Outback trip summary & cost breakdown
I knew Iâ€™d like the outbackâ€¦ I mean, itâ€™s THE OUTBACK for cripes sake. I had no idea how much Iâ€™d love it though. It may actually top New Zealand, no joke. Itâ€™s absolutely incredible. I took so many pictures, and even a few movies, but none of them will fully show you how amazing it is out there. Itâ€™s like a whole â€˜nother world, in the middle of nowhereâ€¦ and if you let your imagination run free with thoughts of the aborigines settling there [or backpackers disappearing], it gets even better! Haha. But yeah, it was unbelievable, 10 days was the perfect trip length, it was great being with friends and meeting new people. So hereâ€™s a list of highlights:
- Exploring the craphole that is Adelaide on Good Friday in the rain [all 3 establishments that were actually open] and making fun of it all day
- Illegally sleeping like bums in the lounge on the Ghan train instead of our seats and having an attendant wake me up at the crack of dawn to kick me out, and then seeing a beautiful sunrise
- The Desert Rose Inn in Alice Springsâ€¦ twiceâ€¦ = best. hostel. ever.
- Stalking aborigines and stealthily taking pictures of them [well, the ones that werenâ€™t scary and drunk anyway]
- Random and inexplicable late-night laughing fits while with the homeboysâ€¦ â€œwas there coke in your weetbix?â€â€¦ â€œthis is like watching a soap opera!â€
- Hiking all around Uluru [but not climbing it!] and through Kata Tjuta, all in the same dayâ€¦ like heaven on earth
- Getting another abrasion in my left eyeâ€¦ man Iâ€™m awesome
- Being able to see the stars and Milky Way at nightâ€¦ going out to photograph it in complete darkness. Perfect.
- Random stops in the middle of nowhereâ€¦ where thereâ€™d be like 2 gas pumps, or one small shack-like cafe
- The second part of our tour got cancelledâ€¦ the 4 of us that were scheduled for it got booked onto another companyâ€™s tour, forcing us to stay an extra night in-between in Alice Springs, but going to all the same places except Litchfield NP
- Posing by a bunch of the Devilâ€™s Marbles [or in-between themâ€¦]
- Cruising down Katherine Gorge
- Swimming all the way out to Edith Falls against the current and pulling myself along the rock ledge to the fallsâ€¦ que tiring!
- Seeing wallabies, kangaroos, giant toads, dingoâ€™s, crocodiles, lizards, spiders, and other creatures in the wild
- Words I never want to hear again: sennnnnsational, riiight, the Netherlands
- Having pretty much the coolest drivers/guides ever
- Sitting and relaxing at various Outback pubs and observing the stuffed water buffalo, or touristsâ€™ underwear, on display
- Checking into our hostel in Darwin after the tourâ€¦ the scavenger hunt just to find our room, outdoor bathrooms, and cockroachesâ€¦ and oh yeah the 20 minute walk from civilization
- The last dayâ€¦ renting a car with the Dutchman and 2 German girls and driving down to Litchfield NP since it was cut out of our tourâ€¦ and swimming at the gorgeous falls, and seeing the sunset at the big one.
- Stepping out of the car at the gas station to find 2 $50 bills on the ground right in front of me, and no one around to claim themâ€¦ can you say free rental??
- The last dinnerâ€¦ amazing Italian food and TIRAMISU at a nice restaurant
- Driving rental car to the airport on the last nightâ€¦ oh dear God, what a spectacle that wasâ€¦ everything is backwards here! Needless to say, I was not at all gracefull in my left-side driving.
I also kept diligent track of my expenses for the trip, which are as follows:
FLIGHT: Sydney to Adelaide, Virgin Blue, $237AU
GHAN TRAIN: Adelaide to Alice, $150AU
ALICE ACCOMODATION: Desert Rose Inn, 2 nights, $50AU
WAYWARD BUS TOUR: 7 days, center + Alice to Darwin, $650AU
EYE DOCTOR APPT IN ALICE: $30AU
KATHERINE GORGE CRUISE: $36AU
DARWIN ACCOMODATION: Gecko Lodge, $16AU
DARWIN CAR RENTAL: $16AU [thanks to finding $100 on the ground!]
FLIGHT: Darwin to Sydney, Qantas, $272
TAXI RIDES: $26
EXTRAS + FOOD/DRINK OUTSIDE OF TOUR: ~$120AU
TOTAL COST OF TRIP: ~$1600AU = ~$1200US (-$100US for food I would have spent for the week had I stayed home) = $1100US