collaborative post | When anyone talks about the incredible country of Australia, two things will always be spoken of: the spectacular beaches and the alluring yet daunting Outback. Replacing the hustle and bustle of a busy city center with endless miles of desert-like landscapes, lush bushland, and native wildlife guarantees you the experience of a lifetime. 

Photo by Photoholgic on Unsplash

For those who indulge in vaping, it is important to note that acquiring a nicotine prescription online for your vacation is required in Australia. 

What is the Outback?

The Outback is often referred to as the vast heartland of Australia. It is an area of extremes, with stretches of lush and bountiful beauty mirrored by harsh and barren wilderness. The land and the people who call it home are thought to be quintessentially Australian, carrying decades of historical significance, consequence, tragedy, and tradition. 

Many locals and avid travelers agree that no vacation to Australia is complete without visiting this mystical area, connecting with the indigenous people who own this land, and experiencing its immense beauty. 

Best Time to Visit

Visiting Australia during its sizzling summer months will guarantee long, leisurely days at the beach, soaking in the rays or partaking in an afternoon of surfing. But the best time to visit the Outback is not during the beach season but rather during the southern hemisphere winter season, from June to September. 

A visit in summer will drastically limit your activities due to the dangerously high temperatures, but be sure to remember that when visiting in winter, it is vital to pack like it is winter. While the sun will keep things hot during the day, overnight in the Outback will get extremely cold, especially if you plan to camp under the night sky. 

Transportation Options & Conditions

Despite popular belief, you don’t need a 4WD to explore the Outback. In fact, you can have a fantastic trip in a regular car or campervan. Many of the well-known routes, like Alice Springs to Uluru or the highway across the Nullarbor, are in good condition and can be tackled by a 2WD. 

However, the famous dirt roads, like Gibb River Road in Kimberly, will require a sturdy 4WD to traverse and enjoy safely. 

While driving along these long, winding roads is relatively stress-free due to the lack of traffic, you must be careful when encountering a road train, which are trucks with three or four trailers in tow. Some roads are somewhat narrow, so ensure you give a passing train plenty of space when they approach. Additionally, always make sure you have plenty of open road ahead when you decide to overtake one. 

It is best to avoid driving at night unless absolutely necessary, as animals like kangaroos and dingos can be hard to see in the dark and can cause significant damage if you accidentally hit one. 

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Must-Have Necessities

One of the most essential items to bring on any trip to the outback, regardless of the length of your journey, is plenty of safe drinking water. While you may come across safe tap water along your way, most gas stations will charge you for water due to its scarcity. 

You should include a fully stocked travel first aid kit, which can easily be purchased online, as well as an extra tire and all the tools you will need to change it. Including an extra bottle of engine oil in your vehicle packing is also recommended. 

Mobile phone coverage can become very patchy once you head away from civilization. To avoid running into difficulty, have a printed map of the area and a compass at your disposal. Buy or rent a GPS equipped with satellite navigation and a satellite phone to ensure you can always contact emergency services if necessary. 

Finally, you will find a gas station in almost every town you pass by, but they typically operate by a set daytime schedule, with many being closed over the weekend. Diesel is more easily found than petrol, so consider this when hiring a car. To be on the safe side, travel with an extra container of fuel if you plan to venture off the beaten track. 

Respecting Native Traditions & Cultures

When entering the Outback, you enter a land that carries significant cultural importance and history. The Anangu people of the area are part of the oldest living culture in the world, and as the traditional custodians of the land, you need to be mindful and respectful throughout your time here. 

The most basic rules to follow are only photographing aboriginal people with permission and abiding by all signposts you come across when visiting cultural landmarks and UNESCO World Heritage Sites like Uluru and its surrounding national park. Because English may only be a third or fourth language to most aboriginal people you meet, connecting with a well-trained guide who can help you navigate these areas is strongly recommended. 

Photo by Graham Meyer on Unsplash

Natural Wonders & Wildlife

Although the Outback may feel like a never-ending desert, there are incredible water features to discover. There is no better way to end a day in the scorching heat than by cooling off in one of the impressive watering holes, with a breathtaking waterfall cascading in the background. 

Furthermore, one of the biggest advantages of the complete remoteness you will encounter in the Outback is the lack of light pollution that is synonymous with big cities. A night spent here will give you the ultimate opportunity to experience a night of stargazing like nothing you have ever experienced before. 

For the animal lovers amongst us, you will be treated to the opportunity of spotting every animal and insect you have ever heard about before visiting this wonderful country, particularly the dangerous ones, which can be viewed from a safe distance. 

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