Tag Archives for outback

05Jun2011

The Emptiest Landscapes on Earth

Namib desert satellite view via Wikimedia Commons

Looking for solitude? Drama? Isolation? Some of the world’s wildest places are more accessible than ever before. From deserts to steppe to swathes of frozen ice, here are some places to get far, far from the madding crowd, and wow your mind with beauty… 1: Antarctica The only continent on which humans have never lived […]

18Jan2011

Going Nuclear in the Outback

little fluffy clouds across an Outback sky

The Outback majors on crazy towns. Tiny communities, stranded in an inland sea of sand and scrub, hundreds of miles from anywhere. Yet even after the Martian landscape of Coober Pedy, Woomera, South Australia, is pretty special. Woomera sits on the edge of a bona fide nuclear wasteland: the Woomera Prohibited Zone, a landscape more […]

12Jan2011

10 Things to Know before Driving Outback Australia

big truck carrying industrial machinery in outback australia

1: Farmers Don’t Like Pulling Your Camper Out of Their Road Outback Australia is a great place to drive a 4WD. If you know how to do it. When a road says “4WD only” it means: “only for drivers of high clearance 4WDs who know how to use a 4WD in different grades on different […]

07Jan2011

The Craziest Town on the Planet?

spaceship in red desert, coober pedy, south australia

Arriving in Coober Pedy, in the South Australian outback, is like landing on another planet. Not just because the place has stood in for Mars in many a movie and almost outclassed Tina Turner in Mad Max III. Not just because of the crazy pits and slagheaps which dot the barren red landscape. This place… […]

04Dec2010

Seeing Stars in the Outback

The curving edges of Wilpena Pound, a gigantic geological depression.

Weather doesn’t get more biblical than droughts, floods and plagues of locusts. And that precise trifecta has hit the South Australian outback this summer. The great salt lakes, which sit dry for decades on end as brilliant mirrors of pinkish white, oscillate between aggressive blue and muted brown. The impossibly ancient mountains have turned from […]

02Dec2010

Oof! We’re in Australia…

Sign in the Australian outback, indicating that roads to and from Mount Hopeless are closed.

Like a lot of Londoners, I’ve always taken a sort of lugubrious, self-hating pride in coming from one of the world’s most expensive cities (third in 2008, seventeenth this year). Prices, in fact, along with national sporting failures, weather — the UK is currently in the annual winter paralysis induced by the kind of snow […]