VIDEO: Graham and Mandy Down Under (2002)

Back in the heady halcyon days of 2002, I travelled to Australia to meet up with Mandy, an Aussie girl I had met 3 years earlier while backpacking around Egypt.

We teamed up and took a beaten-up 1982 Holden panel van called MONTY on an epic drive across the red heart of AUSTRALIA.

From MELBOURNE we drove along the GREAT OCEAN ROAD, popped into ADELAIDE to feed the koalas, visited LAKE EYRE and COOBER PEDY on the way up to ULURU (AYRE’S ROCK), THE OLGAS and KING’S CANYON.

After a little, erm, car trouble we found ourselves in ALICE SPRINGS, went UFO hunting at the DEVIL’S MARBLES and swimming in the crystal clear waters of KATHERINE.

Up to DARWIN to search for the mangroves and then across to KAKADU NATIONAL PARK in search of crocodiles and cave paintings. After a near-fatal collision on the way to HUGHENDEN we limped along to TOWNSVILLE where we both decided to leap out of a plane at 10,000 feet up in the air.

Heading south down the East Coast of The Land Down Under, we took a sea-plane out into the middle of the GREAT BARRIER REEF and then high-tailed it to BRISBANE to watch the midnight screening of Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones. Cos we is geeks like that.

Then down, down, down all the way to SYDNEY and CANBERRA before scaling MT KOSCIUSKO, the highest mountain in Australia. After adjusting to the altitude we drove down to the coast to visit EDEN on the way back to MELBOURNE.

What’s really sweet about this video is that Mandy and I only got together the day before we started filming it: and we’re still together to this very day. Hell, good travel buddies are hard to find…!!

Graham Hughes

Graham Hughes is a British adventurer, presenter, filmmaker and author. He is the only person to have travelled to every country in the world without flying. From 2014 to 2017 he lived off-grid on a private island that he won in a game show, before returning to the UK to campaign for a better future for the generations to come.

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