Explore the Outback!

The Red Center

When you come to Australia, whether you’re volunteering or WWOOFing around, you will see Australia has many climactic zones.

The driest part of the continent is the center, commonly referred to as the Red Center or the Outback.

There are many Host Farm opportunities to utilise as a volunteer throughout the center of Australia. You can join fruit and vegetable farms, small to large plots, or try your hand on a cattle or sheep station.

Keep in mind, this part of the country is considered very remote. Up to 200km between towns and food/petrol stations. Get good travel advisory before traveling any further north than Port Augusta in South Australia.

Best time to visit the Red Center is from April-May through to November, the Dry Season. During the wet season roads will be closed due to flash flooding.

If you start your journey from Melbourne or Adelaide, you will connect with the Stuart Highway to go north through the Red Center, you’ll be in South Australia.

South Australia is a mix of southern cool climate forests in the south, changing into red desert country as you head towards the center and Alice Springs.

There are many Host Farm Wineries operating in South Australia, growing Australia’s premium grapes for export and local wine production. There are plenty of volunteering and WWOOFing opportunities throughout the Adelaide hills and surrounding areas.

volunteer in outback australia
south australia

Coober Pedy

First major stop along the Sturt Highway is Coober Pedy. Coober Pedy has some great volunteering opportunities, mainly to do with the mining of Opals. It’s a small town in the middle of no-where, with scant vegetation and lots of mines. So be careful when wandering off the beaten track, as mine holes are everywhere.

Overnight temperatures can drop to 10 degrees or colder in the desert, but daytime temperatures can exceed 35-40 degrees (Celcius). So have plenty of warm bedding and summer clothing.

Desert Driving

After leaving Coober Pedy, you’re on the road to Uluru, Kings Canyon and Alice Springs.

Again, there are a few volunteer opportunities on sheep and cattle stations as well as some smaller WWOOF Australia Host Farm plots around Alice Springs.

Take care driving on these long straight roads. You’ll encounter large Road Trains, which are cattle trucks with 2, 3 or 4 trailers. If they are coming towards you and you’re on a thin bitumen road or gravel road, please pull over and give them the full road. Otherwise you may end up with stones shattering your windscreen.

You’ll also see an abundance of wildlife when traversing the Red Center. Large eagles abound, feeding on the carcasses of dead animals along the road side. Take care when you see these large eagles, and slow down, as they may not move off the road in a hurry.

Kangaroos and emus also live Outback, so have your camera ready on all excursions.

Camp fires are usually permitted most of the year in the desert country. If you’re staying with a Host Farm, they’ll fill you in on the do’s and don’t’s with fire.

Uluru and Kings Canyon

Enough has been written about Uluru, the second largest rock on the planet. Yes, the largest one is in Western Australia, a little known secret. See our article further down.

Kings Canyon however is even more stunning a visit than Uluru. There are a few cattle stations around here where volunteer work may be available. Checkout the WWOOF Map Search function on their website.

Here you can walk on many marked walking trails (not really marked) and be out in the wide open desert with no-one else as far as your eyes can see. Kings Canyon is a sight to behold. Huge mountains and valleys of red rock and snow gum trees.

A hike through the Canyons is a once in a lifetime experience. Connecting with Australia’s aboriginal past and present will give you a soulful experience.

So checkout the WWOOF website to find any Host Farms around the Alice Springs area.

Alice Springs

Alice Springs is the town in the center of Australia. As the name suggests, there is a water supply via underground aquaducts.

It’s a bustling regional city with plenty of opportunities to hang around, do some volunteering, some WWOOFing, and also explore the rugged desert countryside.

All amenities are available in Alice. The town itself is surrounded by high cliffs of red sandstone rock, with dry river beds in the dry season and water pools for a cool swim.