In North Western Australia, highway patrol officers Gary Bulmer and Brian O'Connor are parked by an outback highway, desperate to meet a quota for speeding tickets. Mick Taylor (John Jarratt) drives past going under the speed limit and they pull him over, claiming he was speeding. After belittling and insulting Mick, the two officers give him a speeding ticket and an order to get rid of his truck. Soon after in retaliation, Mick shoots O'Connor in the head as the officers drive away, causing the car to crash in a gully. Despite Bulmer's desperate pleas, Mick breaks his leg, stabs him in the back with a bowie knife and places the fatally wounded officer back in the car before dousing it with petrol and setting it alight. Mick departs, leaving Bulmer to burn alive in the resulting explosion.
Meanwhile, a young German couple, Rutger and Katarina, hitchhike from Sydney to Wolf Creek Crater and camp nearby. In the middle of the night, Mick arrives at the campsite and offers them a lift to a caravan site so they do not get charged for camping in a national park. When Rutger declines his offer, Mick loses his temper and stabs Rutger in the back. He then ties Katarina up and prepares to rape her, but a wounded Rutger battles Mick; Rutger is eventually overpowered and decapitated. Mick then tells Katarina they'll be spending "a fun couple of months together" before choking her until she falls unconscious.
Katarina wakes up later in the night to see Mick cutting up Rutger's body to feed to his dogs. She flees into the bush and Mick pursues her in his truck, referring to this as playing a game of hide and seek. At the same time, English tourist Paul Hammersmith (Ryan Corr) is driving along the highway, and stops when he sees Katarina standing in the road. He picks her up, but Mick relentlessly pursues them. Mick shoots at Paul, but accidentally kills Katarina instead. Paul then drives off, remorsefully leaving Katarina's body in the sand and covering it with just a sleeping bag at daybreak. Mick must now track and kill Paul as a witness to his killing of Katarina. He also blames Paul for taking his 'plaything' (Katarina) away from him, even though he, Mick, fired the shot that killed her.
Paul reaches a highway. Realising he is off course and has low fuel, he tries to flag down a truck in the distance. He soon realises that Mick is driving the truck, having killed the original driver. After a long chase, during which Mick runs over numerous kangaroos which are crossing the highway, Mick nudges Paul's vehicle at a cliff side, sending it rolling down into a valley. Paul escapes alive. Mick sends the truck hurtling down into Paul's vehicle, which explodes as he barely escapes the area. Paul treks across the outback for hours looking for help. Exhausted and dehydrated, he passes out near an outback homestead and is given food and shelter by an elderly couple. They plan to take Paul to the nearest town after he has eaten, but Mick finds the house, and shoots the couple dead. Paul flees again; Mick catches Paul hiding in the grassland and knocks him out.
Paul wakes up in Mick's dungeon, zip-tied to a chair. Mick is furious at Paul for his role in Katarina's death and prepares to torture him, but Paul pacifies him with his "English wit" by narrating limericks and leading Mick in drinking songs that he claims he learned at boarding school. He also gets Mick to join him in singing Rolf Harris's Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport. Mick's torture for Paul consists of a ten question quiz about Australian culture and history, with a promise to free him if he answers five of them correctly. However, for each question Paul answers incorrectly, he loses a finger. Paul answers the first two questions correctly and reveals that he is a history major. After he gets the next question 'wrong', Mick (irritated by Paul's knowledge) grinds off one of his fingers with a sander.
When Paul intentionally gets the next answer wrong, Mick cuts his other hand free (at Paul's request) from the zip tie and grinds off a finger. Paul then grabs a nearby hammer and clubs Mick with it before fleeing through the tunnels of the dungeon. Paul finds numerous decayed corpses and a severely emaciated woman begging to be freed. While being pursued by an injured Mick, Paul eventually stumbles across an exit, but notices a sheet on the ground directly in front of it. Lifting it up, he finds a Punji stick trap underneath. As he considers trying to jump over it, he hears someone coming and hides, assuming it's Mick. When the figure approaches, he knocks them into the trap and kills them; it was the woman he encountered earlier. Immediately afterwards, Mick finds and subdues Paul, and headbutts him unconscious.
When he wakes up, Paul finds himself, dressed only in his underpants, on a footpath in a small town, with multiple wounds across his body. He finds a handwritten note near him which reads "LOSER" before being discovered by two police officers. A series of title cards before the credits reveal that despite reporting Mick to the police, Paul was held as a suspect in various unsolved murders in the Wolf Creek area. During the investigation, he suffered a complete mental breakdown and was deported back to the UK and placed in full-time care at Ashworth Hospital, Merseyside. The film ends like the first film with Mick walking off into the outback with his rifle.
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