When legendary South African photographer Obie Oberholzer contacted OUTBACK magazine about a trip he was doing through a 6700-kilometre slice of the country from South Australia to northern Queensland, our ears pricked up.

Photos Obie Oberholzer

 The 70 year old is one of the few foreign photographers to have taken an image that has been made into an Australian stamp – a shot he took of Ningaloo Reef, WA, from a microlight. Knowing Obie’s longstanding career, with photos in a swag of respected publications, plus 12 international exhibitions, we were keen to see what would catch his eye this trip. 

“There are many similarities between South Africa and Oz,” he says. “Both have harsh hinterlands and dangerous animals. But travelling in Australia is a lot less stressful. Australia is easy and friendly, and you don’t always have to watch your back.”

On this journey, Obie photographed everything from Murray River scenes through to outback characters rendered soft in a light not often captured so expertly in outback images. He says he particularly enjoyed his time exploring the mining history around Chillagoe in northern Queensland, and chatting to Tom Prior, a Ford fanatic with a collection of vintage cars. “Here was a man, a shining example, of what total involvement and enthusiasm for a subject can add to the living of one’s life,” Obie says.

The same could be said of Obie and his passion for photography and hitting the road.

This story excerpt is from Issue #118

Outback Magazine: April/May 2018