Experience Christmas like you never have in the Outback

Travellers to the red centre of Australia describe immersing oneself in the beating heart of this desert nation as a truly life-changing experience – from the rolling red landscapes and flourishing lush foliage to the extraordinary seasonal weather and plenty of inquisitive native creatures to say hi to along the way. 

And there’s truly no better time in the year to immerse yourself in the true outback Australia than at Christmas time, where the locals bring their unique twist to the festive season with their pride of place and plentiful hospitality. 

A bush Christmas is a must-do experience for any Australian – here’s all you can expect from Christmas in the outback.

Glorious sunsets to light Santa’s way

Increased dust in the outback over the drier periods are unique conditions that create some of the most spectacular sunrises and sunsets of the entire year.

As the sun moves lower towards the horizon and the light has to travel further, strong summer beams catch the individual dust particles along the way. The result? A water-colour painting of brilliant red and tangerine orange sky worthy of an awe-stricken silence and more than a few snaps.

Summer is a great time of year for world-class photography opportunities in the unique outback, whether you’re a novice or a pro.

Budgies swarming over outback waterhole. Pic: Chris Watson/Shutterstock

Budgies swarming over outback waterhole. Pic: Chris Watson/Shutterstock

Happy twitchin’

The festive season in the outback is a party playground for flocks of visiting nomadic birds like budgerigars and cockatiels. Chasing summer thunderstorms to seek water, the sky can be a vivid spectacle of colour as flocks become more concentrated at dwindling water holes as storms become fewer and farther between.

Up to 4000 birds can be seen congregating around a single waterhole in the summer months at Alice Springs, drawing a large and delighted crowd to witness the phenomenon.

Rare Western Quoll found at South Australia’s Arkaba Conservancy

Rare Western Quoll found at South Australia’s Arkaba Conservancy

Incredible wildlife sightings

You’ll come across increased sightings of lazy relaxed goannas, dragons and skinks as they bask in the open sun. Late breeding seasons also brings brushtail possums and their pouched young into the landscape – you might even catch a glimpse of an endangered Western Quoll, a sweet and curious little creature enough to make anyone swoon.

Presumed extinct across the majority of the nation, Western Quolls have been spotted at Arkaba Conservancy in South Australia’s Flinders Ranges much to the delight of onlookers. The luxury bush escape has worked tirelessly on conservation and re-introduction work for the past 10 years, resulting in sightings on the property. It’s your very own Christmas miracle.

Summer storm bonanza

While the outback is known for the pretty stable forecast of dry and hot, Christmas time brings some of the most intense storms and downfalls of the year – which is warmly welcomed by the land and the locals.

Quiet creek beds can suddenly find themselves overflowing, bringing along a flurry of life and activity as flora and fauna make the most of the cool respite.

It’s a dramatic experience that leaves you in no doubt about the magnificence and wrath of mother nature, leaving the land lush and well-fed in the glistening aftermath.