coin celebrates the role played by camel trains as a form of transportation that opened up possibilities and opportunities
for the continued development of Australia as a nation. It is a five dollar
coin struck into sterling silver by the Royal Australian Mint. The camel train coin is one from a set of five that makes
up the Masterpieces in Silver collection named 'Opening of the Continent.'
(Coin Web, 2013)
Each coin represents a different form of transportation creating a network that connected the wide-spread colonies from
across the land, enabling the progression of industry, agriculture, trade and general cultural development. Other transportation
networks that are remembered and celebrated within this collection are the Paddle steamer, Bullock Team, Steam Train and
Steam Traction Engine.
The obverse of each of the coins was designed by Raphael Maklouf and
features his traditional portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. This is complimented by the
surrounding the portrait, which reads ELIZABETH II AUSTRALIA 1997. The reverse
of this particular coin from the collection bears the image of camels walking in a linear fashion with a man riding the
leading camel followed by others laden with goods. As you can see using the zoom feature with the image to the right, there
is a very small token kangaroo hidden in the background. The only
on the obverse, designed by Wojciech Pietranik reads 5 DOLLARS. The
collection had a limited
of 10,000, was packaged in a cushioned black box and came with a 1997 Masterpieces in Silver Certificate of Authenticity.
The Camel train or camel team first started to be used as a form of transportation in South Australia in the early 1900's
after being used very successfully for a number of years in and around North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula for a number
As the colonies began to develop and move inland they required some form of network of transport that would allow them
to successfully transport goods from one place to another. The camel trains played a valuable role in many of the major events
and developments that helped the early settlers and colonies to improve the standard of life and create the thriving nation
that Australia is proud to be today. In the late 19th and early 20th century the camel trains were one of if not the most
effective way of transporting heavy equipment and goods that there were required further inland. In these early times the
outback remained to be thick bush and camels were able to sustain these harsh conditions very well. Sometimes each camel
would be laden with goods either for trade or to supply a colony or workers. Other times they would be used to pull something
extremely heavy such as a house. The major developments to which camel trains contributed include the mining industry, the
sheep industry, the Overland Telegraph Line and the Trans-Australia and Central Australia railways.
(Museum Victoria, 2013)
When "The Ghan" railway was completed they adopted a camel and rider as the logo in order to commemorate the important
service that the camels provided.
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