Australia is the land of sweeping beaches, gorgeous surfers, and unique, fascinating wildlife such as kangaroos, koalas, and wombats. It is a culture proud of its roguish past and roots as a criminal’s’ outpost. However, this is also a continent of open, dry, and deserted spaces that shaped a culture and community far before the first British ship landed on its shores. It is this final piece of Australia that is found in the centre of the continent: in the great, mysterious, and yet, gorgeous outback.
Why the Outback Is Important to Modern Australia
While the undeveloped areas near cities and towns, such as Melbourne or Mildura in Victoria, are referred to as the bush, the more remote and desolate areas of central Australia are called the outback. The outback is far from the comforts and orderly design of suburban life. Life, for all types of living things, from humans and animals to plants, is harsher, wilder, and more intense in this beautiful landscape.
Despite the reputation of the outback as vast and empty, there are actually varied and multiple landscapes to behold from the north of Southern Australia to Darwin on the far northern coast. However, what is true is that the outback is quite empty of humans. The remoteness has lent itself to Australian folklore and traditional stories.
The outback is painted as a dangerous and unforgiving place, where it takes effort and fortitude to survive. Particularly the aboriginal people of the outback are revered for their strength and close relationship with nature. These lessons are ingrained in the Australian psyche.
Despite the historical and cultural lore of the outback, the physical place is very much in the present. There are thousands of tourists who visit Uluru every year and hundreds of Australians who come to spend a short or extended holiday traversing the routes from Adelaide or Cairns to the Kimberley. Modern technology is utilised and modern people survive and thrive in this environment. The empty outback still represents the spirit, wildness, and openness of modern Australia.
How to See the Outback
A great way to see the outback is through outback adventure tours. The companies who arrange these tours often have specific knowledge of the natural beauty of the outback and the interesting places to stop and wander. While this is likely your first visit to the outback, the tour guides have been through the remote area many times. Traveling with a tour is a great way to learn about the culture, people, and places of the outback as you go.
There are other benefits to travelling with a tour group through the outback. It can be dangerous to drive the outback alone or with only a mate, as there are very few gas stations and water sources. There are also a number of dangerous snakes and spiders that occupy the open outback. Finally, a tour group allows you to meet other likeminded and spirited travellers who are also interested in the outback experience. This can mean lasting relationships to relive the incredible and beautiful things seen along the journey.