My Trip to the Australian Outback

Guest Post By: Jonah Kingery who is a senior majoring in Accounting and he received a Global Business Center study abroad scholarship. He is on exchange at the University of Sydney in Australia.

During the mid-semester break at the University of Sydney, many of the exchange students at my residency traveled to places on the Eastern Coast of Australia. I chose a different route. Our Chaplain at my residency offered to take two friends and me on a camping trip through the Outback and I said yes without hesitation. The four of us headed out for eight days, through Southern Australia and Queensland, almost driving to Northern Territory. I remember our Chaplain asking me halfway through the trip if I had expected to be in this spot two months earlier, and I responded that two months ago I would have been shocked to find that out.

Being in such remote places like that would be very hard to do in America. Although Australia is almost the same size as the States, there are almost no cities in the middle of it and 98% of the population lives on the coast. There would be times where we were 500 miles from the nearest town, and that town would have a population of 10 people. The only way the inns in these towns stayed open is through tourism. There was also a big drought in Australia at the time, and although I did not notice it in Sydney, I could really notice it here. The place was very much like a desert in such parts, and I could tell that the wild and farm animals were struggling.

I would say that the best part of the trip was the sunsets and the stars. I got a good look at the Milky Way for the first time in my life, as there was no light pollution and I had never traveled so far south. The plains would stretch as far as the eye can see rather than ending in Mountains like Seattle. I also learned a lot about camping and survival thanks to our Chaplain. I saw tons of Kangaroos (I knew you were wondering), Emus, cattle, and even an Echidna. The food we ate was great, as we cooked it all over a fire every night. I hope I get to experience something like this again in my life, as it was unlike any other trip or vacation I’ve ever had.