The Outback is the vast heartland of Australia. It includes places of exquisite beauty and wildness. It is an area of extremes, alternately lush and bountiful, harsh and inhospitable. The people and land of the Outback embody much that is most distinctive and characteristic of Australia. Yet while the Outback is quintessentially Australian, it is also a place of international...Read More
'Purtari' (the wilderness)
Western Desert Language
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The Essential Australian Outback
The Outback is a place that inspires myths, poets, artists and writers. It’s one of those places that everyone knows something about, and many people dream of visiting.
It’s a place that many people associate with vast open spaces, freedom, Aboriginal people and a deep spirituality.
And let’s not forget: red dirt and flies!
But where is the Outback really?
Lots of people say that the Outback is anywhere outside of the main cities in Australia.
Some people try to tell you that Darwin or Kakadu are in the Outback! Our Darwin friends laugh when they hear this – Darwin is in the tropics, in what’s known by locals as the Top End.
The term Outback came about in the 19th Century. It was used to refer to places that were ‘out the back of X (insert a place name). A similar term is ‘back of beyond’. Basically, it’s somewhere inland in Australia, a long way from the sea.
The real truth is that exactly where the Outback is can be hard to define.
It’s many different things and places, depending on who you ask. The Outback symbolises remote desert places, red dirt and flies to many people.
To others, it’s a place of freedom and no restrictions, with continuous wide, open spaces, and where, unless you’re on a major highway, you can travel for hours without meeting another car.
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