Life Begins At » Six of Australia’s best outback drives

Six of Australia’s best outback drives


This route follows the Darling River for 940 kilometres diagonally throughout NSW, beginning at Walgett and ending at Wentworth the place the Darling meets the Murray. Indigenous heritage is astonishing: Brewarrina’s fish traps are among the many world’s first human constructions, Mutawintji Nationwide Park has excellent rock artwork, and Lake Mungo has archaeological websites 42,000 years previous. This route additionally showcases the early European inland settlements that helped outline fashionable Australia, comparable to wool cities Bourke and Wilcannia. Time your journey for the middle-of-nowhere horseraces at Louth in August and also you’re in for a basic outback expertise. See


xx6outback Six Best Outback Drives  ; text by Brian Johnston ;
cr: Tourism NT (handout image supplied via journalist, no syndication) Devils Marbles Conservation Reserve (Karlu Karlu)

Karlu Karlu (Devils Marbles). Picture: Peter Eve

You could possibly hardly expertise the outback extra simply than on this sealed transcontinental freeway that runs 2720 kilometres from Port Augusta to Darwin through Alice Springs, and whose detours tempt you to nationwide parks comparable to Litchfield, Kakadu, Nitmiluk and Elsey, the place you may float in sizzling springs. The route has all of the outback road-trip parts, from gold-rush cities to characterful pubs and hanging landscapes such because the MacDonnell Ranges and Karlu Karlu (Devils Marbles). Coober Pedy has quintessential quirkiness the place you may get underground and hearken to the unbelievable hopes of eccentric opal-hunting characters. See


This epic 3700-kilometre journey hyperlinks damp Cairns to sun-baked Broome. Its western half is all sealed highway, making the Cairns-to-Katherine part essentially the most adventurous as, skirting the Gulf of Carpentaria, it swings throughout tablelands, grasslands and rust-red outback. Amongst highlights are volcanic landscapes and lava tubes at Undara, a cruise by means of Cobbold Gorge (although this requires a slight detour) and Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge. Former gold-mining cities, barramundi fishing, eccentric bush pubs, cattle stations, waterfalls and wetlands stuffed with fowl life are different incentives. You will want a four-wheel drive; stick with the Might-October dry season. See,


This 820-kilometre south-north route cleaves straight by means of the center of NSW alongside the divide between outback and agricultural land and is a diverse, simple drive for individuals who don’t desire pink mud daily. Begin off in Albury on the Murray River and head to Jerilderie, which is central to the Ned Kelly story, after which Riverina foodie hub Griffith. At mining city Cobar the outback takes over. In Bourke, the Again O’Bourke Exhibition Centre offers a wonderful overview of regional outback historical past and the significance of the Darling River to fashionable Australian growth. See


Though it is a tourism assemble relatively than historic outback route, you may’t beat the thumping nice rocks and glowing orange gorges that dot this 658-kilometre loop from Alice Springs across the Purple Centre. All of the icons are right here – Kings Canyon, Uluru, Kata Tjuta – however equally flamboyant are the West MacDonnell Ranges and Rainbow Valley. Distant cattle stations, refreshing waterholes, salt lakes and sudden remnants of historical tropical forest are extra delicate distractions. Artilla or Mt Conner seems to be disconcertingly like Uluru from a distance. If you do not have a four-wheel drive, an extended sealed-road different requires some backtracking. See


xx6outback Six Best Outback Drives  ; text by Brian Johnston ;
cr: Tourism WA (handout image supplied via journalist, no syndication) Gibb River Road at the Pentecost River

Picture: Tourism WA

This lengthy, bone-jolting monitor by means of the Kimberley hyperlinks distant cattle stations over 700 kilometres of unsealed highway between Kununurra and Fitzroy Crossing. You will want a four-wheel drive, outback savvy and several other days; the one luxuries are at El Questro and House stations on the highway’s japanese finish. The route is studded with big boab bushes and splendid pink gorges fed by waterfalls; swimming pools scattered with purple water lilies are a cool antidote to the warmth and mud. The immense cavern at Tunnel Creek is related to Jundumurra, one of the good figures of Aboriginal rebel in opposition to European settlement. See

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