Getting updated road conditions while travelling

Submitted: Wednesday, Apr 30, 2014 at 12:56
ThreadID: 107543 Views:1573 Replies:3 FollowUps:1
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Hi All,

We are planning an outback trip for July this year and I am curious how you can get updated road conditions/reports when you are on the road?

After the recent rain here in SA I had a look at the following website and have noticed it has changed a couple of times in the space of a day and a half.

If we were caught on the Oodnadatta Track how do you know firstly that it has been closed and secondly when it is re-opened? It's a lot easier sitting at home with internet to get this info.

I believe HF radios are useful for this but we don't have one of these, we have a UHF and would also take a satellite phone but I'm not sure how either of these could help in getting this info.

Thanks in advance, Lloyd
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Reply By: Member - John and Val - Wednesday, Apr 30, 2014 at 13:38

Wednesday, Apr 30, 2014 at 13:38
Hi Lloyd,

Interesting question. If you are out there then the simplest way is to talk to the locals or other travellers if you are camped up with others eg at William Creek. Word gets around pretty fast, and even chatter on the UHF might give you some idea of what is happening. If you are remote camped though, its another matter altogether. We have been caught a couple of times on very muddy roads but not known for sure whether they were closed or not. I recall driving in to Tibooburra from the Wanaaring road a few years ago and seeing conflicting road signs - and getting different advice again from the police, so sometimes there is no clear-cut answer. That is when you have to use your judgement - if the road is very muddy and slippery its probably best to just sit tight for a while until driving conditions improve.


J and V
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- Albert Einstein

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AnswerID: 531519

Reply By: cookie1 - Wednesday, Apr 30, 2014 at 16:09

Wednesday, Apr 30, 2014 at 16:09
That is one of the strengths of HF Radio

I belong to VKS737 and find it very useful to know what others have experienced in the area that we are about to enter as it may not be road related. Conversely if we are in trouble others around may be able to assist, can't get that with the sat phone.

Probably the best thing to do is to gather phone numbers of the local Council, NPWS, and Police in the areas that your heading into, make a list then phone through as you go.

AnswerID: 531525

Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Wednesday, Apr 30, 2014 at 18:20

Wednesday, Apr 30, 2014 at 18:20
We find that also Cookie and also one of the other not so obvious benefits is that you can listen to Short Wave radio services like ABC news etc way out of range of the commercial stations when your driving around and we also have some of marine radio channels as well making the package punch well above its apparent weight.
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Reply By: Member - John N (SA) - Thursday, May 01, 2014 at 10:36

Thursday, May 01, 2014 at 10:36
G'day Lloyd,

VKS737 has recently added a facility for sat phone users to have contact and assistance from the network similar to that for HF radio users. If you have a look at you will see a section on the front page "good news Satphone service now available" If you download the media release, you will see details of what is now available. Or give the CEO Steve a call on 08 8287 6222 during office hours.

Cheers and safe travels

AnswerID: 531567

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