Australian Outback Facts
Facts About The Australian Outback - Outback Information
Australian Outback Facts is a page with quick answers to the most frequently asked questions about the Australian Outback...
Where is it? How big is it? How hot is it? How dangerous is it? ... and so on.
All of those questions are also covered in a lot more detail on other pages of this site. You can find links to those pages in the different sections below:
Australian Outback Facts - Size And Location
Where is the Aussie Outback located? How big is the Outback of Australia?
- The Outback covers most of Australia. It neither has a specific size, nor a specific location. Outback is a term that is used for any sparsely populated regions of Australia.
- Australia's population is very much concentrated in and around a few cities on the eastern, southern and south-western coast. All of inland Australia and most of north and north-west Australia is generally known as Outback Australia.
- Therefore the Australian Outback spans several thousand kilometres from east to west, and from north to south.
- When overseas visitors mention the Outback they usually refer to the area near Alice Springs and Uluru/Ayers Rock. This region is located in the middle of the Australian continent and is often called "the red centre". But it is only a very small part of the Outback of Australia.
Australian Outback Facts
Climate And Temperatures
How hot is it in the Outback? Does it rain in the Outback?
- The Outback covers several climate zones and experiences a wide range of temperatures.
- Temperatures in the central deserts can sore as high as 50°C (120F) on summer days, and drop below freezing to -10°C (15F) during winter nights.
- Temperatures in the tropical Outback regions are less extreme.
- The Outback receives a surprising amount of rain. Even the central desert regions get on average 200 - 250 mm of rain a year. Rain is more likely during the summer months.
- The northern Australian Outback has a tropical monsoon climate, bringing lots of rain and high humidity in summer.
- When it rains it pours, and all Outback areas can experience floods.
- (Keep in mind that the seasons in Australia are opposite to the northern hemisphere's: it's summer from December to February, and winter from June to August.)
Living And Working In The Australian Outback
Do people live in the Outback?
- Several excellent highways cross the Australian Outback, and along those you can find many small towns, albeit at considerable distance from each other.
- Off the main highways a network of unsealed dirt roads criss crosses the Outback. People are few and far between in those areas. Most of them are residents in Aboriginal communities, or living/working on the big cattle and sheep stations you find in the outback.
- The biggest employment sectors in the Outback are the mining industry, agriculture including cattle and sheep stations, and tourism.
Tourism In The Australian Outback
- Tourist numbers in the Outback are steadily increasing as the quality of the roads improves and the number of tour operators and accommodation providers grows.
- Organised tours remain a popular form of travel, but more and more people choose to self drive across the Outback in a hired four wheel drive or campervan.
- Many of the big Outback attractions don't require a 4x4 to visit. Neither do they require any special skills or preparation. But you do need to bring a lot of time.
- Driving off the main highways is a different story...
The Dangers Of The Australian Outback
- Fact is, the Outback is not inherently dangerous. But it is unforgiving of negligence and carelessness...
- People way overestimate the danger from snakes, spiders, scorpions etc. There is a lot of hype around, and it isn't justified.
- People regularly underestimate the danger from sun stroke, heat exhaustion and dehydration. You don't have to venture into a remote area to be at risk from heat exhaustion!
- They also regularly underestimate the distances (which leads to driver fatigue, speeding etc causing accidents) and remoteness. (Don't leave the main roads unless you know what you are doing and where you are going.)
- Ignore the hype, be prepared, and use your common sense, and there is absolutely nothing to worry about.