Backpacking through the Outback

by Mickey
(New Hampshire, United States)

I am interested in taking about a month trip through the outback. Camping, hiking, just being outdoors. I am a current college student in the states so my plan is to go for the month of June (I know that it will be busy).

I would love to spend as much time in the middle of nowhere (safely) and away from tourists as possible. My plan was to rent a 4wd campervan and travel north from Adelaide up into the outback. I would like to see the "must-see" attractions but want to spend more of my time out in the wilderness, with aborigines, learning the culture of the areas, animals, plants, take boat trips through very remote areas.

So if anybody has information I would love the help.
My email address is Thank you very much for your help.

Comments for Backpacking through the Outback

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Don't be fooled
by: Roy

Our aboriginal ”culture” is just a myth – what you’ll see may be much too different to what you read in the glossy tourist brochures... Visiting aboriginal land is practically impossible (if you happen to be non-aboriginal), but if you take a good telescope and climb Uluru (hardly possible too...) you may have a chance. Prepare to be disappointed and make sure you have serious life and travel insurance. If you’re coming to Melbourne give us a call – several good spots around – safe and open for everyone – black or white!

Be prepared
by: Lucy

Hi Mickey
Your trip sounds like you're trying to pack a lot in! If you wanted to get to know Aboriginal culture, I would suggest staying in one place for a period of time, as trust does not happen overnight. Be careful about where and where not to go, as you will often need permits for Aboriginal lands, and some places are restricted to males or females only.
Unless you were going way off-road, you can definitely get away without a 4x4, unless you really needed it.
The "wilderness" you speak of really isn't glorified. There's often no water or fuel for hundreds of kilometres, so please, please be careful and make sure you're prepared. Perhaps it might be an idea to work at a roadhouse along the way.

Extra hint: if you're planning to be in Australia in June, the further south you are, the colder and wetter it'll be. The north has beautiful weather in June and it might not rain for months on end, whereas in Adelaide and Alice Springs, down south, it might rain every second day.

Good luck on your journey!! :)

research and prepare NEW
by: Anonymous

I traveled through the outback for about 10 weeks. as a backpacker, I learned a lot from other backpackers as I traveled. I suggest you stay at a hostel for the first couple of days and talk to other backpackers. then begin your journey.

My trip was amazing but many unexpected things happened along the way. there are very harsh areas of the outback so if you are driving, I believe you said you are, be prepared to not see a soul for hundreds of miles. plan for breakdowns, have enough water and food, a good spare tire, and extra petrol. Driving in the outback is dangerous because it gets hot, it's dry, and there is a good chance you will hit many kangaroos depending on the area you are driving through. that was my worst memory.

research the hostels if you are planning on staying in them, leave if you have a bad feeling about it. I stayed in hostels but also tented it.

Don't expect to hang out with Aborigines, those who continue to live off the land and continue to practice their ancestors lifestyle do not welcome or spend time with outsiders. Many of the Aborigines who you will see spending their time in or near towns are sadly not doing well, many will ask for money to support their addictions. It was a shock to say the least. very sad to see how these people live. I saw groups of them sitting in circles sniffing petrol. I did come across others who were living in bushes, etc.

I suggest you go to Broken Hill, I met some very interesting people there and have good memories. Also, Coober Pedy is a town all build underground because it's so hot. You will have a number of different experiences in the area of Alice Springs and around it. The energy there is strange, still not sure what I think.

get to know a local or two, they may take you to places that you wouldn't know about otherwise. Hit a local outback saloon! another interesting experience.

The wildlife is like any other. I saw hundreds of kangaroos, crocs, dingo's, camels, lizards....The beaches are beautiful and mostly deserted, the scenery is absolutely breathtaking.

be prepared and enjoy!

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