Every backpacker has seen Wolf Creek right? Wrong. Thankfully I am one of the few that hasn’t. You really don’t need to have seen Wolf Creek when six of you, in two vans, are travelling up the west coast from Perth to Broome and it’s just yourselves and the Outback. Especially when you are camping in silent places and only you know you’re there.

Before leaving, the boys in our group decided it would be a good idea to buy a machete. I thought this was a little extreme. The idea of having a machete in the van freaked me out more than the idea of not having one.

Visions of a friend drunkenly swinging the machete around haunted me. Besides, what if someone wanted a cup of sugar in the night and approached our tents? They wouldn’t live to discover if we had caster sugar or brown because their head would be gone.

Thankfully a large baseball bat was chosen instead. I was happy with that; we could have a game of rounders along the way.

After driving for many days up the coast, we pulled into a campsite in Exmouth. We were having a few drinks when a dishevelled looking guy decided to join us. He wasted no time in telling us his mechanic in Broome was arrested for murdering Peter Falconio. Coming from this guy, it didn’t seem hard to believe. He looked a little freaky himself, with manic hair and a murderous laugh – like the murderer’s laugh in Wolf Creek I was told.

Unfortunately he did little to escape his murderous image. Later in the evening we turned
to see our friend – his right leg in a cast from toe to knee – running, or rather hopping, towards us in a panic.

“I just bumped into Wolf Creek guy outside the toilet. He looked at my cast, did that laugh and said ‘you won’t be going anywhere fast with that on!’” We didn’t see out our last days on the campsite in Exmouth. Thankfully we were all still alive and on the road again – well, in a deserted petrol station, heading towards the mining town Tom Price.

A green Datsun Sunny pulled up next to us and a Canadian guy asked: “Where are you guys headed? I was wonderinging where to stay tonight.” One of us pointed to two free camping spots on the map and we said our goodbyes.

We set up camp in a remote bush area 100km from civilisation, where a herd of cows wandered freely. We were sitting chatting when we heard the gruff noise of an old car and saw the green Datsun slowly approaching.

He’d found us.

Suddenly we weren’t so sure about this young Canadian. “What if he’s some crazy murderer come to get us?” After some brief debating – he was approaching after all – we came to the logical conclusion that no respectable murderer drives a Datsun Sunny. They’d be in a 4WD or a Ute. At the very most he was an apprentice – six of us could handle an apprentice.

With this decided, the Apprentice Murderer joined us around the campfire and didn’t even take offence at our initial murderer reservations. Everyone was happy and we all eventually headed to our tents to sleep. Then there was silence.

“Moooo!” Crash. “Moooo!” Almost. A thudding on the ground was getting louder and louder and was heading our way. Sod the murderers, it’s the cows you need to watch out for!