The Outback: Australia's Wild Interior

Posted by Crooked Compass

The Outback.  Australia's vast, sparsely populated interior where the way of life is dictated by the often harsh and unforgiving environment.  A place of incredible natural beauty, rich in wildlife, and the traditional lands of our Aboriginal People.

Sunset over the escarpment
Sunset over the escarpment

For many Australians, the idea of the Outback inspires a certain yearning - it is a piece of the puzzle that makes up our shared identity, and we sense that spending time in the remotes, would deepen our understanding of our country and ourselves.  For international travellers, the draw of the endless 'nothingness' is often as compelling as the dramatic terrain, a place where you can drive for days without seeing a traffic light, and lose yourself in the glorious remoteness of being far from anywhere and everywhere.

Sundowners in the remote outback of New South Wales. Photo Credit: Crooked Compass
Sundowners in the remote outback of New South Wales. Photo Credit: Crooked Compass

From the breathtaking landscapes, to the incredible wildlife and remarkable people who call it home, the Outback is a destination that will quieten your mind, while stirring your soul.  Here are five essential experiences to have in the Australian Outback.

Spend Time with a Stockman

Some of the most enduring imagery in Australia's history revolves around that of the Stockman.  Tough as nails and with a level of horsemanship that is nothing short of awe-inspiring, this hardy character has inspired everything from Banjo Paterson's famous poem "The Man from Snowy River" to Hugh Jackman's character of a drover in the movie "Australia".  Our itinerary, Indigenous & Wild QLD, gives you the opportunity to spend several days with a stockman as you explore wild areas of bushland including the exclusive "Pinnacle Trail". There will be plenty of time to compare lives, and learn about this fascinating lifestyle.  You will also visit a working cattle station where if you are lucky, you will get to experience a cattle muster first hand. Feel the ground shake with the thunder of thousands of hooves of running cattle, as they are mustered both with helicopters and on horseback.

Mustering taking place at Herbertvale Station
Mustering taking place at Herbertvale Station

Sleep Under a Canopy of Stars

Picture this. After an exciting day of exploring, you arrive at your camp, overlooking a stunning gorge.  While your hosts prepare dinner, you wash off the days red dirt with a hot bush shower, then drink some billy tea and share a few yarns by the fire while the sounds of the Yigi Yigi (didjeridoo) echo through the valley.  The sunset dazzles then fades and you are left with a canopy of a millions of stars, and your choice of the bed in your luxurious tent, or your swag.  Sleeping under the stars is a true highlight of any trip to the Outback and at Crooked Compass, we ensure that you have so many creature comforts you will almost forget you are camping. Five star? How about five billion stars?

Glamping under the velvet sky
Glamping under the velvet sky

Learn about the Land

The Outback is the perfect place to learn about Australia's Indigenous people, the first inhabitants of the land that can be traced back over 40,000 years.  All our journeys to the Outback include spending exclusive time with a certified Indigenous guide, who will be excited to show you the world through their eyes. You will be awed by caves of Aboriginal art that can be traced back to ancient times or be guided through bushland learning as you understand how the food and medicine can all be obtained from the land around you.

An ancient rock art gallery with over 450 traditional artworks in outback Queensland
An ancient rock art gallery with over 450 traditional artworks in outback Queensland

Unplug and Unwind

Being far from civilisation gives you the best possible excuse to unplug, and give the beauty of your natural surroundings a chance to wash over you. Whether it be lazing by a waterhole after a gourmet picnic lunch, or enjoying wine and cheese before your carefully prepared outdoor dinner is served, we want your trip to be a chance for your to relax and unwind. Listen to the sounds of nature, keep your eyes peeled for the native wildlife, and lose yourself in your stunning surrounds. We will take care of all the details and free you up to focus on enjoying yourself.

Paddle boarding in outback billabongs and rivers. How Australian!
Paddle boarding in outback billabongs and rivers. How Australian!

Share a Yarn with the Locals at an Outback Pub

All this exploring can make a person thirsty, and there is no better place to have a refreshing beverage and a good old chin-wag with some locals then at an Outback pub.  These watering holes are almost guaranteed to have some characters willing to share a yarn or two with you, generally with some slight embellishments for maximum entertainment and great countertop meals.  The pub has been a part of the Australian culture since the First Fleet arrived in 1788, with illegal pubs known as "sly-grogs" established immediately, and the first legal pubs opening approximately eight years later.  In the Outback, the pub often serves as the hub and meeting place of the community, and an escape from the dust, heat and flies.  A perfect place to reminisce about your Outback adventure!

Iron Bark Pub, Central West NSW
Iron Bark Pub, Central West NSW

Dreaming of exploring the Outback? Explore our range of small group tours to make this experience yours!