For an unforgettable adventure, nothing beats getting off the beaten track in this Great Southern Land. Other-worldly landscapes, dramatic colours, unique wildlife and an ancient culture… it’s all there in our great big backyard.
There are so many things to see and do, but here’s a starter kit of places that no Aussie outback bucket list should be without:
David Attenborough described these unique tidal waterfalls as “one of the greatest natural wonders of the world”. Located within Talbot Bay in the Buccaneer Archipelago, about 220 kilometres northwest of Broome, the Horizontal Falls are caused thanks to tidal changes as high as 10 metres, combined with a pair of perfectly positioned narrow gorges. The result is unique, utterly spectacular and – if you’ve come all this way – best viewed twice: from the air and on an exciting boat ride through the rapids.
Walk a certain part of the legendary, 223km-long Larapinta Trail and you’ll be able to marvel at Ormiston and Serpentine Gorges, Simpsons Gap and Standley Chasm, and watch the sunrise from the peak of Mt Sonder.
About 430km north of Adelaide, in the northern part of the Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park, sits Wilpena Pound. This large, natural amphitheatre surrounded by mountains is 300 metres higher than Uluru and covers eight times the area. It’s amazing, and a great spot to go camping.
Venture into the famous Kakadu National Park, one of Australia’s greatest national parks, and check out the incredible wildlife, spectacular waterfalls, unique scenery and more than 5,000 aboriginal rock-art sites, dating back some 20,000 years.
About 700 kilometres north of Adelaide you’ll find Australia’s largest salt lake, Kati Thanda, (a.k.a Lake Eyre). The salt plains are magnificent – and enormous (the lake actually stretches across three states and the Northern Territory). For the best view, take to the skies on a scenic flight.
Sunrise and sunset are the best times to view “the rock,” when it’s cooler, and the light makes it even more spectacular than usual. Located in the heart of the Red Centre, take the opportunity to also visit Kings Canyon and Kata Tjuta (The Olgas), enjoy the Sounds of Silence dinner under the stars and, until 31 December 2020, view the awe-inspiring Field of Light.
When you need a break from driving the Gibb River Road in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, be sure to stop at the Zebedee Natural Hot Springs in El Questro National Park. The naturally heated waters (which can reach temperatures of 38°C) are open to the public in the morning.
Another essential stop along the Gibb River Road is the Bungle Bungles, in Purnululu National Park. Stretching for an epic 450km, the 300-metre-tall sandstone beehive formations are more than 360 million years old. See them up close from the ground, and from above in a scenic helicopter ride.
It’s a unique Aussie experience, visiting the opal capital of Australia where life is lived underground to escape the searing heat. A round on the 18-hole, 72 par grassless Coober Pedy Opal Fields Golf Club is a must – it’s the only course in the world that has been granted reciprocal playing rights by St. Andrews in Scotland!