Outback worksheets

Australia's size and remoteness deterred many people from exploring it in the past but not so much now. With the proper equipment, common sense and a little outback knowledge it is becoming a tourist attraction real fast. And why not! Australia's outback is beautiful, if you like lonely stretches of road for hundreds of kilometres, dust, heat, sand, rock, bulldust and plenty of mud when it rains. Autralia's outback is often looked upon as a dry, dusty, hot desert but when it rains, within a few weeks it turns into a pure delight of colour with many plants flowering.

It was also conquered by pioneers who gave up the comfort of coastal settlement to carve a new life in the unknown interior of this vast continent. The Australian Stockman's Hall of Fame and Outback Heritage Centre is dedicated to the story of these unsung heroes, the men and women who opened up outback Australia.

Hard surfaces can turn into very fine dusty tracks and these are best tackled in a 4WD usually in the lowest possible gear and at a reasonable speed. You may like to test the road surface first, just in case. You should never enter deep mud or mud covered with water without first checking the depth.

Deep sand can be tackled if you use low tyre pressure. It's best to carry a tyre pressure gauge so you can check tyres regularly. After you've finished tackling the deep sand and you are back on a hard, gravel or bitumen road you must reinflate your tyres again because the soft tyres will perform badly or may blow out as a result of stone fractures on hard surfaces or over heating.

When crossing a creek or stream always check the track across for a clear passage and water depth. Dips are common in streams and outback roads and if you drive into them to fast you may damage the suspension on your vehicle. 

Long forgotten cattle grids are also a potential hazard when trekking through the outback. Cattle grids may be neglected and you certainly want to check first before attempting to cross one or you may end up in a big dip and in big trouble.

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When you travel on reasonably well used outback roads it is not uncommon to encounter a road train. This is a multi-trailered, long truck and when one comes towards you it's best to give it plenty of room by driving of the road or steer as far away as possible to your side of the road and stop. How about putting on the billy and having a cuppa while you have a look at the Australian Outback. These enormous long trucks can get pretty hairy when they start swaying. Trying to overtake a road train is also dangerous and you're risking your life. Road train drivers often can not see you behind their vehicle because of the dust. Let it get well in front of you before continuing your journey.

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Animals are another hazard of the outback. Large areas of unfenced property often crosses outback roads with stock roaming freely. Kangaroos, emus, camels and other native animals cross roads frequently and you should always be alert especially at sunset and around sunrise when the animals are more active. Come and experience the outback in a truly unbelievable way, travel by camel safari, cook by the campfire and sleep under the bare stars. Check out Explore the Outback camel safaris a hands-on trip through the central deserts of Australia.

Surviving in the outback may be necessary if your vehicle breaks down. You should always carry enough food and water for at least one week. It is recommended to carry 21 litres of water per head. Dry biscuits and canned food are ideal for storing. If you run out of water you could check the radiator of your car but test it first because many radiators are filled with a coolant, a chemical compound and poisonous for human consumption. Do not try to walk out of a remote area because you could get lost and perish. Australia's land, people and environment are unique, click here to read more from the Outback Magazine Online.

Before you enter a remote area you should always notify a local authority, police or a good friend where you are going. Should you not arrive at the given time and point, alarm bells will start ringing and rescue teams will search for you. Your car will be easy to spot and you will be safe and sound in no time but if you go walk-about, you may never be seen again. Remember the outback is a vast area to cover when it comes to rescue work.

If you have notified police or a local authority that you are traveling through the outback make sure you let them know when you arrive because if they don't hear from you, a search party may be send out to locate you which can be expensive, unnecessary and a waste of time and resources if you have neglected to tell them you have arrived safely.

If stranded in the outback, stay with your vehicle, rig up some kind of shelter for shade and remain as motionless as possible. Movement causes fluid loss and you want to preserve as much fluid as possible because you don't know if you are going to be there for 2 days or a week. There is of course the alternative way of traveling. Search out a professional tourist operation specializing in outback adventures like the Australian Natural History Safari. This is a Port Douglas based four wheel drive rainforest and outback tour. They operate principally out of the award winning Silky Oaks Lodge in the heart of the Daintree rainforest in Far North Queensland, Australia.

There are many great places to visit and many animals, birds and insect to see. One of the places is 'The Australian Woolshed' an authentic, multi-award winning Australiana attraction based on a typical outback sheep station.

If you want to see some great photos of different types of weather visit the weather photo gallery. This page will present what happens in the remote parts of Australia, a land of extremes. The focus will be on these extremes in climate: from drought to storms, dust storms, dust devils and the wind and rainfall which creates damage and isolates communities for long periods.

OUTBACK ADVICE

check your intended routes carefully check the best time of the year to travel make sure your vehicle is suited to outback conditions
carry enough supplies, water, food, spare parts always check ahead for local road and weather conditions make sure you carry enough spare fuel for long distances
always tell someone where you are going and when you've arrived always remain with your vehicle if you break down, don't go walk-abouts carry a compass, detailed maps or electronic hand held navigation device

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