The Australian Outback is a fascinating, mysterious and beautiful part of the country. Although the Outback region encompasses massive parts of the Northern Territory, Western Australia, South Australia, Queensland, and the north-western corner of New South Wales, this area is home to less than 5% of Australia’s entire population. Even though the Outback is sparsely populated, tourism is a major industry in this region. Adventure travel and nature-based experiences are particularly popular in the Outback thanks to the incredible wildlife and natural sceneries that can be enjoyed in peace and quiet.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in the Australian Outback? This guide is for you!
Where is the Australian Outback?
The Australian Outback is one of the most remote and sparsely populated regions of Australia. Spanning over five million square kilometres, the Outback covers more than 70% of the Australian landmass. There are several different definitions of which areas are precisely included in the Outback, although it typically refers to the arid regions surrounding Central Australia. For many people, mention of the Outback conjures up images of desert landscapes reaching as far as the eye can see. The Outback however includes a variety of climatic zones, including the tropical and monsoonal parts in the north and the semi-arid and temperate climates in the south.
The Outback has a significant Indigenous heritage history and remains an important site for Aboriginal communities. The Outback is also home to a diverse ecosystem of Australian plant and animal species. Indigenous wildlife such as red kangaroos and dingoes along with a wide variety of birds and insects reside in the Outback, having adapted to the extreme climates throughout the year.
Why do so few people live in the Australian Outback?
The total population of the Australian Outback is estimated to be under one million. The majority of Australia’s population resides in the coastal areas surrounding Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast. The proximity to beaches, shops, universities, working opportunities and international airports adds to the appeal of living in these parts of the country. In short, the Outback makes for an isolated and remote place to live, removed from all the action and convenience associated with Australia’s coastal capital cities. Of course, some people may argue that the isolated nature of the Outback is the biggest advantage of living here!
The pros of living in the Australian Outback
- Beautiful sceneries. The Outback is known for its picture-perfect sunrises and sunsets illuminating the deserts and woodlands. The Outback is home to the world’s largest remaining areas in natural condition for three global biomes, including tropical and subtropical grasslands, scrublands and savannas, deserts and xeric shrublands, and Mediterranean-type forests and woodlands.
- Incredible natural sites to explore. Adventurous travellers will have an amazing time exploring the Outback. From the stunning water sceneries at Mitchell Falls to the breathtaking rock formations in the Flinders Range, you are guaranteed to experience nature like nowhere else in the world!
● Indigenous history and culture. With nearly 20% of the Outback’s population being Indigenous, this is one of the most important heritage and cultural sites for Aboriginal communities in Australia. Further to this, more than 150 Indigenous languages are spoken in the Outback.
- Diverse animal life. The low population rates in the Outback are highly advantageous for the wellbeing of plant and animal life. Wildlife thrives in the Outback and is respected by residents to go about their lives in peace.
- One-of-a-kind tourist attractions. From underground hotels to ghost towns and dystopian movie sets to explore, the Outback offers travel and holiday experiences that you will remember for the rest of your life.
- Ultimate peace and quiet. While the region’s remoteness may be on the con list for some, others will love the silence that is found in the Outback. If you want to unplug and recharge without any noisy distractions, a trip to the Outback is just what you need.
- Endless road trip adventures. If you’re craving a long road trip and camping mission, the Outback offers plenty of 4WD adventures winding through kilometres of quiet roads and beautiful sceneries. Many visitors even opt to embark on a van life trip for a couple of weeks to make the most out of the Outback’s remote natural beauty.
The cons of living in the Australian Outback
- Extreme climate The Outback is notorious for its extreme temperatures with summers getting as hot as 40 degrees and winter nights dropping far below zero. The Outback gets some rain throughout the year, although the climate can be a massive shock for those who aren’t used to these scorching weather conditions.
- Isolated from the rest of Australia. As mentioned earlier, the Outback is a remote region with little connection to the country’s coastal capitals. This means that shops, schools, doctors and other necessities are often hours away.
As you can see, the cons list is much shorter than the pros list! The Outback isn’t for everyone, but it is well worth exploring. If you’re feeling up for the heat and limited human interaction, make sure the Outback is on your list of places to travel to in 2022.