The Outback Way - Australia's Longest Shortcut


Many visitors to central Australia assume that the inland is flat, arid and lacking vegetation or appeal.  When in fact the Outback Way passes through a wide range of landscapes including arid and semi-arid deserts, gorges, breakaways, mountain ranges, grasslands, mallee and mulga covered plains, giant salt lakes, seasonally wet channel country, rivers, creeks, billabongs, hilly woodlands, rolling desert dunes and majestic forests of desert oaks.  With this much diversity it is no surprise to find a variety of birds, reptiles and mammals making for an ever-changing view or experience just around the next corner!  

And just when you begin to think the ‘sameness’ of scenery is endless travellers should stop and explore the subtle and dramatic diversity in even the smallest plants, insects and landscape features to reveal an amazingly different world to anything you’ve probably ever seen before!
Part of this is a result of the Outback Way passing through 10 of the 85 distinctive bio-geographic regions of Australia. Bioregions are large land areas composed of common characteristics of geology, landform, land-use, vegetation composition and pattern, climate and visual appearance. Distinctive ecosystems in each bioregion influence the variety of organisms that live in each distinctive part of the outback. The bioregions of the Outback Way include: (from west to east)  
  1. GVD  Great Victoria Desert
  2. GD  Gibson Desert
  3. CR  Central Ranges 
  4. GSD  Great Sandy Desert
  5. FIN  Finke
  6. MAC  MacDonnell Ranges
  7. BRT  Burt Plain
  8. SSD  Simpson Strzelecki Dunefields
  9. CHC  Channel Country
  10. MGD  Mitchell Grass Downs

Whereas scientists and agencies from the States, Territories and academic institutions use the bioregions framework as the basis for scientific studies and nature conservation planning, travellers along the Outback Way can explore the diversity of landscape and enjoy the wonder and beauty of the ever-changing natural environment.