Gateway to the Australian Outback

Key industries: Mining, Transport, Tourism, Art, Defence, Horticulture, Renewable energy

This week on ‘Migration Monday’ we’re flying high to the Far North, Gateway to the Australian Outback. This region of South Australia is most commonly referred to as the Flinders Ranges and the Outback. It comprises about 80% of the state’s land area and recent discoveries of huge mineral resources have triggered a major mining boom.

The largest community is Port Augusta, which acts as a vital service centre for mining and the region’s widespread and diverse, small and micro communities. The city has a rich history and is geographically well positioned. Being accessible by road, rail, air and water means they capture all the East West movements and have the capacity to supply and deliver goods anywhere in the world. Port Augusta is strong, vibrant and diverse, while its economy doesn’t rely on a single industry it is a major player in the power industry, supplying 30% of South Australia’s power.

Port Augusta is situated on the quiet waterways at the head of the Spencer Gulf, in close proximity to the spectacular Flinders Ranges. The city offers all the conveniences and facilities expected from a modern city and has a population of 13,985.

The township of Roxby Downs has been purpose-built to accommodate workers from Olympic Dam, one of the world’s largest copper, uranium and gold mines. Now a thriving community of 4,500 residents, Roxby Downs is home to a variety of modern, well-equipped facilities. Roxby Downs is often referred to ‘as the perfect town for young families’ with daily activities for children aged 0 – 5 years. Activities include story time at the Community Library, dance lessons, playgroups, Lego club, a Splashpad, swimming pools and neighbourhood parks and playgrounds. Although Roxby Downs is home to many minesite workers, other work exists in schools, childcare, at the various retail outlets, restaurant and pubs. There are plenty of opportunities for part time and casual work.

Roxby Downs is set against some of the most beautiful sweeping scenery in Australia. The red earth and the always-blue sky coupled with the stark Myall tree silhouettes is simply breath taking. The town has a desert climate which means the weather is often hot and dry in the summer and sometimes cold and crisp on winter mornings. Residents are treated to plenty of sunshine and stunning sunsets almost every evening.

South of Roxby is the famous Woomera military and civilian rocket range and to the outback town of Coober Pedy, the largest producer of opal in the world. Coober Pedy is around 846km north of Adelaide and unusual in the fact many of the houses are built underground. Touirsm and mining are the driving economic forces in the town and as such has one of the most multicultural communities in Australia with an estimated 45 nationalities. The town is reached by a comfortable drive on The Stuart Highway from Adelaide or Alice Springs and is serviced by daily coach services and six days a week with Regional Express Airlines.

The majestic Flinders Ranges and iconic Outback have long attracted people looking for outback adventure, activities, and experiences. Biking, hiking, birdwatching, scenic flights and off-roading are just some of the many activities that become part of the resident’s everyday life.