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About the Outback

You can’t come to Australia and not head out bush and experience the outback. Cairns is a great starting point for outback exploration, especially during the June- November dry season, when temperatures are comfortable and rainfall is rare in the outback regions.

You can get a taste of the outback in just a day, but if you have the time take longer, and get a better sense of the place. The wildlife is unique and even abundant if you know where and how to look. The people that make their lives here are as close to pioneers as you can find anywhere.

Keep in mind that the norther half of Australia is subject to a rainy season from January to April, which can make outback travel by vehicle difficult during those months.

How to get there.
From Cairns just head West or North, and in less than an hour’s drive, the country becomes increasingly drier and more empty. Thick rainforests give way to eucalypt forests, savannahs, and grasslands crossed by meandering rivers. Baseball caps give way to wide felt Akubra hats, and bitumen roads give way to dirt tracks.





Some ways to head out bush:

Guided one-day trips.

There are small number of trips that take you out into the dry country and back. It's a long day, but worth it that's all the time your have.

Staying at cattle stations
If you have a couple of days, and want to get a feel for rural Australian lifestyles this is an excellent way to get outback. There are several cattle stations that take vistiors, one Mt. Mulligan Station, even runs a 4WD shuttle between Cairns and the station, making visits simple.

Multi-day outback safaris
These range from 3-60 days in length, and are an outstanding way to get out bush. The transportation, food, and itinerary are taken care of, and the guides will both explain what you are seeing, and make sure you stay safe. Cairns is one of Australia's safari centers, with lots of choices. Check out this index of outback adventures to see what's available.

Rent or buy a 4wd
If you ready to make your own adventure you mght consider hiring or buying a four wheel drive vehicle and making your own adventure. Be sure to plan your trip well, you don't want to end up as a "lost out bush" news story or worse. That said, if you stick to the more well travelled tracks, stock your vehicle well, and drive carefully you should have a great time.

Four Wheel Drive Hire Service rents four wheel drives of all kinds, some including full camping gear.

You can also buy a used four wheel drive vehicle from local car dealiers in town, and we also see them for sale by their owners along the Esplanade in Carins.