With most Australians living within 50 kilometres of the coast, it would be easy to assume that seaside wonders are Australia’s greatest natural asset. However, turn 180 degrees and start heading inland and you’ll soon discover a vastly different beauty: the uniquely red, undulating desert that is Australia’s Red—and it will leave you breathless.
From Uluru to Kakadu, the Australian Outback is staggering, its stillness and grace bringing peace to even the most frenzied traveller. The unique red rocks that are so distinct and iconic to the Outback are humbling, both in size and their seemingly random occurrence; you sense the power of nature, as well as the history and culture behind this vast landscape.
Anyone who has walked the base of Uluru will tell you how overwhelming small you begin to feel – not in an insignificant way, but rather as part of a realisation that we as human beings are a small part of an enormous and beautiful picture. For anyone who travels to Uluru it is an awe-inspiring experience. For Australians, it’s an even greater honour to stand at the base of a stunning formation that holds so much significance to modern Australians, as well as the traditional owners of the land.
Natural beauty aside, the Australian Outback gives an unparalleled insight into the original custodians of this land. I found my first trip to the Outback both revealing and touching – what I thought I knew about our Indigenous Australians was overtaken by reality as I realised how little I knew about this amazing culture and their history. Not only did I learn about the Dreamtime, the significance of rock paintings, artistic expression, and the connection to land, I also came to understand the modern reality of many Indigenous Australians for whom life is rapidly changing, and rarely easy. This is an idea that I took away from my Outback experience and something I will never forget.
There are many ways to experience the Australian Outback, from guided tours to creating your own bespoke adventure. Some of the best journeys include trekking the Larapinta Trail, trekking in Kakadu National Park, visit the Kimberley or travel from south to north Australian on The Ghan.
And once you’re there – how do you make the most of your Outback adventure? Approach it without any expectations, breathe in the beauty of this breath-taking land, and make sure to engage with the wonderful local communities!
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