Travel to some of the most remote parts of the continent in the Australian outback. The outback encompasses most of the continent of Australia and is extremely large. It is often called the “Red Center” due to the red sands that cover the land. I traveled there and I created a complete guide to the Australian Outback here.
Visiting the outback is a truly magical experience with gorgeous landscapes and star-filled skies at night. Many parts of the outback are uninhabited and pretty inaccessible, but getting to the highlights is relatively easy if you plan ahead. I was able to travel to the outback when I studied abroad in Australia. Here you can find a guide to heading out to this remote area.
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Table of Contents
Australian Outback Guide
When to Go
While many other destinations in Australia are great summer destinations, you may want to avoid the summer months in the Outback. The intense heat 🥵 will limit your ability to see things in the Red Center as temperatures can soar above 100℉ normally.
The best time to visit the outback is in the dry months from May to September. Make sure that you pack layers though, because while the days are mild and sunny, the nights can get very cold 🥶.
How to Get There
The most popular way for people to get to the heart of the outback is to fly ✈️ into the town of Alice Springs or straight to Ayers Rock (Uluru). You can get direct flights from most large cities in Australia including Melbourne and Sydney. The Australian airlines include Jetstar, Qantas, and Virgin Australia.
Driving there 🚗 will take a very large time and you should keep in mind there are few stops for fuel along the way. The drive from Sydney to Alice Springs is 30 hours. If you want a good reference read In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson.
How to See the Outback
If you want to see all of the major sights in the outback, the best way to see them is by booking a safari tour. Tours will allow you to see the major landmarks, learn about the cultural significance of the area, and camp out in the bush.
This way you won’t have to worry about lugging all of your equipment to the wilderness or getting lost out in the desert. We had a wonderful tour guide who told us many interesting details and made sure that our group bonded over the campfire ⛺️. We even saw dingos at our campsite!
What to See in the Australian Outback
If you choose to see the outback on your own or you want an idea of the sights 👀 to look for on an outback tour, I have made a list. Depending on the time you have available, you may not be able to see all of the highlights.
We only had a weekend in the outback, so we focused most of our time seeing Uluru with a few other points. However, I have listed all of the things you can do in this complete guide to the Australian Outback.
Uluru is the most iconic sight in the outback. The large rock formation sits 1,100 feet above ground and is sacred land for the aboroginal people in the area. The rock itself is located in the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, which also features dome shaped rocks throughout the park.
Staring out at the bright red monolith against the bright blue sky is a truly marvelous sight. Stay until sunset 🌅 to watch the light change and the rock face transform. People used to travel there to climb the rock, but this was highly disrespectful to the indigenous people and it became illegal in 2019. It’s just amazing to take it all in instead from the ground!
Trek to the rim of King’s Canyon for a true highlight of your time in the outback. King’s Canyon was formed over millions of years 🤯 and sits above natural pools of water with dense vegetation.
The walk is a difficult 6 kilometers (4ish miles), but you will be rewarded with stunning views over the plateau below. Even if you opt out of a safari tour, you can hire a trekking guide to take you through this marvelous landscape.
Alice Springs Desert Park
When you’re in the town of Alice Springs, head to the Alice Springs Desert Park for a close encounter with wildlife. The park is incredibly large and showcases animals and plants from three different desert habitats.
You can see many of the common desert animals including kangaroo, emus, and dingos. Go to the Nocturnal House to see animals that come out at night and are endangered in the wild.
Travel to the lowest point in Australia and the largest salt lake in the country, Lake Eyre. The water depth is determined by the annual monsoons that hit the area. After a large monsoon, the water fills the lake, which increases the salinity and kills many of the fish in the lake. At other times, there is very little water in the lake, but it’s still a beautiful sight.
Traveling to the outback is a unique experience. I hope you get the chance to get out there and to see all of its natural beauty.
Let me know if you found this guide helpful in the comments!
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