The Australian Outback covers most part of the country. It is not well limited; it starts in Queensland, on the east, occupies Northern Territory and goes all the way until Western Australia, on the west. Its identity lies on the red sand where there are plantations only in the wheat belt. The soil is impermeable and since it rains little in the summer, the vegetation is undergrowth and dry. This vegetation provides almost the entire weird bush tucker (all the food they eat) and medicines the aborigines need, like honeypot ants, bush tomatoes (a.k.a. desert raisins), witchetty grubs, antiseptic, sunscreen and many others.
Getting to know the desert is not an easy or cheap adventure. The undesirable flies, dry mouth, huge spiders and the chances of coming across the most poisonous snakes in the world are part of the deal. Besides, it is the land of extremes: negative temperatures at night and 50° C in the summer.
On the other hand, it is a privilege to understand the aborigines’ simple life, find an oasis that reminds us of the rainforest and enjoy that meaningful red view. Even the sky is different; it seems to be the shadow of the Earth leaving a reddish purple trail behind.
Since there is no public transport, the only options are: a) pay big money on tours or b) have a 4×4 pickup truck. If you choose to go with your own car, you need to be adventurous and have the right equipment; many die for not planning well and for not being careful.
Keep a bottle of water and sunscreen with you, at all times. In case you do not know if water will be available along the way, make sure you have 3 liters/day. Dehydration and sunburnt is what most harms people in the Outback.
From April to October you avoid hot weather, and some places to visit are closed when it is too hot.
Translated by Lúcia Maciel
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