SPOTLIGHT: The Australian Outback | Encyclopaedia Britannica

the Outback conjures some of the most

iconic images of Australia to the rest

of the world the term Outback or the

bush defines any part of Australia

removed from the more settled edges of

the continent in other words it is

Outback from the larger cities that

reside on Australia's coasts the Outback

is typify Daz arid or semi-arid open

land often undeveloped from space we see

it as a vast reddish landscape one can

fly roughly 2,000 miles between Sydney

and Darwin without seeing anything but

the most scattered and minut signs of

human habitation the great sandy desert

is one such part of the outback maps of

this land

sometimes designate areas its lakes but

many such lakes are dry

in Australia's northern territory lies

uh LaRue also known as Ayers Rock uh

LaRue a UNESCO World Heritage Site might

be the world's largest monolith the rock

appears to change color throughout the

day as the position of the earth changes

in relation to the Sun at sunset

Boulahrouz seems to blow a fiery orange

red hue caves at the base of the rock

are sacred to several Aboriginal tribes

and contain carvings and paintings the

art is distinctively abstract and

representational at the same time the

Aborigines have been in Australia for

between forty-five to fifty thousand

years and have endured the harshest

desert conditions the Outback ever

experienced they survived in

hunter-gatherer societies that created

an elaborate culture of religion

storytelling dance and other complex and

nuanced social rights while the Outback

may hold few people it is still home to

wildlife the red kangaroo is native to

the outback Hardy and well adapted to

cover the open terrain kangaroos survive

in the hot days resting in the shade and

licking their forearms to promote heat

loss by evaporation the majority of

their activity is spent during the night

and times of low life

lorikeets and other members of the

parrot family often flock near water

holes or Billabong's in the wet season

the native kookaburra also inhabits

areas of the outback and the eastern

border of Australia and has been

introduced to Western Australia as well

this bird is distinctive for its call

which sounds like fiendish laughter

after 1788 the English began to settle

Australia as a colony they were

challenged by the Outbacks hot dry

conditions and imported camels to help

them cross the deserts the construction

of the railroad in the early 20th

century lessened the necessity of camels

for travel and up to 20,000 camels were

released into the wild over the rest of

the century their numbers grew in rural

Australia today the feral camel

population is estimated to be between

600,000 and over a million the English

also brought livestock to the outback

raising them on large landholdings

called stations sheep herding became

very successful making Australia a top

wall producer beef cattle are also

raised in cattle musters what North

Americans might call roundups cattle are

herded by helicopter or off-road

vehicles to loading points where road

trains haul the live cattle to market

where rainfall permits wheat is grown

some margins of the outback are well

known for their fine wines but where

agriculture is difficult minerals

provide an industry the Outback has

rewarded careful prospectors

particularly in the opal mines near

coober pedy