Outback, there I go

Road_Train_Australia

My outback trip begins after few days spent in flooded Kakadu national park, close to Darwin.

Outback « Out in the back country » looks familar to me. Its orangey-red sand and famous « Ayers Rock » (Uluru for native australian) located in the middle of desert Simpson are already part of my mind.

Its crossing is a long drive, more or less 1860 miles (3000kms). You have many options to reach Adelaide (or Darwin depending on where you start)

I chose the minibus option with a travel agency. You’d better get along people you travel with. Otherwise, it can make the crossing even longer. You spend a lot of time in the minibus. The train will give you an unique experience.

If you decide to drive the Stuart Highway on your own, also called « The Track », please drive carefully. You would rather be 2 drivers to avoid from fatigue. Crossing the outback requires a strong ability to focus on the road. Animals are a constant threat. They won’t eat you but they also won’t check right and left before crossing the highway. Seeing they cover very spread out areas, rescues can take long sometimes.

If you have no car and don’t want to be part of a group, it does exist cheap way to drive the Track : camping-car deliverer. You have to drive the vehicule back to its original location. You have a couple of days. Be aware that you are responsible for any damage.

You‘d better be organized before speeding up on the Stuart highway.
With 15 other travellers, we are driving the Track in 6 days. It is short enough when you run out of time but really uncomfortable due to the long hours of driving. At least you have time to admire the landscape.

Don’t be surprised to cross road trains. Trucks with many trailers, they use  « the Track » to deliver goods. One of them is coming straight to us. I am impressed. The longest “powertrain or body and six” can attain six trailers. I imagine myself driving one, you must feel mighty. But forget about parking.

Sometimes, you drive along the railway used by the Ghan, named after the Afghan cameleers who once traversed this route. If you choose this mean of transport, you’ll need 3 days to reach Adelaide from Darwin. I wish I could have video sunset and sunrise outback from that mythic train.

Everybody wants to see Ayers Rock. Once you get to Uluru, you arenot as enthusiastic as you were imagining it. The landscape is amazing but we are too many tourists. They should regulate Ayers Rock access in order to preserve it.

I prefer to talk to you about the dingo fence. It takes me long before accepting it can measure more than 3293 miles (5300 kms). Initially built to prevent from rabbit plague, Australians finally used it to protect sheep against dingo.

You’ll end up with a stop in Coober Pedy. This town is  known for Opal extraction. People who live there are said weird.

Far away from everyting, you have to be brave to live there. The town is loosing popualion. Road trains traffic and opal mines business enable few shops to be run on the main road. The heat (122°F 50°C) forced inhabitants to build their houses underground.

Claustrophobic, don t go!

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