One of the problems associated with driving in the outback is the availability of fuel. I have an obsession about always filling the tank prior to setting out on any journey of more than 50kms, as you can’t always assume fuel will be available where it was last time.
If bowsers break down, it can take up to a week in some places to get them fixed. Fuel trucks also break down. Sometimes the delivery schedules get disrupted because of flooded roads, a situation which was a major issue early this year.
This situation has been alleviated somewhat by improvements in vehicle range (the Hyundai Santa Fe diesel will travel over 1000km on western roads on a full tank), but you get careless at your peril.
Something that is not going to help at Quilpie, at least is the closure of the Ausfuel depot in town. Strictly speaking, it’s not closing – they’re turning it into a robotised self-serve operation.
This is not a good idea. The technology is unreliable in the heat and dust, and Quilpie is usually my stepping off (and refuelling point) for Thargomindah. Quilpie-Thargo-Cunnamulla is about 500km, and I can’t buy fuel in Thargo on the fleetcard.