Australian Jon Muir is one of those super-fit, super-motivated and slightly barmy people who can’t help setting themselves one hardcore challenge after another. Having already gone up Everest (solo), been to both Poles and fought off a polar-bear attack, he turned to his biggest challenge to date: a 1600-mile solo walk across Australian desert. Well, not entirely solo – he took his Jack Russell, too (in similar fashion to Robyn Davidson who took a camel on her trip across the Oz outback).
The population across the entire route is 100 people; it’s something he’s been planning for 14 years and he’s already aborted three attempts (due to bad weather or injury) but determined to make it during his fourth attempt. He challenged himself to complete the first unsupported crossing of Australia.
And he did! He managed to cross the Outback by himself on foot: from Port Augusta to Burketown covering 1600 miles (South to North) in 128 days without navigational technology or stopping to resupply.
The trip has been wonderfully captured in the 2004 documentary “Alone Across Australia”. The film produced by Shark Island Productions and directed by Ian Darling and Jon Muir has won more than 25 awards, and has screened at over 60 international film festivals
The adventure film festival’s introduction captures Muir rightly:
“Australian Jon Muir is one of the world’s leading adventure legends and rightly so. Today, at 56 years old, he is still going strong and like all the brightest supernovae in the adventure galaxy, he is crushingly modest in person and rarely speaks of himself. His presentations are a hearty blend of stand-up comedy and piercing laser-cut wisdom. It’s only after wiping the tears from your eyes that you gradually absorb that this man, by the age of twenty-eight was probably one of the best free-climbers in the world. He has walked to both Poles, canoed in most of the oceans of the world and has made four attempts to walk across Australia. Totally unsupported and resolutely without human contact that is.
This documentary is the self-filmed (and beautifully so) record of his 1600 mile solo crossing of the Australian desert. It took him four months and he survived only by drinking rainwater and eating animals he encountered and then killed. Simply by watching this film and then recounting its staggering content at dinner parties, your social diary will be packed for years to come.”
Have a look at the trailer yourself: