There’s nothing quite like a serious treck across one of Australia’s inland or Outback routes. And, while roads have been measurably improved over the last twenty years, there’s still a lot of things to consider before you take off. This is especially true of the Nullarbor.
The Nullarbor (Nullus Arbor – literally, “no trees”) Plain is part of the area of flat, arid or semi-arid country of southern Australia, that runs the length of the Great Australian Bight to the south and lies beneath the Great Victoria Desert in the North.
The Nullabor covers an area of approximately 200,000 km². You could fit Scotland in there without too much trouble. And it has a road running from Syndey to Perth of around 4,ooo km which includes the longest straight-road stretch n the world.
Added to that the weather conditions which can range from 0°C to 35°C the makings of a unique (or disastrous) road trip.
If you are heading out on a crossing, here are a few tips, accessories and things to consider specific to Landcruiser owners before you take off.
Install a Full-Length Roof Rack
While road conditions have been vastly improved, you still don’t want your gear bouncing around when you head off into the sand. Get a roof rack.
There are various kinds to pick from but a Rhino-Rack for Landcruisers picked up at Auto Craze is hard to beat.
Solid, versatile and built with Landcrsuiers in mind, a Rhino rack keeps your gear out of the way while keeping it dry, secure and safe.
A High Lift Jack
High lift jack is preferred over other Jack’s as it is still capable of working under a vehicle with a full load. It also works better if you’re stranded on the uneven ground.
It will require additional jacking points and you should talk to your dealer and make sure your Land Cruiser is going to accommodate a high lift jack.
A pressed steel High-lift jack by T-Max or Brownchurch are both good options. Whichever option you choose make sure the Jack comes with recovery straps and a pulley.
A Word on Wheels
Many seasoned travellers will recommend that you replace your existing alloy wheels with steel in order to enjoy superior strength.
They’re also less likely to break than allies and can be reshaped if necessary. You’ll find suitable Steel rims for both Land Rover and the Land Cruiser at a good parts dealer.
Everyone has their own take on what makes for a good all terrain tyre.
The BF Goodrich All Terrain tyres Have proved very reliable for many Landcruiser owners. Think about the load you intend to carry before you decide. Some people believe that the side walls of BFG tyres are not as strong as Cooper and this is something worth keeping in mind before you head out.
In addition to load bearing the other things to consider are Comfort, vibration and wheel wobble.
Whatever tyres you choose to go with for your trip, make sure they are properly balanced. Take them for a good, all-terrain test run.
We’ve heard people advised to go for the uprated Dobinsons shocks and springs and shocks, with a 2-inch lift and 50kg of extra load at the front end and another 350kg extra at the rear.
Old Man Emu is a popular choice here. Dobinsons springs are ‘handed’! which means that one side is a little longer than the other which tends to suit the typical camber of Australian roads.
Many travellers crossing the Australian outback will advocate reversing the fitting so that the longest springs are put on the left-hand side of your Landcruiser.
Even in the 21st century, you can’t always guarantee access to a petrol station. Not only that but the further out you go the more expensive fuel will be. And, while you can’t carry a full load of fuel to see you across the Nullarbor, you should have some emergency fuel storage.
Empty jerry cans can be kept secure in the roof rack while for cans can be strapped securely inside the vehicle.