So here goes!!!
The term "the Outback" is generally used to refer to locations that are comparatively more remote than those areas named "the bush".
It is easier to explain this if I show you a map.
Can you see me there ?
I live in Brisbane which is the capital city of the state of Queensland (Q'l'd )
The little key at the bottom of the map is about the density of population in people per square metre.
As you can see the majority of the population of Australia lives very close to the coastline especially in the Eastern states. That's because if it rains anywhere in this dry old country of ours it usually rains along this coastal belt.
In New South Wales and Victoria this rainfall and therefore population density extends further inland but, as you can see, most of Australia is rather empty...
In your mind draw a line from Adelaide to Brisbane.
Below and to the right of that line (roughly) is where most Australians live. You can see the darker areas in the map.
Above and to the left is the Outback !!!
There is one more population centre on the west coast, the area around and south of Perth, that whole bulge in the bottom corner there, and a narrow strip along the coast going north, where you will find a few smaller towns.
And that's it !
The rest of Australia is more or less empty!
Everything else on the map is the Australian Outback.
Even the area around Darwin in the north. Darwin is a city, but it's small and isolated. Step outside the city and you find yourself in the Outback.
And places like Katherine or Alice Springs are but mere specks in the middle of nowhere... Definitely Outback.
The Outback is the vast, remote, arid area of Australia.
You can't just go and see the Australian Outback, you can only ever go and see a small part of it, unless you visit us for at least several months. Keep in mind that the different parts of the Outback do not at all look the same, or even have the same climate....
Some parts are very beautiful. Like the photo above.................
......... and some look like this.
There is often quite a lot of vegetation of sorts but little actual grass.......
... but when it rains the Outback bursts into life with a vast array of beautiful wildflowers like these.
and the bird life is spectacular.
So there you have it.
A fairly brief explanation of what Ozzies mean when they talk about "the Outback"
PS. "The Never-Never" is a term referring to remoter parts of the Australian outback. The outback can be also referred to as "back of beyond" or "back o' Bourke" although these terms are more frequently used when referring to something a long way from anywhere, or a long way away.
The well-watered north of the continent is often called the "Top End" and the arid interior "The Red Centre", owing to its vast amounts of red soil and sparse greenery amongst its landscape.