It is hard to pin down the exact boundaries of the Australian Outback. By definition the “the Outback” or “the Bush” is referred to as any area outside of the urban centers. However, it is commonly accepted that the true Outback begins where the countryside becomes truly arid and where it becomes next to impossible for emergency and medical services to reach individuals in a reasonable amount of time.
The bareness of the Outback does not detract from its appeal however. Instead, those with a taste for adventure and excitement find themselves drawn to the Outback for the many adventures that it offers to those who are brave enough to give them a try.
In days gone by the Outback was nearly inaccessible. In recent decades however a number of highways have been built to expand the distance between the major population centers making it easier to get to and from the key points of interest in the Outback. Don’t worry though, there are still plenty of forgotten areas to get lost in if that is what you are looking for!
Key Facts About The Australian Outback
- Location – West of the Australian Costal Mountain Range, north of the Darling Escarpment.
- Time – GMT/UTC +4 to -9
- Climate – Extremely Arid
- Size – It is next to impossible to measure the exact size of the Australian Outback. Boarders tend to shift depending on the amount of rainfall an area receives as well as expanding or shrinking populations.
- Capitol – Canberra is the capitol of the country of Australia. The outback itself extends over several Australian states, each of which has its own capital.
- Religion –There is no official religion in Australia though the majority of the population claims to be Christian.
- Currency – The Australian Dollar
- Safety –The Australian Outback is extremely dangerous as populated areas with medical and emergency services are few and far between. While satellite telephones and GPS systems have made traveling in the Outback far safer it can still take hours for emergency services to reach you if you are injured or hurt. The best advice is to either go into the outback with a tour service or to stick to the several highways that span the countryside.
Points of Interest Australian Outback
Alice Springs – Alice Springs is an oasis in the middle of an arid country. Built around a series of natural springs, this city is the largest in the outback and a great starting point for anyone looking to visit the outback. It can easily be reached by taking the Stuart Highway from Darwin in northern Australia down into the heart of the continent.
Uluru (Ayers Rock) – Located 450km outside of Alice Springs, this world famous rock formation has achieved world recognition and is a popular tourist spot for those headed down the Stuart Highway.
The Devil’s Marbles – 393km north of Alice Springs is a fascinating series of rock formations. All of these nearly perfectly round rocks balance on top of each other and were carved by strong water currents a very long time ago. Definitely well worth a side trip.
Mataranka Hot Springs – these hot springs are incredibly relaxing and well worth a trip to see. Plan on spending the day because you are going to want to relax!
Kings Canyon – 300km from Uluru is a fascinating gorge called King’s Canyon. Part of Watarrka National park there are plenty of out of door activities that you can take part in as well as camping areas that are monitored by park rangers.