Travelling the vast open spaces of the Pilbara is often an exhilarating experience. Lonely roads with exciting surprises around every bend is not a fantasy, it is reality. Do not be lulled into a false sense of security. With the pleasures come many dangers, isolation is just one of them.
Remember, adequate medical facilities can usually only be found in the widely separated towns. Water is a precious and sometimes scarce commodity. Drive to the road conditions and be aware of the other dangers such as wandering cattle, sheep and other wildlife.
It is recommended that travellers carry spare fuel, food, water and other supplies when traversing the many gravel roads and tracks within the Pilbara and national parks.
When travelling on less frequented roads and tracks, and especially during the Wet Season, always:
- Check road conditions with the local shire office, police or park rangers;
- Inform a responsible person of your travel plans;
- The route you intend to follow and;
- Don’t forget to inform someone when you have arrived safely
Many roads and tracks in the Pilbara are not well travelled and local rain and storms may make some roads impassable to all traffic for days or weeks.
Be aware that during the Wet Season (summer), daytime temperature can be as high as 50 Degrees Celsius. Ensure you have adequate protection and water. Dehydration and disorientation due to heat stress is a very real danger for the unprepared traveller.
Mobile Phone Coverage
There is limited phone coverage in Tom Price, Paraburdoo, Onslow and Pannawonica, depending on which service provider you are with. If you are travelling in Tom Price there will be some coverage for Optus and Vodaphone users however, this tends to dropout as soon as you leave town. In Paraburdoo, Pannawonica and Onslow Telstra appears to provide the strongest signals.
- Never camp in dry creek beds as creeks can become raging torrents due to local storms.
- Never attempt to cross a fast flowing creek or floodway on foot or in a vehicle, especially, if the water level is rising.
Many small creeks and floodways will subside to a passable depth and speed within a few minutes or hours, especially if the flooding is due to a localised storm.
Before attempting to cross a flooded creek or floodway always;
- Check the proposed path for water depth and snags.
- Ensure your vehicle is adequately protected from the possible effects of water on the electrical and fuel systems.
- Never attempt to walk out to obtain help if you are stranded by flooding or mechanical failure.
This page is not designed to be a comprehensive guide for travellers and common sense and safe practices are always to be considered paramount. There are many good texts available from motoring organisations and book shops on outback travel, safety and survival. It is recommended travellers make themselves aware of the dangers of outback travel before planning their trip to the Pilbara.
We hope you enjoy the scenic wonders and special places that the Pilbara has to offer.
Last updated: 29 May 2014