Lost in the outback : a tale of true terror

“Tomorrow you’ll leave Hilton Park and go with D**** to spend the next week helping at the camp.”

It was my first day on the job at Hilton Park. Nothing had been previously mentioned about a week in the middle of nowhere. Not that I really understood just how rural the cattle station would be until I got there. The owners had a strange feel about them and it was like drawing blood from a stone as I questioned my destiny. ‘A helping hand’ was the gist of it; cleaning up after the blokes and preparing a hot dinner each night. If it meant days in the sunshine and nights under the stars, I could handle that.

The truck was packed to the brim with food for the next week. As I was handed sandwiches for the drive, I became aware that we were headed a long way. A 4 hour drive, he said – just ‘down the road’ for a local.

It became apparent early on that the driver was a bigot. Acutely aware that I was now on a straight road resembling nothing (with a stranger), I offered timid replies. This wasn’t the time to argue gay rights. When conversation transpired that old mate hadn’t had sex with his wife for quite awhile, my posture tightened and alarm bells rang.

“How long is your hair?” He asked.

Nervous rambling escaped my mouth and I longed for everyday small-talk.

As we rolled in to Normanton my heart sank. I’d been smart enough to tell a couple of people my rough where-abouts for the next 7 days, but I’d spelt it Edminton. Pushing paranoid thoughts aside, we stopped for a cold drink. It should have been more obvious that his choice would be a bottle of beer. When I returned from the toilet, he’d bought two more. He’s a big guy, I thought, as I reassured myself he’d still be safe to drive.

“Hand me one of those down by your feet would ya.”

My initial reaction was to reach for the lighter. But no, it was another beer he wanted as we turned down the last road to the camp. I watched as my phone lost signal for the next 7 days.

Fast-forward an hour or so, and he propped himself up nearby as I busied myself cleaning the kitchen. By now his quiet demeanour had become slurred. It was difficult to keep the paranoia out as he began to talk of previous helpers him and his wife had hired.

“We’ve had some right strange people working for us. One French girl stole, and another accused me of coming on to her. Said I sat next to her at a party, put my hand on her leg and whispered somethin’ inappropriate in her ear. S’alright though, we checked the cameras and it showed it was the other way ’round. Told her to get the fuck off my property!”

I attempted to change the subject. When would the others be arriving, I wondered. A couple more would be here by dark. This was the perfect opportunity for him to warn me of the other fellas. A young woman can never be too careful, and it was probably a good idea to put my bed near to D****’s so he could keep me safe. What other option did I have? Frankly I was a little too frightened to disagree with his idea, and full of dread that he might turn out to be the best of a bad bunch.

I arranged the two beds at a comfortable distance, only to observe him slyly moving them closer together shortly after.

Now it was time to get back in the car and drive around the 105,000 acre property. I attempted light-hearted chit-chat and was offered some weed instead. For the third time D**** reminded me that J** didn’t need to know about such things. I told it to him straight; it didn’t have an affect on me, so there wasn’t much point in me smoking.
I smoked. It somehow made sense for my safety.

What a mistake. My paranoia took a turn for the worst, considerably so when D****’s next question was whether I’d ever shot a rifle.


As I sat there, rifle hanging out of the window, one hand on the trigger, I froze. Was this a big build up to my murder? Which tree was he going to bury me under? Jesus Kelly, why do you always go in to things wholeheartedly?! Suspicions should definitely have risen when J** mentioned Wolf Creek on the first day.

Successfully controlling my inner monologue, I prepared to shoot. D**** decided this would be a good time to cover my ears. Not feeling comfortable, I told him there was no need. Apparently this entitled him to run his right hand over my shoulder, down my side and rest on my hip.
The gun went off.
Acting like a clueless schoolgirl I shifted in my seat with excitement – anything to get his paws off me.

“You can tell you do a lot of exercise. You got a real sexy body.”

My skin crawled and my head span. In all honesty at this moment in time I thought it was all over for me. I felt lost. I was lost! All I knew is that I was somewhere in Queensland. For all I knew there weren’t any other people arriving later. He had the power and I was defenceless.

That night two more guys did arrive. I cooked us dinner, D**** returned to his introverted state and everyone went to bed early. I lay there a long time wide-eyed and alert, but thankfully the only thing that got too close for comfort was the odd mosquito.

Upon my return to Julia Creek the proud housewife welcomed me in by saying:

“Oh thank God; you’re alive!”

A lighthearted joke or not, I can safely say it did not sit well with me.


Unfortunately for me there were further occasions that caused me fear, disgust and vulnerability. This man attempted to pay me money so that I would sleep with his nephew and he tried to tell me about a sexual dream he’d had about me before I told him to shut up.
I also found out back at Hilton Park that D**** had told the other men that day (on the cattle station) to “keep your hands off, I’m going to fuck her first”.

After I left the farm, I wrote the wife a letter in hope she would do something to prevent this happening to the next backpacker. He apparently ripped the letter up and they are still living life as ‘normal’.


It took a lot for me to write this down. For months I have been questioning the importance of voicing my experience. In the end, it boils down to one thing; perhaps the next person won’t be so lucky. It may sound dramatic, but I spent 3.5 months living/working with these people, and I got to know D****’s outrageous mind, and J**’s absurd ignorance of it. They aren’t good people.
Their offer of free food, free accommodation, a generous weekly wage and the power to sign off second-year visas just isn’t worth it. When you aren’t succumbing to D****’s slimy mind, you’ll be treated as a slave around the house.

If the want to carry out your 88 rural work in Queensland beckons, take my advice:



  1. Sheesh, Kelly. The mental anguish, sustained for three months, must have been the worst part. If I’ve understood this correctly, you spent one week of the three months at this rural cattle station, and the rest at the main farm?
    I guess you knew that your gambles in deciding your next adventure might eventually throw up one like this that didn’t work. Fingers crossed that your bad luck is now behind you!

    1. Yes, luckily it was just one week in that situation! To be honest none of it really sank in until I came away and surrounded myself with like-minded (normal?) people. If anything it has made me appreciate so many things and wonderful things have happened since. I’m a firm believer that things happen for a reason and this particular experience really did bring with it some strong positives.
      Thanks for dropping in, Paul 🙂

      1. What utter bs Kelly!
        If this was such a horrible harrowing situation, why stay three months?! Anyone with half a brain would have left after one day! Not stay for three months! So how did you manage to kill an expensive foal?! What idiot with half a brain could manage to kill a foal still on it’s Mother? Caretaking is all you had to do! Tend to the animals, you know, food and water! Bush pigs live cleaner than the state you left their property in!!! And would’ve done less damage as well!!!
        Backpackers beware, don’t go where Kelly’s been! Not because of it’s similarities to ‘Wolf Creek’, but the distasteful bile left in good people’s mouths from such deplorable narcissistic liars like Kelly, make people less likely to give you a go!
        Watch this disappear! Seems Kelly likes altering the truth for her own gain!

        1. I’d have to agree.
          I know there are some strange people in this world and I think Kelly is one of them.
          Imagination run wild!!

      2. You are a total twat. I’ll just bet you watched a DVD of Wolf Creek before you left to travel to the station. You give backpackers a lousy name. All for 15 seconds of fame. If it was so bad….why stay so long. Total fabrication.

  2. I’m so glad you documented this crazy common experience Kelly!

    I’ve been through so many similar crazy situations luckily they are only ever learning experience as to the level at which consciousness can sink if not guided consciously with will and love.

    Australia is a deeply Ignorant and Unconsciously evil place for the greater part,and those who have the bravery to journey into its depths will find this first hand as you have.

    You will always be safe and protected though of that I am sure,hopefully you will exercise caution and discernment when travelling into some
    Of the lowest consciousness zones in this Great Southern Land!

    Love your writing style too,plus photos are great!!!

    1. Thanks Joseph for taking the time to read. It is interesting to hear your point of view of Australia, as an Aussie yourself, but then you have travelled well and I could tell from meeting you this morning that you’re not anything like the monster I met in the outback 😛

    2. Kelly I am truly sorry to hear this story and what had happened to you, although I am happy to hear you got your story out there! But this is to Joseph:

      “Australia is a deeply Ignorant and Unconsciously evil place for the greater part,and those who have the bravery to journey into its depths will find this first hand as you have.”

      Just by this statement I can see where the ignorance is. I grew up in the outback and as I am sure there are issues with people in the bush just as there are with people in the towns and cities. Your toxic sweeping statement above as well your comment “the lowest consciousness zones in this Great Southern Land!” truly shows “you know little about nothing.” To lump all Australians into that basket, I would have to wonder about your life journey. I have traveled over much of this country and as much as I have seen some bad things, it is nothing by comparison to the kindness of ” people in rural Australia.”

      I have traveled to many places around the world and found profound differences with people of all countries, so stop making out this sort of thing is some sort of epidemic in Australia.

      Kelly again I hope you are OK and I am sure you will get over your ordeal as well make a difference in the mindset of those people you are trying to help.

      1. Thank you Dean, it took a lot of courage for me to come to terms with it, write it down and decide to share it on the internet. But I feel it is incredibly important because I couldn’t bare it if next time something worse occurs. I also agree with you that it isn’t right to dump everyone in the same category. I have met some amazing Australian people during my time here, and I do not choose to believe that there is a large percentage of people like the ones on that particular farm.

  3. Yikes Kelly.
    I’ve just returned from another Dolomites trip and wondered what you were up to. Your experience is a million miles away from there. They say all experience is a benefit but my heart was pounding for you as I was reading. Stay safe.

    1. Hi Victoria! Yes, there were definitely lessons to be learnt and a lot of good came from the 3 months I spent there – I made a life long friend and realised a lot about myself. I hope you had a terrific time in the Dolomites, I do miss it!

  4. As an Australian man that has travelled extensively throughout this great country, it makes me ashamed to be an Aussie, reading this so sad story. Good on you for bringing this to light, more power to you. I am so glad that nothing physically happened to you, although the mental anguish that you went through ( and probably still do at times) would be very hard to handle. Unfortunately this kind of thing will happen in all parts of the world, but to hear of it happening here, is just so disappointing. Stay strong young lady.

    1. Thank you, Terry. Your comment, along with others I have been receiving has helped me realise that this is the right thing to do. I’m continuing to struggle with the realisation that I stayed there and began to lose sight of whom I am. When you are alone and surrounded by that mentality, it is all too easy to begin wondering if it is all in your head. Now I feel it is my duty to spread the word and avoid future incidences. Through the power of the internet, hopefully this will spread like wild fire and will ensure people begin to avoid this particular cattle station. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and comment.

  5. This really worries me, you forgot that there are people like this! I’m from this area, I hope I never run into these people! I will share this so hopefully it gets around to everyone in this area!

  6. Have you contacted the authorities and posted on forums about Australia or any similar forums? As I was reading this, chills went through my spine. This guy did not have the courage to do the unspeakable. Verbal or any other abuse of any kind should not be tolerated and should be made an example of. I hope he gets what he deserves along with his wife.

    I have been to Australia, traveled the east coast and the center and I am so disappointed and angry at people like that who give a whole country a bad rep.

    You did a good job by sharing your story. I hope you never go through anything like this ever again.

    1. I have begun sharing this post in as many places as possible. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment – the support is highly appreciated at this time.

  7. Hi Kelly.
    Im a aussie and not a backpacker.. I have ended up moving to a different country due to this kind of behaviour in workplaces. So unfortunately its not just backpackers. Its a disgrace and im ashamed to be Australian. The thing that really scares me is that you are not the only backpacker with a story like this. I feel like you and others need to take your story and shame Australia as much as possible in to changing the system. Did you write to the Minister of Tourism for Queensland? and Tourism Australia? You should. Some serious reform needs to be done to protect tourists from this sort of bullshit.
    As an Australian I am ashamed and incredibly sorry that this happened.

    1. Hi Ellie. That is awful that you have moved overseas because of your similar experiences. I am in the process of filing reports to as many people as possible. I didn’t go to the police because the pig told me a few other backpackers tried it against him and he managed to get the police on his side. Sickening. I really hope that this post will reach enough people that this farm becomes part of a blacklist.

  8. I Am so sorry for what happened to you.. I had a similar experience in the US during an exchange program when I was 17 yo and my “hostdad” used to put particular attentions on me.. that’s what he said when I tried to get out of that situation with the authorities.. he was just trying to be careful and I was misunderstanding his good intenctions.. this kind of things made us the strong women we are now but also made my trusty good feelings about people really selective..

    1. Urgh I am sorry you went through that at such a young age. I honestly had such a hard time coming to terms with it at age 26, which is why it has taken me so long to get the word out there. Now I am in the process of reaching as many people as possible as I can’t bare the thought of it happening to other young backpackers that put their trust in strangers.

  9. Im so sorry you had to deal with people like this. As a 26 year old aussie female backpacking mainly australia it has been my fear to come across this as i have heard many stories. We are not all like this and hope you are coming to terms with what happened and dont take any of it personally! Your story should definitely be shared and i would still write to the police even after what he said. Multiple people do not ‘make up’ stories like this. The police will have to listen at some stage. I hope you enjoyed the rest of aus! Always follow your gut feeling! Please never put up with this behaviour for 3 months again!

    1. Thanks Jayne. I have come to terms with it, but it took a long time. I never really accepted what had happened until I left that place and stepped back in to civilisation. Aus has thrown many more positive experiences my way than negative, that’s for sure 🙂

  10. Disappointed by your post. You are damaging a local family’s reputation because you had a falling out with them and because you disagree with the industry they work in. Obviously you felt safe enough to stay 3.5 months. You are clearly dramatising and exaggerating. I feel sorry that you are so bitter and resentful.

  11. You are so full of shitt woman get a grip on life and you must have been on something good as I know this man and have known him all his life and he sure ain’t the way you are making him out to be Drama queen is what u are

  12. Dear Oh Dear……Kelly, when you set out to discredit someone, it is important that you stick to the facts, otherwise, you only shoot huge holes in your own credibility as you have very successfully done here. I know where these properties you speak of lie, and the furthest one from a town is about 60 klms from Croydon, and Hilton Park is a few minutes walk from the pub and Police station at Julia Creek. I find it rather puzzling that after suffering such an “horrendous” ordeal in the first week in this job, that you would stay and endure such “horror” for a further 3 months when you could have been gone on foot during your smoko break!!! If you weren’t such an obviously poisonous and dangerous individual, your pathetic efforts at attention seeking would almost invoke some sympathy for the inner demons you obviously harbour. The excellent reputation these people have established will hopefully snuff out any damage you have attempted to do to them. Please get back in your box and stay there, people leading productive lives don’t need to be defending themselves from the likes of you.

    1. Totally agree Michael McCoy,how much rubbish is this person spouting plus trying to spoil people’s reputation and business

  13. Lost in the outback, a tale of true terror Part 2
    This Chapter is no tale, Kelly came to work for us to do her 88 days rural work, though she did stay for 105 days. We have employed 90 to 100 people over the last 15 years, many of whom have been backpackers to complete their time to gain a second year visa. We are a private operation and we pride ourselves on managing a successful efficient business. We work tirelessly seldom few days off work. Every year we try to have a summer holiday depending on rain, Kelly was employed at this time to take care of our beloved homestead, garden and farm animals. Kelly claims in her blog it was the most terrifying time of her life on a remote cattle station 400 km from our local pub. We actually live 500 meters from town at Julia creek QLD, you can walk to the local hotel in 6 minutes and the police station is about 5 minutes. She also had her own car on the property.
    This is fabricated the whole story from the first lines she wrote, she is a blogger and loves to write about drama and adventure, Kelly is a far left wing extremist, very unhygienic sad strange lazy person.
    Yes we do have licenced weapons, mostly to eradicate all vermin from our properties. Of all the backpackers and Australians we have employed, about 10% were unemployable though we have made many lifelong friends, unfortunately for Kelly she is not one of them. We do struggle at times to find enough positions available as many have returned several times to work here and enjoy what we do. Before we left for our annual holiday Kelly remarked how wonderful and exciting it was. Free helicopter rides, mustering cattle, a lush garden, farm animals and a new 200 series land cruiser station wagon to drive into the local pool for 2 hours every day. No mention of wolf creek! On our return we were shocked to find a dead lawn, wilted plants, several chickens missing and 1 of the most well-bred baby foals was dead in her care.
    Our beautiful family home that she stayed in was a filthy stinking mess, she is not one for housekeeping. As soon as she was gone the better was all we wanted now. She also played a major role in the separation between our staff on another one of our properties here, she put the local police onto him and now a baby boy is fatherless. She also tried the same between us, with her sinister sick mind games. She is a very unsavoury sad person. We lead a very busy lifestyle, sometimes hectic. We have better things to do with our time than to have to write to defend ourselves from someone unhinged such as Kelly. To say we are bigots and prejudiced is absurd, we have both worked with talented aboriginal stockman and women of this country throughout child hood and working adult life, as such we still have them in our employment. All who have been employed here would rate our meals, accommodation and conditions, we all work hard and practice a safe working environment. It is very important that everyone is home together for the evening meal. We have been contacted by a couple who had a similar sort of problem with her. So please be aware if you do employ her or engage in any sort of conversation you may be her next victim. A couple of Australian girls came to our defence on social media have now been blocked for questioning her story because they could see through her made up story.
    In summarizing Kelly from an employer’s point of view, we would say she is defiantly unemployable. So whether you are a rural employer in the hospitality industry so forth. We would not recommend her for any position in Australia or anywhere in the world. The best thing she could do for Australians is to return to New Mills.
    To all our friends who know us, Thank you and to anyone that doesn’t you can make up your own mind.
    From us all here at Hilton Park.
    if possible please repost to all your friends to try and avoid this happening to anyone else that comes in contact with her.

  14. Just read Dave’s reply. You’re lucky you haven’t been sued for defamation of character and for the expense of the dead animals you were supposed to be looking after. Disgusting person to write this puff piece to get exposure for your blog. 😣

  15. sounds exactly like the kind of story I would expect from a naive backpacker, who doesn’t know what’s going on. City people should properly stick to the cities and party away. I know cattle properties and country people from around julia creek and your attention seeking, over the top story is what makes it so hard for them to trust backpackers. what did you expect out in the bush on a working cattle station??? pool parties and a spa adventure?? get real and don’t play a victim of the country life…. next time just travel to Sydney and you’ll be fine.

  16. Funny how all the comments stating how ridiculous you are have been removed. All the comments are from people who probably know nothing at all about country life and are gullible enough to believe your slick writing style and play on your feminine wiles. Grow a set girl and perhaps think twice about coming back to Australia. We have enough idiots that have a right to be here without adding over dramatic, paranoid and humourless slobs to the mix.

    On your way back to new mills- bye Felicia.

  17. Wow how stupid do you think people are Kelly. Surely if you were so worried about your life you wouldn’t have stayed for the extra 3 months. You would have left to find another place to sign off on your visa. I feel sorry for the people who employed such a person as you. To entrust you with their place only to come back and find not only the house a mess but their animals dead. I hope we never have ungrateful and disrespectful people like you work for us. Obviously you have no clue about the outback and lucky you actually weren’t slot further than 5 kms from a town. And you’re lucky these people you are trying to defame don’t take it further. Grow up and stop being a naive little girl trying to at the victim when in fact the victim were the people who employed you

  18. Hi Kelly,

    You were never in any real danger clearly. If this stuff genuinely worries you I hope you can talk to someone with some sort of understanding of how your thought process works so that they can maybe make you see reason.

    All the best with working out how the world works as I’m sure it’ll get you a lot further in life than just defaming others with an uneducated a biased opinion.

    Good luck.

  19. Easy for idiots to get their 5 minutes of fame…..not so easy for the station owners to regain their reputation. They will think twice about employing another back packer which makes it harder for genuine backpackers. The biggest give away…you were with in walking distance from a town complete with a police station and you stayed for over 3 months. Must have been terrible for you!!!!!

  20. I lived in Julia Creek doing my rural work at another business. I don’t personally know Kelly or David, but I have heard stories about David from some locals, before this blog post happened. David does not always come out looking good on the stories. BUT I’m not going to place judgement on him or Kelly.
    I saw David’s response on fb and all the comments there and the new comments here and it’s disappointing to see how awful people have lashed out on both sides of the story.
    I don’t know who is telling the truth or how stretched the stories may be, but it seems clear that both parties are getting the sympathy they are after.
    Clearly David has had problems with women complaining about his behavior before; I’ve heard it from others that have worked there and people around town. I can see how some bits of this story seemed dramatized, this story definitely seemed over-dramatic to me. For example it is very common for cattle station employees to have guns in their vehicles, not just in Australia, but in other farming countries. Some other things come off less beliveable just because of the way things were written or worded.
    Regardless, I’m sad to see the new comments here that I know are from the same people that commented on fb spouting hate. Does anyone think David may have stretched the truth in his post too?
    I’m not trying to sound like I’m from any side, I just know that none of you have all the info, everyone had the ability to lie, and threatening people you don’t know is wrong.
    Kelly, I’m sorry you felt the way you did about Hilton Park and that it tramatized you. I personally would have started looking for new visa work asap, and left. But as you said in another post, you had other personal reasons for staying. I just hope that while you were there, you did the best work possible.
    Hilton Park, I’m sure you’re not 100% blame free of anything, as I’ve heard similar stories about how women are treated there, but if unsatisfactory work was done and property was killed or damaged, then maybe you will try harder in securing experience workers through your hiring process. And you’d have the right to be upset with a backpacker that didn’t do their job.
    Bottom line, it shouldn’t matter what was done in the time Kelly worked for David, neither one of them should be subject to harrasment.

    1. I appreciate your diplomatic response to this, so thank you. Your bottom line is 100% spot on. All I am trying to do is highlight my experience and allow other young girls to avoid a similar situation – how can they do that if the information is not out there? It is interesting to hear that you have also heard of other women being treated untoward and this is exactly why it needs to stop. I pride myself as a hard working person, so it was quite shocking that they would attempt to say that I would destroy their house and let their animals die. Anyway, thanks again for taking the time to comment here.

  21. One word Kelly, “wow” simply “wow” so sorry to hear about your horrible stressful experiences working at the Hilton Park ! This guy David, sounds like a real creep and it sounds like something out of a horror movie! .I’ve just finished reading all of your blogs! And I’m disgusted. Coming from someone who’s known Kelly for many many years, I regard Kelly as one of the friendliest, kindest, level-headed, hard-working people I’ve ever met! If Kelly says, this is what happened! I have to 100% believe her! She wouldn’t write such a blog, if it wasn’t absolutly the truth! So I commend you Kelly as a hero, for standing up against the Hilton Park and this creep David and his wife. Hopefully this abuse will never happen again to someone working for David and Hilton Park! Miss you Kelly! Come back to China!

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