The outback, more than any other landscape, is at the heart of the Australian psyche. This landscape is truely unique to Australia and shaped the great Australain pioneering spirit. Australiabns do not feel like a true Australian until they have kicked the red dust off their boots. You have not seen the real Australia till you have had an Outback Holiday. Get out there and get the red dust on your shoes.
The Ghan has been part of Australian folklore for 85 years. Megan Arkinstall boards the legendary train to find out why the Adelaide to Darwin journey is so special. The Ghan: two words that conjure up romantic old-worldly images of well-dressed passengers flitting about grand train carriages sipping champagne and dining on fine food as they move through an ever-changing Australian landscape. Eighty-five years on and the scene is not quite that extravagant, but the journey is as iconic as ever. Originally the Afghan Express, the train’s name is a salute to the Afghanis who came to Australia in the...
The outback is a very beautiful place – but venture into it unprepared and you’ll soon find out just how hazardous it can be. Lauren Camp explores a few of the more miraculous (and ridiculous) stories of survival in what can often be a harsh and unforgiving place. Spiritual quest goes awry One of Australia’s most famous outback desert rescues occurred in 1999, when 33-year-old Alaskan fire fighter Robert Bogucki was found after 43 days wandering lost and alone in the Great Sandy Desert on a quest to “make peace with God”. A little unluckily for Bogucki (and pray this...
If a three-day trans-continental train journey isn't enough motivation, here are six sites, vistas and sidetrips that make The Ghan journey so legendary (Megan Arkinstall). 1 Goyder’s line North from the well-laid out city of Adelaide, the scene of rolling green hills flattens into wine country, which becomes vast farmland, then dry rugged terrain. The rural landscape is marked by abandonment: farming apparatus, collapsed fences, the odd derelict car and crumbling old buildings. The latter are early 19th-century farmers’ houses located above the heritage-listed geographical ‘Goyder’s Line’. George Goyder was a local farmer who, in 1865, suggested that the land...
Score: 7.94 Buffed Blundstones, oft-tipped Akubras and the portable shade of parasols, outback races bring floods of people to towns such as Birdsville, Broome and Broken Hill. Little Louth in far-west New South Wales grows spectacularly from a population of 100 to more than 4000 when the races are on, and last year’s meet raised more than $20,000 for the Royal Flying Doctor Service. At Broome races, held on the red pindan soil the area is famous for, internationals mix with locals of all walks in a country picnic atmosphere – it’s a thrilling experience. But the Big Kahuna of...
When Australia heads to the coast, Steve Madgwick takes the path of most resistance straight into an outback furnace to discover if ‘low-season’ travel is possible (and/or pleasurable). The road is melting. Yet another warning? Ignore. Must keep going! My rental car security deposit is probably lost anyway. The Corolla’s pearl white duco is freckled with molten pieces of tarmac, which the 45-degree heat has fused on – and I’m not even close yet. “Why would you want to drive into the outback at this time of year?” a chorus of friends and strangers had asked me when I told them...
Unless you are a masochist, it's a lot better to be a spectator than take part in outback races. Here are four events worth the long, long trip to sit back and enjoy. Camel Cup, NT (12 July) Alice Springs’ annual Lasseters Camel Cup is as the event slogan promises: “temperamental, terribly unpredictable and very entertaining”. Drawing crowds of 5000-plus, the day is a spectacle as riders race to the finish line… that’s if their noble steeds feel like cooperating. Outside the arena is more family-friendly entertainment with dancers, rides, food stalls and Mr and Miss Camel challenges. Yabby Races,...
A lust list of little-known outback safari retreats that takes your glamping possibilities far into the Australian heartland. 1. Kangaluna Camp, Gawler Rangers Safaris, Wudinna, SA Choose a permanent tent among the mallee woodlands, or stay in the glorious ‘Swagon’ – a re-engineered wagon topped with swag-style tent and transparent ceiling... cue endless stargazing. Two nights from $1825 with tours included. gawlerrangessafaris.com 2. Mitchell Falls Wilderness Lodge, Mitchell Plateau, WA Helicopter overland or take the walk from your cabin to witness the incredible beauty of untouched Mitchell Falls. Open from May to September from $275 per night. kimberleywilderness.com.au 3. Jabiru...
Craig Tansley climbs on board Australia’s last great cattle muster, the Harry Redford Cattle Drive, to find his inner cowboy… Chook’s the bloke who hands the orders out round here; he could do with a new set of front teeth but he’d sooner keep droving till he drops, like his father before him, than start late on any modelling career. “Let’s get one thing clear,” he says from the corner of a mouth that’s never wasted a single word. “The order of priority round here goes like this: me cattle first, me horses next, then people. Any of you need resuscitating, you...
Here are 10 guided walks through our outback that have people talking, writes Megan Arkinstall. 1. Larapinta Trail, NT One of the seven Great Walks of Australia, The Larapinta Trail winds through the rugged and ancient landscape of the Northern Territory starting from Alice Springs and ending at Mt Sonder, the highest point of the trail. Following the high ridgelines of the West MacDonnell Ranges, this walk provides spectacular views of the diverse landscape, from vast flood plains, rocky outcrops, deep gorges and waterholes to narrow canyons. The trail is divided into 12 sections, each a day or two walk...
Great DivideTours has been providing 4wd tag-along tours for over 25 years now and has built a reputation for quality, exciting adventures which bring remoteAustraliain reach of every Australian. This also extends to overseas visitors too with the option of hiring an outback ready four wheel drive. The crowning glory of their tours is their 19 day Arnhem Land tour, with no other tour company offering so many days in this largely unknown and yet pristine wilderness area. But their catalogue of tours is far broader with the company boasting in excess of 50 crossings of the famed Simpson Desert,...
With Australian Traveller's upcoming 'Outback' edition on sale February 6, we find the most sublime places in Australia to witness where the ruggedly colourful outback (and bush) collide with our azure sea. Enjoy. 1. Cable Beach, Broome, WA On the edge of Western Australia’ Great Sandy Desert, Broome’s 22-km long Cable Beach is an outback star, where the dramatic seascape of blues and whites bangs headlong into ochre and reds of the interior. Most importantly there is plenty of opportunity for pampering, at the likes of Cable Beach Club and Eco Beach, and desert adventures too. Home to that oh-so...
Travel 1000km of bitumen road to discover the colours of outback Queensland. A fascinating drive that includes the towns of Charleville, Quilpie, Cunnamulla and Thargomindah, where the colours shift from green to blue to red. Discover the magnificent hues of the boulder opals, the blue of the lakes that are home to amazing birdlife, the intense black-night skies with the chandelier of stars, the cleansing grey of the natural mud springs and the rich red soil that seems to glow at twilight. Contact Details T: (07) 4654 7771 W: www.naturalsciences.com.au...
The Min Min Light is a mysterious ball of light that appears and disappears at will anywhere in the Shire and surrounding area. For more information on this light visit the Min Min Encounter Information Centre where you will be entertained by a 45-minute animatronics and laser show that tells the different stories of eyewitness sightings. Other attractions in Boulia include the 135-year-old heritage listed Stone House, a wonderful collection of fossilised marine reptiles millions of years old and rare Waddi trees. Contact Details T: (07) 4746 3386 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.boulia.qld.gov.au...
A rich tapestry of history, landscape and wildlife awaits at Yanga National Park, writes Kathryn Scobie You could perhaps be forgiven for missing Yanga National Park in previous visits to Outback NSW, considering it is one of the state's newest national parks, opened in 2005. However, this picturesque national park, located half way between Hay and Mildura, should be on your list for your next trip into Outback NSW. The rugged landscape, abundant birdlife and fascinating history of this area make it well worth the visit. The park has a stunning 160km of river frontage along the Murrumbidgee, making it a...
Mildura is an ideal base for a trip to the stunning Mungo National Park, writes Kathryn Scobie Mungo National Park is situated just 110km from the outback centre of Mildura, where you can experience an abundance of blue skies, rich earth and welcoming locals. Before you embark on your discovery of the fascinating Aboriginal heritage and stark beauty awaiting you at Mungo National Park be sure to enjoy everything this thriving town has to offer. Savour the tastes of local wines and fresh produce, enjoy the Mediterranean climate and explore some of the fascinating local history of Mildura. Located on...
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