Going off-road is a splendid means of exploring Australia’s natural heritage and getting to inaccessible terrains. However, it’s essential to always take into consideration the landscape, terrain conditions and the ecosystem when deciding to venture off-road. The impression we should aim for is that we are responsible off-roaders and should serve as role models.
It’s really quite simple, one needs to look after the environment and the rights of others — particularly the local population.
One must also understand the risks of off-roading in Australia. It is important that people who intend to undertake off-road adventures consider completing a driver training course that teaches off-road safety, the environment and automobile recovery.
Strategise your trip. Firstly, have you got the right off-road four wheeled drive vehicle? Do you need a ute canopy or ute tray to ensure that you have adequate storage for the required tools and equipment.
Know where you are going to camp and always leave a good impression. Ideally you want to leave no trace of your expedition including removing your litter and waste and picking up trash you may find along the way.
Engage four-wheel drive when leaving the bitumen. High-range gearing is recommended for roads that need a greater amount of traction than required on bitumen and low range 4WD is recommended for soft surfaces like sand and mud or for steep inclines and declines.
- Only travel to terrains that are suited to your off-road vehicle.
- Remain on the designated course. Do not create new tracks unless definitely needed. Be aware of restricted areas.
- Follow speed restrictions even when off-roading. Speed limits are there for a reason.
- Practice risk-free convoy guidelines.
- Respect the local flora and fauna.
- Use environmentally friendly products as well as cleaners and do not dispose dangerous materials such as old oil.
- Use water safely and do not build your camp sites to close to waterholes, this may scare off animals.
- Be responsible in using fire, check for fire restrictions or prohibitions and also do not make fires on the drip lines of trees, as this will damage their roots.
- Take your trash with you and do not clean dishes or clothing in rivers or dams.
- Follow signs. Close all gates when going through.
- Exercise safe recovery strategies. Recover any type of feasible damage after badly stuck cars have been extricated.
- Constantly utilise tree protectors when winching to minimize the risk of ring-barking trees, ensure minimal activity when winching.
- Never ever ride over young plants and saplings, they are the future shade and food for animals that reside in the area.
- Remove trees that obstruct the roadway if possible.
- When camping, respect the rights of others. Prevent loud music and also excess alcohol consumption — we are camping to enjoy the solitude; noisy practices can ruin the experience for all.