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Often said to be located “beyond the Black Stump” out in the middle of the “Never-Never” (which for most Australians is everything beyond their own back fence), the immense Outback is as much an idea as it is a place. Marked by two main regions – the dry Red Center and the tropical Top End – it encompasses some of Australia’s most spectacular sights and experiences, including Uluru (Ayers Rock) and the rock formations of Kata Tjuta (Olgas).

Outback Cities and Regions

The Red Center

No trip to the Australian Outback is complete without venturing deep into the Red Center to Uluru – if only to see the colors change at sunrise. But there’s also the pioneering town of Alice Springs, the gorges of Watarrka National Park and Kings Canyon, as well as plenty of ancient Aboriginal sites to discover.

The Top End

Encompassing the city of Darwin and bordered by the Arafura Sea, the Top End stretches east to Arnhem Land and west to the Indian Ocean. This is Australia at its wildest and best – with enormous wetlands teeming with wildlife, amazing national parks such as Nitmiluk and Kakadu, and rivers that thunder into life with the coming of the wet season.

The Kimberley

In Australia’s far northwest, the Kimberley is often referred to as the world’s last great wilderness. Covering an expanse of almost 261,597 square miles it’s home to pristine white beaches, spectacular wildlife, immense gorges, and natural icons such as the Bungle Bungle Ranges.


The laidback city of Darwin is the gateway to the Top End. With more than 50 nationalities making up its 100,000-strong population, Australia’s most diverse city also boasts a magnificent harbor, great restaurants, bars and shops, and a famous weekly market at Mindil Beach.

Alice Springs

Encircled by a ring of mountains, this Outback oasis once played host to Afghan cameleers, drovers, and pioneers making the long journey from Darwin and Adelaide. Today, Alice Springs is the perfect base from which to access the Red Center.


Named after the daughter of John McDouall Stuart, the first European to successfully cross the Red Center (1860), Katherine is the jumping off point to Nitmiluk (Katherine Gorge) National Park. It also boasts the only set of traffic lights on the 900-mile stretch of Stuart Highway between Darwin and Alice Springs.

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