Outback is known for its Aboriginal people and ancient, vast landscapes, which makes it too special for me and for All Over Traveler. If you ask me, then I think that once you have gone through that distinctive red dust in your blood then it never makes its place out.
From a very young age, I had a connection of my roots with the rural areas of western Queensland, I have always been captivated by the never-ending expanse of inland Australia. For the time that I remember, our family would take road trips to the family-run cattle station, and I always experienced a great sense of adventure and wonder in my nerves. Into the Outback, you can have your travel scheduled for days in any direction and also stumble across different places that are untouched, unique, and rarely visited by someone. I remember I fell in love with the bush, the landscape, and the people while I was on these early trips. And, since then, I haven’t stopped venturing back.
Drawn to wide open, remote spaces, to the desolate and the dusty, I realized that there exists numerous, and countless unique rocky crops as well as ridges that are yet to explore. From the rugged, weathered peaks as well as the dramatic rocky gorges found in the Flinders Ranges of South Australia, to the arid and ancient regions of Kimberly and Pilbara in Western Australia, to the red center and the most famous monolith of Australia, Uluru – it not only is the sheer size of the Outback that is there astounding, but it also serves as a home to some of the most untouched and spectacular landscapes of the world. Over the past few years, I have been lucky to film, photograph, and fly over such regions – in light aircraft, and with drones,
Deeply entwined with the landscape itself are the musical, artistic, and spiritual traditions that are served and catered by the Indigenous Australians that serve among the longest surviving cultural traditions in human history. If we look back in history then around 30,000-70,000 years ago, before the European colonization that came to threaten as well as profoundly disrupt many of the Aboriginal communities, the arrival of the first inhabitant of Australia was from the north, and this made them amongst the world’s earliest mariners. They had spread throughout the landmass, making a survival through the harsh climatic conditions of the Last Glacial Maximum.
There also lies the East and West MacDonnell Ranges, which are also known as the Macs, while you run in parallel ridges to the west and east of Alice Springs, through the Red Centre of Australia. As per the imagination of most people, the Outback is completely flat, but the range of these mountains or these mountains run for about more than 600 kilometers, and they in place reach heights of over 15,00 meters. Macs were formed around 300-350 million years ago, faulting, folding, and erosion since then have shaped the Macs to now form numerous gorges and gaps, and they also contain many areas of cultural significance. If you see those from the air, their intricate and undulating rock formations are so spectacular.
Many people also get surprised by the weather patterns in the Outback. While then envisaged as a uniformly arid area, the regions of Outback stretch from the northern Australian coastlines to the southern Australian coastlines, and further encompass numerous climate zones that include monsoonal and tropical climates in the northern areas and the temperate climates in the southerly regions. Sometimes, dramatic thunderstorms and dust storms roll in, which soaks up the dry ground and often cause flash flooding, If you get to witness these storms then it serves you as an incredible experience.
Giving out the reflection of its wide geological and climatic variation, several distinctive and ecologically-rich ecosystems are contained by the Outback, along with the different well-adapted animals, like the red kangaroo, dingo, and the emu, which often are hidden in the bushed to keep cool during the heat of the day. Outback serves as a home to many important endemic species and is also recognized as one of the remaining, intact natural areas held on Earth.
Cockburn Range is found in the Kimberly region which is a magnificent sandstone escarpment rising for 600 meters above the surrounding planes. Shaped like a vast fortress with orange cliffs towering around, many rivers have cut through the formation to the steep-sided gorges. If you are flying above the Range at sunset, at times when the western face is lit up with a brilliant red glow, there reveals another of the ancient and epic landscapes of the Outback.
The Outback of South Australia and its geology is no less dramatic, and it lies among the weathered, rugged peaks and rocky gorges of the Flinders Ranges, in 1946 some of the oldest fossil evidence of animal life was discovered in the Ediacara Hills. Since then, similar fossil evidence is found in the Ranges, but their locations are kept a closely guarded secret for protecting these unique sites.
While this is last but it certainly is not the least, Western Australia’s spectacular Pilbara region is, therefore, to be discussed here. Stretching over a vast landscape of almost more than 500000 square kilometers in Western Australia’s north, it also serves as a home to the rock formations of the Earth’s oldest, dating back an impressive two billion years.
Sometimes when you see it from the air, parts of Pilbara resemble some other planet. Yet the yellows and greens of the acacia trees, the drought-resistant Triodia spinifex grasses, and the hardy shrubs- contrasting so spectacularly with the brilliant ochre and orange of the land itself which then reminds all of us of the life that could be flourished and adapted even in the most challenging conditions.
It is to be catered that culturally, outback regions of Australia will always have a deeply ingrained role in the heritage of our country, its history, as well as its folklore.