Three months later, their bodies were discovered in the desert after their search for water proved fruitless.
It is a subject that sparked an interest in jackaroos for author Martin Chambers and led to him penning the new novel How I Became the Mr Big of People Smuggling.
The book follows the life of Nick Smart, young and inexperienced, deciding to go on a gap year as a jackaroo, where he gets more than he bargained for.
Chambers said it was a story he had wanted to write for a long time, embroiling the antagonist station boss in people smuggling.
‘The characters come mostly from experience because people who know me know they have to behave well when they are with me or they end up in a book,’ he said.
‘For stories to work, characters have to be fairly close to what a reader might stereotype and because I have worked in mining camps and travelled in the outback and sailed through Indonesia, I have met people of the type in the book.
‘I was looking for an illegal activity to base on a remote station and it could have been some weird Japanese cult manufacturing sarin gas, but that would simply be evil.’
The novel is available from www.fremantlepress.com.au.