15 Mind Blowing Outback Facts!
This extraordinary place has been home to Aboriginal Australians for up to 68,000 years. The Outback is a huge, diverse region which covers most of Australia - anywhere outside of densely populated coastal areas is considered to be part. It is made up of 10 deserts, but also sub- tropical savanna, as well as the largest temperate woodland on Earth.
So, here are our favourite facts about this extraordinary place...
1) Uluru is taller than the Eiffel Tower!
Uluru stands 348 metres metres tall, higher than the Eiffel tower at 324 metres, the Great Pyramid at 139m & the Statue of Liberty at a piffling 93m.
2) It has the longest straight road!
National Highway 1 linking Western Australia and South Australia has the world's longest stretch of straight bitumen road, 146.6 kms without a bend.
3) And of course, the world's longest fence.
The 5614 km dingo fence built in 1885 runs from South Australia through New South Wales to Queensland, and costs £550,000 a year to maintain. Unsurprisingly the fence is one of the longest structures in the world, only the Great Wall of China is longer.
4) A cattle ranch the size of Belgium!?
Anna Creek station near William Creek is the largest cattle station in the world at 6,000,000 acres (24,000 km2). It's about the size of Belgium, slightly bigger than Israel.
5) And naturally, the trains are very, very long!
The longest passenger train in the world runs through the Outback. It's made up from 44 coaches, about 1.2 km long! The world's longest stretch of straight railway track crosses the Nullarbor Plain from South Australia into Western Australia, a mere 487 km long.
6) It rains quite a lot there...
Most people think that the Outback is a dry desert but it receives a fair amount of rain, from 150mm in the arid areas, to 500mm in semi-tropical parts. Some years there is no rain at all, but in others there are floods!
7) ...and it can be rather chilly.
Temperatures in the central deserts can reach 50 degrees in the summer, but plunge to as low as minus 10, with regular frosts in winter.
8) The Outback has the only known fossilised dinosaur stampede in the world!
Thousands of footprints are preserved in mudstone near Lark Quarry Conservation Park. The footprints have been interpreted as 150 two legged dinosaurs escaping a much larger predator!
9) Today there are over 1 million camels in the outback.
One of the most frequently seen animals in the outback is the Camel. They are not native and were introduced for carrying goods during railroad construction. Now, there are over 1 million roaming Australia, which is the largest number of purebred Camels in the world.
10) It's one of the best places in the world for stargazing.
With low humidity and very little light pollution, the Outback is one of the best places in the world for stargazing. Astronomers enjoy uninterrupted views of constellations, planets and stars, as well as stunning views of Aurora Australis - the Southern Lights.
11) It has many names.
'The back of beyond', 'The Bush', 'Beyond the Black Stump', 'The Never Never' and 'The Back o' Bourke' have all been used by writers to describe the Outback.
12) You can really be alone in the Outback...
In the Northern Territory there are only 0.16 people per square kilometre.
13) There are over 150 Indigenous languages spoken across Central Australia.
Although some languages are still spoken widely by Aboriginal people, a number are at risk of extinction, The Dhargari language is thought to have only one remaining speaker.
14) 17% of the outback population are from indigenous Aboriginal tribes.
Nearly 17% of the total population is made up of people from the indigenous Aboriginal tribes. As of 2006, the Outback has a total population of less than 700,000 residents.
15) It's almost 22 x bigger than the UK...
The most frequently quoted estimate is that the outback covers 5.3 million square kilometres, to put that in perspective that's 22x bigger than the UK & NI, which cover only 241,930 square kilometres.
Time for a visit!
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