Roadtrip in the Australian Outback

The largely uninhabited stretch of red-tinged land, known as the Australian Outback, is not for the faint of heart, but is sure to serve up an unforgettable adventure. Those up for the journey should rent a car in Darwin then go forth into the 2.5 million square miles of unexpected springs, prehistoric peaks, and crimson sands. For sweeping views of this harsh yet enchanting expanse, sign up for a sunset hot air balloon ride in Alice Springs, then search for dingoes and princess parrots in Alice Springs Desert Park the next morning. From there, dive into the gumtrees, bushwalks, and sandstone cliffs of Kings Canyon, in Watarrka Tjuta National Park.

The next 300 kilometers you’ll drive are well worth it as you’ll land at the surreal rock dome formations of Kata Tjuta, in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. Another favorite stop on this epic road trip is Lake Eyre, especially if you’re lucky enough to visit when the lake is full, and you’re met with an avian wonderland. Return home with the ultimate mementos by purchasing Aboriginal arts and crafts at the Ceduna Aboriginal Arts and Culture Centre.

Getting there

Most flights coming into Australia go through Melbourne, Sydney, or Brisbane before flying on to one of the continent’s smaller communities. So, from North America you can fly to Darwin International Airport, with only one or two stops, through Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, or Vancouver. Europeans can depart for Darwin from London or Manchester, with only one stop. To ensure you have a hearty vehicle, up to the task of navigating the Outback, consider renting a 4WD.