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Australia’s Outback – 6 days on the road!

G'day, mates! Felix here, a German industrial engineering student sharing my Aussie adventure from the heart of the Outback during my study abroad semester in Sydney. As the semester wraps up, reflecting on my time in Australia, I'd definitely do it again. Sydney, with its stunning beaches, iconic buildings, and multicultural atmosphere, was perfect for the semester abroad.


I embarked on a 6-day-road trip through the endless expanses of the outback with three friends in an off-road vehicle that came equipped with a rooftop tent, a fridge, a gas stove, and kitchen utilities. It was a car relocation, a fantastic cost-free option. Car relocation involves renting a vehicle from a company that needs it moved to a different location. Instead of paying employees to transport it, they offer the car to travelers like us, creating a win-win situation. I highly recommend checking out websites that offer these fantastic options.


Our journey kicked off in Alice Springs, took us past Uluru, and covered a whopping 3500 km before reaching Melbourne. We stocked up on food and drinks, especially essential for situations where you might get stranded in the Outback without internet access. There was only a patchy internet signal around small villages and the Uluru. The car was equipped with a GPS emergency device, offering a safety backup for unforeseen situations. Regular refueling was a must, even though petrol stations were more frequent than we anticipated - we ended up refueling around 10 times.

The journey showcased diverse landscapes, transitioning from dry, desert-like red terrain to lush bushlands and vibrant greenery. The ride on seemingly endless, straight roads was not monotonous, but nature offered a different picture every few minutes. To truly experience the Outback, the Oodnadatta track is a must—a 614 km gravel road with minimal internet. It was just us, a handful of passing cars and a night spent under a mesmerizing starry sky.


We saw fewer animals than expected in the hot Outback during the day, but at night, creatures like kangaroos and emus emerged. No wonder we saw more roadkill than living animals! A crucial tip for road trippers: stick to driving from sunrise to sunset to avoid unexpected wildlife encounters at night. We had to learn that the hard way when dusk fell, and we found ourselves a few kilometers from the campsite. At that moment, the outback came to life with countless creatures. Throughout the journey, we crossed paths with kangaroos, emus, wild cows, horses, lizards, two snakes, a koala on the Great Ocean Road, many colorful birds, and yes, thousands of flies—constant companions in the Outback.

In terms of costs, excluding flights to Alice Springs and from Melbourne to Sydney, we spent approximately 1200 AUD on fuel and 250 AUD on food for our group of four. Minimal expenses for camping spots and permits for roads and parks were incurred.


Sure, the outback road trip was also stressful, but the experience was incredible. It's totally worth it. My advice? If possible, plan an extra day or two or change the route.  I hope my blog captured the thrill of an outback road trip and gives you some useful tips for your own great time Down Under!

Felix Florian Kuehn

Spring 2023 Study Abroad student from Nordakademie Hochschule der Wirtschaft, Germany

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