Most people are familiar with the red sandstone rock formations located in the Australian Outback from pictures, the most famous being Ayers Rock. Along with visiting these unique rock formations, there are several other interesting things to do and see in the Outback.
The Outback covers most of the Australia’s interior, with parts of it in New South Wales, South Australia, Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory. Here are some places you should consider visiting when travelling in the Outback.
Lake Eyre National Park
Although the lake is usually dry and nothing more than a wide expanse of salt, it can be a fascinating site to see. It is located about 700 km north of Adelaide, which can be a full day’s drive for most travellers. Before driving in the Outback, check your vehicle’s fluid levels, top it off with fuel, and make sure you carry enough water for the vehicle and everyone in it. Petrol stations are few and far between, and it gets very hot in the Outback, so you need to be properly prepared for the trip.
This small town located in South Australia is considered to be the crossroads of the Outback. It sits at the northern end of Spencer Gulf, so you can enjoy water activities while resting and preparing to travel through the Simpson Desert, or to Alice Springs. If you want to learn more about nature in the Outback and/or about the Aboriginal people, visit the Arid Land Botanic Garden and the Wadlata Outback Centre. Stock up on food and water before leaving Port Augusta, because it one of the last stops for many kilometres in all directions.
East MacDonnell Ranges
If you’re visiting Alice Springs, take a short drive to see the East MacDonnell Ranges, which are often ignored by tourists. There is plenty to see, and this location offers as much as its counterpart, the West MacDonnell Ranges. Go for a hike among the gorges, park near a waterhole for a picnic, or visit an old gold mine. If you have a campervan rental, it can be a great place to camp outside of Alice Springs, and a four-wheel drive vehicle isn’t needed to visit nature parks in the area.
Devil’s Marbles Conservation Reserve
Located in the Northern Territory, Karlu, which is its Aboriginal name, has important spiritual significance to the Aborigines and it is one of the world’s oldest religious sites. It is a Registered Sacred Site and the setting of many Dreaming stories, which are told by the Aboriginal people of the area. The marbles are large granitic boulders that have been eroded over time and by the weather into many different formations. The reserve is about an hour south of Tennent Creek and about 400 km north of Alice Springs.
The Outback has many places where you can visit and camp for the night. While travelling through this vast area, you will find caravan parks located in most of the more populous towns, or you can “rough it” in one of the many nature parks.