Hi! We’re Gary & Amanda

Welcome to Travel Outback Australia…

Ormiston Pound, Ormiston Gorge, West MacDonnell Ranges

We know…. you’ve been planning it for years: that big trip to the Australian outback.

The heart and soul of Australia.

You’re yearning to get out and really explore Australia’s red heart on your own – you don’t want to be just another tourist on a tour bus, snapping the same old photos of big red rocks.

You’re someone who wants to road trip, backpack, hike, camp, go off-road driving and explore the outback independently.

You really want to experience the outback and fall in love with it … get to know it intimately like locals do.

Simpson Desert, French Line, South Australia

We know how you feel.

We’ve been living in and travelling the outback since 1995 –  and we’d love to share our outback with you, so you can see and experience it just like we -real outback locals- do.

We’ll share our inspiration and advice on destinations, trip planning, lots of how-to articles along with our personal stories and experiences.

You’ll also find our very own local ‘insider’ travel knowledge and insights on outback national parks, flora and fauna, culture, and history – information that you often won’t find anywhere else.

Who Are We?

Birdsville, Big Red, Queensland

We’re Gary & Amanda – we’re campers, nature lovers, bushwalkers, bird watchers, gadget freaks, Geocachers, travellers, outdoor adventurers, photographers, writers, sketchers, and of course… lovers of vast wide open spaces, campfires, sunsets and exploring new places.

We’re also the people behind the scenes: the writers, designers, and social media mavens of Travel Outback Australia.

We Really DO Live & Work in the Outback

Not only do we live in Alice Springs -the capital of the outback- we really do all the things we write about here.

We have VERY unique jobs which take us out camping, 4WDing and hiking right into the heart (and heat!) of the outback.

Gary is a national park ranger who oversees the management of a group of parks west of Alice Springs including the majestic Watarrka-Kings Canyon National Park, Finke Gorge-Palm Valley National Park, and the iconic West MacDonnell National Park.


He helps to make sure that visitors have lots to do and are safe in our parks but also looks after the flora and fauna too.

When he’s not rangering in spectacular places, Gary can be found playing with any one of his gadgets (ask him about his UAV or Go-Pro), playing shoot-em-ups on his computer, chilling by the pool or campfire and telling dreadful puns and Dad jokes.

Amanda is an anthropologist and archaeologist, formerly employed by NT Parks and Wildlife and the Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority (the Sacred Sites Authority).

She now runs her own cultural heritage management business and is an award-winning fiction writer. Find out more about Amanda’s novels and writing here (and get a free book).


She travels all over outback Australia, working with Aboriginal Elders to protect their cultural heritage, language and sacred sites. Amanda is of NSW Aboriginal descent (Wiradjuri) and speaks an Aboriginal language.

She’s also a runner, gym goer and serious hiker (if there’s a hill to be climbed, she’ll do it) and worked as a fitness instructor for over 20 years. She believes a bushwalk is not a real walk unless it’s over 10km.

How are we different?

We know there’s dozens of websites out there that talk about travelling the outback – which is why we aim to be different.

Amanda-GeocachingAmanda celebrating her 1000th Geocache find – on top of a mountain, of course

We believe that everyone can and should travel the outback.

It’s not beyond the means of the average Australian family or the ordinary visitor or backpacker.

It’s not beyond your abilities, either – Amanda travels and camps SOLO in the outback all the time.

If the outback is in your dreams or on your bucket list, then it’s time to go. We really believe that anyone can do it – especially families with children.

Don’t wait until you’re too old to really get those out of the way places and climb the highest peaks… set a date and do it.


We can help you plan your life-changing outback experience.

We show you exactly what locals pack, how we budget, how we plan, what gear we take, and where we find our inspiration to travel.

Along with information on how to see the outback independently, we tell you the hidden stories about the outback’s animals, birds, plants, people and history.

We provide bird lists, Aboriginal Dreaming stories, kinship and languages, and historical snapshots that you won’t find in many other places on the web.

We can do this because…

We live in Alice Springs, the heart of the outback.

All the places we write about, we’ve been to at least three or four times, in many different seasons via different forms of transport.

Been bogged in mud in the Simpson Desert? We’ve done it.

Climbed Mt Zeil, the highest peak in the Northern Territory? We’ve done that.


Climbing Mt Zeil, the NT’s Highest Peak

Camped at the Devil’s Marbles in mid-summer? Unfortunately, we’ve done that.

Sung all night under the stars in sacred Aboriginal ceremonies? Yes, we’ve done that, too.

And many other crazy adventures…

We are advocates of slow travel.

It’s our belief that you can’t really take a trip to the outback that’s less than 5 days.

The distances are vast – and there’s simply so much to see and do.


So we really encourage you to spend time here, getting to know the place, its unique vibe and its people, rather than doing fly-in-fly-out one or two day visits.

However, if you only have a short amount of time, you’ll still find plenty of information here to help you plan your visit.

We are not a travel company or tour guides.

We are real people who love the place they live in and want to share it with others.


Yes, we’ll even meet up with you for a coffee or a beer if you’re in town (*that’s what we call Alice Springs – just ‘Alice’ or ‘town’).

Whilst we can’t book your tour for you, we can share everything we’ve learned about travelling in the outback over more than 20 years with you.

In fact, we’d rather see you ‘doing’ the outback independently -ditch the package tours and do it like we do!

We’re happy to help you out with any information, advice or connect you with the right person if we don’t know the answers.

You can get in touch with us anytime – it’s easy (we may take a couple of days to get back to you if we’re out bush!).

Send us a DM to @TravelOutbackOz on Twitter or drop by our Facebook group and say hi.

Sign up for our newsletter here and get even more insider secrets that will help you explore the outback just like a local.