Some people call everything outside of the cities ‘’the outback’’ while others mean just the red centre. There is no set size or location and the outback is a term used for the less populated part of Australia that takes up most of the country. Here are 10 reasons to go beyond the suburbs of the cities and explore this amazing and intriguing part of Australia.
1. Camping in swags
Sleeping outside, in a traditional Australian bedroll around the campfire is something that you need to experience to understand how special this is. Snuggle up in your swag and dream away under a sky full of stars. And no, snakes don’t want to sleep in your swag so don’t worry.
Did you know that the Australian outback is one of the best places to go for stargazing? Because it is so remote there is no light pollution, except from your own torch and campfire. See all the constellations, planets and stars like you’ve never seen it before! Have you seen the stars on Australia’s flag? That’s the Southern Cross. This constellation consists of 5 bright stars pointing towards the South Pole and it’s only visible all year-round from the Southern Hemisphere.
3. Outback sunsets
Sit back, relax and watch the sun set over some of the icons of the outback such as Uluru, Kata Tjuta or Kings Canyon. End your adventurous day in the outback by watching the colours change as the evening falls. Fact: once you see the sun it has already set. Why? Because it takes approximately 8 minutes for sunlight to reach the earth even though it travels at a speed of 300.000 km per hour!
4. Endless roads
Outback roads are long. You can drive for hours without passing by any other vehicles. So, play some games, sing along to your favourite music and have a long and sometimes meaningful conversations. You can see how harsh the environment is out here in the outback and how distant you are from any civilisation. Did you know? One of the longest stretch is in South Australia between Glendambo and Coober Pedy, you will drive on a stretch of road about 250kms long without passing any houses, towns or road houses!
5. Go skydiving at Uluru
Out of respect toward the culture of the aboriginal traditional owners of the land you don’t want to climb Uluru. It is of great cultural significance and the climb will close for good soon. Still want to see it from above? Why not go skydiving! A scenic flight, the thrill of a free fall and a peaceful parachute ride all combined in one package. With Uluru on one side and Kata Tjuta on your other side it’s an experience you will never forget.
6. The flora and fauna
There’s much more wildlife than just kangaroos. See anything from snakes to dingos to giant Wedge Tailed Eagles soaring the skies. The thorny devil lizard is a favourite. It’s completely covered in spikes but looks more dangerous than it is because it only eats ants. With it’s camouflaged walk rocking back and forth, depicting a blowing leaf in the wind, you might be able to spot him if you search well.
7. Kata Tjuta – Valley of the Winds Hike
You can walk all the way around Uluru but did you know that you can actually walk through Kata Tjuta? Just to put it in perspective: Uluru rises 348 metres above the plain and the tallest dome of Kata Tjuta rises 546 metres above the plain. That’s the same height as the tallest skyscraper in New York City! Just imagine how small you would feel walking through the landscape with 36 domes. The Valley of the Winds walk takes you far away from everything into the heart of this land, enjoyed best at sunrise.
8. Coober Pedy
With its 70 opal fields, Coober Pedy is the largest opal mining area in the world making it the Opal Capital of the World. With a desert climate and temperatures often exceeding 40 degrees Celsius in summer, locals prefer to live underground where it is a lot cooler. Spend the night like the locals do and sleep in a historic opal mine.
9. The Aboriginal Culture
The aboriginal culture is probably the oldest surviving civilisation in the world, quite impressive, right? Aboriginals are the original inhabitants of Australia and people from different regions have different languages, beliefs and lifestyles. Travel through aboriginal lands of the outback, feel the spiritual significance at Uluru to make your experience unforgettable.
10. Watarrka National Park
A less well known national park as the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Watarrka National park is just as amazing. Just in between Alice Springs and Uluru you can find this park with Kings Canyon as a big highlight. After having survived ‘heart attack hill’ you can enjoy the stunning view over the gorge on the Kings Canyon Rim Walk. The climb is totally worth it! Once you’ve made it to the top it’s a 6km walk around the rim with an optional detour to the Garden of Eden. The garden of Eden is one of the few waterholes in the area with an abundance of wildlife to be found.