When people told us about the colours of the outback – the stark contrast between the red of the dirt with the blue of the sky, and the silvery green of the eucalyptus trees that dot the landscape – we were somewhat blasé about it. We knew it would be beautiful, but really. And when people told us of the vast nothingness that we’d encounter – some people speaking of the isolation with fondness, and others with uncomfortable dislike – we also were a little blasé about it. We knew it would be isolated, but really.
Being from Canada, everywhere we turn, we se many similarities between Australia and our home country. From both being Commonwealth countries, to vast amounts of land and small populations, to large chunks of essentially uninhabitable land, to politics, to aboriginal issues – you name it. There are many similarities, which is why we are generally so comfortable and happy here in Oz. It feels like home. And even venturing into the Outback, we knew we’d feel a sense of home – large flat chunks of land that go on forever. It screams of Canada’s prairies to us, except we trade unending fields of wheat for unending pastures of scrubby brush dotted with the odd goat or sheep.
But to really see it, to see the dirt go from white to yellow to brown to rust, and eventually to deep burnt sienna red, is quite incredible. To see the landscape change from hilly and full of trees, to so flat that you can see the trunks of trees miles off on the shining horizon. To eventually almost no trees, save for the odd river gum or eucalyptus, and a loose dusting of scrubby brush. Wow. No wonder so many world-renowned artists derive their inspiration from and continue to live in the Australian Outback.
If you want to see more pictures, learn more of our outback experiences, and read about our close encounters with a Road Train full of explosives, read the rest of this article at our World Nomads Ambassador Journal
This post was originally published in 2008. It has since been updated for accuracy of links and content.