An outback adventure to Katherine became a nightmare for two young German tourists earlier this week.
Two German tourists were sexually assaulted in Katherine in the early hours of yesterday.
Police have released few additional details today other than to offer warnings to other visitors thinking of sleeping in unsecured areas.
Police said the young women, aged 20 and 26, were sleeping in their vehicle at the council-owned visitor information centre after their car broke down.
Police believe the assault occurred around midnight.
“Be aware of your surroundings and take necessary precautions,” a police spokesman said.
French tourists Malorie and Chloe have been in Katherine for the past week.
“I wouldn’t use the word safe to describe Katherine,” Malorie said.
“A lot of people come up to us asking for money and to buy them alcohol,” Chloe said.
“We have not thought about walking around at night alone,” she said.
The pair where unaware that young women had been assaulted in Katherine on Sunday night.
“Oh woah, I did not know that,” Malorie said.
The two girls did not know Katherine’s sexual assault rate was triple the national average.
“We had friends travel through the Northern Territory and they said it was good. We are driving to Alice Springs next,” Chloe said.
An average of three people are sexually assaulted in Katherine a month.
Police have appealed for witnesses to Sunday night’s assault.
The offender, a young Indigenous man, ran off after waking the pair.
They later found fuel had been siphoned from their vehicle.
Police said there was no CCTV footage of the incident.
Anyone with information should contact police on 131 444 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
The rate of reported sex assault in Katherine is more than three times the Australian average.
Foreign authorities have warned its residents about the danger of the NT outback.
The British Government warns its citizens that “there have been some serious sexual assaults against British nationals in Australia”.
The Canadian Government says to “avoid hitchhiking. Attacks on backpackers have occurred”.
The French Government said about two or three cases of rape against French tourists in Australia are reported each year.
German reporter Sandra Pingel wrote an article warning young backpackers of the dangers of the outback
“An adventure, a dream, of course, but one that can become a nightmare faster than many believe. No other country on earth is more popular with German world travelers than Australia, and hardly any other country is so mistaken.” Ms Pingel wrote
“It is widely known that in Australia the snakes live with the strongest poisons. But hardly anyone is aware of the dangers that emanate from people.
“Raids, car breaks, rape - according to reports from Australian newspapers, a wave of crimes has recently been home to the Northern Territory, the city of Gold Coast and tourist hubs such as Cairns and the Kings Cross entertainment district in Sydney,” she wrote.
“The outback is not safe.”