There’s plenty of Australian Outback destinations you could tick of your bucket list. The Aussie outback is massive, and features many natural attractions which provide a dramatic backdrop to an unforgettable adventure. Travelling around it is one of the best uses for cars in Australia – here are five must-see destinations for any budding Outback traveller.
The Devils Marbles
In the Aboriginal story of creation, the Rainbow Serpent created the Earth and then went to the point where the rainbow meets the Earth. The eggs of the Serpent fossilised to become what Aborigines call ‘Karlukarlu’ and in English are known as the Devils Marbles.
The Devils Marbles, sacred to Aborigines, are granite rocks of volcanic origin that have been eroded over time but can still be as wide as seven metres. Guidebooks often feature photographs of only two of the marbles, leading many people to believe that is all that exists, but there are actually many more. The Marbles are best seen at sunset where even the most amateur snapper will be able to take a photograph worthy of a postcard.
Kakadu National Park
The Kakadu National Park covers an area of almost 20,000 km2 – the size of Slovenia. There is much to do in the Park all year round. You could experience the rock art galleries of Nourlangie, marvel at the manifold birds of the Yellow Water and Mamukala wetlands, see the wildlife up close on a boat cruise, or scale the escarpment for astounding views.
Mataranka Bitter Springs and Thermal Pools
The Mataranka Bitter Springs are a natural alternative to the Mataranka thermal pools that nestle in a concrete jungle, and are much deeper. The temperature is a constant 32°C and there is much wildlife in the form of fish and turtles. Barras can also be fed nearby.
Uluru was previously known as Ayers Rock before adopting it’s traditional name. Its Aboriginal owners refer to themselves as ‘Anangu’ and act as tour guides. The Ayers Rock Resort located just outside the park is the only available accommodation. The Aboriginal name for it is ‘Yulura’, meaning “weeping,” which wags say is what visitors do when they see their bill, although some accommodation is targeted at budget travellers.
Uluru is beautiful, stark and dramatic. Its appearance changes as the sun moves. It is 358 metres high. Temperatures can be as low as -8°C at night and as high as 48°C by day. The Rock’s distinctive red coating is the result of the iron content of the rock rusting. Roads are coated with bitumen, so you won’t need to be driving an offroad car to enjoy the location.
Four hours’ drive from Uluru, in the midst of Watarrka National Park, is Kings Canyon. Its huge, vertical sandstone walls tower above dense forests of ferns and palms. The Canyon can be enjoyed by foot, quad bike and camel. If you succumbed to one of the many Australian 4×4 reviews and purchased such a vehicle, you could experience it that way. The more adventurous could ascend Heartbreak Hill, which is sometimes known as Heart Attack Hill due to its steepness.
The Australian Outback is vast and wild and has been the subject of myth ever since European settlers first arrived in the country. There’s so much to offer for both short and long trips, for those who live close by, our tourists who travel from far away places. Either way, it’s well-worth a road trip with the family or friends.