Outback

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ShermansTravel experts rely on years of collective travel experience to bring you the best money-saving tips for your vacation. We take a discerning look at all the attraction passes, public transportation options, and other local bargains to make sure you get the most bang for your buck while traveling.

Outback Money-Saving Tips

Cool Off at an Outback Pub

Nothing epitomizes the spirit of the Outback more than a local pub. This is where you’ll discover the soul of a town; where you’ll find “fair dinkum” (real) Australians who’ll share their stories and call you a “cobber” (friend).

Sleep Outside

Do as the locals do and sleep out under a galaxy of stars in a “swag” (traditional Aussie bed roll) set beside a fire in an uncovered camp site. www.camping.com.au

Put your Back into It

Immerse yourself in the Outback experience on a working cattle or sheep station (ranch) where you can join in mustering, shearing, whip cracking, horse riding, and cooking a meal or two around the campfire while watching the “billy” (large tin can) boil. www.australianfarmtourism.com.au

Outback Style

Fashion yourself in the style of Outback stockmen and women (cowboys) with a uniquely Australian Akubra hat, Drizabone jacket, Blundstone boots and dungarees from iconic Australian retailer R.M. Williams. www.rmwilliams.com.au

Dine Under the Stars

Eat dinner in the desert – under the stars of the Southern Cross and in the shadow of Uluru – with the Sounds of Silence dinner experience at Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. Complete with white tablecloths and silver service, you’ll enjoy a delicious meal followed by a “guided tour of the heavens” with a resident astronomer. www.ayersrockresort.com.au/sounds-of-silence

Get Arty

Join Aboriginal artists in the cultural center at Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park and create a dot painting (like an Aboriginal version of pointillism). The center also offers “bush tucker” (native Australian food found in the bush) sessions, plant walks, and cultural presentations.  www.environment.gov.au/parks/uluru/vis-info/cultural-centre.html

Bush Basics

Australia’s National Parks are protected areas and it is an offense to remove or disturb any plants, animals, and natural features. This includes breaking branches for swatting flies and writing or etching names on rocks or trees.

Never Smile at a Crocodile

Be alert to the dangers posed by crocodiles, which inhabit rivers, swamps and billabongs throughout the Top End. Swim only where recommended and observe warning signs.

Cultural Permits

The Outback is home to most of Australia’s 200,000 Aborigines. Travelers require permits when visiting some Aboriginal lands and need to observe rules regarding alcohol restrictions. www.clc.org.au/permits

Outback Driving

Australia’s Outback can be very unforgiving. So if you do go exploring by yourself, take plenty of water and fuel and let people know your itinerary.

Flying Doctors

The callout area for the doctors of the Royal Flying Doctor Service, which provides medical emergency and healthcare services for people in regional and remote Australia, is 2.7 million square miles – around four-fifths of the Australian continent!

Beer-can Regatta

One of the Outback’s quirkiest events takes place each year on the third Saturday in September, when a flotilla of vessels built from discarded beer cans races on the dry bed of the Todd River, in what is known as the Henley-on-Todd Regatta.

Consider a Hostel Stay

Hostels are the best, least expensive housing options almost everywhere you go, and an increasing number offer free breakfast. If you're staying a while in one place, speak with the manager about cleaning for your room - you'll clean house for a few hours in exchange for free boarding.

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