Start planning your desert tour in Australia
Beyond its beautiful coastline, Australia is famous the world over for its enormous desert, often called the ‘Red Center’ or the Outback. This arid land of burnt-orange sand is a harsh environment, but take some time to explore it and you’ll find some truly amazing things. You might explore old cave networks, enjoy a riverboat ride or even a camel trek across the sands.
What makes Australia's desert landscapes unique?
The Australian Outback is a vast red land with some spectacular, naturally-occurring formations rising from the ground and providing magnificent views. There’s ancient Aboriginal rock art, stalagmites in caves, and a still, turquoise body of water ripe for floating on at Geikie Gorge.
The best desert tours and excursions in Australia
From unusual limestone formations to vast cave networks, plus bumpy camel treks through amazing landscapes, Australia offers travelers a wide variety of activities to pick from. Here are some of the top desert tours and excursions in Australia.
Tour the Australian Outback
The vast, remote interiors of Australia are perfect for adventurers seeking seclusion. With endless dirt roads and huge swathes of dusty desert land, the red terrain of the Outback offers a glimpse into a world often untouched by humans. Abandoned mines are scattered throughout, reminding visitors of Australia’s lucrative past industries, and remote towns and tiny villages offer respite from the harsh climate.
Boat tour at Danggu Gorge National Park
Deserts aren’t always entirely dry. At the Danggu Gorge National Park in the Kimberley region, you can enjoy a relaxing boat tour through the beautiful Geikie Gorge. In addition to seeing the towering limestone walls, you’ll get up-close with wallabies while mighty eagles circle overhead. This is a true slice of the Australian wilderness.
Explore ancient caves at Tunnel Creek National Park
Australia's oldest natural cave is a thing of wonder. There are gorgeous limestone structures carved by the waters of Tunnel Creep, and cavernous halls that serve as homes to bats, pythons, and even crocodiles. Take a guided tour to get the best understanding of the amazing historic Aboriginal rock paintings.
Have an adventure in El Questro Wilderness Park
El Questro Wilderness Park offers a variety of experiences, from visiting stunning waterfalls via helicopter rides, or navigating the Kimberley wilderness by horseback. At the end of the day, rejuvenate with a swim through the area’s thermal springs.
Camel Treks in the Deserts
Go off-grid on an old-school camel ride through the deserts of Australia. Whether in the south or the west, camel treks take riders back to a time when cars and trains didn’t exist. Admire dramatic sunsets from the top of your camel as you stroll, then set up camp and stare upward at the beautiful night sky.
Tips for planning a desert tour in Australia
December to February is the best time to enjoy the deserts in Australia, as this time of year offers dry, warm weather. This is often when you’ll spot the most wildlife, too. Don’t venture out into the bush on your own, as this climate can be incredibly harsh. The safest way to explore Australia’s Outback is on a guided tour.