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by Alain Hoffmann

 

Annette Flottwell having just repaired ole' Toyustralia is a bloody big country -and four wheelers heaven. But it can turn to hell quickly if you start unprepared. Sadly most travel agencies ignore this and most books aren't made for four wheel drives or they assume you have a fully equipped workshop in your baggage. Well, they are just fine for the occasional travel on a graded dirt track but worthless if you really venture into remote sites. And remote areas are easy to find- it's a continent with the population of a large american city. So we try in these pages to get you a better start for what may well be the experience of your lifetime.

The Australian Drivers Licence

Are you one of those who fancy an licence issued somewhere in the Outback? Read here about the conditions and where to obtain it.

The Australian Weather Forecast

The weather is very important for travellers. Here are some links to official weather sites including satellite pictures. If I'd just figure out how to access those while on the road...

Loading your 4 WD

Overload - all the stuff you can put into a 110Whether you read the books, talk to "explorers" or rangers they'll all have different opinions on what to carry and what to leave at home. The only common point is that they all believe you drive an 40 tons lorry. So we tried to compile our own list on essentials, established through many years of Outback experience.

Before you go

Driving an car with independant suspension isn't the best ideaSo here are the pearls of wisdom, the gems of experience... oh well, sort of. Take what you want. We tell you about companies that ripp you off, about the climate (wet, hot and stinkin' hot), the kind of cars you should avoid and so on

Reading matter

Gregories 4WD EscapesReading about a region you will be visiting is an very enjoyable experience. Here we collected a great number of books, 4-wheel guides and fiction which we personally can recommend.

Fuel prices

Look here for some short indications of the prices of black gold Down Under.

The Main Tracks

Here's a selection of the most famous 4x4 tracks with pictures, maps and recomendations.

Surviving the Outback

. You will find so many advices you won't know which one to trust. So here are some we tried ourselves and of which we are sure they work.

The last australian explorer

Len was one of the most colorful persons. He was a member of the army survey corps and appointed to the task of cartographing vast areas of unknown Western Australia. Read the tribute to one of the last explorers by Annette Flottwell.

I'm terrible!The Terrible Fruitfly Menace

Sure, those little insects are a treat to farmers but the way it's handled is sometimes a bit... well, let's be kind and say unusual.

The Skytrek in the Flinders Range

The Skytrek in the Flinders Range

One of the most scenic 4x4-only trips is the Skytrek (above). For a closer look click here.