All of Australia’s Outback from the semi-arid south to the tropical north have several things in common–a low human population; amazingly large, intact natural areas; and an economy that depends on a pastoral lifestyle where livestock relies on the Outback’s natural environment or mining.
The next day we flew from Cairns to the Outback, the vast, remote interior of Australia. This part of the Outback is called the “red centre” and is arid. We flew into Alice Springs, just about the geographical center of Australia.
The Australian Aborigines came to this island continent over 65,000 years ago and are probably closer related to the people from New Guinea, the Philippines, and India.
We learned that as hunter/gatherers, they are especially adept at finding naturally occurring food in the Outback. Though with much effort, they know exactly when, where, and how to find what is edible.
The men were especially good at hunting and slipping up on their non-suspecting prey. We learned how to throw a boomerang (one that is nonreturnable) to bring down a kangaroo, one of their food sources.
We also learned about several of their other tools and weapons.
By the way we did not see any kangaroos in the wild. In this area there is a severe drought, and the kangaroos have moved on to areas with more water.
Most communities in this area were nomadic, moving seasonally and often according to food sources. They were always in search of the scarce food sources. We visited a small village to see how they built their structures.
Finally, we had an opportunity to buy some Aboriginal art. Their art tells a story mostly about their culture.