SYDNEY (AP) — Australia's Outback is a vast and remote place, often missed by visitors who cross the country by flying from one city to the next. Associated Press photographer Rob Griffith, who is based in Sydney, decided to explore the Outback with four friends by motorcycle this summer on a seven-day journey that took them 3,000 kilometers (1,900 miles).

They started from Sydney and headed southwest across the state of New South Wales, bypassing the nation's capital, Canberra. Early morning departures on dark roads meant watching out for emus and kangaroos crossing the road without warning. In the town of Griffith, thousands of sheep grazed in pastures. In Hay Plains, a flat region with little blocking the view of the horizon, there was a spectacular sunrise. In Wentworth, they found the stunning Perry Sandhills, an expanse of wind-swept, red sand dunes.

The next stop was Broken Hill, a mining community in far west New South Wales where the landscape shows the harsher side of the Outback, with dry, cracked earth, spiky spinifex grass and jagged outcrops of granite and sandstone. Nearby is the outpost of Silverton, population 36, famous as the shooting location for the post-apocalyptic film, "Mad Max 2." At the Living Desert Reserve, the draw was Aboriginal rock carvings and a collection of giant, manmade sandstone sculptures jutting out of the red earth.

The Outback is so massive that the bikers could only see a small portion of the countryside in their short trip. Here's a gallery of some of the images Griffith collected along the way.

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Follow AP photographers and photo editors on Twitter: http://apne.ws/15Oo6jo

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