Lonely Planet Top 10 regions South Australia
South Australia ranked fifth on Lonely Planet's Top 10 regional destinations for 2017. Twitter/South Australian Tourism Commission

A German backpacker broke down at a South Australian court as she described the horrors of an attack, along with her Brazilian friend, on a remote Salt Creek beach in Coorong National Park in February 2016. The attacker, a 60-year-old man who cannot be named for legal reasons, came to know about the two backpackers when they asked to share a ride from Adelaide to Melbourne on a website called Gumtree.

The man drove the two backpackers to an isolated beach, which could only be accessed via a four-wheel drive, and somehow managed to separate the two. He then launched an assault attack on the 24-year-old Brazilian woman, whose name is also withheld. "I actually thought I was going to die. I imagined my mum going there ... and seeing my dead body, coming to recognise my body,” the woman told the court, according to 9News.

"I thought no, I can't do this, I came to Australia, I came to live my dream, I'm not going to die today, I'm going to do something and I'm going to get away from here. I was feeling like I was in the horror movies and I needed a strategy to get away," she added.

The man then cut off the Brazilian woman's bikini and tried to stuff it in her mouth before sexually assaulting her. At that point, the woman told the court that she thought of engaging the man by talking, telling him it would be a good idea if they went inside the tents to make the sexual act more “pleasurable.”

"He was around my mouth saying 'kiss me back' and I started giving him excuses (saying) 'my hands are tied, so sore, I can’t kiss you,'" she told the court. "He started getting really angry with me ... he spat on me, he spat on my face ... he started punching me on my left side, maybe five to 10 times.”

The man, who by this time had tied the Brazilian's wrists with nylon ropes, got lured into this idea. The Brazilian woman then shouted the name of her German partner, who was previously attacked by the man and was apparently unconscious. She, however, woke up upon hearing her name, and the two women helped each other run from the scene.

The German woman, who was bleeding after being hit by the man, helped the Brazilian untie the wrists, after which they both ran away from the scene. The man chased the two in his car.

"It was the exact moment when you’re watching a horror movie and the guy is going to follow the girls and they do that stupid thing. At that moment we saw him coming with the car, he was inside the car. We thought we need to go in separate directions, otherwise he’s going to just come and get both of us," she told the court.

The two women, however, managed to flee as the Brazilian took a lift in a passing car and informed the drivers about her ordeal. On her way out, she came across policemen who were off-duty. She asked them to help her German friend, who was “there by herself” all alone.

Police arrested the man within two hours and found crucial evidence, including a blood-covered vehicle, a torn bikini and a blood-soaked towel. Meanwhile, the man has pleaded not guilty to all charges pressed against him in Salt Creek trial. He was arrested for many offences including attempted murder, kidnapping, endangering life and indecent assault.