Five Star Vagabond

Super travel tips, all road tested by David Herd. I'm an Australian guy who moved to Thailand in 2011 & still travel the world as often as possible.

Australian Outback Japanese students

July 25, 2013 by David Herd

Australian Outback Japanese students

Magnificent Ayers Rock, also known as Uluru.

Australian Outback Japanese students

Australian Outback Japanese students reminds me of the last frontier and a great road trip I took in 2003. Three Japanese students, Yukako, Megumi & Noriko & I travelled from the Gold Coast in Queensland, through Broken Hill  NSW to Cooper Pedy in South Australia, which is a fascinating opal mining town where most of the population live in underground houses, then on to Ayers Rock and back home to the Gold Coast via Hervey Bay where we went whale watching. On our marathon journey all through the Australian Outback we traveled 7,300 kilometers  which was around 82 hours behind the wheel.

Australian Outback Japanese students

This huge monolith in the Australian outback is a large sandstone rock formation in the southern part of the the Northern Territory in central Australia. It lies 335 km (208 mi) south west of the nearest large town, Alice Springs. Uluru is the Aboriginal name for Ayers Rock, it is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The sandstone formation stands 348 m (1,142 ft) high, rising 863 m (2,831 ft) above sea level, with most of its bulk lying underground, and has a total circumference of 9.4 km (5.8 mi).

Climbing Ayers Rock.

Australian Outback Japanese students

I relaxed & watched while the girls climbed the rock.

 Yukako, Megumi & Noriko

australian outback

My Japanese student friends were wonderful travel partners, it was so funny to see them  happily  clapping their hands on seeing the kangaroo warning sign, so you can imagine their joy when they actually saw the first live jumping kangaroo from the window of our car. After that sighting we saw wild camels, tall emus and Outback Brumbies which are Australia’s wild horses.

Camel rides

Australian Outback Japanese students.

Thousands of  feral camels, mostly dromedaries but also some bactrian camels, were imported into Australia, mainly from India, during the 19th century for transport and construction as part of the colonisation of the central and western parts of Australia. Motorised transport replaced the camels’ role in the early 20th century and many were released into the wild. As of 2009 the feral population numbered about one million, with a doubling time of about nine years.  These camels are being culled because they are degrading the environment and threatening native species.

Coober Pedy movie prop.

Australian Outback Japanese students

Coober Pedy is a town in northern South Australia, 846 kilometres north of Adelaide on the Stuart Highway. According to the 2011 census, its population was 1,695 (953 males, 742 females, including 275 indigenous Australians). The town is sometimes referred to as theopal capital of the world because of the quantity of precious opals that are mined there. Coober Pedy is renowned for its below-ground residences, called “dugouts”, which are built due to the scorching daytime heat. The name “Coober Pedy” comes from the local Aboriginal term kupa-piti, which means “white man’s hole”.

Opal was found in Coober Pedy on 1 February 1915; since then the town has been supplying most of the world’s gem-quality opal. Coober Pedy today relies as much on tourism as the opal mining industry to provide the community with employment and sustainability. Coober Pedy has over 70 opal fields and is the largest opal mining area in the world.

Coober Pedy in the desert.

Australian Outback Japanese students

Mining started in 1916, &b y 1999 there were more than 250,000 mine shaft entrances in the area.  The intense desert heat forced many residents to live in caves dug into the hillsides . These dugouts remain at a constant temperature, while surface buildings need air-conditioning during the summer months, when temperatures often exceed 40 degrees Celsius. The average maximum temperature is 30-32 degrees Celsius, but it can get quite cool in the winter. Coober Pedy is a very small town, about halfway between Adelaide and Alice Springs. It has become a popular stopover point and tourist destination, especially since 1987, when the sealing of the Stuart Highway was completed. Interesting attractions in Coober Pedy include the mines, the graveyard, and the underground churches. 

Movie props in the Outback

australian outback

One of the many unusual sights in the outback.

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It can get lonely in the Australian Outback.

david herd outback australia

There is a lot of empty space out here.

Trades Hall in Broken Hill.

Australian Outback Japanese students

The Trades Hall is Broken Hill’s most historically important building. 

Broken Hill in outback NSW.

Australian Outback Japanese students

Thanks for visiting my Australian Outback Japanese students photo blog.

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An incredible Australian Outback road trip

of 7,300 kilometers.

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