Explore the Outback – Travel Around Australia’s Countryside

in Australia

Australia is a vast land but few tourists, and indeed few locals, ever see it in all its majesty. While the buzzing Eastern coastline with its beaches and big cities is alluring, to see the real Australia you’ll need to head to The Outback.

Some 6.5 million square kilometers of rugged rural land are just waiting for you to explore.

It’s tempting for tourists to join a guided tour and let someone else do all the work, but setting out solo can be much more rewarding. The major Outback roads are sealed, so it’s a bit of a myth that you’ll need a four-wheel drive to explore this area. However, if you want to step off the tourist path an all-terrain auto is the only way to cope with the dusty dirt roads and rocky countryside.

Make sure you set off with enough food and water to feed everyone in your party for a few days. You’ll need these supplies if your vehicle breaks down, as it may be some time before help arrives. It’s also important to notify others of your intended route and time of arrival. Many Outback areas do not receive cell phone reception, so this is extra insurance in case of emergencies.

Ease yourself into your Outback vacation by starting at Alice Springs. This is the most populated Outback town, with restaurants, tourist attractions, and friendly locals. Its ready accommodation makes it a great base for your Outback adventures.

Uluru at sunset

Uluru at sunset

Uluru is a long day’s drive away from Alice Springs. Many tourists make an early start and see the rock before returning to Alice Springs, but it’s a lot of traveling to do in one day. If you’ve got the time to spare it’s better to make a more leisurely trip and bunker down at one of Uluru’s resorts or camping sites.

Following the Mereenie Loop Road from Alice Springs will take you to Finke Gorge National Park. It’s home to the Finke River, which is believed to be one of the oldest running waterways on the planet, and the ancient cabbage palms of Palm Valley.

And that’s just for starters. From Alice Springs you can also reach the Kimberleys, the Simpson Desert, and a host of friendly country towns. But many locals suggest that it doesn’t matter where you go, as a trip to the Outback is more about the journey than the destination.

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