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8 Things I Learned About Australia While Camping In The Bush

Yes, kangaroos are everywhere.

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Hello there! My name is Anna and I’m a 20-year-old Italian student. I've just spent two days hiking and camping in the Australian bush and, wow, it was something else.

I started in the capital city of Australia, Canberra, and headed out on a guided tour to Kosciuszko National Park, about a 3.5 hour drive through the ranges. As you can tell by this picture, I spent a good 3/4 of the drive looking out the rear window like a kid in a candy shop.
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I started in the capital city of Australia, Canberra, and headed out on a guided tour to Kosciuszko National Park, about a 3.5 hour drive through the ranges. As you can tell by this picture, I spent a good 3/4 of the drive looking out the rear window like a kid in a candy shop.

So far, it’s been one of the best activities I’ve done while I’ve been in the ACT. Here’s what I’ve learned so far about this magnificent country:

1. Australia is big... like, REALLY BIG.

Our guide picked us up in a beautifully rugged four-wheel drive (for that authentic Aussie road trip feel), with a gas tank big enough to sustain us as we ventured into the middle of the bush. Seriously, I come from a pretty small town in Southern Italy, yet I had never experienced the feeling of being completely surrounded by hills and fields as far as the eye can see. There were only a few signs of civilisation as we ventured deeper into the national park. It felt like hours and a lot of hills and bush between towns. And to think this is a tiny fraction of this vast country! It’s incredible.
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Our guide picked us up in a beautifully rugged four-wheel drive (for that authentic Aussie road trip feel), with a gas tank big enough to sustain us as we ventured into the middle of the bush. Seriously, I come from a pretty small town in Southern Italy, yet I had never experienced the feeling of being completely surrounded by hills and fields as far as the eye can see. There were only a few signs of civilisation as we ventured deeper into the national park. It felt like hours and a lot of hills and bush between towns. And to think this is a tiny fraction of this vast country! It’s incredible.

2. The colours are amazing.

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Driving into the campsite we were surrounded by very dry bushland. However, every now and then we would spot bright pockets of yellow and purple flowers. They were so striking against the caramel-orange colour of the Aussie bush. It still makes no sense to me how they can grow in such parched soil, but they smelled amazing.

3. Yes, you see a LOT of kangaroos!

You wouldn't expect to wake up in the middle of the night because you can hear them stomping around your camping site, or wild horses munching on the marshmallows you burnt on the campfire the previous night. But it happens. Oh, Australia!
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You wouldn't expect to wake up in the middle of the night because you can hear them stomping around your camping site, or wild horses munching on the marshmallows you burnt on the campfire the previous night. But it happens. Oh, Australia!

4. The sounds of the Australian bush are beautiful.

There's something quite special about being in a totally wild and untainted natural space. You can hear the sounds of wild birds like cockatoos and magpies, the frogs in ponds, and the water pouring down over the high rocks. It's all so magical.
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There's something quite special about being in a totally wild and untainted natural space. You can hear the sounds of wild birds like cockatoos and magpies, the frogs in ponds, and the water pouring down over the high rocks. It's all so magical.

5. The air is so pure and fresh.

I'm a city girl through and through, but one thing's for sure, you'll never find the clean air of the bush in Sydney or Melbourne. I felt absolutely rejuvenated, even after only a few hours breathing the air in Kosciuszko. It even made it easier to wake up in the morning (and, trust me, I'm not a morning person).
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I'm a city girl through and through, but one thing's for sure, you'll never find the clean air of the bush in Sydney or Melbourne. I felt absolutely rejuvenated, even after only a few hours breathing the air in Kosciuszko. It even made it easier to wake up in the morning (and, trust me, I'm not a morning person).

6. Australia has the best light show on Earth.

It doesn’t get any better than spending a night sitting around a campfire, drinking hot chocolate, and looking up at the stars. I'd never seen a clearer sky in my life. As cheesy as it might sound, these are the moments that truly make me feel blessed.
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It doesn’t get any better than spending a night sitting around a campfire, drinking hot chocolate, and looking up at the stars. I'd never seen a clearer sky in my life. As cheesy as it might sound, these are the moments that truly make me feel blessed.

7. Australia really tests you...

What do you do in one of the country’s most beautiful national parks? You hike. Now I’ll be honest, I’m not the strongest or fittest person. The only physical activity I truly love is dancing. But there's something about going on a hike and challenging your physical boundaries, while surrounded by nature, that feels amazing.
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What do you do in one of the country’s most beautiful national parks? You hike. Now I’ll be honest, I’m not the strongest or fittest person. The only physical activity I truly love is dancing. But there's something about going on a hike and challenging your physical boundaries, while surrounded by nature, that feels amazing.

8. ... and rewards you in ways you can't imagine.

On this particular hike, the reward at the end were these magnificent waterfalls. The challenge, however, was getting down to them. Don’t get me wrong, it was safe, but when you’re standing at the top looking down at the base of the falls, it can be daunting. I eventually faced my fear and took the long, steep trek down (my heart full of courage and my butt full of spikes).The moment I felt the fresh spray of water on my skin, every negative thought I'd had was completely wiped from my mind. I'd never experienced anything so rewarding. Australia, you're something else.
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On this particular hike, the reward at the end were these magnificent waterfalls. The challenge, however, was getting down to them. Don’t get me wrong, it was safe, but when you’re standing at the top looking down at the base of the falls, it can be daunting. I eventually faced my fear and took the long, steep trek down (my heart full of courage and my butt full of spikes).

The moment I felt the fresh spray of water on my skin, every negative thought I'd had was completely wiped from my mind. I'd never experienced anything so rewarding. Australia, you're something else.

Travel was provided by Tourism Australia. BuzzFeed writers do not guarantee coverage.