Outback

For the restaurant chain, see Outback Steakhouse; for the SUV, see Subaru Outback.
In Australia, the term outback is used to describe the semi-desert interior of the continent. The less arid parts are used for sheep or cattle farming - apart from this, tourism and scattered mining (particularly opal for which Coober Pedy is famous) are the only economic activities in this vast and sparsely settled area.

Table of contents
1 Definitions
2 Population
3 Tourism
4 Historic
5 External Links, resources, references

Definitions

Exact definitions of what areas can be considered "part of the Outback" tend to vary depending on the definer. To foreign tourists from more densely populated nations, the outback seems to begin at the city limits of Sydney or the Gold Coast. Australia's rural regions are far more sparsely populated than most other Western countries, and so tourists perceive what locals regard as fairly temperate, well-settled areas as indescribably remote. To residents of rural areas, the outback invariably begins at the next town down the road in the direction away from a major population center.

Population

Over 90% of the Australian population lives in urban settlements on the coastal fringes. Despite this, the outback and the history of its exploration and settlement provides Australians with a mythical backdrop, and stories of swagmen, squatters, outlaws such as Ned Kelly (though Ned Kelly spent virtually all his time in the relatively temperate Great Dividing Range) and so on are central to the national ethos of the country.

The outback is now one of the few places where Australian Aborigines still live in a more or less traditional way. Before European settlement, there were many more tribes along the coast.

Tourism

There are many popular tourist attractions in the outback. These include:

Historic

The outback is also criss-crossed by numerous historic tracks, roads and highways, including:

External Links, resources, references


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