Common myths about the Australian desert

desert panorama

arid landscape by Lyndi&Jason/Flickr

The Australian Desert, or, how the Aussies call it, the Outback, makes up for most of the continent territory. Yet, Australians are very outdoorsy, and bush walking is among their favorite activities – and also quite popular with tourists. So what makes so many people be fascinated with a huge piece of arid land? Well, firstly you should know that Australian desert is not at all like the deserts you see in movies – which are all resemble the Sahara, with its endless sand dunes and nothing more. There are numerous misconceptions regarding the Australian desert: like its appearance, temperature, or lack of hospitality. So let’s bust these few common myths about the Australian desert:

What exactly is the Australian Desert?

The Australian desert is actually the ‘Australian deserts’. Although most of the Australia is considered to have an arid climate, it is only the center where one can find the proper deserts. The Great Victoria Desert in the South And West and The Great Sandy Desert and Tanami Desert in North-West are the largest from the total of 10 deserts that cover the central area of the Australian continent. These are all surrounded by a thick green belt – the Australian grasslands.

rock formations

pinnacles desertby lawmurray/Flickr

How arid is the Australian desert?

Well, this pretty much depends. Rainfall is very scarce in the central parts of Australia, and, although it varies from season to season, it can be very random. However, there are still numerous animals and plants who survive in this climate, including shrubs, lizards or insects. You shouldn’t be surprised if you run into a big thunderstorm while traveling through the Australian deserts – this is usually how rain manifests when it finally arrives.

desert panorama

arid landscape by Lyndi&Jason/Flickr


Does it get very hot?

Yes, especially in summer, it can get very hot in the desert – sometimes temperatures go above 45ÂșC. If you really want to travel through the Australian outback, the best time to do it is winter (June-August) – although this is also tricky, as temperatures can vary a lot during the day, and nights can become very chilly, close to freezing.

desert plants

desert bush by passamanerie/Flickr


Do Australians live in the desert?

Well, this is a tricky question. Most Australians live of the coast, but there are also those who live in the arid and semi-arid zones. There will be cattle and sheep farms in the grass lands, but the more arid regions are usually inhabited by Australian Natives. The Aboriginal culture is one of the most interesting aspects of the Australian desert: these is where you’ll find the beautiful myths and legends, and where every stone has its story to tell.


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