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The
 Australian
Outback

 Outback is a word used by Australians to describe everything that is not near the coast. The majority of the population of Australians lives by the sea, so, any part of Australia that is between the sea and the mountains, is called "bush" and everything else that is behind any green strap is called "Outback". In reality the Outback comprehends 2/3 of the Australian territorial mass, including 5 deserts. The central part of the Outback is also called  "Red Centre". To the Aborigine people, the outback has a spiritual significance and they are the ones able to survive in the outback due to the knowledge of plants, roots, seeds, and how to find water to drink. Most of the Outback today were granted by the Australian Government as Aboriginal reserves

Despite being a desolated area, the Outback has an indescridible beauty and very peculiar animals and plants. All leaving creatures in the Outback had to learn how to cope with temperatures from below zero and up to 50 degrees Celsius during the summer, and it is not a surprise that many plants developed strong poisonous abilities to protect themselves and as a consequence survive. The knowledge about this region is the difference between life and death. A few white men during the colonization of Australia venture to the Outback, and many who did died. Also, most of Australia was under the sea millions of years ago, and the land is so salty, that even with a heavy rain the water can be improper to drink. It is not a surprise to find rocks with marks of sea animals such as oysters, in the middle of a desert, in the middle of nowhere. The Outback reveals all the magnificence of the creation, such as plants growing in a totally salty environment and without water or In some parts, strange rock formations with lakes and even waterfalls. With today's technology, even cities are being built in the Outback but in a different way, under the ground. Yes, there are places in Australia that if you want to buy a house, a digger machine will carve under the ground, tunnels, rooms, living rooms, kitchen, etc.. and there you live with all comfort of the modern technology. If the temperature outside is 50 degrees, in your underground home will be a pleasant 24 Celsius. The Outback also has plenty of fantastic natural formations to be visited, some exclusive to Australia.

One of the incredible features of the Outback is the fantastic transformation of colours along the day. The air is clear and the red soil is so red, that the refection and diffraction of the light, makes a place not look the same along the day. This light becomes so fluorescent with colour, that the sensation is to be in another planet. From the yellow passing to the red and to the purple, until the night comes in a spectacular display of stars difficult to see in most parts of the world. The lack of trees and a clean horizon, enhances the size of the sky and the result is one of the most beautiful skies on earth.

Today in Australia, the Outback can be seen and visit by people of all ages departing from almost all major cities in Australia. You can see it by train, by plane, by four wheel drive, by touring buses with air conditioned, you name it. There are plenty of tour operators today offering the most incredible tours the best parts of the Outback.  Of course you can do by yourself in a car travelling by some sealed roads in the Outback. As for example: you can go from Adelaide to Drawing, crossing the red centre the whole way on bitumen road. Roads outside this one, may be done only in four wheel drive cars and with lots of preparations. Tourist die in the outback if they try to adventure by themselves without knowledge. If you are thinking to adventure yourself, don't forget to take plenty of water (5 litres per day) and the main spare parts for the car. To tell a true story, a couple from Europe travelling one of the Australian deserts, had their car broken and the lady took most of the water with her and decided to walk to a nearby town. She died at the second day walking under 46 degrees sun but the husband that stayed with the car was found alive in the shade even with a little of water to drink. If you are going to do some adventures by yourself, don't forget to let the police or someone else know about your itinerary and for how long. In a commercial tour or in the train, the tarp is safe as in the city. No problems.

Some remote parts of Australia are becoming a kind of adventures playground, and the Outback is perfect for that. Of course the planning is the key, as welll as to be self sufficient. Rain can flood roads that even the best 4 wheel drive will get stranded, and help is a long way, some times, a thousand kilometres away. Also one has to remember that some areas of the Outback are Aboriginal land and can not be trespassed without permission from the owners. The road to the cape York (photo) became one of these playgrounds for off road lovers, but it can be impassable some parts of the year. The secret to travel the Outback safely is to research very well the condition, including fuel for the vehicle, that can be very hard to be found in some places. The police and local people, can give invaluable information for the road conditions and the weather in a certain area. For those who make it, the award is one of the best.

There are plenty of Tour Operators working with the Outback. One of the easiest and most popular is to visit The Ayers Rock (Uluru) from the town of Alice Springs in the red Centre. Also, you can participate in tour that last many days, camping in the Outback with everything supplied and you don't have to cook, or do anything.

For more information about the Outback please check our page about the Northern Territory.

Roger, now that we are in the Outback what are we going to do?
Don't know, did you bring a map?
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