Desert flowers and red dust

There’s no better way to appreciate the sheer scale of the Australian outback than driving the dusty roads to the the red heart of the country.

Making the most of the cooler months, we followed the old dirt highways that follow the tracks of colonial explorers – from Queensland, heading ‘beyond the black stump’, down on the Srzelecki track to the rugged outback ranges, mining towns and salt lakes of South Australia, then up on the Oodnadatta track to Uluru and Kings Canyon in the Northern Territory, before turning back again on the Plenty and Donahue Highways along ‘the world’s longest shortcut’ – a dirt road cutting for a straight 500km across the outback.

Travelling just after rare winter rains, we were lucky to see the surreal sight of the desert in bloom with wildflowers, and camped out on cold nights under blazing stars, encountering wild camels and emu, kangaroo and dingoes.

Along the way, we hiked the canyons, fossicked Opal and Garnets from ancient river beds, explored the ruins of old ghost towns, and
watched the unforgettable spectacles of dawn and sunset on Uluru.

A journey that left us with unforgettable memories of long dirt roads, the smell of desert campfires, evening light on wild and rugged country, and red dust in places we’ll never get it out of.

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