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Dusk on Finke Road  | tensaibuta/Flickr
Dusk on Finke Road | tensaibuta/Flickr

8 Cool Ways to Explore the Australian Outback

Picture of Alice Duffield
Updated: 28 August 2017
The trusty four-wheel drive is perfect for most outback adventures in Australia, but sometimes you need to step out of the air-conditioned comfort. Here are eight fabulous alternatives that’ll certainly give you a tale to tell when you arrive back home.

By Camel

Need a companion on your outback trek? How about a 2m tall, 600kg, lumbering camel to keep you company? Australian Camels offer camel-shepherding treks into the heart of the Flinders Ranges in South Australia. Although the camel won’t carry you, they will carry everything you need for your multi-night hike, including swag, food, clothes and more.

Camels in the Outback
Camels in the Outback | NeilsPhotography/Flickr

By Helicopter

Don’t let the lack of roads hold you back from the incredible gorges, thermal springs, waterfalls and more in the Kimberley. Jump in a helicopter at El Questro station for a chance to see some truly unique sights in and around Cockburn Range, all without working up a sweat.

By Airboat

The outback isn’t all dust and dirt. When it comes to the floodplains of the Mary River, the four-wheel drive simply won’t cut it. To search for crocodiles and water birds between the melaleuca trees in these beautiful wetlands, the safest and most exhilarating option is a fan-powered airboat, available from Bamurru Plains.

By Dirt Bike

The Canning Stock Route is an old trail that goes through the heart of Western Australia and was originally used by cattle drovers. If you’re feeling adventurous, Outback Adventure Treks will guide you along a 1600km stretch of this dusty trail on a dirt bike. It’s not an easy ride and goes mostly over dirt tracks, so you’ll definitely appreciate the chance to relax at the nightly camps by watering holes.

By Kayak

Deep in outback Queensland, you can enjoy a kayak tour along the Warrego River, as it winds through old growth forests and around the sandy islands and estuaries. Pick up your kayak from Out the Back Australia.

Canoeing in the Outback
Canoeing in the Outback | Percita/Flickr

By Stand-up Paddleboard

The river is only 2m wide at some points, so a boat isn’t the best option to explore the waterways that wind between the 30m-tall sandstone cliffs of Cobbold Gorge in Queensland. Jump on a small, nimble paddleboard instead for a tour you won’t forget.

By Cattle Train

It’s not really a train—it’s a couple thousand cattle wandering along the dusty outback trails. And you won’t be riding them; you’ll be on a horse alongside the other drovers. But this is a fabulous way to experience outback New South Wales, particularly with the Long Paddock taking care of your meals and accommodation along the way.

By Snorkel

Not all snorkelling in Australian happens on the Great Barrier Reef. Back Country Bliss takes you on a snorkelling tour through the river ways of Mossman Gorge in Queensland. The water is crystal clear and too cold for crocodiles, so you’re free to relax and go with the flow.