What is the first thing you imagine when thinking about Australia? Red sand, sun and the Outback.

That’s why we, a group of 10 students, mostly exchange students from Europe, decided to explore the Australian Outback after weeks of civilised Sydney. We flew up to Darwin, rented two 4WDs and headed off for some adventure.

Totally excited after the first night in tropical Darwin, our enthusiasm had to be put on hold as it took ages to pack all our gear on the jeeps in the burning sun.

Finally finished and totally exhausted we squeezed five sweating people into each car and started our adventure.

Brimming with excitement about the red sand, the 4WD tracks and the first smell of Outback, we had a lot of fun – for the first two hours. Then there was a strange sound and the car was dangling.

We stopped immediately and realised we had a flat tyre – after the first two hours of our 10 day trip. What a start…

After fixing it we reached our first campsite. Well, we reached the parking space of Walker Creek. To get there we had to saddle all the gear and walk for about 45 minutes through the burning sun of Litchfield National Park.

As soon as we arrived we knew it was worth it. We were totally alone with our own creek in the middle of nowhere!

Even if the warm water of the creek was not that refreshing and we always had to look out for spiders, snakes and other wildlife, it was absolutely amazing.

The lack of comforts like toilets or showers was more than made up for by the immaculate beauty.

After a sleepless night caused by the tropical heat we had breakfast and a first morning swim at Wangi Falls.

During the whole trip we had several stops at waterfalls, creeks and gorges to have a refreshing swim – each place better than the last.

And after getting used to the signs warning for crocodiles and the traps in the water we finally could enjoy it.

As we drove further down to Mary River for a crocodile cruise we spotted a crack in the windscreen. Nice! Day two and already a flat tyre and a broken windscreen.

Furthermore, it was Saturday so we couldn’t get it fixed until Monday. The crack kept on growing but luckily nothing worse happened.

Another highlight of the trip was Koolpin Gorge. To camp there you need to get a permit as only 40 people are allowed to stay there at one time.

Luckily our Aussie mate figured it out! A two-hour 4WD track through water crossings led to the campsite where we again were nearly on our own. 

After some more waterfalls, creeks, gorges, Aboriginal rock art, dirt roads and hiking we made our way to another funny camping place.

In Wycliffe Wells aliens are supposed to be seen from time to time. Surprisingly we didn’t spot any, but instead saw the best star-filled sky ever.

Heaps of bright stars and the Milky Way over our heads. Some of us decided to spend the night on the roof of the car instead of the tent – absolutely gorgeous and worth the millions of mosquito bites.

Afterwards we went hiking and canoeing in Katherine Gorge and had a BBQ right next to kangaroos and wallabies.

After that we walked through Kings Canyon, had sunset as well as sunrise at Uluru and another sunset at The Olgas.

This trip was hot, sweaty and sometimes a bit scary, but it was the best thing I did in my life.

Absolutely awesome and worth every penny, drop of sweat and kilometre we drove!