8 Unbelievable Outback Experiences

Head into the Australian outback for unforgettable experiences you won't find anywhere else. 8 Unbelievable Outback Experiences
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8 Unbelievable Outback Experiences

Head into the Australian outback for unforgettable experiences you won't find anywhere else.


By Lee Atkinson

A journey into the Australian outback is a trip you'll never forget. A staircase to the moon, luxury accommodation buried deep underground, an 849 mile (1366 kilometre) long golf course and made-by-nature swimming pools in the middle of the desert are just some of the unbelievable experiences in outback Australia.  

SLEEP UNDERGROUND IN COOBER PEDY

Coober Pedy, South Australia

In the outback opal mining town of Coober Pedy most people live underground, partly because it's a great way to beat the heat – it’s very hot out here in summer – but mostly because the locals are pretty handy when it comes to digging, and who knows, you might just find opals. The Desert Cave Hotel is dug into the sandstone hillside in the main street of town.  

KAYAK THROUGH A BILLION-YEAR-OLD GORGE

Katherine Gorge, Nitmiluk National Park, Northern Territory

Katherine Gorge is a chain of 13 spectacular gorges that wind between towering rock cliffs in Nitmiluk National Park near the Top End town of Katherine. You can fly through it in a helicopter, take a sunrise or sunset cruise to see the red rock walls morph into a million shades of mauve, or follow one of the many walking trails. But if you really want to see the extraordinary gorge up close the best way is by kayak. Paddle to spots the tour boats can't reach and even camp out overnight if you like. Rent your kayaks at the visitors centre.  

SEE AN ANCIENT ART GALLERY COME ALIVE

Mount Borradaile, Arnhem Land, Northern Territory

The World Heritage-listed rock art galleries of Kakadu are some of the best in the world. More than 20,000 years old, they are a record of what may be the oldest living culture on Earth. The galleries are marvellous to look at, but when you see them with an Aboriginal park ranger who can tell you the stories and meanings behind them, they really come to life.

SOUNDS OF SILENCE DINNER AT ULURU

Sounds of Silence, Uluru, Northern Territory

Watching Uluru change colour as the sun sets is one of outback Australia's most magical moments. Doing it in five-star style from the top of a desert dune while enjoying sparkling wine and canapés before dining under the stars is unforgettable. The three-course buffet features native bush ingredients such as crocodile, kangaroo and quandong (a native peach).

DRIVE ACROSS THE LONGEST, STRAIGHTEST ROAD

Eyre Highway, Nullarbor Plain, South Australia

On the Nullarbor Plain between Adelaide and Perth you'll see plenty of wildlife, including wild camels, kangaroos and emus. You’ll also meet many fascinating characters – everyone out here has a story to tell – and even see some space junk that fell to earth. Go whale watching on a clifftop lookout, explore wild caves and play the world’s longest golf course – it's an unbelievable 849 miles (1366 kilometres) long.   

CLIMB BROOME'S STAIRCASE TO THE MOON

Staircase to the Moon, Broome, Western Australia

Three nights a month, between March and October, the coastal town of Broome, in Western Australia's remote Kimberley, celebrates one of outback Australia's most unbelievable sights: the staircase to the moon, a natural phenomenon caused by a rising full moon reflecting off the tidal flats of Roebuck Bay. Markets are held on the first two nights, with lots of entertainment and food stalls.

RIDE A HORSE THROUGH THE KIMBERLEY

Home Valley Station, Kimberley, Western Australia

Horse treks on Home Valley Station, a working cattle farm in the Kimberley that starred in the 2008 Nicole Kidman movie Australia, follow an old 1800s stock route and are led by real stockmen and women. After your ride you can take a helicopter or 4WD tour, swim beneath a waterfall or just relax at the Dusty Bar & Grill before retiring to your luxury villa.

GET WET IN THE DESERT

Ormiston Gorge, West MacDonnell National Park, Northern Territory

The West MacDonnell Ranges, between Alice Springs and Uluru, hide several natural swimming pools. Rent a bike in Alice Springs and follow the cycle path to Simpsons Gap, or drive the Red Centre Way to Standley Chasm, Ellery Creek, and Serpentine, Ormiston and Glen Helen gorges. Tailormade Tours offers full and half day adventures from Alice Springs.

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