Map of Outback Towns
100 Real Outback Towns

We were prompted to make this list after we met a 72 year old German gentleman who had flown directly from Berlin and taken a flight to a remote Queensland town that promotes itself as the 'Real Outback'. He planned to spend six weeks there. Now it's a pleasant enough town but it houses 20,000 people and has traffic lights and shopping centres and all the trappings of a regular rural metropolis. Six days would be five days too many for most people never mind six weeks. Oh, one other thing, it's not the outback.

We get lots of queries from people wanting to take a quick trip to see 'The Outback' once they hit Sydney or Melbourne airport. Well, the simple answer is – you can't. If you've read the article Where is the Australian Outback? then you'll understand that the outback is undefinable, it has no borders and no defined point in space, it is intangible.

If you look around and see lots of people or traffic lights or a Kmart or a MacDonalds store then you are miles from anywhere that even resembles the general idea of the outback.

If your vision of a legendary Australian bush landscape includes long red sunsets, vast open plains, ochre coloured sands or plains of grasses rustling with native marsupial animals then you're going to need to put some distance between yourself and the bright lights of metropolis.

This list of towns is representative of typical Australian bush towns. They are all home to less than one thousand inhabitants. They are all removed from the major capital cities of their respective states - either culturally or by distance. They have history, many dating back to a colonial past. They don't rest by the ocean and they are not new places that have been built to accommodate the needs of a mining company.

Oh, and you won't find the outback within the confines of these towns either. No, you are going to have to get dirty. These towns are just potential bases to help you explore the bush and surrounds and hopefully find what you came for.

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