Holidays,  Travel

Family Road Trip through the Australian Outback

King's Canyon, Northern Territory

For the first year that I can remember our children had no chocolate on Easter Sunday!  Instead they spent the school holidays on a whistle stop 8,000 kilometer Road Trip through the Australian Outback. At the beginning of April we packed up our camping gear (along with plenty of DVDs for entertainment on the road) and set off to see a bit more of this vast country. Now that we’re back to civilisation (and how lovely does that feel!) I thought I would share just a few moments from our journey with you…


Australian Outback Road

This is an absolutely massive country. There are lots of fantastic and interesting places to visit, but with hours and hours of absolutely nothing to see inbetween

(with 3 teenagers on board the DVDs came in very useful!).

To give you an idea, the longest stretch we drove without seeing another vehicle was 20 minutes and the longest stretch of completely straight road was 75 kilometers!

Sunset at Lake Maraboon near Emerald

At the end of the day there were some beautiful sunsets – including this one at Emerald in outback Queensland.  (My daughter and I had to sprint from the campsite down to the lake, cameras in hand, just in time to capture the moment. Definitely worth making the effort though – it really was very magical.)

Dinosaur bones near Winton, Queensland

A remarkable collection of dinosaur bones made the trip to Winton very worthwhile. I’ve never been particularly interested in dinosaurs, but a tour of the laboratory there was fascinating. (This is a picture of all the bones that have been discovered in the area so far and are waiting to be painstakingly cleaned.)

This brings me on to flies!!! …

Travelling in April also meant we saw more than our fair share of them. Something we could have done without (although recent rain did mean there were fewer than there had been). Fortunately we had been warned about the flies so came armed with the essential fly nets (and needless to say mossie spray to ward away our evening visitors!).

Flies in the Australian Outback!

Fly nets - often an essential in the Australian outback!

Along the way as well as kangaroos, enormous birds of prey and the occasional dingo we saw Countless road trains – some of which were so wide they took up the entire width of the road!

Australian Road Train

And yes, what visit to the Red Centre would be complete without trips to…

King's Canyon, Northern Territory

… King’s Canyon…

(a last minute 400 kilometer detour to our route, but worth every minute – it is simply spectacular) …

The Devil's Marbles in Outback Australia

…The Devil’s Marbles…


… and of course sunset at Uluru.

During our travels we have stayed in lots of campsites, met some interesting people and visited a variety of roadhouses along the way.

Outback campsite at Longreach
Outback campsite – Longreach

Many of these are separated by 80 or more kilometers from their nearest neighbours. Some were very basic, others were warm and welcoming with excellent food too.

It’s been a bit of a whistle stop tour of the outback, but great to see.

I leave you with this one question –

Should I apologise to my children for not giving them chocolate on Easter Sunday?

P.S. If you’re interested there’s some more school holiday inspiration for you here.