11 Achingly Beautiful Images of the Australian Outback

The rugged charm and desolate beauty of the Australian outback has captivated outsiders for decades. Its reputation as a harsh and hostile environment seems to somehow make it even more intriguing. These photos seem to beautifully summarize exactly what we think about Australia’s outback; wild roaming animals, desolate open space and landscapes that could easily pass as being from another planet all together.

1. Kangaroos are in abundance throughout Australia but in the outback they can be found in large mobs where they’re free to roam as they please. Fun fact: The Red Kangaroo is the largest living marsupial weighing up to 200 lbs. It can also leap up to 25 feet far and 10 feet high.

kangaroos outback

2. There are many gorgeous rock formations throughout the Australian outback, some more famous than others but all usually have a unique story about their formation or the aboriginal spirits around them.

outback

3. These limestone formations are known as The Pinnacles and can be found in Western Australia’s Nambung National Park. One theory of how they formed is that long ago they were formed from seashells which were broken down into limestone sand which blew inland forming the dunes that can be seen today.

pinnacles outback

4. Uluru -the big red rock, or more commonly known as Ayer’s Rock is a monolith that rises from the middle of Australia’s barren outback landscape. The sandstone rock is sacred to Australian aboriginals and is believed to be over 700 million years old.

Uluru

5. Emus are large flightless birds endemic to Australia. They can be found all around the country/continent but it’s not uncommon to see a mob of emus running along side the road as you’re driving through the outback.

Emus outback

6. Proof that in the rugged outback of Australia, you must always be prepared.

outback sign

7. A popular (and often dangerous) job in the outback, ‘mustering’ is the long and difficult process of rounding up livestock and cattle. Mustering can be done on foot, horseback, in vehicles or by aircraft.

mustering outback

8. You just never know what kind of strange, twisted heaps of metal or other trash you might come across in the outback.

Outback wreck

9. In 2008 there were an estimated 1 million feral camels roaming the outback. A culling program was developed in response as the camels were taking a toll on the environment and threatening native species. By 2013 their estimated numbers were reduced to around 300,000.

Camels Outback

10. In the wide expanse of the outback, you can usually see storms coming in from miles and miles away.

outback storm

11. Camels, wombats and kangaroos are only just the beginning of the wild animals that can be found roaming throughout the open expanse of the outback.

outback animal signs

10 Picture Perfect Picnic Spots in the US

From the rugged mountains of the Midwest to the peaceful parks of the East Coast, there are so many beautiful places to spend time outdoors in the United States. Many parks offer a reprieve from the hustle and bustle of life in the big cities without having to go too far. What better way to connect with nature as well as with your family and friends than packing a picnic and heading out to one of these amazingly beautiful picnic spots around the country. So gather your basket and find that checkered table cloth while we take you through the list.

1. Central Park, New York City

It’s no surprise that one of America’s (and possibly even the worlds) most famous parks is on this list. Central Park in New York City is truly an urban escape. When you live your life in a 23 square mile cement jungle it’s important to find a quiet piece of nature to get away from time to time and Central Park provides the place to do just that. Visit a local deli, greenmarket, or bakery and pack a picnic basket with your goods before taking a stroll through the park to find the perfect place for your relaxing afternoon. More than likely you won’t be the only ones with this idea but with a size of 843 acres, this park has plenty of room.

Central Park

2. Point Dume, California

Located near Malibu California, Point Dume offers the perfect opportunity to combine your picnic with some time at the beach. It’s only about an hour drive outside of LA until you reach this beautiful state beach which features rocky cliffs, coves and tons of beach access. If you want a picnic with some scenery this is the place for you because at the top on a clear day you’ll have views of Santa Monica Bay, inland mountains, and the north Malibu Coast. During certain times of the year you may even get the opportunity to spot California gray whales while enjoying your picnic treats.

Point Dume

3. Walden Pond, Massachusetts

What better place to enjoy a meal surrounded by nature than the birthplace of the conservation movement itself. From 1845-1847 American author Henry David Thoreau lived at Walden Pond which inspired his famous book ‘Walden’ which reflected on living a simple life surrounded by nature. Aside from being a beautiful and serene spot for a picnic, the reserve also has hiking trails and in the summer the pond is a very popular spot to swim.

Walden Pond

4. Guadalupe River, Texas

With miles of river front access, the Guadalupe River State Park is an excellent place to spread out your blanket and enjoy a nice picnic by the water. The park is home to tons of birds and wildlife so your picnic may also come with a free serenade courtesy of the local song birds. After lunch you can also enjoy a hike on one of the park trails, paddle a canoe down the river, do some fishing, or for a little more adventure try tubing down the river!

Guadalupe River

5. Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park, Maine

Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park on the coast of Maine is a picnic destination that anyone can appreciate. Only a 40 minute drive north of Portland will get you to this picturesque park where you can spot wildlife including the many Ospreys who call a nearby island their home. Take an inland hike and find one of the covered picnic shelters or stick to the water’s edge for beautiful coastal views. No matter where you choose to lay out your picnic spread in this beautiful park you’re sure to have a relaxing time.

Wolfe's Neck Woods

6. Isle Royale National Park, Michigan

Covering 894 square miles in Lake Superior is the remote island of Isle Royale. The entire island is dedicated as a National Park and was also named as a National Biosphere Reserve in 1980. In addition to being located within one of the Great Lakes, the island itself is also full of smaller lakes, streams and rivers making it home for tons of wildlife including wolves, moose and many birds of prey. While this destination is still the perfect backdrop for a picnic, it’s more than just a day trip destination due to its remote northern location.  To get to Isle Royale National Park you’ll have to take one of the 4 ferries that operate shuttle service to the island from either Michigan or Minnesota or book a flight with a seaplane operator. With some of the best hiking and camping the country has to offer, it’s worth taking your picnic and turning it into a wilderness adventure in this amazing park.

Isle Royale National Park

7. Columbia River Gorge, Oregon

The Columbia River Gorge spans the Northern Oregon/ Southern Washington border and the National Scenic Area covers a staggering 292,500 acres. The highway along the River is lined with dozens of waterfalls but the most impressive is the 620 Foot Multnomah Falls which is the second largest year-round waterfall in the United States. This area provides an amazing picnic setting surrounded by some of Oregon’s most picturesque forest settings and natural water features. After lunch you can even try windsurfing or kitesurfing in the gorge. The natural wind tunnel created by the rock formations makes this spot well known for this thrilling water sport.

Multnomah Falls

8. Eldorado Canyon State Park, Colorado

With some of the best natural attractions in the country including the Rio Grande and Rocky Mountains, the great state of Colorado is a nature lovers dream. One spot you don’t want to miss is the Eldorado Canyon State Park just south of Boulder. This beautiful park offers visitors the opportunity to hike, fish, camp and of course picnic surrounded by amazing sandstone cliffs. The park is also a world class rock climbing spot with over 500 challenging routes. Avoid the big crowds of some of the other big parks and check out Eldorado Canyon for memories that will last a lifetime.

Eldorado Canyon

9. Red Rock Canyon, Nevada

One wouldn’t expect such an amazing natural experience to be hiding just beyond the neon lights of the Vegas strip but a mere 17 miles west lies Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. If you feel like escaping all the noise and stimulation of Las Vegas head to this beautiful park which offers hiking, biking, rock climbing, horseback riding, and a 13 mile scenic drive. Stop off at a market as you leave the bright lights of the strip behind and pack a lunch to enjoy at one of the parks many picnic areas. Once you’re surrounded by Red Rock’s great sandstone peaks, you’ll soon forget you’re still in Las Vegas!

Red Rock Canyon

10. DuPont State Forest, North Carolina

Just above the western border of North and South Carolina lies DuPont State Forest. A 10,400 acre park in the Blue Ridge Mountains with 5 lakes, over 80 miles of roads and many waterfalls. This park is popular with hikers, mountain bikers and horseback riders who all frequent the roads and trails within the park. For a serene picnic experience, head to one of the parks waterfalls and set up your picnic lunch on the rocks beside the flowing waters. This rugged and beautiful park has also seen its fair share of time in the spotlight as it was featured in the 1992 film The Last of the Mohicans as well as the first installment of The Hunger Games trilogy.

DuPont State Forest