If you make your way down to Australia, there are plenty of road trips you can take that will capture the truest nature of the outback. There are a lot of misconceptions about Australia in general but with the outback, it is pretty much how you imagine it when you think of this great southern land. Dusty roads, kangaroos and flat landscapes take you through the many deserts of Australia. Here are just a few ways you can experience the Australian outback.
The Birdsville Track
The Birdsville Track, depending on where you start, traverses 517 kilometers (321 miles) from Marree in South Australia to Birdsville in south-western Queensland. It is mainly a sparse barren road but it truly encompasses the feel of the outback as it traverses across three separate deserts: Strzelecki Desert, Sturt Stony Desert and Tirari Desert. The track was originally opened in the 1860s but only since the 1930s has it been open for everyone. The Birdsville Racing Track, which is the host of the annual Birdsville Races, has been a popular stop on this journey since its inception in 1882.
The Eyre Highway
This is also a major outback adventure across the Nullarbor Plain which links Adelaide in South Australia and Perth in Western Australia. The entire trip is 1660 kilometers (1,030 miles) long but the Eyre Highway itself is 1200 kilometers (750 miles) in length linking the town of Norseman in WA to Ceduna in SA. The highway was named after Edward John Eyre who was the first to traverse across the Nullarbor Plain in 1840-1841. The east-west telegraph line was installed in the 1870s but was not opened as a drivable highway until 1942. It was still basically a dirt track until the 1960s when work was done to seal the road. Work has been done on the highway in the further decades and is now a much more comfortable drive, with plenty of things to see on your journey. Wildlife you might spot includes kangaroos, camels and emus. The world-famous Great Australian Bight has many short detours along the way which include the Bunda Cliffs located on the border of South and Western Australia.
The Red Centre Way
This 835 kilometer (519 mile) scenic route starts in Alice Springs in the central Northern Territory. It takes you through many beautiful and surprising places in desert Australia including the MacDonnell Range National Park which is a great place to stop and do some exploring. You can go swimming, camping and bushwalking among other things. The next stop should be the Gosse’s Bluff which is an ancient comet crater dating back to the Cretaceous period. It is known as Tnorala to the Arrernte Aboriginal people and is a sacred place.
Uluru, previously known as Ayers Rock, is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Australia and should be one of the main reasons to go on this road trip in the first place. It is located 335 km (208 mi) southwest of Alice Springs in the Kata Tjuta National Park, where the Olgas are also located. Then you can loop around to Alice Springs to complete your trip.
A road trip is a great time to reflect on life and appreciate how far you have come together with the beauty of the land surrounding you.