Ah, the great Northern Outback, an untamed expanse of red earth, grass plains and arid landscapes, dotted by old mining towns with their typical Aussie bush pubs. It's an area rich in both ancient Aboriginal culture, and early pioneering history. The northern outback spans 425,000 square kilometres (almost the size of Spain) and in the north is crisscrossed with rivers and some of the continent's best 'secret' fishing spots. This is an ancient land where dinosaurs roamed; their fossilized remains can still be found. This is Australia's last frontier!
The Gulf Savannah and the Northern Outback begin just west of Ravenshoe in the Atherton Tablelands, and extend across Queensland to the Northern Territory, and north to the Gulf of Carpenteria and the Cape York Peninsula. Once you've climbed the Great Dividing Range from the coast, you don't need to travel far before the lush forests start to thin out into woodland, and before you know it, you're in the arid grassland of the Gulf Savannah.

Less than ten percent of the Australian population lives outside the urban settlements on the coastal fringes. Towns out here in the outback are few and far between, and are mostly remnants from the mining boom of the late 19th century. It is a harsh country, and the towns have been shaped by a colourful and fascinating pioneering history.

The Australian outback is a confusing place for newcomers; with a city as big as Switzerland, a single school that covers almost a million square kilometres, and a doctor who travels hundreds of kilometres every day to makes house calls.

Visitors wanting to really experience authentic outback life can choose to stay on one of the working sheep or cattle properties that have been developed for overnight guests. A station stay provides much more than an accommodation option, but can be a holiday experience in itself, especial for city dwellers and overseas visitors. Apart from different styles of accommodation, station stays offer you the possibility to join in with the everyday activities of the station, such as drafting, mustering or shearing. There will likely be great fishing as well. For more information on Tropical North Queensland's range of farmstays and station stays, please visit our FARMSTAY ACCOMMODATION page.

There are just two seasons in this part of Australia; the wet season (December to April) when humidity is high and average temperatures range from 25 to 36 degrees, and the dry season (May to November) with little or no rainfall, and average temperatures of 15 to 29 degrees.

And on a side note... take extra care when proceeding to overtake a semi-trailer on outback roads. The truck you are intending to pass may not be quite what you expect.

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Cairns Unlimited will find the the best deal on a Cairns car hire for your holidays in the Northern Outback.Not everybody will be up for the challenge -and this part of the country does provide its share of challenges - but we believe that the grandeur and vastness of the Northern Outback can be best experienced form behind the wheel of your own vehicle. For the freedom and flexibility to explore at your own pace, please visit our CAIRNS CAR HIRE page. We may be called Cairns Unlimited, but we can get you a great deal on a Cairnsrental car, four wheel drive or campervan anywhere! Simply fill out our obligation free enquiry form, and we will get back to you - usually the next working day - with the best deal on a rental vehicle to suit your needs.

The Savannahlander is a unique way to see Australia's outback. The Savannahlander stops overnight in three different outback towns, Almaden (Chillagoe), Mount Surprise and Forsayth.THE SAVANNAHLANDER
Phone (07) 4053 6848 / Fax (07) 4053 6818
Tollfree 1800 793 848

The Outback rail experience!

The Savannahlander is a unique way to see Australia's outback. Once a week the classic 1960's rail motors head out from Cairns on their 4 day, 850km return trip to Forsayth. For much of the journey the Savannahlander has the railway line to itself and this allows passengers to experience a type of train travel that most won't have come across before. Want the driver to stop so you can take a photo? Just ask! The Savannahlander stops overnight in three different outback towns, Almaden (Chillagoe), Mount Surprise and Forsayth, each offering the traveller something different. Where to stay overnight? There are many options from the inexpensive to the not-so inexpensive. There are side trips to be done too. You can take a tour of the famous Chillagoe caves, take a tube tour at Undara or see the spectacular Cobbold Gorge.

Quantas fly to Mount Isa from the eastern capital cities.Qantas fly to Mount Isa from the eastern capital cities, with a number of flights daily. From Mount Isa is then easy to get to any of the Northern Outback destinations listed on the right hand side column.

Check availability, compare prices and FIND THE BEST DEAL by entering your requested flight details in our simple Flight Finder above.

Greyhound bus service connects the Northern Outback with the east coast, servicing Mount Isa, Cloncurry, Julia Creek, Richmond and Charters Towers among other destinations.The Northern Outback is connected to the east coast (and to Alice Springs and Darwin) by a daily Greyhound bus service that runs from Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory through to Townsville, servicing Mount Isa, Cloncurry, Julia Creek, Richmond, Charters Towers, and a number of other smaller townships along the way. Greyhound also offers a daily service from Brisbane to Cloncurry and Mount Isa, which takes around 24 hours and passes through a number of interesting southern Queensland outback towns.

Queensland Rail covers the 1000 kilometres between Townsville and Mount Isa, stopping at most points along the way. Known as the 'Inlander' route, services operate westbound every Sunday and Thursday, and eastbound on Mondays and Fridays. The journey departs early afternoon, and takes just over twenty hours one way.

The Gulflanders travels between Croydon and Normanton, in the Tropical North Queensland outback.The tiny historic 'Gulflander' train travels once a week between the outback town of Normanton and Croydon - departing Normanton on Wednesday mornings, and Croydon on Thursday mornings. For more details on the historic 'Gulflander', also known as the 'tin hare', please visit our outback destinations pages for CROYDON or NORMANTON.

One of most popular attractions in Cairns is the Great Barrier Reef.

You could promote your business in this prominent position, with a link to your own website, for less than $4.70 per week. Click for more details. Sunset over an old fashioned windmill in Queensland's northern outback.
Gold panning by an outback stream in Far North Queensland.