The long haul list – a supply guide for interstate travel

The long haul list - a supply guide for interstate travel
Photo: Carlos Castilla, BS

Planning a long distance trip between states in Australia can be quite an undertaking. With a diverse range of landscapes, climates and road conditions to deal with, you need to be prepared for anything. Driving times between major cities and even smaller towns can be long and carrying the right supplies is crucial to ensure you not only have a safe but also an enjoyable trip.

Depending on what time of year you will be hitting the road and where you will be driving you could encounter anything from extreme dry desert heat, to flash floods or heavy snow.

You need to be ready to handle these conditions from a driving perspective and have the right gear to get you out of a jam if necessary. Being prepared on the Australian roads is essential, as it can take time for break-down assistance to reach you. Plus, there are areas that have zero phone signal, meaning you will either have to rely on the help of other passers-by or find a way to get yourself to an emergency phone.

However, with the right preparation, travelling interstate in Australia can be an enjoyable and memorable experience.

Let’s take a look at what you should have with you in your vehicle if you are planning a long, inter-state trip in Australia.

Carry extra fuel

When you leave the major Australian cities behind, there can be long distances between fuel stops. As a rule of thumb, you should always fill up when you see a petrol station, however, despite your best intentions, there is always a chance that you could take one detour too many and run out of fuel. It’s always a good idea to carry extra fuel with you for just such a scenario.

There are a range of different fuel tanks for sale that you can use depending on what kind of space you have available in your vehicle. Choose the right one for you and make sure that you can reach your destination without worrying about hitting empty first.

Pack a tarp

A tarp is one of the most versatile and useful things you can bring with you on a long road trip. Whether you stop at the beach for lunch or you break down in the middle of nowhere, you can stretch the tarp from your vehicle to the ground and create some shade.

Simply keep it in place with some sand or stones or, if you really want to up your game, consider bringing poles to prop it up. Your tarp can also be used as a mat to sit on if you need to picnic, or if you’re stuck in cold weather, you can wrap it around you and your travel companions to trap in heat.

Bring plenty of water

No matter where or when you’re travelling in Australia, you should always have plenty of water with you to keep you hydrated. You should have no less than 20 litres of water with you at all times in case of an emergency.

If for any reason, you get stuck somewhere or you break down, it will be important to stay hydrated, especially in the hot summer months. Remember 20 litres is your emergency stash, you should have extra water with you for your regular water consumption.

Food supplies

Have some non-perishable foods with you just in case you have to spend the night in your vehicle waiting for help to arrive. Bags of nuts or trail mix are a great idea as they will keep your energy levels up and will keep you feeling full. Granola bars are another great choice but be sure to avoid chocolate as it will melt and cause a mess. If you want to step it up a notch, you can always bring canned goods, like beans or soup, and a portable stove to cook something hot along the way.

Basic tool kit

Before embarking on a long inter-state journey, you should know how to look after minor issues that might occur with your vehicle. Familiarise yourself with where the water and oil go under the hood and make sure you know how to change a tyre. You should always have a basic tool kit with you with all of the essentials like a car jack, a few wrenches, screwdrivers, flashlight and pliers.

Don’t forget to check that your spare tyre is pumped up and in good condition and carry some spare engine oil, steering fluid and engine coolant just in case. Even if you don’t know what to do if you break down, someone may come to your rescue who does and if you have the right supplies you will get back on the road quickly.

Be prepared and enjoy the journey

Taking a long trip through any section of Australia is an incredible experience. From the remote and isolated outback to the stunning coastline, you will be treated to jaw-dropping views at every corner.

Keep an eye out for wildlife as you move around and bring the right supplies and you can sit back and thoroughly enjoy your long-haul interstate journey.