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The Australian outback comprises 80% of Australia but has a population that comprises only 0.75% of the Australian population. There are only a few towns in this region: Andamooka, Coober Pedy, Glendambo, Innamincka, Marla, Marree, Mintabie, Oodnadatta, Port Augusta, Roxby Downs, William Creek, and Woomera.
There are 5 national parks and conservation parks: Witjira National Park, Simpson Desert Conservation Park, Lake Eyre National Park, Innamincka Regional Reserve, Simpson Desert Regional Reserve.
The region is vast and arid with a low rainfall. Summer temperatures are generally over 40oC and yearly rainfall could be as high as 250mm or as low as 150mm.
Australian Outback attractions:
There are wineries in the outback. Visit Mildura and use it as your base from which to explore the national parks, do bush walks, and camping. The Mildura Jazz, Food and Wine Festival is a popular yearly event, as is the Mildura International Balloon Fiesta.
Kununurra, Western Australia
Attractions at Kununurra – 'big water' in Miriwoong – include a Celebrity Tree Park, Mirima National Park, and Lake Argyle. The town has art galleries, a shopping centre and also the Argyle mine – the only mine in the world that produces pink diamonds.
Glen Helen Gorge, Northern Territory
This area contains a plethora of attractions: Ormiston Gorge and Pound National Park, Glen Helen Gorge National Park, Redbank Gorge, Ochre Pits, Tnorala (Gosse Bluff) Conservation Reserve, Serpentine Gorge, and Ellery Creek Big-hole.
Or go for a walk along the Larapinta walking trail that takes you through the West MacDonnell Ranges.
Broken Hill, New South Wales
Broken Hill, or 'Silver City', is a mining town and is surrounded by semi-desert. The town has many mines and mining museums. Head to the ARB Warn Outback 4x4 Challenge if you fancy mud, water rocks and sand. And don’t miss the Silverado Shootout!
Australian Outback activities and events:
This 'boat' race at Alice Springs originates from an attempt to mock the British settlers' stiff regattas. Alice Springs has been celebrating the world’s only dry regatta since 1962, no matter that the town is 1500km away from the nearest body of water.
Great Australian Cattle Drive
Recreate the romance from when Australians had to drove cattle hundreds of kilometers. The event started in 2002 during the 'Year of the Outback' and drovers trekked 515 kilometres down the Birdsville Track.
Coober Pedy Opal Festival
Celebrate life, love, opals and the history of mining at the Coober Pedy Opal festival. Australians hold this festival during the Easter holidays and it is one of the biggest events in the locale.
Marree Camel Cup
Afghan descendants from all over Australia – and a few camels – come together during July to pay tribute to the culture and lifestyle of their ancestors who had carted wool and other supplies to and from the outback. This festival is held during odd-numbered years only.
Birdsville is a sparsely populated town – scarcely 100 residents. But every September it swells to more than 6000 people who want to see the Birdsville Races. These races had started in 1882 and has grown to a 12-race programme with prize money that exceeds $110 000.
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