The Outback of Australia is one of the world’s most renowned regions. Even if you haven’t been there, chances are good that you know at least a little bit about it. A vast region that is mostly confined to Australia’s interior, the Outback, more than anything else, is remote. It is also arid and largely comprised of desert areas, but that’s not where the descriptions end. Waterfalls are scattered about the Outback and empty into natural pools that can provide refreshment from the hot sun. Also lending depth to the Outback is its well-adapted wildlife, and both the region’s austerity and scenic splendor can be good remedies for the stresses of everyday life. Outback Australia tours are easy to arrange for those who want help making sense of the sizeable region. Visitors can also go it alone, arriving in a vehicle that they either own or have rented. Either way, the experience is something that is not soon to be forgotten. This is a land that captivates the mind and leaves a lasting impression on the soul.
There are a number of popular tourist destinations in the Outback. Among them is Alice Springs. The third-largest town in Australia’s Northern Territory, Alice Springs is often referred to as the Outback capital. It sits along the famous Stuart Highway, which dissects Australia from south to north, and is almost exactly halfway between the cities of Adelaide and Darwin. Many renowned Outback Australia tourist attractions are found in and around Alice Springs, and as such, the town is an excellent place to base yourself on an Outback adventure. The most renowned of the attractions that are found in the Alice Springs region is Uluru, or Ayers Rock. It is found within the confines of Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park, approximately 200 miles southwest of Alice Springs. Other examples of attractions that can be found in the general Alice Springs region are the Alice Springs Desert Park and King’s Canyon. On a visit to the Alice Springs Desert Park, it is possible to gain insight into the main things that make the Outback what it is. This includes the landscape, the flora and fauna, and the Aboriginal culture. As for King’s Canyon, it is found within the boundaries of Watarrka National Park and offers plenty of scenic beauty. Visitors most often take walks around the canyon, and many of these walks include descents into the "Garden of Eden," which is a permanent water hole surrounded by lush plant life.
Uluru Ayers Rock
Uluru Ayers Rock
Uluru, as it is known to Aborigines, is easily one of the most famous Australia attractions. A sandstone rock formation, it exudes an almost eerie beauty and is quite simply not to be missed if you want to get the full experience on your Australia vacation. Much of the allure of Uluru, or Ayers Rock, as it is also known, lies in its size. The large landmark stands 1,142 feet high and has a total circumference of nearly six miles. Only serving to accentuate the size of Uluru is the rather flat and somewhat featureless land that immediately surrounds it. The rock seems to rise out of virtually nothing. Another thing that Uluru is known for is its changing color. At different times of the day and year, it takes on varying hues. Most notable is the glowing red color that it often takes on at dawn and sunset. Uluru, or Ayers Rock, is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is part of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. The general area is a joy to explore, thanks in part to Kata Tjuta, or Mount Olga, as it is also known. This landmark consists of a group of large domed rock formations and is very impressive in its own rite.
It might come as a surprise to some that the Outback Australia region is full of wildlife. The mostly arid and remote region hardly seems capable of sustaining life upon first glance. Over the years, however, the resident animals have done what animals tend to do if they want to survive, and that is adapt. Within the Uluru region alone, there are currently 21 species of native mammals. Among the most iconic animals that are found in the Outback are kangaroos. Other examples of creatures that call the Outback home include dingos, crocodiles, wallabies, emus, and camels. Australia’s wild camel population is actually the largest in the world. Various kinds of lizards, snakes, and spiders also live in the Outback, and visitors shouldn’t be surprised to see feral horses and a variety of other fascinating animals in the region. For birdwatching enthusiasts, the resident birdlife is prolific and includes such species as cockatoos, budgerigars, galahs, and corellas. The list of Outback animals doesn’t end here, and among the best places to see resident wildlife are the region’s parks. An example of such a park is Kakadu National Park. Found in the Northern Territory approximately 105 miles southeast of Darwin, this park is the size of Slovenia and features a diverse array of environments. Together, these environments support an impressive mix of animals, including 74 different mammal species. As a side note, sunrise and sunset are the best times of the day to see animals in the Outback. During the brighter daylight hours, much of the wildlife rests and/or hides.
Outback Australia Hotels & Lodging
The Outback might be a largely empty and remote region, but that doesn’t mean that it is devoid of people or accommodations. In the way of lodging, there are actually a wide variety of choices, ranging from remote bush camps to rather luxurious resorts. Found in many an Outback town and near the region’s most popular attractions are the usual range of hotels and motels. The choices understandably become more limited as you distance yourself from the beaten path. For an interesting alternative to camping or staying in a more typical hotel or motel, Outback Australia visitors can consider a farmstay. This generally involves staying at one of the region’s huge cattle stations (ranches). Not only do the regional cattle stations tend to offer accommodations for travelers. Some also offer a range of activities and tours. No discussion about the Outback Australia lodging choices would be complete without mentioning the Ayers Rock Resort. This renowned retreat near Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park offers accommodation options to suit nearly every taste and budget. It also offers an impressive array of activity and tour options, not to mention a rejuvenating spa and award-winning buffet barbecue dining experiences. Camping is also available at the resort.