Australians already have some general concepts of vastness, but the Northern Territory is on a whole other level. One of the biggest mistakes tourists to the NT make is not completely understanding just how far away it is from everything, and how far away things are from each other. It's not uncommon to encounter tourists, not just from abroad but from within the country, who are distraught after learning they can't, in fact, take a day trip from Darwin to Uluru. It was news even to me that Uluru, which on a map appears to be a hop, skip and a jump from Alice Springs, is actually a five hour drive away. For this reason, Territorians spend a hell of a lot of time in the car. And the actual act of driving in the NT is a whole other challenge in itself. Read more: Postcards: Crocs really are everywhere in the Top End Firstly, there's the fact that there are vast swathes of land which do not have sealed roads leading to them, including major tourist attractions. This means owning a 4WD and being confident driving through dirt, rocks, sand and water becomes borderline essential for anyone who wants to be able to go to the good camping spots, the best swimming holes or literally to just be able to access entire towns. In fact, there's one corner of the Territory where the only road access involves driving through a crocodile infested river at the top of Kakadu National Park. I'm not even kidding. And then, of course, there's the issue with the wild animals which have a tendency to wander onto highways when the sun starts to go down. Buffalo, horses, cattle, kangaroos, wild pigs and the odd crocodile have all been known to appear as if from thin air on Territory highways. On my first trip to Kakadu shortly after moving up here, I had some vague memory of someone telling me it was a bad idea to drive after dark. However, just why that was such a bad idea became resoundingly clear when I almost hit an enormous brumby going 100km an hour in my Toyota Corolla. Lesson learned. IN OTHER NEWS: And thirdly, there's the weather. The NT's extreme weather conditions have an enormous impact on how Territorians live their lives, including where they can go. The wet season, known simply as "the wet", can produce so much rain that the dirt roads become impassable, even for the most seasoned 4WDer, for a vast number of remote communities across the Territory. The means that, until the rain holds off or if you happen to own a small plane, no one is going in and no one is going out. Finally, there's the fact that the vastness means that you can drive hundreds of kilometres without seeing another soul on the road or encountering any sort of service station. After putting off finally learning how to change a tyre, getting a flat on the road between Katherine and Kununurra was a good way for me to force myself to figure it out. And also learning to fill up at every opportunity, because you never know when you will be able to do so again. There are some good parts though. As the saying goes, life's not about the destination, it's about the journey. And I have had some truly life-shaping experiences on the roads of the Territory.