Author: Sarah Buckman
Location: Outback, Australia
There are many trips I have been blessed enough to experience while studying abroad in Australia, but one of my favorites would have to be the time a couple of my friends and I road tripped to the outback. A beautiful opportunity to explore the nature that takes up so much of this country.
In total, my friends and I spent roughly 38 hours in the Outback—26 of which was driving to and from. It was one of the most jam packed road trips I have ever been on, and I have never been so thankful we were able to do it. After picking up our car from the rental place, we had 13 hours of open road ahead of us, but boy was it full of so much adventure. Once out of the major towns, the amount of wildlife we saw was crazy. Hundreds of kangaroos, dozens of goats and a couple of smaller creatures tried to find their way across the road while we were driving throughout the day which helped keep us awake and alert. There were a couple of close calls, but we are happy to say that any animal that crossed our paths made it to the other side!
We rented a room for the first night we were there which was the perfect way to rest up for the big day we were going to have the following day. Since the outback is home to mostly animals, and not many people, you are definitely able to find cheap places to stay which helps on a budget. The place we stayed at threw in snacks as well as movies and games for us to do. So we all gathered around the couch and made our night that much more eventful by watching movies.
The next day we woke up bright and early so we could spend as much time in the Outback as we could. So, we drove to the Living Desert Park to see some wildlife and statues. If you want to spend a full day in the Outback while on a budget, I could not recommend going to their national parks more. If you have the money, I’ve heard tours through the Outback are also incredible. Anyhow, we pulled in and immediately saw some wild kangaroos- not just the ones you find at every zoo in Australia- actual live, wild ones. Can you get any more Australian? We spent the first half of our day looking at these huge rock sculptures inspired by their culture. Then after a quick lunch we spent the next half just hiking on a trail. Throughout the day we saw even more wild kangaroos and some wildflowers and fruits! We then had a long drive ahead of us but decided to drive off the park grounds and pull over to watch the sunset! We seriously wanted to take the most advantage of the natural beauty as we could. We loved it so much, we stayed, and star gazed for a while too. Fair warning in advance- if you pull over to the side of the road in Australia, you will have many Australians stopping to make sure you’re okay because they’re so nice!
Overall, this trip ended up being the perfect way to wrap up my study abroad trip in Australia. If I were to give you one piece of advice after going on that trip, it would be to make sure to plan a final excursion for yourself while on your study abroad program as well. I heard tons of advice before leaving for my program- to make sure to plan excursions- but no one ever told me how much more meaningful they are to you at the end of your trip. Trust me, it helps you appreciate the country you’ve been in for so long- even that much more.