I love driving through Australia’s Red Centre; the orange earth contrasting brightly with the stark blue sky. You can drive for miles without seeing another vehicle, feeling as if you’re on intrepid adventure in a far off country, as opposed to driving through the middle of the one you currently live in.
If you keep your eyes peeled you might spot an few interesting things as you traverse Central Australia.
- Bright orange roads – some unsealed for over 100 kilometres and only suitable for off-road vehicles.
- The Vegemite tree – I always wondered where that strange tasting paste came from 🙂
- The lonely wayside inn – hundreds of kilometres from anywhere, Curtin Springs is a welcome sight on the drive from Uluru to Kings Canyon. The toilet may be full of moths (seriously – 1 fell on my toilet roll) but the bar is your chance to buy alcohol, fuel and a Golden Gaytime before driving for several hours more. Also take time to check out the decor in this place – the bar is filled with quirky memorabilia, quotes and details about the million+ acre, family-run farm that the Curtin Springs resort sits on.
- Have you been ‘Fuluru-ed?’ Mount Connor is known as Fuluru for its deceptive familiarity to its famous cousin Uluru/Ayers Rock. On my first visit to Uluru, which we drove to from Alice Springs, I fully fell for it. This time around I was much more aware of the differences between the two. Interestingly you can do helicopter rides over and onto Mount Connor, bookable via the good folk at Curtin Springs.
- Dry salt lakes – just behind the Mount Connor lookout is a sand dune, which will give you an incredible panoramic view of some of the dry salt lakes in the Red Centre. It’s mind-boggling to see all that white amongst the miles of orange.
- Protected land – some roads in the Northern Territory are not drivable without a permit from the Aboriginal land owners. If you plan to take the Mereenie Loop Road from Alice to Kings Canyon apply for an Aboriginal Land Pass in Alice Springs beforehand.
- Wildlife – or lack thereof. Despite there being a reported 750,000 camels roaming wild in the outback we came across not a single one. Not even a roo hopped into our path. It was a bit disappointing really.
- Signage – or lack thereof. The National Parks are well signposted but outside of that you just keep going straight in the hope it leads you somewhere with food and beds before nightfall.
- And finally you’ll see lots of floodways – which I don’t get at all. It looks like they haven’t seen water in years!
Have you ever spotted anything unusual on a drive through Australia’s Red Centre?
14 thoughts on “Unusual Things You Might See When Driving Through Australia’s Red Centre”
I think that for the rest of my life, that particular shade of bright orange will always take me back to Australia! There’s a lot of that around Broome where I’m living these days as well. Sorry to hear you didn’t see any animals — can’t believe even a wallaby didn’t pop up!
Ha me neither, I had my eyes peeled and everything! Can’t wait to visit Broome one day. I feel the same as you about the colour always reminding me of Australia.
Oh wow, I’ve never travelling around the centre of Australia (although I’m dying to!). It looks so beautiful – that red dirt, wow! Incredible, that doesn’t look like Australia to me.
Wayfare | Travel and Life Blog
It is so different from the coast isn’t it? Sometimes I felt like I was in Africa – or on Mars!!
I haven’t yet been to the red centre of Australia but we once came across an emu at some toilets in the northern territories,who was far too interested in us for me and my daughter to leave the car to go but my husband and son ran the gauntlet with it hot on their heels. It was really good fun! 🙂
Hahah what a brilliant and bizarre story. I’d be scared to get out of the car too 🙂
I can vouch for the floodways! On my second trip to Uluru, we were gifted with endless rain. Not only did we get to see Uluru streaked with rain, but Kata Tjuta had waterfalls everywhere. And you should have heard the thunder between the domes. As far as the floodways go… the roads were so badly flooded that Kings Canyon was shut down and we had to find a detour around the roads we couldn’t make it through! Incredible, frustrating, and memorable.
This is so interesting to hear as it’s so different to our experience. It sounds incredible though. I feel like I should go back and see it in the rain and you should have a chance to see it dry. (Or maybe you did first time around?!)
Yes! My first trip there was all sunshine and blue skies, which was also amazing. It took me a little while to get on board with the rain on my second trip– and it turned out to be even more memorable than the first. Two vastly different experiences in the same place. I wonder what my third visit (should I get the chance) will be like! 😉
What time of the year did were you there? I’m thinking of going sometime in 2016.
I’ve been in November and May which were both good times to go temperature wise. November had far less flies though!
Beautiful photos, the Mereenie Loop road is a stunning road to take. This really is the heart of Australia country ❤️
Thank you! Despite being terrified of all the creepy crawlies I do find this part of OZ completely magical.