Why is a German raving about the Outback?

Because the Australian Outback is a stunning destination

So you want to know a little about the person who is raving about Australia and the Australian Outback?
You want to know why I am writing the Outback Guide? It is not easy to write about myself, but here is my story.

At Peter's PillarGawler Ranges

Well, my name is Rita Amend. I live in the crowded Rhine-Main-area in Germany. Perhaps that's why I love the tranquillity of the Outback so much.

I have been married for more than 40 years, and I have a 8 to 5 job in a medical laboratory, an ordinary life, so far.

When my husband's uncle, who lived in Australia at that time, visited us for the first time in the late 1970s, it never occurred to me that we could go visit and visit him down under. Too far away, to expensive to go. It took more than 10 years, until I wanted to learn more about that country.

So, my love for Australia has started in 1988 when I read the first travel guide about Australia. I was hooked, captured. I wanted to know more about this country, and I longed to go there. From this moment on I absorbed everything about Australia that crossed my way, more travel guides, novels, fact books, nature reports on TV, you name it, I read it.

By the way, that's me in the photo above, discovering the unique sandstone pillars in the Gawler Ranges.

salt lake in the desertLake Gairdner, South Australia

Finally, the first trip to Australia!!

The first trip Down Under was a dream come true. It was fantastic, but also overwhelming. So many impressions, so much to see. I found that the Aussies are the friendliest people, and most helpful.

Oh, and don't you think the scenery in these pictures is stunning?

A rough road in the Outback, and a 4WD camper.Near Cameron Corner, New South Wales

Back in Germany, I read more about the land of my dreams. Luckily, I (we) had the chance to return to Australia every two or three years since then. Each trip was another wonderful journey to a new part of Australia, and I haven't seen it all yet.

Update: It's been a few years since I wrote this page the first time. Now I am retired, Australia and the vast inland is still in my dreams. At the end of 2018 we spent our 9th holiday in Australia. My husband celebrated his 70th birthday with his family in Adelaide. You see, we're getting on. Of course, we are determined to return soon to make the 10th trip reality.

A general store in the Outback, Innamincka, South AustraliaInnamincka in the far north-east of South Australia

How do I travel in Australia?

Despite the huge distances we always rent a car to drive on our own, no guided tours. This gives us the freedom to stop whenever we want to take photos, or to absorb the beautiful views. No bookings in advance, so we are completely free.

We camped a lot, but as the bones are getting older, I prefer to sleep in a cabin on a caravan park. But still, only in very remote areas we might book a cabin maybe two days in advance. We try to keep the freedom to stay in spots we love.

A campervan and tent in the Australian OutbackOur camp at Mount Ive Station, South Australia

I always write an itinerary in advance, I call it my road-book. It covers the points of interest en route, accommodation tips, and heaps of info about the towns and the things to see along the way. Hey, that keeps me in pleasant anticipation months before the journey begins.

This little planning also helps to make sure that we are back at the airport in time. I don't plan to drive more than say 300 km a day, especially not on Outback roads. Sure, on a long and boring stretch of bitumen, like the Stuart Highway, a day can also cover 500 or 600 km.
In the Australian Outback you don't drive to reach a certain highlight at the end of the day. No, every single km /mile out there is so exciting, it is a highlight itself.

The rough and beautiful landscapes of the Flinders Ranges.Northern Flinders Ranges, South Australia

First of all, I started Rita's Outback Guide to share my travel experiences in my beloved Australian Outback with you!

Before my first Outback trip I was slightly worried. I had read many travel guides, but information about the vast Australian inland was often very short. The internet was not such a great resource when I researched my first Outback trip.
Jack Absalom's book "Safe Outback Travel" was a tremendous help. I got the gist what is important when travelling in the Outback: Be prepared, slow down and use common sense.

Now I write this guide to introduce you to my favourite places, and give you the information you need to plan your trip of a lifetime. No need for you to worry when you travel in the Australian Outback.

Don't dream about the Outback, go to see it!

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