How to find fuel in outback Australia

Don’t get stuck with an empty tank, plan ahead to make the most of your outback trip.

Australia’s roads can be long and lonely, with hundreds of kilometres separating towns and communities. When making a trip through the outback in a car or motorhome, having enough petrol is essential.

Stick to sealed roads

On most sealed roads around Australia, there will be a service station or roadhouse available at least every 250-300km. The likelihood of getting stranded without petrol on these main roads is low. The same cannot be said for gravel roads or dirt tracks.

Always fill up

Unless you know exactly how far ahead the next petrol station is and you’re 100 percent sure you’ll make it there, top up your tank when you pass a station. Even if your tank isn’t empty, the next station may be closed, have faulty pumps, or you may be sent on an extended detour, so it’s important to be prepared.

Plan your route

When planning your route, be sure to plot service centres and roadhouses along the way. That way you can avoid the dreaded situation of being halfway between two service stations without enough fuel to get you to either.

Carry extra fuel

A 20L metal jerry can of fuel is a great insurance policy and can mean the difference between making it to the service station and spending hours on the side of the road waiting for help.

Make sure the contain is metal, as plastic can crack and is less durable. Fuel containers should always be stored outside of your car to prevent any inhalation of vapours. Make sure the containers are mounted safety either outside your vehicle or in your trailer, and don’t overhang your vehicle by too much.


In more remote areas such as the Nullarbor Plains, roadhouses will be the only available supply of accommodation, food, and of course fuel. Due to the limited supply, the price of petrol will be higher than in less isolated areas. However, having enough fuel in the tank to arrive at your next location safely is priceless.

Diesel stops

IOR Petroleum operates over 50 24/7 diesel stops and fuel depots throughout regional and remote Australia. These stores are unmanned or operated and are found off most major roads and highways throughout the country.

To plan your next outback trip, visit the RACQ Trip Planner for directions and stops along the way.