Big Outback Adventure - The Winner's Story
Remember we told you about those 10 lucky people we were sending on a Big Outback Adventure in Australia's Northern Territory in association with Kiss 100? Did you see all our updates and images coming through live from the Outback? Well now we are all back from the epic adventure and one of the winners, Tasha Jevdet, shares her story.
Above is the image I submitted to the Kiss FM Big Outback Adventure competition - never in a million years did I think it would result in the journey of a lifetime with Flight Centre UK! When I received the phone call I was on lunch break at work and it went pretty much as you’d imagine. I tried to stay calm but once I put my mobile down, well, the whole canteen was deafened!
For me, one of the highlights of the trip has to be the ‘Cage of Death’ experience at Crocosaurus Cove in Darwin. ‘Cage of Death, are you crazy?’ I hear you say! Some may say it was surreal enough seeing a crocodile THAT size from the other side of the bars of the enclosure – let alone being in the water with one. The team at the centre were really reassuring and once you get over the initial nerves it was incredible! Truly fascinating to be able to scrutinise the crocs so close and appreciate them for their real size and amazing detail.
Part of me felt I was taking part in some kind of game show – something off of I’m a Celebrity! My brother (my lucky plus one) and I were suspended in a glass cage above three separate enclosures and slowly lowered into the water of the first. The cage started to fill and my legs were covered in goose bumps at the thought the croc could slowly see more and more of, well potential dinner, emerging underwater! We then held our breath and had to take a dive underwater, only to be confronted by the 6 metre crocodile! It was fantastic and our images turned out great, the size of the croc still shocks me every time I see them!
In addition I really enjoyed the crocodile fishing we did here. Mainly because it was a bit of a surprise; one minute I was casually following the group and the next I was on amongst a handful of people on a platform in the centre of a croc enclosure! The rest of the team were starring down at us waiting for the show! The baby crocs could pretty much jump clean out of the water; it was crazy, great fun!
Having to dash back to the Hotel with Charlie Hedges to get our ID on our first night out was a memory I’ll never forget. We had all just got off the boat from a lovely sunset cruise where we all shared a yummy cheese platter, some wine and got to know each other better and we then headed over to Monsoons (a local backpackers bar). The group approached the doors in high spirits and all of a sudden Charlie and I found ourselves the only ones left at the doors explaining to the bouncers we were part of that same group and were over 18! It wasn’t until later that evening they realised it was in fact Charlie Hedges, DJ from the UK, who they had refused entry to - we soon received our VIP wristbands! Thankfully this didn’t happen again, although I did carry my ID from then on – particularly on our last evening when Charlie was on the decks! What a night that was – it’s safe to say we went out with a bang!
Uluru (Ayres Rock) at sunset was spectacular; it really lived up to its name being the ‘heart of Australia’. After another full day it was so pleasant to just be amongst the group having a laugh over some champers, the sun was setting and I felt as if I was within a picture. Every time you looked into the distance you were greeted by Uluru, slowly changing a different colour. It was a dream.
Having such an action packed ten days, as you’d expect, we covered many, many miles! The long road trips through the red centre themselves however, all added to the adventure experience. In no time we had our theme tune ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ which was played and sang to pretty much every time we got back in the truck. Our Intrepid tour guide always managed to entertain us, playing various play lists from her i-pod. If you google 'Slim Dusty, G'day G’day' it’ll provide you with an authentic Australian song you’ll never be able to get out your head …’g’day g’day, hows it going’ …ah there it goes again!
Gazing up at a sky full of stars and them being the last thing you see before you close your eyes to sleep is out of this world. It was the brightest sky full of stars I had ever seen. So clear that amongst the stars I struggled to see patches of the dark sky, it was dazzling. Being outside sleeping in swags was a completely new experience for me and I’m so glad I decided to do it. In comparison, the tents were luxury but this was an opportunity I couldn’t miss- no matter how much my mind tried to persuade me otherwise. I had o block out all thoughts of the creepy crawlies, snakes and wild dingoes lurking about! To my surprise I had one of the best nights sleep and was really warm. If I could I would have bought one home with me, although somehow back in the UK I doubt the experience would be quite the same!
I must admit the thought of having to get up at 5am one morning wasn’t very appealing at the time. But half way through the four-hour walk around King’s Canyon, as the sun started to make an appearance, we were all grateful for the early start! I personally wouldn’t have liked to tackle the steep climb at the beginning - known as ‘heart attack hill’ - in the heat.
The Canyon itself was gorgeous, especially when we reached the tranquil Garden of Eden, a waterhole roughly at the half way mark of the trek. It was truly breathtaking and silence filled the air as everyone chilled, taking it all in. Not before long we set off walking again, through and around, up and down the orange spectacular site. Not surprisingly, within moments a hum of ‘g’day g’day…isn’t it great being an Aussie’ echoed through the canyon!
I have a great interest in media so having the Kiss FM crew with us made the experience even more priceless. I was also fortunate enough to go along with the guys to do a radio interview with Charlie for the local station Territory FM. This was fantastic, I listen to KISS FM every morning on my way to university and now there I was on air with Charlie! She was ace, I felt so comfortable in the studio and we had a right giggle, what a wicked opportunity that was.
When I was asked to draw upon some memories for this blog I honestly didn’t know where to start. I’ve included some of my all time favourites – memories I will never forget - but this only scratches the surface on the whole amazing experience. I can't thank everyone who was involved enough, the guys from Tourism Northern Territory, Flight Centre UK, KISS FM and of course the other winners for making it all so special! I have put to get a short video with lots more pictures and footage, I believe this speaks for itself really. (View Tasha's video here.)
Read more about Tasha's travel adventures on her blog .