The Pilbara is a vast and sparsely populated region and it's important to keep this in mind.
Before you hit the road purchase a detailed road map or download an offline map system. If you find yourself in trouble, assistance could be many hours away so make sure you have plenty of water.
Be aware of the limits of your vehicle and take your time while travelling. Driver fatigue is responsible for many accidents, so don’t try to cover too much distance at a time.
If you will be travelling on minor roads in the region, it is advisable to leave your itinerary details with a reliable contact. Alternatively, purchase a personal locator beacon that allows you to signal for help if you get into trouble. Take a current detailed road map and keep track of your mileage. Some of the region’s towns are very remote, so if you find yourself in trouble, assistance could be many hours away. Be aware of your vehicle’s limits – if you’re going by 4WD make sure you know how to drive it and take your time.
Read the following road safety tips for some advice and useful information that will ensure you have a safe and enjoyable journey through the Pilbara.
Thoroughly check your vehicle before you depart. It can be dangerous to break down in the outback, but it can also be expensive! Four-wheel drive vehicles and off-road camper trailers/caravans are recommended when travelling on minor unsealed roads or tracks. A good tool kit, water, two spare tyres and basic spare parts should be kept as standard. In case of breakdown, never leave your vehicle.
During the summer period (November to April) sealed and unsealed roads can be open for travel one day and flooded the next. Authorities provide road updates and weather warnings accordingly to assist travellers. Regardless of your vehicle, do not attempt to traverse roads that have been closed by the authorities under any condition. Check for road closures with Main Roads on Phone: 178178 or website www.travelmap. mainraods.wa.gov.au
A comprehensive first aid kit, extra water and food supplies, tool kit, at least two spare tyres and spare parts should be kept as standard - along with the knowledge of how to use them. If you’re going bush, make sure you carry a signal device, such as a flare or mirror and, if possible, some type of remote communication equipment.
Road trains and large/wide loads are common when travelling in Northwestern Australia. Extra caution is advised when overtaking road trains that can be more than 50 metres in length. On unsealed roads, dust can be kicked up, obscuring vision and throwing up stones and rocks that could damage or break your windscreen. It is strongly recommended that you have a UHF radio and select Chanel 40. Let them know you are there and tell them what you want to do if overtaking or pulling over.
If You Break Down in the Outback
Always stay with your vehicle, conserve your food and water and park so you can be seen.
Australia’s North West observes the same driving laws and regulations as the rest of Australia.
It is not uncommon to encounter wandering stock and wildlife, serious accidents can occur due to collisions with kangaroos, cows and various other animals. Take particular care when travelling at dawn and dusk as these are the most dangerous times. Slow down, keep a lookout, and if possible, avoid driving at night.