While there’s some disagreement on where Australia’s ‘Outback’ actually begins, there’s no argument that everyone should experience it at least once in their life.

1. Spend a Night in an Outback Pub 

What makes an Outback pub so special? Is it the mix of local characters and well-travelled road warriors? Is it the wild settler histories ingrained in the walls? Or is it just the feeling of enjoying a cold beer with a well-met stranger a long, long way from anywhere? Some of our favourites include the William Creek Hotel, The Prairie Hotel (Parachilna), the Marree Hotel and the North Blinman Hotel.

2. Connect with the Legacy of Steam 

Get on board two first-class attractions. The town of Peterborough was the nation’s rail hub, and much of the late 19th-century legacy lives on at Steamtown (don’t miss the very moving sound and light show). The Pichi Richi Railway has been operating since 1878; a steam train still runs along the original Ghan line, from Port Augusta to the historic town of Quorn.

3. Soak It All up on the Oodnadatta

The 620-kilometre Oodnadatta Track is an Outback adventure that anyone can do with a bit of preparation. Encounter giant salt lakes, extraordinary ‘mound springs’ (huge blisters of rock in the middle of the desert with life-giving water trickling from the top) and tiny outposts with lively pubs. One of the highlights is a soak in the pool at Coward Springs; it’s utterly enchanting, especially at dusk.

4. Do Some ‘Outback Lite’ in Melrose

This gorgeous country town sits in the shadow of Mount Remarkable and reliably surprises all who make the three-hour drive from Adelaide. Think big, weary gum trees, great flocks of corellas at dusk, two lively country pubs and a very real yesteryear charm. It’s also a bit of a mecca for mountain bikers and hosts the annual Fat Tyre Festival.

5Gain a Deeper Understanding

Join an Adnyamathanha (Yura) traditional owner on a discovery tour of Ikara (Wilpena Pound). You’ll traverse their Country, learn about bush tucker and uncover the meanings behind ancient rock art – including the fabulous dreaming of the rainbow serpents and the Kingfisher Man, depicted at Arkaroo Rock.

Read dueSouth Magazine here.