Kiwi born Don Wait, of Wayoutback Safaris in the Northern Territory, has an unconventional way of describing the effect Australia’s Outback has on visitors.
"I have always likened the Outback to a power socket. When you are feeling run down and unsure of where you’re at, come out here and plug yourself in. You’ll walk away fully charged, calm and focussed," says Wait.
It was his interest and fascination with the desert that led Don to move to the Outback in 1984 and start up his own tour company to show travellers the wonders of this vast landscape.
"The name 'Wayoutback' typifies our belief that the only authentic way to experience the desert is by getting away from the crowds and immersing yourself in the beauty and vastness of the outback," says Wait.
According to Tourism Australia’s Regional Manager for New Zealand, Vito Anzelmi, the Outback is a fantastic adventure, just waiting for Kiwis to experience.
"Every year, 33,000 Kiwis head to the Outback to immerse themselves in its unique culture.
"The Outback is uniquely Australia, making it different to New Zealand’s vast green landscape. It is not something that can be experienced through a picture or a movie, you really need to be there to appreciate its beauty and power," says Anzelmi.
Wayoutback Safaris take guests on two, three and five day 4WD safaris through the heart of the Outback, stopping at places such as Uluru, The Olgas, Kings Canyon, Palm Valley and the MacDonnell Ranges.
"Highlights include sleeping out under the stars in a swag, cooking a meal over a campfire, meeting new people and making new friends," says Wait.
"The more time you have the better. There so much to see and experience, including harsh desert plains, salt and clay pans, stunning rocky outcrops with cool fresh rock pools, ravine country with dry river beds, majestic desert oak trees, sand dune country to vast gibber stony desert plains."
According to Wait the best time to head to the Outback and explore is during spring, when the weather warms up.
"That’s when the cold winter nights get warmer, the wildflowers are out, the trees are showing off their bloom, it’s still cool enough to see some animals cruising around throughout the day and the flies haven’t kicked in," says Wait.
This season Wayoutback Safaris will be placing a stronger focus on incorporating indigenous Aboriginal culture in their tour.
"We are introducing a training program for Aboriginal hosts and tour guides. In the future our customers will also learn about Aboriginal culture and their unique relationship with the land from Aboriginal guides," says Wait.