Outback Travel News: November 11 2012

An update about a little known outback camping and 4WDing destination in Central Australia, an essential tip for people hiring 4WDs, advice on staying alive in the outback, and an update on the Camps Australia Wide iPad/iPhone app.


00:50 – VKS-737 Travellers’ Network to allow Sat-phone access
02:08 – The popular Camps Australia guidebooks are launching an iPad/iPhone app
03:19 – Should you take your camper trailer into remote areas like the Simpson Desert
04:35 – Territory Discoveries special offers to Uluru and Alice Springs

Central Australia’s Best Kept Secret: Owen Springs Reserve

Owen Springs Reserve is one of Central Australia’s BEST kept secrets.

The Reserve is located just 50 km (40 minutes drive) west of Alice Springs, and is great for camping, bushwalking, 4WDing and birdwatching.

Owen Springs was formerly a pastoral station (a cattle ranch), and has one of the very first European homesteads built in Central Australia. It’s also part of the route of the Old Overland Telegraph Line from Adelaide to Darwin.

The Reserve has a 50km long 4WD ONLY track running through it.

It’s a great day trip to drive out to Owen Springs, drive the 4WD track to the bottom of the park, and then return to Alice Springs along the Stuart Highway. This is a 220km (approx.) round trip.

There’s a couple of great camping spots on the Reserve: the Hugh River in Lawrence Gorge, and the local Alice Springs favourite: Redbank Waterhole.

Redbank Waterhole is also accessible from the Stuart Highway – it’s 5km drive in from the Highway and you can take a camper trail in via this route. Dogs are also permitted at Redbank Waterhole.

More info: http://www.travel-outback-australia.com/Owen-Springs-Reserve.html

Essential Tip if You’re Hiring a 4WD

If you’re hiring a 4WD and wish to engage the 4WD on the vehicle, it’s important that you do these things:

1. Get out of the vehicle and check to see if the front wheels have hub locks
2. If so, you need to turn the dial to the LOCK position in order to lock wheels to the front drive (so that they’ll turn with the engine)
3. Get in the vehicle and then use the small gear stick to engage 4WD

Many tourists don’t realise that they have to lock the hubs on the front wheels to engage 4WD.

Gary has had to rescue hire vehicles stuck in sand who never should have become bogged. These people thought they had 4WD engaged because they’d moved the gear stick into place. Embarrassing for them to be shown how to get their car out of a bog in 30 seconds just by locking the hubs!

Stay ALIVE in the Outback

This week brought tragic news about a young man who perished in outback Queensland after his car became bogged and he tried to walk 10km in 45˚C heat.

This is a deadly reminder to everyone to STAY WITH YOUR VEHICLE if you breakdown. The reason for this is that a vehicle is much easier for search teams to find than a human wandering around the bush.

Two other tips for outback survival:

* Before you go, make a plan about what you’ll do if you breakdown
* Tell someone where you’re going and when you expect to be back. Ask them raise the alarm if you’re not back when expected.

Camps Australia Wide’s iPad/iPhone app

Camps Australia Wide’s iPad/iPhone app is now available. The cost is $51.95 (NOT $59.95 as we said in the video), and there’s also an optional 29.95 annual subscription that will keep you always up-to-date with the latest campsites.

You can purchase the app in the iTunes store or direct from Camps Australia Wide

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  • Clint says:

    Well done Amanda, love the new news videos, you have done a great job πŸ™‚
    You should also get Facebook embedded comments into this blog also πŸ™‚
    keep up the good work.

    • Admin says:

      Thanks for taking the time to comment, Clint – and thanks for the tip. I’ll install the FB comments plugin and see how it goes.

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