Australia's best Outback destinations

By: Claudia Bouma

The Outback: red dust, endless horizons, dirt roads seemingly leading to nowhere and camping under a star-filled sky.

Australia's best Outback destinations
The northern Flinders Ranges are simply spectacular and the four-wheel driving is some of the best we have ever done

Australia’s vast and remote Outback makes up nearly 70% of our vast country, yet few people venture into these isolated areas. Some are daunted by the enormous distance while others aren’t too sure about the notorious wildlife and dangers that have become synonymous with exploring these far-away destinations. 

We’ve travelled to just about every corner of this amazing country and guess what – the Outback tops our list. Let me take you to a couple of our Outback favourites.

Also known as the gateway to the Kimberley, Kununurra is a great place to explore Mirima National Park or the mini-Bungle Bungles.

Featuring sandstone ranges, cliffs and valleys similar in appearance to parts of Purnululu National Park, the park offers several easy walks which are suitable for younger kids. Ivanhoe Crossing is a popular river crossing and only a short distance from town.

Consider taking the kids on a day trip to impressive Lake Argyle and be amazed at the completion of a vision of a man who was once considered a fool.

Once Queensland’s second largest city, Charters Towers has a laid-back atmosphere along with a friendly crowd of locals. Towers Hill provides great panoramic views and also hosts the Ghosts after Dark film, which is screened nightly in the amphitheatre. Pay a visit to the Gold Discovery Monument in Centenary Park and take the kids to Lissner Park where a children’s playground, duck pond and fountains will entertain the kids for an afternoon. Time-permitting, venture out to historic Ravenswood and Burdekin Falls Dam on a day trip.

The one place in Australia where you are guaranteed to spot freshwater crocs is Windjana Gorge in the Kimberley. The crocs bake themselves in the sun on the opposite side of the river, making it perfectly safe. You are also likely to encounter a large population of bats that will fascinate the kids. The sunsets are spectacular as the ochre-hued rocks of the gorge are set ablaze by the sun’s last rays. The large campground has solar showers so you don’t have to rough it and the walk into the gorge is suitable for smaller children.

Last but not least, make sure Arkaroola is on your Outback bucket list. Located 200km north-east of Wilpena Pound, this destination is both dramatic and inspirational. It was established by modern-day pioneers, the late Reg and Griselda Spregg, who purchased the Arkaroola sheep station in 1967. It was their dream to protect the flora and fauna around Arkaroola by creating a sanctuary that could also be enjoyed by every Australian willing to venture out this far into the outback.

The northern Flinders Ranges are simply spectacular and the four-wheel driving is some of the best we have ever done, and we have been all around Australia with our 4x4 and off-road camper trailer.

So, what are you waiting for? Head into the Outback and fall in love, just like we did.

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