With its iconic beaches and rugged interior, there’s nowhere quite like Australia.
The Australian outback draws visitors from all over the globe. It offers several well-known highlights (but hundreds of lesser known ones as well), unusual wildlife, and a barren beauty that is truly breathtaking.
Looking to experience an outback adventure in the land of Oz? Here are five top Australian outback destinations if you are planning campervan or car hire in Brisbane and heading off to explore New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia or the Northern Territory.
Broken Hill, NSW
Broken Hill is a mining centre in the far west of New South Wales, which offers picturesque landscapes, plenty of history and a taste of classic outback hospitality. This amazing destination was recognised for its historical significance to Australia in 2015 as the first Australian city to be added to the National Heritage List.
Visit more than 14 museums, including the Pro Hart Gallery and the Bruce Langford Visitors Centre at the Royal Flying Doctor Service. Go to the Living Desert Reserve for a fantastic view of the 12 famous sandstone sculptures framing the skyline. You can also gain an insight into the local Aboriginal culture.
The name Longreach didn’t come from this destination’s fair distance from any other town. Longreach is a reference to the length of the nearby Thomson River. The town was supposedly put on the map in the late 1800s by Captain Starlight, one of Australia’s most famous bushrangers, who stole a thousand head of cattle and herded them to South Australia.
Whether or not that’s true, the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame is one of Longreach’s main attractions. The Qantas Founders Museum is another. Travel out to Longreach by campervan and enjoy everything this welcoming outback town has to offer.
Coober Pedy, South Australia
Want to admire a view more than 80 million years in the making? Coober Pedy is the destination for you. It’s a historic opal-mining centre that should definitely be on your outback travel bucket list. In addition to the fabulous desert landscapes, it has one very peculiar twist which draws plenty of inquisitive visitors: a major part of the town is situated underground.
The story goes that ‘Coober Pedy’ is derived from the Aboriginal term ‘Kupa piti’, which is thought to mean ‘white man in a hole’. Join the locals and beat the searing heat by heading down underground!
Kakadu and the Kimberley, Northern Territory & Western Australia
The Northern Territory’s Top End and the Kimberley in far north Western Australia combine to offer access to many of Australia’s most iconic outback experiences. Many visitors choose to drive across the region from Darwin to Broome.
Kakadu National Park is one of the big highlights. This immense World Heritage-listed region boasts almost 20,000 square kilometres of ecological and biological diversity – from estuaries packed with wildlife to landscapes rich in Indigenous heritage. Here, you can view ancient rock art that dates back some 20,000 years. Experience a scenic flight during your visit.
Flinders Ranges, South Australia
The Flinders Ranges is another chance to experience the character and colour of outback Australia in all its glory. There’s an extensive array of adventures and activities to try here, including mountain biking, four-wheel driving, soaking in thermal springs, or simply taking innumerable photographs of the majestic scenery. The region also offers a rich Aboriginal heritage to delve into.
It’s time to start ticking off some of these top Australian outback campervan destinations. Remember to book campervan and car hire in Brisbane in advance. Booking early allows you to secure the van you want without having to compromise on features or wait in line.
This post was provided by DriveNow and edited by The Big Bus tour and travel guide.
Travelling through the Australian outback is an amazing experience, but it requires careful planning and preparation. Make sure you seek the advice of the relevant local authorities when arranging your trip.
Additional images: Bigstock