Best places to stop in the outback

As winter approaches in Australia, the searing temperatures in the outback drop and it becomes the perfect time to head west, or far north, to explore some of the wilder reaches of the country. If you’ve been thinking about going, do note it also the season for some of the nation’s most unusual outback festivals. To give you some ideas about where to go on the VIP Backpacker network, here’s a quick taste of our outback locations.

Broome, Western Australia
On the far Western Australian coast, Broome is surely one remote town. But if you’re heading north from Perth you’ll want to stop here. It has one of the best beaches in the country with pure white sands where you can go on a camel ride at sunset.  It’s also somewhat of a launching pad for exploring the rest of the fabulous Kimberley region. If you have wheels take the dirt track along the Gibb River Road to Kununurra exploring the chasms, gorges and cattle stations along the way.
Click here for some great hostels and tours in Broome.

Tennant Creek, Queensland

If you’re heading overland to/from Queensland via the Northern Territory, you will most likely pass through Tennant Creek. The most famous local attraction is of course the Devil’s Marbles, about 100km south, believed to be the eggs of the Rainbow Serpent in Aboriginal lore. Many of these rocks perch creatively or precariously on top of each other and are a fun to explore.
For some great hostels click here.

The Red Centre, Northern Territory
The vivid colours of central Australia come alive in the softer winter sun. And let’s face it, you can’t leave Australia without coming here. This is where you’ll come if you plan to visit Uluru and you can fly or drive direct to Yulara for that. There’s VIP Backpacker accommodation there and at King’s Canyon.

Make sure you head to Alice Springs too. In winter there are a number of great festivals including the famed Henley-on-Todd boat races in the dry Todd River and the wild and woolly Camel Cup. There’s also some interesting historical and educational attractions such as the Telegraph Station, Old Ghan Museum and the Desert Park featuring animals and habitats of the outback. You can stock up for supplies in Alice too if you plan to make further forays into the East and West MacDonnells for beautiful gorges, canyons, chasms, waterholes, great walks and rock wallabies to see.
Click here for some great hostels and tours.

Darwin, Northern Territory

Wildlife in Kakadu,

This is the perfect Aussie winter location because it’s always warm up in the top end, all year round. That means you can still swim here in August! In Darwin you’ll learn about Cyclone Tracy that devastated the town on Christmas Eve 1974. You can also survey some of the damage done to the township during air raids of WWII. Darwin is also something of a gateway both for the spectacular wetlands and wild animals of Kakadu National Park and also Litchfield National Park’s many rockholes and waterfalls.
Click here for some great hostels (all come complete with a pool) and tours.

Atherton Tablelands, North Queensland
For a taste of the hills 1.5 hours outside Cairns, head to the Tablelands, a fertile, elevated plateau featuring lakes, waterfalls, tropical rainforest and unusual rock formations. Here you’ll get to know the local animals, Aboriginal culture and forests on walks, mountain biking or canoeing adventures. There’s also plenty of opportunities just to relax.
See our Australia guide for accommodation.

This is the fourth in a series of “Best Places” blogs that will feature downunder locations. If you’ve always wondered where the best place was to surf the east coast, go on a camping trip, spend New Year’s Eve and get a job in Australia keep checking back for our “Best Places” series.


Hope you’re enjoying the VIP Backpacker’s Travel Blog. There’ll be an update added every other Friday, so keep tuning in to keep your travel dreams alive! If there are any travel topics you want covered feel free to contact me, Jo, at


3 thoughts on “Best places to stop in the outback

  1. Darwin is great in the winter, the perfect temperature. Can’t image the heat in summer. Kakadu was awesome but my favourite was Litchfield because you could swim without worrying about the crocodiles. We had a great time there, hiking and swimming.

  2. Pingback: Show me that horizon – from a deserted Malaysian beach… « Vipbackpackers's Blog

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