Outback, Australia

Another highlight of Australia that I didn’t want to miss was central Australia and the Northern Territory. The majority of Australia is desert so I felt strongly about visiting while I was in this part of the world even though it’s way off the beaten path. Unlike the US where people live throughout the entire country, 85% of the population of Australia lives along the coast with only 15% in the middle of the country. That’s saying something for a country that is about 79% the size of the US. The majority of the country is desert and unpopulated, known commonly as the Outback.

It was an expensive excursion. For one week it cost me $2000 and everything was very basic. Here is the price breakdown:

  • Flight from Sydney to Alice Springs on Qantas Airlines $615 – pretty expensive for a short 3 hour domestic flight
  • Hotel in Alice Springs for two nights $180 – private hostel room at the YHA with shared bathrooms
  • Shuttle to and from the airport with Emu Run Experience $40
  • 4-day Uluru to Kings Canyon Adventure with Intrepid Travel $1100 – Camping with very basic facilities. Breakfast and lunch were included but they were also basic. Cereal/toast for breakfast and sandwiches every day for lunch. If you don’t eat meat sandwiches aren’t a great option so that was rough. We had dinner at the one restaurant in town which wasn’t very good and didn’t have many vegetarian options.

I enjoyed this tour because I got to interact with the aboriginal population more (which I hadn’t up until this point) and I got to learn more about their sacred sites. I loved being off the grid so it was worth it in my opinion.

On day one of the tour we drove 3.5 hours to Kings Canyon from Alice Springs. We stopped for a picnic lunch at this spot. Beautiful desert landscape but no bathrooms! We had to go in the wild. Thankfully I didn’t see one snake or spider while in the outback.
Campsite at Kings Canyon. We had some dingos (wild dogs) hanging around our campsite.
Two people per tent. We had cots to sleep on but we had to bring our own pillow and sleeping bag. I borrowed both from Clare.
Met a fellow solo traveler named Lauren from the UK. She is living with her brother in Perth, Australia for the year. The flies were so bad we bought these nets to put around our heads! They go right for your face, mouth, eyes, etc. It was really gross. They sell these at the general stores in this area.

Kings Canyon

Hiking Kings Canyon. So stunning.

Fossilized water ripples. The center of Australia was an inland sea 65 million years ago.
Little desert oasis.
Looks like Mars!

We visited a local aboriginal museum. This woman is making jewelry from seeds and beans.

Camping under the stars!


After Kings Canyon we drove another 3.5 hours to Uluru. A sacred indigenous site for the Pitjantjatjara people. It is a UNSECO World Heritage site and has springs, watering holes, rock caves, and ancient paintings all around it. People settled in this area more than 10,000 years ago.

Sunset picnic at Uluru.

We met with another aboriginal woman at Uluru who explained the Dreamtime stories and why Uluru is a sacred site to her people.
Ancient cave paintings dating back thousands of years.
Group photo

Kata Tjuṯa

After Uluru we drove 40 minutes to the site of Kata Tjuta another sacred site to the aboriginal people of Australia. A lot of the sacred stories are not shared with outsiders, and we didn’t have a native guide for this site.

I loved the landscape scenery here, it was unlike anything I’ve ever seen.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.