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Stay safe in Outback NSW

The mystery and beauty of the outback make it a brilliant place to visit. During your stay, your safety is the highest priority. Please use the national park offices as an information source, and as a check in point if you're heading to very remote areas.

Read more about Stay safe in Outback NSW

Outback NSW is a region of extreme temperatures, reaching up to 50°C in some places. You might want to avoid the midsummer heat. Remember also that the nights can be cold and temperatures can drop well below 0°C at times in winter. Autumn and spring are the best times for extended stays and long drives.

Plan your drive

  • Tell someone your travel plans before setting out
  • Be prepared for unsealed roads that may be impassable after rain. Check with local NPWS national park offices
  • Consider getting NRMA roadside assistance before you go or call 13 11 22
  • Some Outback roads unsuitable for 2WD vehicles
  • Keep your vehicle in top condition and carry extra fuel, spare tyres and wheel-changing equipment
  • Take extra food and extra water
  • Check the locations of local food and fuel supplies before you go
  • If you break down, stay with your vehicle and remain calm, to make rescue easier.

Be prepared for road closures before you go

Roads in the NSW Outback region may need to be closed at times due to flooding. Contact one of the relevant authorities below for road closures and road conditions before you travel.

Outback safety links and phone numbers

Live traffic updates

Live Traffic NSW website
For the most up-to-date traffic information for NSW

NSW Roads and Maritime Services’ 24 hour information line
132 701. 

VicTraffic road reports
For the most up-to-date traffic information for VIC
131 170 

Mobile apps

Note; these apps only work when you have mobile reception. Download them before you go.
Emergency - Mobile App - Will assist you to contact emergency services.

Fires Near Me - Mobile App: Check for fires before you go, especially in summer.

Local councils

Broken Hill Roads and Maritime Services (RMS)
Road condition broadcast - 24hour recorded message: (08) 8082 6660
Monday to Friday 9am-5pm (08) 8082 6699
After hours: 0429 346 432 (sealed roads)
0429 394 612 (unsealed roads)

Central Darling Shire Council
(08) 8091 5155 (24-hours)
After hours: 0429 915 988

Mildura Rural City Council
Monday to Friday 9am-5pm: (03) 5018 8100
After hours emergencies: 1800 241 540

Wentworth Shire Council
Monday to Friday 9am-5pm: (03) 5027 5090 

Cobar Shire Council
Monday to Friday 9am-5pm: (02) 6836 5888
After hours emergencies: 0427 894 843

Bourke Shire Council
Monday to Friday 9am-5pm: (02) 6830 8000 
After hours: 0419 722 055

Balranald Shire Council
Visitor Information Centre: 1800 444 043
Monday to Friday 9am-5pm: (03) 5020 1599

Waterbirds at Lake Pinaroo, Sturt National Park. Photo: OEH