) or attempt more challenging tracks in the outback.

Our vehicle of choice has always been the Toyota Landcruiser Troop Carrier. Its off-road performance is outstanding, has great towing capacity and the high clearance which is required in the remote areas we love to travel. The “Troopy” can handle some serious four-wheel driving and ours has seen the likes of the Old Telegraph Track on the Cape York Peninsula in Queensland, the Gibb River Road in the Western Australian Kimberley Region and plenty more around the country.

If you intend to explore the outback and are in the market for a four-wheel drive then we highly recommend a powerful diesel vehicle with high clearance, long range fuel tanks, dual batteries, snorkel, bullbar, winch and a UHF radio. Of course what you choose will depend on your budget and preferences. There is a good selection of high performance four-wheel drives available these days. Do adequate research before making a final decision on what is right for you.

If you’re travelling from overseas then you have the option of hiring or buying suitable transport to meet your travelling needs.

Hire Vehicle

If you choose to hire then shop around for a good deal. There are numerous reputable companies to choose from.

Use this free quote and booking service to find the vehicle that suits your travelling needs and budget. There are many pick up locations to choose from all around the country.


Those of you travelling in a two-wheel drive will no doubt be driving on the main roads so your preparation won’t be as in depth as the four-wheel drivers but still important all the same.

  • Ensure service is up to date
  • Check tyre tread and pressure
  • Check oil and water levels
  • Carry spare tyre & jack

Four-wheel drive enthusiasts have much to prepare before heading off on holidays, particularly when travelling off-road and in outback areas.


  • Have your mechanic fully service and safety check your four-wheel drive with a fine tooth comb. If you’re embarking on a big trip, particularly in remote areas it needs to be in A1 condition. Breaking down in the outback is costly and potentially dangerous.
  • Check tyre tread and pressure. It pays to have a good quality set of tyres, particularly when travelling off-road. You should at least invest in All Terrains as they tend to have better tread and harder side walls.
  • Perform routine oil changes
  • Change air and fuel filters
  • Inspect your four-wheel drive regularly when travelling. Keep an eye on things such as the suspension and springs, steering arms and look for oil leaks. We can’t emphasize enough to get to know your four-wheel drive.

It is very important to carry adequate tools, spare parts and recovery gear when travelling off-road.

Equipment & Accessories to consider:

  • Stretch strap
  • Shovel
  • Winch
  • Tree trunk protector
  • D-shackles
  • Snatch block
  • Gloves
  • Spare belts and hoses (radiator & fuel)
  • Spare air and fuel filters
  • Spare wheel bearings
  • Assorted bolts, nuts, washers, screws & split pins
  • Centre bolts (for spring packs if fitted)
  • Spare tyres x 2 (outback travelling)
  • Tyre plug repair kit
  • Engine oil & gear oil
  • Tool box with variety of tools but not limited to these suggested (1/2” drive socket set, 8mm-19mm combination spanners, good hammer, chisel, hacksaw, wheel bearing socket, snap ring pliers, regular pliers, side cutters, screws, Phillips head screwdriver, 8” & 12” shifters)
  • Fuses
  • Air compressor, tyre deflators and pressure gauge
  • Jack & wheel brace (a kangaroo jack is also handy)
  • Vehicle manual
  • Fencing wire
  • Clear silastic, Form-A-Gasket Sealant
  • Fuseable link, variety of 3mm wire terminal connections, crimpers, 3mm electrical wire
  • 12 volt test lamp, volt meter
  • Grease gun, rags, duct tape
  • Axe
  • Radiator stop leak

(see 4WDing section for more details)

Return from Vehicle to Travel Australia Bible home page

Travel Australia Guide

Custom Search