Red dirt portals to the great unknown…
Now, more than ever, it’s important to keep the dream of adventure alive in order to push through the perpetual daily humdrum.
Venturing past city limits, deep into the red dirt, is a rite of passage for 4WDers everywhere.
After the vast upheaval of the past few months, offroad routes and tracks across the nation will have fallen into disuse. Supply chains have been impacted and we’re all at least a little rusty when it comes to long-range touring.
Here are four of the best real-deal outback journeys, tailor-made for anyone that owns a reliable 4WD, is equipped with basic offroad driving experience and a lust for exploration.
Dive in and start planning your next outback adventure!
Perhaps the most iconic outback town in the country? It’s situated in far western Queensland on the edge of the mighty Simpson Desert, surrounded by endless rolling dunes and sparse gibber plain country.
The journey out here via the Birdsville Track is what makes this desert port so special. The 517km track kicks off from the town of Marree and takes around two days to traverse. There’s a single supply stop at Mungerannie, around 300 clicks outta Birdsville.
If you time your trip around September, you can take in the spectacle of the infamous Birdsville Races. Otherwise make sure to knock back a couple of coldies at the Birdsville Hotel, and sample a curried camel pie from the only bakery in town.
MORE INFO www.outbackqueensland.com.au
THE RED CENTRE
The dead centre of Australia is home to a surprisingly rich range of geological and cultural sites.
The West MacDonnell Ranges on the outskirts of Alice Springs are drop dead gorgeous, and you’ll want to tie in visits to Kings Canyon, Uluru and Kata Tjuta.
All of the above geological formations are visually stunning and of deep importance to local indigenous peoples as well as pilgrims of the road. You can’t help but feel the ancient heartbeat of the continent when enveloped in the majesty of these landscapes.
The Red Centre Way is a sealed loop road that connects all the highlights of the Red Centre and allows you to plot out a course for a weeklong adventure through these parts.
MORE INFO www.australia.com
The Oodnadatta is a surprisingly well-maintained gravel track that cuts a 617km slash through the deepest South Australian outback from Marree northwest to Marla.
The route follows an ancient Aboriginal trade route and runs largely parallel to the Old Ghan Railway.
Must-see pitstops along the iconic Oodnadatta include the famed Pink Roadhouse, Lake Eyre South, Coward Springs and, if you’ve got the time, it’s absolutely worth making a detour to lock eyes on the gorgeous Painted Desert.
MORE INFO www.traveloutbackaustralia.com
Cutting a swathe through the mostly flat channel country between Lyndhurst and Innamincka, the Strzelecki Track presents a straightforward driving experience that diverts visitors through truly remote outback landscapes.
The 457km route is navigable for 2WD vehicles through the dry season, although visitors should absolutely be self-sufficient and prepared to be contronted with the place’s singular vastness.
The northern endpoint at Innamincka is within range of a sidetrip to Coongie Lakes, while the southern boundary of the route is within cooee of the mighty Flinders Ranges.
MORE INFO www.hemamaps.com