Walking across the Outback

What about walking across Outback Australia? Not hitch hiking, but preparing and doing a trek across the country. What are some of the dangers i.e. animals & humans that one could encounter? Logistics: is it possible to have set area's for replenishing supplies? Or does it get too desolate?


Comments for Walking across the Outback

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Crossing Australia on foot
by: Birgit

Hi Shawn,

If I understand you right you are talking about crossing the country from coast to coast, walking 4000 km across outback desert country.

You will die of thirst very quickly.

Australia isn't some tiny island. It's a continent, about the size of the US, only that it consists mostly of empty desert.

I suggest you change your plans to doing some longer bushwalks/wilderness walks in known areas near civilisation. Both the red centre and the tropical north offer many opportunities for that.

Information or trek notes are available for example from books, from visitor centres, from national park rangers or from bushwalking organisations and clubs.

Across Australia?
by: gavin

Yeah but is it plausible to go from Perth to say Sydney by foot across the Nullabor and if so what would you need to do so? I've tried to find this info online but is very hard to sort through the other mumbo jumbo. Thanks

It has been done
by: Anonymous

People have walked across Australia, from west to east - it has been done! Of course there would be very long stretches with no ground water, and no civilisation. I know someone who biked across the Nullabour - she had to prearrange caches of water and supplies to be left at certain locations along the way.

Walking across outback
by: Birgit

Many people cycle across the Nullarbor. There a couple of threads on this website talking about it. There is a perfectly good highway that connects Sydney and Perth, roadhouses every couple of hundred kilometres etc. Walking along that is a totally different story. You are following the coastline, you aren't crossing the continent.

That's not the same as "walking across the outback", totally self supported through wilderness only. That's what I understood that the reader who submitted the question intended.

From Shawn's question it is also obvious that at this stage he does not have much of an idea about Australia. And that's not a position to start from for a coast to coast trek.

Perth to Sydney
by: Anonymous

Thanks for your reply and I understand to walk across our barren landscape would definitely involve some serious planning but I was just curious as to whether it would be easier to stick to the highways, that's all. I hopefully plan to do this one day as a personal achievement because we only live once hey?Thanks again.

PS: come for a walk Shawn

by: Birgit

I see. Sure, following the highway makes it easier, though not particularly attractive... However, if the motivation for the walk is the challenge and achievement, rather than the wilderness experience, then of course that's an option.

Obviously water will be your biggest problem, and I can't help you there with details.

Trekking Australia
by: Jye


You could walk south to north like Jeff has. It would be great preparation for west to east. However it would be extremely hard and I'm sure you done heaps of research before embarking on the trip

Visit these websites



A safer alternative than that proposed
by: Chris H.

Why not try something a little "safer" first. As others have said, Australia can be a dangerous place if you're not used to it. (Speaking as an ex-European - things are just different!)

I recommend the Great North Walk which has its challenges even though on paper it sounds easy. It's not (at least in parts). It's a 250 km bushwalk between Sydney and Newcastle in NSW. Try it.
Chris H.

Walking across the Nullarbor
by: Margie

I have cycled across the Nullarbor 3 times, twice without any support. There is no need for "water drops" if you plan the trip and are experienced. (See my website www.renalride.com.)

Quite a number of people have walked across Australia but only a few have done it without a support driver. The main problem is water. Although there are water tanks on the Nullarbor, some people use the water indiscriminately.

So if you are planning to walk across Australia, have a support driver accompany you. Also, wear bright colors and flashing lights. Road trains traveling at 100km/hr need to see you! Good luck!

Walking across Australia
by: Roger

It is good to see a spirit of adventure so alive in you people. The desire for adventure beyond the urban bright lights can be a fulfilling and often life changing experience.

I walked across Australia (Darwin to Dover - south of Tasmania) in 1988. (A bicentennial event for me.) First Darwin to Cockelbiddy, then Devonport to Dover. I crossed the Great Sandy, Gibson and Great Victoria Deserts then the Nullabor. I did have a support crew, but I walked alone. No roads and civilization out there. Did not see a building for about 75 days!!

Preparation is the key. I had previously walked the Gibson Desert and Simpson Desert, twice. We used camels as support "vehicles" on those ...

Walking the roads is not the same, you do not get the isolation, nor the captivation of the emptiness, nor the infinity of the horizons that you get in the Deserts ...!! It is an imprint that marks your mind for the rest of your life ...!!

Can't find any
by: tom

You say a few people have crossed Australia from east to west. I have been looking for a while now and I can't find any examples.

Who has walked unassisted across Australia from east to west?

Veterans In Action
by: Billy

I am planning a walk across Australia from Perth to Brisbane starting in May 2014.

The walk will be done by 12 UK veterans suffering the effects of war plus a 4 man support crew.
The aim of the walk is to help the veterans rebuild confidence, self esteem and self belief and they will not be walking the whole route themselves.

The idea is that two veterans walk together and do it as a relay event, it's not the distance covered by an individual but the achievement and the experience gained from the experience. The walk will be done as part of a Program that our charity Veterans In Action have developed called the ALIVE Program.

Before this event takes place, the veterans involved would have already taken part on many events in the UK and this walk will be a culmination of all these events.

Throughout the event, training will be given to those taking part in many different skills with the aim being that in the future they will run their own events to help other veterans in the future.

Veterans In Action also hope to invite Australian Veterans to join the expedition. We will be coming to Australia in 2013 to carry out a recce of the route.

Any help that anyone from Australia can give us on the route which is primarily along the Outback Way although we would like to be away from the road as much as possible and will only use this to replenish water and food along the route.

Listen and Learn
by: John H

I'm all for people challenging them selves, however having lived on a few outback stations for a while and have hitched across the nullarbor with my girl friend and yes, a dog, I believe I've aquired some usefull insight regarding do's and dont's about going bush, or for that matter the lack of it.

No.1, listen to the locals! when they give you advice, listen and adhere! It's not in their interest to bullshit you!

No.2, carry water in multiple containers (so if you crack one,not all is lost).

No.3, don't ever think you're invinsceable like those Hollywood heroes that somehow always get away with the impossible, the outback is not Hollywood but reality!

Anything's possible
by: Ashley

It's obvious with planning and preperation you can achieve something like walking across Australia - be it along sealed highways or outback tracks and roads.

Along the Nullarbor via the Eyre Highway you will come across small towns or roadhouses approx. every 200km's or so. And for the most part it is not completely flat and treeless. Only a small section is like this, mostly it is undulating hills with 2-3m high scrub. Deanna Sorensen did this route.

To walk literally through the centre, unsupported is possible. Obviously food, water and SAFETY is your biggest concern. There are several unsealed roads cutting through the centre of Australia, (such as the Great Central Road), however they are extremely remote. People who have walked solo across Australian deserts have a "buggy" that they pull behind them. They usually can carry around 150kg to 200kg of supplies.

So you CAN do it, but research the hell out of it and try and contact people who have been there and done that.

I've walked across Australia
by: Rod

Back in 2003 I did a charity walk from Perth to Wollongong following, in the main, major highways. I had very limited support with a few friends joining me for about two weeks in total over the course of the five and a half month trip so I pretty much consider it to be unassisted. The route that I took made the distance approx 4500km.

Definitely doable and you will cherish it as one of the highlights of you life.

I had a trolley that I pushed which contained food, water, tent, sleeping bag, clothes etc about 100kg of gear.....you need to ensure you are self sufficient as there are a number of stretches where you will be sleeping by the side of the road for 4 & 5 day stretches.

If you head along highways and stick to the Nullarbor rather than crossing further north you will find that there is plenty of traffic so if you have an emergency someone would be there to help within a reasonable period of time. I do suggest you invest in a satellite phone as regular mobile coverage is pretty much non existent for long stretches.

I'm currently planning a round Australia charity walk of 15500km which will be leaving Wollongong in January 2013 so not only is it aheivable it may inspire you to take on something even bigger.

Good luck

3 Things
by: brendan

Water, water and water!

no shit
by: shaun

that is the idea

great ozzy bight
by: Anonymous

Hi I'm planning to walk around australia by following the coastline starting from near walpole WA. heading east. interested to hear about anyone who knows much about the bight coastline and any advice would be appreciated. I am well experienced in living off the land. More interested in any serious knowledge of the coastline of the bight including access to beaches etc. cheers. happy adventuring lets live life while we have it. Garry

What about the wildlife?
by: Marc

This is something I will do before my demise, even if it results in it.

I am curious though, above and beyond water and accompanying provisions, do you have to worry about Dingos? I know that most of the snakes are venomous so it's important to steer clear (right?).

Also, if you just walk across, regardless of the direction, don't you run the risk of venturing onto private land? Couldn't this be a problem too? I don't want to be shot or Wolf Creek'd

Forgive the ignorance here.

I'll check back but you can also email me at theraz1@hotmail.com


Me to.
by: Tim

Hi, I am looking at walking accross Aus also, from the Sunshine Coast in Qld to Broome in WA, how did you get on with your plans/walk. I would be towing a walking trailer. I am at the very early stages of planning, I know it can be done.

My goal
by: Jai

Hi there, I'm not sure how old this post is but I wish to walk across Australia but starting in Sydney and finish in Perth.

Please email me, blackmarketpeople@outlook.com

Sorry about the email, it may seem dodgy due to the name but I'm hundred percent genuine.

1988 Trans-Australia Bicentennial Camel Expedition
by: Peter Boonisar

I was one of 4 people who walked from Shark's Bay to Byron Bay with Camels as part of Australia's Bicentennial. 198 days averaging 15 miles per day, 2946 miles and 6,599,040 steps.
The expedition was divided into 10 segments for new participants and supplies/water. I am a photographer and took over 10,000 slides during the trek. Rex Ellis and the Outback Camel Company organised the trek. See July 1989 issue of National Geographic magazine, Geographica section,
page 8.

charity walk
by: Anonymous

I'm from South Africa, I plan on walking on the coastal road around Australia for charity, would anyone be interested in joining?

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