a VirtualTourist member
My wife and I are planning a trip to Australia (from our Navy base in Japan) in late May. For reasons of cost, we will be planning on flying into Sydney or Melbourne. While we are there, we would like to see some genuine outback. It doesn't make much sense to go to Australia and not see some outback. I know that no true outback is within a convenient drive of either city, but are there suggestions on a short trip (3-4 days) we could take to see outback and come back to either Sydney or Melbourne? We want to see REAL outback (whatever that may be considered). I don't think Ayer's Rock, Alice Springs or any of that cool stuff is feasible for this trip. We appreciate ANY tips.
Well From Sydney you could travel out to Dubbo....(the cross roads) and on to places such as Cobar which leads to Broken Hill (do not stop overnight in Wilcannia) or else head towards Bourke...you have heard of Back of Bourke no doubt....I have been to these places so can fill you in more if of interest. www.backobourke.com.au/
You could also look in The_Downunder_Mob for an overview of Australia and lots of info. [original VT link]
Another possibility is to fly into Melbourne and head up to Mildura (550 km) and go to the Walls of China and Mungo National Park (World Heritage Listed) visitmungo.com.au/short-walk...
From there head up to Broken Hill (watch the film Precilla Queen of the Desert to get an idea on the town and surrounds) and go onto Sydney from there.
All of the area I've described is outback. Please note I have been to Mildura many times but never got to Broken Hill of Mungo.
I guess you realize where-ever you choose to go and see the outback, it is going to be quite a long distance from the capital cities, probably around 700kms or more one way.
A very different outback town, is Lightning Ridge where the World's largest deposit of Black opal is mined, this is really outback. Check out this link to see what its like. [original VT link]
Narrabri and Mt. Kaputar is a must. A drive up the mountain is not for the faint hearted, but the views are wonderful! [original VT link] Moree is where where the hot artesian spas are, you can go and soak in them [original VT link] The above two you can visit on the way to Lightning Ridge.
As Sirgaw mentioned, Broken Hill is outback and worth visiting too. [original VT link]
You can actually fly to Yulara - which is the airport for Uluru (Ayer's Rock) - would that be a possibility during your trip?
Thanks for all the advice! We are looking at a few different things. Right now we are looking at flying into Uluru or Alice Springs and driving from one to the other. Realizing how expensive Australia is.....
Lightning Ridge is a good idea as a close friend lived there for years mining for opals and the stories he tells make me want to visit. Ayers Rock is too touristy and money orientated for me, so i would suggest taking in Port Augusta and driving up to Coober Pedy but again this involves a lot of travel---12 hrs Melbourne-Port Augusta and a few hours more to Coober Pedy but i think it is worth it!!!
Lightning Ridge has some very interesting people living there. The local swimming pool was build because one father was sick and tired to drive to the next place for his daughter's swimming lessons. He pushed, nagged, involved, incited and seduced the whole community and now they have topnotch modern swimming olympic size swimming pool built by the community.
This little story was told to me by a lovely lady from exactly that place I met in a Hanoi cooking class. She also mentioned that if you go and visit the place, everyone will be so thrilled to have visitors, that they will "fight" to have you over. Sounds like a lovely place to me.
We have driven from near Adelaide to Alice Springs and then from Alice Springs across the Plenty Highway into Queensland if you want any information on that part of Australia.
We have also driven to Lightening Ridge and across to the Pacific Highway in Northern NSW.....and also south to Gunnedah and through some of the alternative routes south towards Dubbo, Newcastle and Sydney.as well.
It all depends on which places you choose and the time frame. I am sure all members here will help with more details once you select from the choices.
May should be ideal
From Melbourne there is an excellent tour company that does a walkabout. We used them and they were a highlight of our trip. They took us into preserves where others cannot go. They knew the answers to our questions. There are different trips for different amounts of days. Here is my page on them. [original VT link]
Broken Hill might be a good option- have a look at this website, it gives you choices of how to get there. brokenhillaustralia.com.au/a...
Broken Hill is probably the closest/easiest place to visit "real outback". It is a 2-day drve from Sydney, via Dubbo, with the alternative route through Mildura to Melbourne. You can also fly there, or go there on the Indian Pacific train. Anything closer to Sydney or Melbourne is probably not outback.
If you want to see any of the outback here in Oz then 3-4 days really isn't enough time. We caravaned around Australia in 1995, it took us 6 months and we drove 27,000 kms and that was only around the coast, so going somewhere in the outback for just for a few days might be a bit too much. But saying that you can fly into Uluru (Ayres Rock) from either Melbourne or Sydney to see the rock which is definately worth seeing, but I would go to Karajini National Park in Western Australia, absolutely amazing scenery and gorges to climb down into and have a swim, this was our most favourite place that we went to on our trip and is truly outback, pitch black skies at night with millions of stars, I am pretty sure there is a tour company that you could do a tour with, I think I have seen it here on VT, you would probably have to fly into Karratha, Good luck and I hope where ever you end up in the outback you would have a good time.