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  1. Bullo River Station, Northern Territory Situated on a whopping half a million acres (the size of the Republic of Mauritius) and developed in the s, this station fits the Aussie image of a genuine cattle station. Vast, grassy plains teeming with cattle, rivers infested with crocodiles and jagged hills dotted with  Missing: pokies.:
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  2. Some of Australia's most impressive sites can be found on private land.:
    Jamie Kunze, Leading Hand at Macumba Station, Oodnadatta. Macumba Station Manager Eddie Nunn on the edge of the Simpson Desert at Macumba Station,. Macumba Station, Oodnadatta. Mustering at Macumba Station, Oodnadatta. Macumba Station, Oodnadatta. Mustering at Macumba Station, Oodnadatta. Macumba. The year-old Romsey Hotel has seen better days. With its edgy atmosphere and gloomy décor, the pub – located in a small town north of Melbourne – is distinctly uninviting. One thing, though, sets it apart from many drinking establishments around Australia: it has no electronic poker machines. Australia's desert landscapes, regarded as the 'outback' of Australia, are a powerful symbol of place, and have inspired and helped define Australia's identity. . desert communities around Alice Springs who were removed from their mothers and grew up in the dormitories of the Bungalow, the old telegraph station building.
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This is in keeping with a desert tourism scoping study which noted that over 75 per cent of all visitors to destinations in regional Australia between and travelled in their own or rented vehicles.

Desert Australia has between seven and 20 of Australia's widely recognised four-wheel drive track destinations: For example, in just over 10 years the Simpson Desert has grown from around recorded vehicle crossings to more than 4, in a season. Desert people want to know how to balance the benefits and costs of increasing visitor numbers through four-wheel drive tourism to remote, culturally, and environmentally sensitive places.

Through the art centres of Papulankutja Artists, Kayili Artists at Patjarr, Warburton Arts, and Irrunytju Arts, artists from this region sell their works in a national and international art market. In contrast to the small business model common across other desert populations, Aboriginal art and cultural enterprises have set up collaborative business structures, companies and incorporated organisations with artists as members.

This structure has enabled hundreds of Aborigines in individual communities and settlements to benefit from their desert knowledge and culture, utilising their skills as artists. Since the s, the Aboriginal owned craft centres and companies have gradually developed as an industry, wholesaling to local, national and international markets, which are worth billions of dollars. One of the first, and perhaps most famous group of Indigenous painters was the Australian Western Desert artists of the Papunya Tula art movement.

Established in , Maruku Arts and Crafts had around members in , creating and selling craft works in wood, known as punu work. Opportunities in the local domestic market for Maruku include sales of new forms of carving to upmarket interiors in hospitality, and expanding the punu story into children's books.

Art centres are a vital part of the economy in desert communities as well as supporting desert culture. Native food products are a key bush resource that have developed as a commercial enterprise, combining Aboriginal traditional knowledge of wild harvesting with market analysis and development of branding and supply chains. Plantation and community bush food production gardens are established widely across the central desert areas. Native fruits and seeds, in addition to bush meats, have been popular in the market since colonial times.

Bush quandongs for tarts, currants or desert raisins, limes, tomatoes, plums, apples, lemon myrtle, and wattle seeds are all used widely today. In Robyn Davidson headed west out of Alice Springs into the desert county with a small caravan of camels — a white woman travelling alone through the desert wilderness.

Her journey made international headlines and parts were photographed for National Geographic , before her story was published as Tracks , in A view of the mixed European population of Alice Springs, with links to German missionaries and Russian Australian anthropologists, is described in Bruce Chatwin's Songlines , an award winning book.

This work, part fiction and part non-fiction, describes the European existence only in terms of its knowledge of Aboriginal desert culture. Outback desert films have developed as a genre in their own right. Most often, their themes examine the strange, the surreal, the terror and the unknown which have confronted non-Indigenous people in the desert, in usually tragic consequences.

Sustaining a reciprocal relationship with European media culture about what defines desert culture has led to the adoption of new communication tools. Anthropologist Eric Michael's publication, The Aboriginal Invention of Television , which followed the launch of the first AusSat satellite in , looked at the need of Aboriginal communities to strengthen their own knowledge and culture. A film making company located in the centre of Alice Springs, CAAMA works with Indigenous filmmakers, local Aboriginal people, and communities, producing films and broadcasting in television and radio.

Goolarri Media assists the development of both Indigenous and non-Indigenous media and communications in the Kimberley region, and of Indigenous musicians throughout Western Australia. The material included artefacts, photographs, film footage and sound recordings from tourists, private individuals and missionaries.

Also included were geographic expeditions such as the Horn expedition of the s which systematically collected geological, biological and anthropological material from central Australia. By , Ara Irititja had tracked down hundreds of thousands of historical and cultural items and is working to make them available to Anangu through the database.

Ara Irititja has integrated cultural priorities into the design of its digital archive and restricts access to some knowledge on the basis of seniority and gender. More than 20 unique projects commenced by separate Indigenous language groups in Australia use the Ara Irititja approach and database software.

Today, there is a new focus on appreciating desert knowledge through both the experience and knowledge of desert dwellers and the itinerant populations. What was once seen as empty, strange, surreal, terrifying and unknown has come to be appreciated as a beautiful, living, complex ecosystem, rich with biodiversity that, with cultural and scientific knowledge, can contribute to permanent multifunctional livelihoods.

DKA built on people's desert knowledge by creating a research organisation that linked the best of Aboriginal knowledge with the best of Western science. There are seven recognised sub-regional areas: The resulting knowledge innovation, inspiration and technologies are relevant in a world where global resources are becoming scarce.

The new media and technologies adopting old knowledge also help people outside desert areas to begin to understand the desert experience through the eyes of desert dwellers. Jump to navigation Skip to main content. Parts of this site may not work properly because you are using an outdated browser.

Close Contact Government Publications. Departments and Agencies Cross Government Bodies. International Relations How Government Works. Close Media Releases What's On. Social Media Public consultations.

Close Facts and Figures. Special dates and events. The Australian desert — the outback of Australia. Pedirka Desert, courtesy of Stan Sheldon. Rabbit Proof Fence , directed by Phillip Noyce. Greater bilbies, courtesy of Alice Springs Desert Park. Joint Defence Facility Pine Gap. Alice Springs Desert Park. Keeping you bird baths in the sun is a good way to kill disease, but this also causes quick evaporation so checking the water levels from time to time is important.

However, Grainne adds that for those who have formed close relationships with a particular bird and know their behaviours, you can give them something a little extra. But again, these are the birds you know. If you live an area where there are high populations of urban koalas, such as in Queensland, there are some important steps you can take to ensure their safety.

Having water in a safe spot or keeping your pets inside will help prevent an attack. Sporting a subtle pigment on their neck, the Petrogale purpureicollis or more commonly, the purple-necked rock-wallaby blends in with the lilac to grey stone escarpments of Mt Isa, northwest Queensland.

According to Mark Eldridge , the Principal Research Scientist of Terrestrial Vertebrates at the Australian Museum, for a long time after they were first discovered in by Albert Sherbourne Le Souef, the first director of Taronga Zoo, people assumed the rock-wallaby had just rubbed against a coloured rock. Mark also says that, similarly to red kangaroos, the pigment washes off.

However, we still no very little about the function of the purple pigment. Scientists are still unsure of exactly what the purple pigment is made of, but its secreted through the skin and then displayed on the rock-wallabies neck. Mark says that a possible explanation for the wallabies purple neck is that it could be functioning as a type of camouflage, but adds that this is only one possibility. The first echidna specimens arrived in the UK in and were received by George Shaw of the Royal Zoological Society, who completed the first scientific descriptions.

Owen determined, however, that all the questions remaining about the echidna following his in-depth research— their mating habits, gestation and the age of sexual maturity—could only be answered by observing the animal in its natural habitat.

She'd blown the mortgage. Others were worried that gambling would alter the feel of the town. Even the chip shop closes by 8pm. The case struck a chord nationally. Anne Phelan, a Romsey resident and a leading Australian actor who has starred in Prisoner and Neighbours, was on tour in Western Australia earlier this year.

In Woodend, just to the west, bumper stickers declare the town "proud to be pokie-free". In Jan Juc, a seaside hamlet on the Victorian coast, the council won a high-profile battle against a gaming application last week. However, in Romsey the local sports clubs which are sponsored by Mr Hogan — and had hoped for extra financial support — are bitterly disappointed.

If we lose the pub as well, that's going to devastate the town. I don't know how we'd survive that. Mr Hogan, who is laying on courtesy buses to transport Romsey folk across the countryside to Wallan, says: Gambling is a legal recreational activity, and if there was a gaming room in the Romsey Hotel, no one would be forced to go there.

It's preposterous that 20 or 30 people can hold up a multi-million-dollar development. What about the rights of my patrons? They've been abrogated by a small minority of people who want to foist their morals on everyone else.

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This includes 1, types of plants, with the most common type of vegetation in rangelands being grasslands including spinifex. There are over vertebrate animals; however the following desert mammals are extinct: Twenty three per cent of the rangelands are used for nature conservation as they are home to a significant number of rare fauna and flora species and are the habitat for rare, threatened, and endangered species.

The desert lands include five World Heritage sites and eleven per cent of all the listings on the Register of the National Estate. Today, in addition to pastoralism, the Western Australian rangelands produce most of the state's mineral and energy wealth, offer major tourism potential, contain essential elements of the state's biological diversity and are recognised as being of special significance to the Aboriginal population.

Many desert people's livelihoods have been both dependent on and also vulnerable to commodity prices in the two key industries of pastoralism and mining.

The vulnerability is reflected in the history and heritage of many deserted towns, such as the old mining towns around Meekatharra, Cue, Day Dawn, and Sandstone, part of the Mid West region of Western Australia. There are many abandoned stone buildings and remnants of communities on the fringe of the Tanami, Great Sandy and Simpson deserts. First leased in and surrounded by year old date palms, the cattle pens are still standing adjacent to the old stone buildings — the remains of the homestead, the stockman's quarters and the blacksmith's building.

There is also the remains of an unnamed grave, slightly built up with rock and stone. After being sold many times, abandoned in and rebuilt in , Dalhousie Ruins was taken over in by the Department for Environment and Heritage and dedicated as Witjira National Park. There are around 6, pastoral enterprises which occupy about 58 per cent of the land area in the grass lands or rangelands that comprise the desert areas.

These enterprises have contributed significantly to the economy but are under increasing pressures. The rangelands make up 87 per cent of Western Australia's landmass and include all but the south-west of the state.

Livestock grazing on pastoral leasehold is the dominant commercial land use across 42 per cent , km 2 of the WA rangelands. Pastoralism, as one of the major land uses in the rangelands, has a significant role to play in natural resource management and large scale monitoring is undertaken with grassland sites being assessed on a three year cycle.

When Aboriginal pastoral workers walked off the pastoral stations in the s as part of a civil rights campaign because they weren't being paid, most were unable to return as the stations couldn't afford to pay wages. Thus, many of the stations became unviable as individual entities. Today, multinational corporate pastoral companies dominate the sector. Changes in the number of pastoral leases is also attributed to some leases, like Henbury station in Central Australia, becoming protected areas and part of Australia's National Reserve System.

However, pastoralism is likely to remain as the core activity in Australian rangelands in terms of land use. Mining prospecting in the semi-arid desert areas began as early as the s with individual prospectors in the Northern Territory and Queensland, and in the s in the Kimberley, Western Australia.

Whilst mining is the mainstay of large mining towns, mining has had little direct long term economic benefit on the permanent populations of the desert communities. Companies are now working collaboratively across regions to share the mining services contracts. It works to form partnerships with Australia's Indigenous businesses and builds workforce capacity for long-term economic growth in mining services. Australian deserts also contain important national economic and physical infrastructure, as joint operations with foreign governments, hosting sites for weapons testing facilities and military bases.

British nuclear tests at Maralinga occurred between and at the Maralinga site, part of the Woomera Prohibited Area, in South Australia. It was developed as a joint facility with a shared funding arrangement and was officially closed following a clean-up operation in Operations at the Joint Defence Facility Pine Gap, run jointly with the Americans, began in as a highly sophisticated satellite tracking and communications centre just outside Alice Springs.

Approximately 1, employees are engaged in signals intelligence. Both sites have created much public controversy and have been the subject of a Royal Commission and Parliamentary Senate Inquiry. The film Contact, explores the consequences of when two officers from the Weapons Research Establishment were clearing a barren dump zone in , where a series of rocket tests were to take place, when they came across the area's Indigenous owners, Martu people.

This group of 20 Martu people were unaware that there was a modern society beyond the , square miles of desert they called home. The film documents the Martu's startling first contact and eventual removal from their homeland. The Australian desert tourism industry influences almost all other industries in the region as well as the infrastructure needs and quality of life in the regional populations.

Some desert communities are keen to have a share of that economy in order to improve their livelihoods. A fascination with the desert and its environment developed from the s to s. Appealing to a broader audience, journalist Ernestine Hill wrote The Great Australian Lonelines s , giving an account of five years travelling across the Nullarbor, from Adelaide to Darwin via the Birdsville Track, and through Arnhem Land.

The desert landscape was brought to life by Hans Heyson's shimmering paintings of the Flinders Ranges and Albert Namatjira's paintings of hauntingly beautiful ghost gums of the central Australian desert from the s. Russell Drysdale's seeping red landscapes of western New South Wales and Sidney Nolan's surreal landscapes of central Australia startled the public with their haunting and searing images in the s.

These works focused the Australian public's imagination of the desert as a different, surreal and complex entity. Arthur Groom's book, I Saw a Strange Land saw the potential for tourism linked to the protection of the landscapes and respect for Aboriginal culture.

These books included legends, stories and visual descriptions of Aboriginal people, their art and culture. In seven attributes were strongly associated with desert tourism: This is in keeping with a desert tourism scoping study which noted that over 75 per cent of all visitors to destinations in regional Australia between and travelled in their own or rented vehicles. Desert Australia has between seven and 20 of Australia's widely recognised four-wheel drive track destinations: For example, in just over 10 years the Simpson Desert has grown from around recorded vehicle crossings to more than 4, in a season.

Desert people want to know how to balance the benefits and costs of increasing visitor numbers through four-wheel drive tourism to remote, culturally, and environmentally sensitive places. Through the art centres of Papulankutja Artists, Kayili Artists at Patjarr, Warburton Arts, and Irrunytju Arts, artists from this region sell their works in a national and international art market.

In contrast to the small business model common across other desert populations, Aboriginal art and cultural enterprises have set up collaborative business structures, companies and incorporated organisations with artists as members. This structure has enabled hundreds of Aborigines in individual communities and settlements to benefit from their desert knowledge and culture, utilising their skills as artists.

Since the s, the Aboriginal owned craft centres and companies have gradually developed as an industry, wholesaling to local, national and international markets, which are worth billions of dollars.

The important thing is to watch and learn. Grainne says adding a little ice into the water is a great way to cool down the temperature and provide a little fun for the birds. Keeping you bird baths in the sun is a good way to kill disease, but this also causes quick evaporation so checking the water levels from time to time is important. However, Grainne adds that for those who have formed close relationships with a particular bird and know their behaviours, you can give them something a little extra.

But again, these are the birds you know. If you live an area where there are high populations of urban koalas, such as in Queensland, there are some important steps you can take to ensure their safety.

Having water in a safe spot or keeping your pets inside will help prevent an attack. Sporting a subtle pigment on their neck, the Petrogale purpureicollis or more commonly, the purple-necked rock-wallaby blends in with the lilac to grey stone escarpments of Mt Isa, northwest Queensland.

According to Mark Eldridge , the Principal Research Scientist of Terrestrial Vertebrates at the Australian Museum, for a long time after they were first discovered in by Albert Sherbourne Le Souef, the first director of Taronga Zoo, people assumed the rock-wallaby had just rubbed against a coloured rock. Mark also says that, similarly to red kangaroos, the pigment washes off. However, we still no very little about the function of the purple pigment. Scientists are still unsure of exactly what the purple pigment is made of, but its secreted through the skin and then displayed on the rock-wallabies neck.

Mark says that a possible explanation for the wallabies purple neck is that it could be functioning as a type of camouflage, but adds that this is only one possibility. Drivers unused to dirt roads should be especially cautious — it is recommended that drivers reduce their speed, drive with extra care, and avoid driving at night because animals can stray onto roads.

Travelling in remote areas in northern Australia is not advisable during the wet season November to April , as heavy tropical downpours can quickly make dirt roads impassable. In the remotest parts of Australia fuel sellers are located hundreds of kilometres apart, so spare fuel must be carried or refuelling spots calculated carefully in order not to run out of fuel in between towns.

In addition, multiple trailer trucks known as Road Trains traverse these roads and extreme care must be taken when around these vehicles, due to their weight, length often three full trailers long and amount of dust thrown up by over 46 tyres. The Stuart Highway runs from north to south through the centre of the continent, roughly paralleled by the Adelaide—Darwin railway.

There is a proposal to develop some of the roads running from the south-west to the north-east to create an all-weather road named the Outback Highway , crossing the continent diagonally from Laverton, Western Australia north of Kalgoorlie , through the Northern Territory to Winton , in Queensland. Air transport is relied on for mail delivery in some areas, owing to sparse settlement and wet-season road closures. Most outback mines have an airstrip and many have a fly-in fly-out workforce.

Most outback sheep stations and cattle stations have an airstrip and quite a few have their own light plane. Medical and ambulance services are provided by the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

Visitors to the outback often drive their own or rented vehicles, or take organised tours. Travel through remote areas on main roads is easily done and requires no planning. However travel through very remote areas, on isolated tracks, requires planning and a suitable, reliable vehicle usually a four-wheel drive. On very remote routes considerable supplies and equipment may be required; this can include prearranged caches.

It is not advisable to travel into these especially remote areas with a single vehicle, unless fully equipped with good communication technology e. Many visitors prefer to travel in these areas in a convoy.

Deaths of tourists and locals becoming stranded on outback trips occasionally occur, sometimes because insufficient water and food supplies were taken, or because people have walked away from their vehicle in search of help.

Travellers through very remote areas should always inform a reliable person of their route and expected destination arrival time, and remember that a vehicle is much easier to locate in an aerial search, than a person, so in the event of a breakdown, they must not leave their vehicle.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Outback disambiguation. History of Indigenous Australians and European exploration of Australia. Interim Biogeographic Regionalisation for Australia.

Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia. School of the Air. Archived from the original on 24 May Retrieved 24 May Australia's vast, majestic northern savannas need more care".

Retrieved 13 November Regions of the World. Regions of North America. Regions of South America. Amazon basin Atlantic Forest Caatinga Cerrado. Earth 's Oceans and Seas. Retrieved from " https: Views Read Edit View history. In other projects Wikimedia Commons Wikivoyage.

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The mixed populations and relations with Aboriginal people in desert towns and cities have become iconic in Australian literature since the s. Arthur Upfield's 29 best-selling novels brought together a range of characters and issues related to desert life in Central Australia.

The books, featuring the central character Boney, an Aboriginal detective, were adapted to a television series of 26 episodes. The cooperation and ingenuity of the mixed populations is an iconic measure of ideal life in Neville Shute's popular classic, A Town like Alice , set around the Second World War, — Another view of the mixed population growing up in Alice Springs is offered through the biographies of Charles Perkins: They narrate the stories of children from desert communities around Alice Springs who were removed from their mothers and grew up in the dormitories of the Bungalow, the old telegraph station building.

As Aboriginal people comprise a main population living in desert areas, their different views about land and water use have led to both close association and also conflict over these resources. Managed fires have always been important for Aboriginal people to survive — for warmth and hunting as well as managing plants and animals in their country. Knowledge of using fires for survival and ceremony are part of a rich cultural tradition.

Fire has its own dreaming stories. In , the Uluru-Kata Tjuta Fire and Vegetation Management Strategy incorporates both traditional and contemporary fire management techniques to fire hazard reduction within the park through an annual burning program. The project encompasses traditional knowledge and techniques for cool mosaic burning as well as European techniques for hazard burning.

For Martu people, fire is a way to refresh the country, regenerate plant growth as well as manage the height of the grass to prevent out of control fires from lightning strikes.

Controlling fire is a skill and knowledge that is remembered from the old people and passed down to the younger generation. Lindsay Robinson, a Martu ranger, believes that, fire;. Its like for us learning, refreshing the country. It is like farming, you go out and bring in some bush foods and bush tucker. It's the same, similar thing when you're making a little farm, just going out and making a waru [fire] and bring in more kipara [bush turkey] back again and Jimjiwirrlyi [bushraisin] and wamurla [bush tomato].

Its keeping that country fresh. Rangelands NRM, Waru, kuka, mirrka wankarringu — lampaju Burning, bushfoods and biodiversity , video. Aboriginal desert people hold extensive knowledge of water sources in their dreaming stories, their vocabulary for different types of transient or permanent waterholes, and the means to pass this on through dance and paintings. The books include stories of 20 traditional owners returning to their country, travelling through the long regular red jilji or sand hills, finding and digging out waterholes they hadn't seen in 45 years, identifying over plants and where appropriate, identifying their uses.

The priceless knowledge of how to find, secure and maintain water sources in the desert concerns both the Walmatjarri people and pastoralists. Understanding the nature of the changes in the desert rangelands as they relate to landscape, soils, biodiversity, land clearing, rainfall, fire regimes, and Aboriginal values for managing land, is now the subject of a large data project.

Managing desert lands involves an extraordinary biodiversity of plants and animals with complex conservation issues. This includes 1, types of plants, with the most common type of vegetation in rangelands being grasslands including spinifex. There are over vertebrate animals; however the following desert mammals are extinct: Twenty three per cent of the rangelands are used for nature conservation as they are home to a significant number of rare fauna and flora species and are the habitat for rare, threatened, and endangered species.

The desert lands include five World Heritage sites and eleven per cent of all the listings on the Register of the National Estate. Today, in addition to pastoralism, the Western Australian rangelands produce most of the state's mineral and energy wealth, offer major tourism potential, contain essential elements of the state's biological diversity and are recognised as being of special significance to the Aboriginal population.

Many desert people's livelihoods have been both dependent on and also vulnerable to commodity prices in the two key industries of pastoralism and mining.

The vulnerability is reflected in the history and heritage of many deserted towns, such as the old mining towns around Meekatharra, Cue, Day Dawn, and Sandstone, part of the Mid West region of Western Australia.

There are many abandoned stone buildings and remnants of communities on the fringe of the Tanami, Great Sandy and Simpson deserts. First leased in and surrounded by year old date palms, the cattle pens are still standing adjacent to the old stone buildings — the remains of the homestead, the stockman's quarters and the blacksmith's building.

There is also the remains of an unnamed grave, slightly built up with rock and stone. After being sold many times, abandoned in and rebuilt in , Dalhousie Ruins was taken over in by the Department for Environment and Heritage and dedicated as Witjira National Park. There are around 6, pastoral enterprises which occupy about 58 per cent of the land area in the grass lands or rangelands that comprise the desert areas.

These enterprises have contributed significantly to the economy but are under increasing pressures. The rangelands make up 87 per cent of Western Australia's landmass and include all but the south-west of the state. Livestock grazing on pastoral leasehold is the dominant commercial land use across 42 per cent , km 2 of the WA rangelands.

Pastoralism, as one of the major land uses in the rangelands, has a significant role to play in natural resource management and large scale monitoring is undertaken with grassland sites being assessed on a three year cycle. When Aboriginal pastoral workers walked off the pastoral stations in the s as part of a civil rights campaign because they weren't being paid, most were unable to return as the stations couldn't afford to pay wages. Thus, many of the stations became unviable as individual entities.

Today, multinational corporate pastoral companies dominate the sector. Changes in the number of pastoral leases is also attributed to some leases, like Henbury station in Central Australia, becoming protected areas and part of Australia's National Reserve System.

However, pastoralism is likely to remain as the core activity in Australian rangelands in terms of land use. Mining prospecting in the semi-arid desert areas began as early as the s with individual prospectors in the Northern Territory and Queensland, and in the s in the Kimberley, Western Australia. Whilst mining is the mainstay of large mining towns, mining has had little direct long term economic benefit on the permanent populations of the desert communities.

Companies are now working collaboratively across regions to share the mining services contracts. It works to form partnerships with Australia's Indigenous businesses and builds workforce capacity for long-term economic growth in mining services. Australian deserts also contain important national economic and physical infrastructure, as joint operations with foreign governments, hosting sites for weapons testing facilities and military bases. British nuclear tests at Maralinga occurred between and at the Maralinga site, part of the Woomera Prohibited Area, in South Australia.

It was developed as a joint facility with a shared funding arrangement and was officially closed following a clean-up operation in Operations at the Joint Defence Facility Pine Gap, run jointly with the Americans, began in as a highly sophisticated satellite tracking and communications centre just outside Alice Springs.

Approximately 1, employees are engaged in signals intelligence. Both sites have created much public controversy and have been the subject of a Royal Commission and Parliamentary Senate Inquiry. The film Contact, explores the consequences of when two officers from the Weapons Research Establishment were clearing a barren dump zone in , where a series of rocket tests were to take place, when they came across the area's Indigenous owners, Martu people.

This group of 20 Martu people were unaware that there was a modern society beyond the , square miles of desert they called home. The film documents the Martu's startling first contact and eventual removal from their homeland.

The Australian desert tourism industry influences almost all other industries in the region as well as the infrastructure needs and quality of life in the regional populations.

Some desert communities are keen to have a share of that economy in order to improve their livelihoods. A fascination with the desert and its environment developed from the s to s. Appealing to a broader audience, journalist Ernestine Hill wrote The Great Australian Lonelines s , giving an account of five years travelling across the Nullarbor, from Adelaide to Darwin via the Birdsville Track, and through Arnhem Land.

The desert landscape was brought to life by Hans Heyson's shimmering paintings of the Flinders Ranges and Albert Namatjira's paintings of hauntingly beautiful ghost gums of the central Australian desert from the s. Russell Drysdale's seeping red landscapes of western New South Wales and Sidney Nolan's surreal landscapes of central Australia startled the public with their haunting and searing images in the s.

These works focused the Australian public's imagination of the desert as a different, surreal and complex entity. Arthur Groom's book, I Saw a Strange Land saw the potential for tourism linked to the protection of the landscapes and respect for Aboriginal culture.

These books included legends, stories and visual descriptions of Aboriginal people, their art and culture. In seven attributes were strongly associated with desert tourism: This is in keeping with a desert tourism scoping study which noted that over 75 per cent of all visitors to destinations in regional Australia between and travelled in their own or rented vehicles.

Desert Australia has between seven and 20 of Australia's widely recognised four-wheel drive track destinations: For example, in just over 10 years the Simpson Desert has grown from around recorded vehicle crossings to more than 4, in a season. Desert people want to know how to balance the benefits and costs of increasing visitor numbers through four-wheel drive tourism to remote, culturally, and environmentally sensitive places. Through the art centres of Papulankutja Artists, Kayili Artists at Patjarr, Warburton Arts, and Irrunytju Arts, artists from this region sell their works in a national and international art market.

In contrast to the small business model common across other desert populations, Aboriginal art and cultural enterprises have set up collaborative business structures, companies and incorporated organisations with artists as members. This structure has enabled hundreds of Aborigines in individual communities and settlements to benefit from their desert knowledge and culture, utilising their skills as artists.

Since the s, the Aboriginal owned craft centres and companies have gradually developed as an industry, wholesaling to local, national and international markets, which are worth billions of dollars.

One of the first, and perhaps most famous group of Indigenous painters was the Australian Western Desert artists of the Papunya Tula art movement. In , 17,, hectares 42,, acres , most of which is in Outback Australia, was fully certified as organic farm production, making Australia the largest certified organic production area in the world.

There is no breakdown of tourism revenues for the "Outback" per se. However, regional tourism is a major component of national tourism incomes. Tourism Australia explicitly markets nature-based and Indigenous-led experiences to tourists.

There are many popular tourist attractions in the Outback. Some of the well known destinations include:. Other than agriculture and tourism, the main economic activity in this vast and sparsely settled area is mining.

Owing to the almost complete absence of mountain building and glaciation since the Permian in many areas since the Cambrian ages, the outback is extremely rich in iron, aluminium, manganese and uranium ores, and also contains major deposits of gold, nickel, copper, lead and zinc ores. Because of its size, the value of grazing and mining is considerable. Oil and gas are extracted in the Cooper Basin around Moomba.

In Western Australia the Argyle diamond mine in the Kimberley is the world's biggest producer of natural diamonds and contributes approximately one-third of the world's natural supply. The Pilbara region's economy is dominated by mining and petroleum industries. Aboriginal communities in outback regions, such as the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara lands in northern South Australia, have not been displaced as they have been in areas of intensive agriculture and large cities, in coastal areas.

The total population of the Outback in Australia declined from , in to , in The largest decline was noted in the Outback Northern Territory , while the Kimberley and Pilbara showed population increases during the same period. In former times, serious injuries or illnesses often meant death due to the lack of proper medical facilities and trained personnel.

In most outback communities, the number of children is too small for a conventional school to operate. Children are educated at home by the School of the Air. Originally the teachers communicated with the children via radio, but now satellite telecommunication is used instead. Some children attend boarding school, mostly only those in secondary school.

The concept of 'back' country, which initially meant land beyond the settled regions, was in existence in Crossing of the Blue Mountains and other exploration of the inland however gave a different dimension to the perception.

The term "outback" was first used in print in , when the writer clearly meant west of Wagga Wagga , New South Wales. It is colloquially said that 'the outback' is located "beyond the Black Stump ".

The location of the black stump may be some hypothetical location or may vary depending on local custom and folklore. It has been suggested that the term comes from the Black Stump Wine Saloon that once stood about 10 kilometres 6.

It is claimed that the saloon, named after the nearby Black Stump Run and Black Stump Creek, was an important staging post for traffic to north-west New South Wales and it became a marker by which people gauged their journeys. The Outback can also be referred to as "back of beyond", "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. The outback is criss-crossed by historic tracks. Most of the major highways have an excellent bitumen surface and other major roads are usually well-maintained dirt roads.

Tracks in very sandy or exceedingly rocky areas may require high-clearance four wheel drives and spare fuel, tyres, food and water before attempting to travel them, however most outback roads are easily traversed in ordinary vehicles, provided care is taken.

Drivers unused to dirt roads should be especially cautious — it is recommended that drivers reduce their speed, drive with extra care, and avoid driving at night because animals can stray onto roads. Travelling in remote areas in northern Australia is not advisable during the wet season November to April , as heavy tropical downpours can quickly make dirt roads impassable.

In the remotest parts of Australia fuel sellers are located hundreds of kilometres apart, so spare fuel must be carried or refuelling spots calculated carefully in order not to run out of fuel in between towns.

In addition, multiple trailer trucks known as Road Trains traverse these roads and extreme care must be taken when around these vehicles, due to their weight, length often three full trailers long and amount of dust thrown up by over 46 tyres. The Stuart Highway runs from north to south through the centre of the continent, roughly paralleled by the Adelaide—Darwin railway.

There is a proposal to develop some of the roads running from the south-west to the north-east to create an all-weather road named the Outback Highway , crossing the continent diagonally from Laverton, Western Australia north of Kalgoorlie , through the Northern Territory to Winton , in Queensland. Air transport is relied on for mail delivery in some areas, owing to sparse settlement and wet-season road closures. Most outback mines have an airstrip and many have a fly-in fly-out workforce.

Most outback sheep stations and cattle stations have an airstrip and quite a few have their own light plane. Medical and ambulance services are provided by the Royal Flying Doctor Service. Visitors to the outback often drive their own or rented vehicles, or take organised tours. Travel through remote areas on main roads is easily done and requires no planning.

However travel through very remote areas, on isolated tracks, requires planning and a suitable, reliable vehicle usually a four-wheel drive. On very remote routes considerable supplies and equipment may be required; this can include prearranged caches.

It is not advisable to travel into these especially remote areas with a single vehicle, unless fully equipped with good communication technology e. Many visitors prefer to travel in these areas in a convoy. Deaths of tourists and locals becoming stranded on outback trips occasionally occur, sometimes because insufficient water and food supplies were taken, or because people have walked away from their vehicle in search of help.

Travellers through very remote areas should always inform a reliable person of their route and expected destination arrival time, and remember that a vehicle is much easier to locate in an aerial search, than a person, so in the event of a breakdown, they must not leave their vehicle.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Outback disambiguation. History of Indigenous Australians and European exploration of Australia. Interim Biogeographic Regionalisation for Australia. Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia.

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Thus, many of the stations became unviable as individual entities. Today, multinational corporate pastoral companies dominate the sector. Changes in the number of pastoral leases is also attributed to some leases, like Henbury station in Central Australia, becoming protected areas and part of Australia's National Reserve System.

However, pastoralism is likely to remain as the core activity in Australian rangelands in terms of land use. Mining prospecting in the semi-arid desert areas began as early as the s with individual prospectors in the Northern Territory and Queensland, and in the s in the Kimberley, Western Australia. Whilst mining is the mainstay of large mining towns, mining has had little direct long term economic benefit on the permanent populations of the desert communities.

Companies are now working collaboratively across regions to share the mining services contracts. It works to form partnerships with Australia's Indigenous businesses and builds workforce capacity for long-term economic growth in mining services.

Australian deserts also contain important national economic and physical infrastructure, as joint operations with foreign governments, hosting sites for weapons testing facilities and military bases. British nuclear tests at Maralinga occurred between and at the Maralinga site, part of the Woomera Prohibited Area, in South Australia.

It was developed as a joint facility with a shared funding arrangement and was officially closed following a clean-up operation in Operations at the Joint Defence Facility Pine Gap, run jointly with the Americans, began in as a highly sophisticated satellite tracking and communications centre just outside Alice Springs.

Approximately 1, employees are engaged in signals intelligence. Both sites have created much public controversy and have been the subject of a Royal Commission and Parliamentary Senate Inquiry. The film Contact, explores the consequences of when two officers from the Weapons Research Establishment were clearing a barren dump zone in , where a series of rocket tests were to take place, when they came across the area's Indigenous owners, Martu people.

This group of 20 Martu people were unaware that there was a modern society beyond the , square miles of desert they called home. The film documents the Martu's startling first contact and eventual removal from their homeland. The Australian desert tourism industry influences almost all other industries in the region as well as the infrastructure needs and quality of life in the regional populations. Some desert communities are keen to have a share of that economy in order to improve their livelihoods.

A fascination with the desert and its environment developed from the s to s. Appealing to a broader audience, journalist Ernestine Hill wrote The Great Australian Lonelines s , giving an account of five years travelling across the Nullarbor, from Adelaide to Darwin via the Birdsville Track, and through Arnhem Land. The desert landscape was brought to life by Hans Heyson's shimmering paintings of the Flinders Ranges and Albert Namatjira's paintings of hauntingly beautiful ghost gums of the central Australian desert from the s.

Russell Drysdale's seeping red landscapes of western New South Wales and Sidney Nolan's surreal landscapes of central Australia startled the public with their haunting and searing images in the s. These works focused the Australian public's imagination of the desert as a different, surreal and complex entity. Arthur Groom's book, I Saw a Strange Land saw the potential for tourism linked to the protection of the landscapes and respect for Aboriginal culture.

These books included legends, stories and visual descriptions of Aboriginal people, their art and culture. In seven attributes were strongly associated with desert tourism: This is in keeping with a desert tourism scoping study which noted that over 75 per cent of all visitors to destinations in regional Australia between and travelled in their own or rented vehicles. Desert Australia has between seven and 20 of Australia's widely recognised four-wheel drive track destinations: For example, in just over 10 years the Simpson Desert has grown from around recorded vehicle crossings to more than 4, in a season.

Desert people want to know how to balance the benefits and costs of increasing visitor numbers through four-wheel drive tourism to remote, culturally, and environmentally sensitive places. Through the art centres of Papulankutja Artists, Kayili Artists at Patjarr, Warburton Arts, and Irrunytju Arts, artists from this region sell their works in a national and international art market.

In contrast to the small business model common across other desert populations, Aboriginal art and cultural enterprises have set up collaborative business structures, companies and incorporated organisations with artists as members. This structure has enabled hundreds of Aborigines in individual communities and settlements to benefit from their desert knowledge and culture, utilising their skills as artists.

Since the s, the Aboriginal owned craft centres and companies have gradually developed as an industry, wholesaling to local, national and international markets, which are worth billions of dollars.

One of the first, and perhaps most famous group of Indigenous painters was the Australian Western Desert artists of the Papunya Tula art movement. Established in , Maruku Arts and Crafts had around members in , creating and selling craft works in wood, known as punu work. Opportunities in the local domestic market for Maruku include sales of new forms of carving to upmarket interiors in hospitality, and expanding the punu story into children's books.

Art centres are a vital part of the economy in desert communities as well as supporting desert culture. Native food products are a key bush resource that have developed as a commercial enterprise, combining Aboriginal traditional knowledge of wild harvesting with market analysis and development of branding and supply chains.

Plantation and community bush food production gardens are established widely across the central desert areas. Native fruits and seeds, in addition to bush meats, have been popular in the market since colonial times. Bush quandongs for tarts, currants or desert raisins, limes, tomatoes, plums, apples, lemon myrtle, and wattle seeds are all used widely today.

In Robyn Davidson headed west out of Alice Springs into the desert county with a small caravan of camels — a white woman travelling alone through the desert wilderness. Her journey made international headlines and parts were photographed for National Geographic , before her story was published as Tracks , in A view of the mixed European population of Alice Springs, with links to German missionaries and Russian Australian anthropologists, is described in Bruce Chatwin's Songlines , an award winning book.

This work, part fiction and part non-fiction, describes the European existence only in terms of its knowledge of Aboriginal desert culture. Outback desert films have developed as a genre in their own right. Most often, their themes examine the strange, the surreal, the terror and the unknown which have confronted non-Indigenous people in the desert, in usually tragic consequences. Sustaining a reciprocal relationship with European media culture about what defines desert culture has led to the adoption of new communication tools.

Anthropologist Eric Michael's publication, The Aboriginal Invention of Television , which followed the launch of the first AusSat satellite in , looked at the need of Aboriginal communities to strengthen their own knowledge and culture. A film making company located in the centre of Alice Springs, CAAMA works with Indigenous filmmakers, local Aboriginal people, and communities, producing films and broadcasting in television and radio.

Goolarri Media assists the development of both Indigenous and non-Indigenous media and communications in the Kimberley region, and of Indigenous musicians throughout Western Australia.

The material included artefacts, photographs, film footage and sound recordings from tourists, private individuals and missionaries. Also included were geographic expeditions such as the Horn expedition of the s which systematically collected geological, biological and anthropological material from central Australia. By , Ara Irititja had tracked down hundreds of thousands of historical and cultural items and is working to make them available to Anangu through the database.

Ara Irititja has integrated cultural priorities into the design of its digital archive and restricts access to some knowledge on the basis of seniority and gender. More than 20 unique projects commenced by separate Indigenous language groups in Australia use the Ara Irititja approach and database software. Today, there is a new focus on appreciating desert knowledge through both the experience and knowledge of desert dwellers and the itinerant populations.

What was once seen as empty, strange, surreal, terrifying and unknown has come to be appreciated as a beautiful, living, complex ecosystem, rich with biodiversity that, with cultural and scientific knowledge, can contribute to permanent multifunctional livelihoods. DKA built on people's desert knowledge by creating a research organisation that linked the best of Aboriginal knowledge with the best of Western science. There are seven recognised sub-regional areas: The resulting knowledge innovation, inspiration and technologies are relevant in a world where global resources are becoming scarce.

The new media and technologies adopting old knowledge also help people outside desert areas to begin to understand the desert experience through the eyes of desert dwellers. Jump to navigation Skip to main content. Parts of this site may not work properly because you are using an outdated browser. Close Contact Government Publications. Departments and Agencies Cross Government Bodies. International Relations How Government Works. Close Media Releases What's On. Social Media Public consultations.

Close Facts and Figures. Special dates and events. The Australian desert — the outback of Australia. Pedirka Desert, courtesy of Stan Sheldon. Rabbit Proof Fence , directed by Phillip Noyce. Greater bilbies, courtesy of Alice Springs Desert Park. Joint Defence Facility Pine Gap. Councillors rejected his application for a gaming licence. He appealed, the council appealed, and the five-year battle went all the way to the Victorian Supreme Court. In a landmark judgment, the court ruled in favour of Romsey, a semi-rural town of 4, Now other small communities are following suit, in Victoria and further afield.

And — thanks to pressure from some of the independent MPs on whom it depends — Julia Gillard's minority Labor government has promised to impose new restrictions on poker machines, including daily limits on how much can be wagered. In Romsey, though, the aftermath of the victory has been mixed. While anti-gambling campaigners are jubilant, a vociferous minority — which believed a renovated hotel would benefit other businesses and create jobs — feels that its wishes were trampled.

Mr Hogan claims to be considering selling the pub to a petrol station — meaning that the town with no pokies could end up with no pub at all.

During the legal saga, some opponents of the machines had beer bottles or rotten eggs smashed on their doorsteps. Drinkers hurled abuse at the Macedon Ranges mayor, John Letchford, from the pub veranda after the Supreme Court ruled that the negative social impact of Mr Hogan's plans would outweigh any economic benefits.

Sue Kirkegard, who led the anti-pokies crusade, feared for the young families who make up the bulk of Romsey's population. There were always two old dears there, then suddenly one disappeared. When she asked, 'where's Mary? I also know a bloke who got called out to his mate's house one night, because his mate was about to murder his wife.

She'd blown the mortgage. Others were worried that gambling would alter the feel of the town. Even the chip shop closes by 8pm. The case struck a chord nationally. Anne Phelan, a Romsey resident and a leading Australian actor who has starred in Prisoner and Neighbours, was on tour in Western Australia earlier this year. In Woodend, just to the west, bumper stickers declare the town "proud to be pokie-free". In Jan Juc, a seaside hamlet on the Victorian coast, the council won a high-profile battle against a gaming application last week.

However, in Romsey the local sports clubs which are sponsored by Mr Hogan — and had hoped for extra financial support — are bitterly disappointed. If we lose the pub as well, that's going to devastate the town.

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88 DAYS WORKING ON A CATTLE STATION (OUTBACK) - FARM WORK AUSTRALIA