Bushwalking in the outback is an awesome experience revealing the amazing wildlife, flora and breathtaking landscapes.
However, walking in the Australian bush is nothing like walking in the park. There may be pitfalls (literally), the heat can feel like you’re breast stroking through spicy Mexican salsa with your eyes open and you’ll probably lose a few kilos in sweat (there’s a bonus).
Yes, it will be difficult. However, most amazing experiences are and the work is definitely well worth the reward.
Following our seven tips below will ensure your bushwalk is one to remember and one you’ll be raving about to your mates for years to come.
7 Tips for Bushwalking in the NT
1. Start Early
Starting your bushwalk early is always a good idea. This way you can take advantage of the daylight and the cooler morning weather.
For safety, walking in the outback at night is never advised. Far too often people who wander off at night encounter dangers such as unseen wildlife and treacherous landscapes.
To ensure you enjoy your trip, and come back in one piece, save the days for walking and the nights for camping.
2. Take Water, Plus Some More Water and to be Safe, More Water
Bushwalking is thirsty work and if you’ve ever been walking in the outback, you’ll know how precious each drop of water can be.
Whenever you feel you’ve packed enough water for your trip, double it just in case. You’ll be thanking us when you get there.
3. Protection From the Sun
Ok, so you’ve gone out early and you’ve brought an ocean of water with you. Unfortunately, this won’t be enough to protect you from the heat when the sun finally gets overhead.
We know it’s hot, and there will be a temptation to wear sleeveless tops, singlets or even nothing at all, but to properly protect yourself you should be wearing clothing that covers the skin, a good wide brimmed hat and sunscreen to protect your face.
4. Take Proper Footwear
Again, we know there may be temptation to wear a pair of thongs (Yes, we call flip flop thongs in Australia. Please don’t mistake this section for outback underwear advice) but enclosed footwear is extremely important for travelling around in the outback.
Walking shoes will protect your precious tootsies from the scorching sand, bush nettles, prickles and any unseen spiders or snakes that may be underfoot.
5. Let People Know Where You’re Going
This is a very important safety precaution you need to take before heading out whoop whoop. Bushwalking shouldn’t be a spur of the moment thing. We know you’re a free spirit who plays by your own rules, but this is a sure fire way of making things worse if your trip happens to go pear shaped.
Tell your friends, family and/or the hotel staff exactly where you plan on going and what time you expect to be back. This will ensure that if, god forbid, you need a search party, they know exactly where to find you.
6. Go With Friends
Another great bushwalking safety tip is to do it with friends. Not only will you find safety in numbers, you will also enjoy your time much more hanging out and laughing with good company.
7. Research the Area Before You Go
It’s very important that you understand the outback is in many ways untouched by modern day influences. Some areas are classed as sacred sites and venturing into these places uninvited, or entering without consideration or respect for the indigenous people for whom this land has specific significance for, is unacceptable.
Remembering to respect the culture of the Indigenous people of the land is essential. Also, it is important you refrain from taking photos or selfies without permission, as this is against the indigenous people’s wishes and beliefs.
You should also remember, many areas of these lands won’t have waste disposal facilities. Any rubbish you have must be kept on you at all times until you find the right place for their disposal, which is back in town and never on the native lands.