As soon as you drive for 2 hours on the Stuart Highway you will experience, what the word Outback actually means. One long street that seems never-ending; an endless sky with no single cloud; red soil and some golden grasses; not one single tree that would spend you some shadow; white salt lakes that express the dryness at its glance and blazing sun showing no mercy. Australia is one of the least populated countries in the world and you can feel that with no doubt when driving through the outback. There is literally nothing out there. Once in a while you will see another car or truck on the street, a small petrol station before the tank hits the red end of the fuel indicator or some cows on the field – but that’s all. Doing this road trip was like an emotional roller coaster. On the one side you can feel damn lonely and isolated, also there was always some fear that something could happen (like a breakdown) and no one is around to help you and you couldn’t even call someone as you don’t have phone service most of the time. On the other side it feels like you can press the “reset button”, have a break from life, and see everything from a far distance. You’ll have a lot of time for self reflection and on top you will do a social media detox. Honestly I couldn’t imagine a better start to begin a new year with such a special trip. Franz Kafka once said “Isolation is a way to know ourselves.” – Well, I couldn’t bring it better on point than these words.
Reason and preparation for our Outback Trip
Ok dears, as mentioned, the trip was something very special for me. It all started when we hang around in Adelaide after New Years Eve and we knew we start our job in mid January in Queensland. So which way should we travel back? Of course we decided the unknown route via Alice Springs and Uluru through the Outback. Without much time to overthink the whole trip, we planned the main stops, figured out the petrol stations along the way, stocked up our water resources, got the car checked by an mechanical and started our way to the middle of nowhere. January is probably not the best time to do this trip and with 46 degrees and no aircon in the car it was quite challenging, but we made it and had a very good time! For all of you which plan a similar trip, find a quick summary of my travel tips below.
The beauty of the Australian Outback
Even the landscape looks quite the same all the time, it is very beautiful and I will never forget those wide and endless views. You will see a lot of cows along the way, but also lizzards, eagles and emus. There was one very impressive moment when we drove along the highway and a huge eagle was catching a snake very close to the street and fly away with it. Also the night sky is amazing. All these stars on an endless sky is breathtaking.
Of course the highlight on our trip was Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock and one of THE places in Australia. As always, I was very excited if such a famous place could meet my expectations, but it was really not disappointing. After 1.340 km we finally reached the Lasseter Highway, which leads you to Yulara and Uluru. On your way you will see this huge and beautiful “Mount Conner” in a far distance and for short moment you are not sure whether this is the famous Ayers Rock even the form does not fit your imagination and google maps* will show it somewhere else. It’s a very huge but flat Rock which dominates the flat area around it. It’s definitely worth a stop and enjoy the view, even you are not allowed to visit the mountain as it is on private property. When you keep going you will finally notice this huge red rock appearing at the horizon, its so stunning. Especially when the rock is spotlighted by the evening sun, it will shine in such an intense colour. It’s kind of magical. We watched the sunset and had some melted camembert for dinner 🙂 It was really impressive. Even the car park in the Nationalpark is quite busy for sunset watching, it was beautiful and there is enough space and calm to fully enjoy it. Due to the heat it was not possible to do walks along and through the Rock itself, but we walked a bit around and it was beautiful anyway. As it was not the main season there were only a few people so we could enjoy this wonder of nature. But let the pictures speak…
A spiritual experience
When driving through the desert on empty streets, day by day and hour by hour, you will have many thoughts. You notice what your are missing and somehow you think deeper about life and the purpose of it. It sounds a bit spirituell, I know that for sure. But this trip was kind of an spiritual adventure. While you miss things like a fridge, an aircon, a fresh ocean breeze or just the fact having people around you and feel more socialised, you also notice how good it is to spend time with yourself, have space and freedom to let your thoughts wander around and also to deal with them. So what this journey taught me, is to take more time for myself and be more aware of my inner feelings, use my free time to do things that makes me happy and that are good for me. All these things might not be new, but sometimes you need a certain experience to see it more clearly, right? I guess that’s what’s happened to me. So we can conclude that the trip was more than just a “I can strike it from my bucket list”-trip, but more an enrichment for myself. I think each trip is teaching us something and inspire us. So what was your last trip teaching you? Would be happy about your thoughts about that in the comments below.
Travel tips for a road trip through the Australian Outback:
- Plan your trip in advance and check where to sleep and where are petrol stations along the route. Make sure, your car will make the distances between each petrol station, otherwise buy an extra fuel canister.
- Always take water with you. It’s getting very hot and you will drink much more than usual. Also in case you have a breakdown, you should have enough water.
- As mentioned, you don’t have phone connection for most of the time. In case you wanna be on the safe side, buy a satellite phone in case of an emergency or breakdown, specially when you plan to drive off-road.
- You will drive for hours each day, to make your trips more enjoyable, I highly recommend to download some audio books. It’s a perfect way to spend so much time in the car.
- Check weather forecast every day to make sure the streets your are planning to take free and there is no flooding and anything else.
- If you have the choice, I would not recommend to do this trip during the Australian Summer time (Dec – Feb). However this trip is totally doable. In case you will also make the outback trip during the hot summer time, I recommend to start driving at 6am until 12am. After 1pm it’s getting too hot and when you have no Aircon, its getting too hot. For the hot nights I would also recommend to book a room with aircon, sleeping in the car with Over 30 degrees during the night can be really hard and you should get enough sleep as you probably drive fro 4-8 hours a day.
- Don’t drive during the night. Most accidents are due to animals on the street at nighttime, thats very risky and dangerous.
- it might be, that some people pretend a breakdown, make people stop and then rob you, so be careful and think twice whether you stop. Of course you should be help other people in such an situation, but we saw one of those people once and you could see it’s not an actual breakdown. So listen to your feeling and be careful.
♥ The end ♥