Few places on earth are as beautifully rugged, untamed and enigmatic as the Australian Outback, in the country’s sweltering Northern Territory. This land, characterised by dusty red desert, thermal pools and rock formations, is the ultimate destination to get you falling back in love with mother nature, and the landscape itself will have you pondering if you’ve wandered into a dream. Outback tours in Australia are all about stepping out of your comfort zone: the Australian bush will awaken your wild side, introducing you to the stories and traditions of the Aboriginal culture and getting you to the real, authentic and unedited heart of Australian life.
When considering an Outback adventure, there are a few things you’ll need to be prepared for. This will be an experience like no other; you’ll sleep under the starry night sky at a camel station (yep, we said camel), hike to the Garden of Eden waterhole at Kings Canyon, have your first ever Aboriginal Dreamtime ‘Bushtucker’ experience and even swing by Australia’s UFO capital. On top of all that, you’ll accustom your taste buds to the likes of smoked kangaroo salad, traditional barramundi and even a Bush Tucker Bloody Mary. Wave the city life goodbye, this land is not to be taken lightly - but feeling the red sand through your fingers and smelling the aromas of BBQ will have you head over heels for this unique region at first encounter.
It’s not all camping and camel stations, though. The Northern Territory is host to Darwin, where you’ll have your pick of the legendary bars and crocodile-ridden coves. Alice Springs also calls the Northern Territory home, where you’ll get your Bear Grylls on in the face of some pretty unusual eats. Of course, you’ll pay homage to the main event: the jewel of the outback, Uluru (also known as Ayers Rock.) The sheer majesty of this 700-million-year-old gob-smackingly beautiful rock formation will likely be enough to erase that kangaroo you were gnawing on earlier from memory, instead getting enlightened on the rock’s cultural significance on your Ayers Rock tour. Trust us, an Outback aussie tour adventure is something you can only experience in person.
The Outback may be arid and unforgiving, but that doesn’t mean we can’t emulate a little prestige in the form of a dip in Mataranka’s thermal pools. Slap bang in the middle of the Northern Territory are the magical sandy-bottom thermal pools of Mataranka, a cove of crystal clear waters framed by lush greenery, providing us shade for an hour or two of tranquil book reading. We’ll treat our tired bodies to the ultimate pampering sesh, soothing our skin in the warm water and having a good old-fashioned splash about with our travel buds. Don’t say we didn’t tell you the Outback wasn’t full of surprises…
You’ve probably heard the word ‘Bushtucker’ thrown around, but haven’t piped up to actually ask what it means. Don’t worry, we got you. Bushtucker is the name given to traditional Outback cuisine, and we’ll learn exactly what it’s made up of with a Bushtucker tour in Alice Springs. We’ll get clued up on Aboriginal culture and traditions, as well as the significance of dreams and even try our hand at throwing a boomerang. All that info will have our stomachs rumbling, and we’ll learn all about (and sample) the food native to the bush including kangaroo, emu, witchetty grubs and bush tomato. Yum…
Chances are you came to the Outback to do one thing - to see the stunning, one of a kind natural wonder of Uluru, Australia’s most well-known landmark. The eternal beauty and sheer scale of this huge red rock will have your jaw well and truly on the floor for hours as you attempt to fathom its form. And if you thought Uluru in the day time was impressive, just wait till you catch it at sunrise or sunset, when the entire region comes alive in the bask of a dazzlingly glorious red glow. Once we’ve filled up our camera (and head) with timeless memories, we’ll explore the Rock’s base and take in the atmosphere, overwhelmed with emotion. Trust us, you won’t leave Uluru the same person.
Famed for being emotive, colourful and abstract, it wouldn’t be a trip to the Outback without delving deep into the world of Aboriginal art. Catch it all at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, as well as fascinating fossils, butterfly displays and photography to capture the essence of the region.
Being in the Outback means connecting with Aboriginal culture, and where better to do so than at the Warraadjan Aboriginal Cultural Centre. This Centre is a must-see, as it displays the cultural artefacts of Indigenous Australians and tells the stories that explain the spiritual significance of the land.