The Idea

Hello there! Thanks for showing an interest ( let’s hope more than a slight one), and taking a look at the blog/diary of mine (Simon)and Megan’s overland trip to Australia. Hopefully it will become a seminal piece of work that will win literary awards throughout the English speaking world. In case it doesn’t then at least we will have a record of our trip and a member of the Maple family will finally be on the internet!

We will be on the road for a year and travel through as many countries as we possibly can. Enjoy and feel free to drop us a line, it gets lonely on the road…..

Update Spring 2014 – Landy sold, looking for a new one to travel around Canada and the US in 2016. 

If you are looking on information on the twin rear wheel carrier please contact Douglass Motors, Dorset. Thanks

  1. nicholas says:

    this is awesome. mum will be excited. i mean im excited but well you know.

    • Captain Gerry says:

      Aha! I found you. Hope all is going well. Looks like you two are having a monumental adventure.
      As always, Captain Maple, watch your speed when you get in close.
      Best of Luck to you both & take care,

      Gerry & Maggie

  2. justin burton says:

    Hello from Oz, as a fellow brit living down under, i wish you all the luck on your epic trip, if you get to queensland, we should meet for a beer.

    Do you have any further info on your twin rear wheel carrier, as i need one for out oz to asia trip next year…



    • trektooz says:

      Hello Justin

      Thanks for the encouragement! The wheel carrier had to be a bespoke version using two normal wheel carries welded together. No one makes one for a Hi Cap defender. Maybe there is a gap in the market, dragons den here I come.

      If you are interested I can take some more detailed photo’s for you.

      • Justin says:

        Thanks for getting back to me, just out of interest what was the cost for the wheel carriers.

        When do you start your trip????

        are shipping the 130 back, or selling it here???? when you have done????
        heres a pic of ours….in the desert….

  3. Paul Bryson says:

    Simon – have a great trip – enjoy 🙂

  4. Meg's mum says:

    Saturday 21st August, 2010 6.30 am
    At last they are off! Everything fitted in, Simon remembered the spare parts and Megan will be supplying South East Asia with toiletries for a year.

    Good luck have an amazing adventure and don’t forget to Skype.

  5. Herbert Ulyate says:

    Missing you already but travelling with you in spirit. Tell Harriet we are with her all the way as well. Angalia barabara mzuri (drive the road carefully. Swahili) Hamba Gahle (Go well – zulu)
    Lots of love
    Grandma and granpa

  6. Helen & Granddad/Joe says:

    Hi there Megs and Simon
    Thanks for your “Farewell ‘phone call” Megs.
    Bon Voyage to you both – Tons of Luck and Happy Landings wherever you go.
    Keep us posted when you can.
    God Bless.
    Helen & Granddad/ Joe

  7. brian & marlene Gordon says:

    All the very best Simon & Megan, from Brian on Oscar.
    Marlene and I will be following your epic journey all the way, and hope you both have a “safe passage” We enjoy reading about it all – so far – and look forward with interest to hearing all about your many adventures. ! Take care.

  8. aunty joan says:

    Message for Megan – have a wonderful trip – I think you are both very brave! Go well. Love from Aunty Joan (Connie`s friend) x

  9. Kevin says:

    Enjoy the journey looking forward to following your progress
    Stay safe

  10. Connie Ulyate says:

    I have had my laugh of the day reading about Day one! The photo looked the same as that taken the day before you left. You will soon relax and enjoy so take deep breaths and count to ten if you feel stressed. It is all part of the course!!!!!
    Much love and anticipation of further news soon.

    Grandma. xxxx

  11. Meg's mum says:

    Hi Megs and Simon have just sat down for 2 minutes and read your diary and I have to admit it made me laugh. Hope the silicone has worked and that all is now dry. Annie and Michelle arrive tomorrow so best be back to work! How I long for a trip to Oz!

    Take care Love to you both Mum x

  12. paul (douglass motors) says:

    morning simon&megan,well you are a week in now on your fantastic trip,i do hope you are both well,and you are enjoying your journey.
    I hope the landie is serving you well and not causing you too many problems.
    Well look after yourselves,and it is nice to say that i know you,
    all the best,paul.

  13. Meg's mum says:

    Hi, Megan,
    This is Michelle and Annie from the UAE. We have jsut set up your mom on Skype and need your Skype. Lots of Megan and Simons and lots of Simon Maples.

    Hope you have a great trip and we will be following your journey.

    • Meg's mum says:

      Hi Megs and Simon thanks for the update guess you are on or near the beach- enjoy. Try and skype us on Sunday at 7 our time hopefully we will have the webcam and mike by then — however we can hear you if you don’t mind us writing!
      Mum xx

  14. Hywel says:

    I will be following your journey Simon with great interest.
    Sounds a far better idea than rowing the Atlantic!

    Keep safe.


  15. roz says:

    hi you guys……just to say simon the telly is bloody fantastic. take care have fun and enjoy xxx

  16. Ian says:

    Maple, I am seriously impressed! When you first mentioned this trip I did not think it would take off, how wrong was I. I wish you both well on your venture. Now I have one buring question, have you packed enough Nurofen Plus in the medical chest, two a day for breakfast is it! I need ETA’s for Asia so I can come visit, I will of course source my own accommodation. Take care Ian

  17. Rhys says:

    Hey peeps,
    go for it 🙂 Mapes guess a bit of green laning in Hampshire is out then 🙂 Buzz you soon, best of luck.

  18. J.P. Hannam says:

    We’re all following your trip in complete jealousy here on your old ship. Have a great trip.

  19. Nick Dandeker says:

    Just found this thanks to my daughter, Caroline. All sounds great and I will start following your adventure. All the best.
    Nick Dandeker

  20. Connie Ulyate says:

    Hi Meg and Simon

    Hope you are none the worse for your falling accident. I am eager to know if Megan was allowed to see the secret paintings at Pompeii? When Helen and I were there it was MEN only !!! Still want to know what we missed!!!
    Love Grandmaxxx

  21. John Carroll says:

    Simon and Meg. Good luck with the journey – it was great to meet Simon before you left. The LRO feature on your 130 that we did that day comes out on Wednesday 08.09.10.

    Best wishes, JC

  22. Blue Defender Gareth says:

    Hope all’s going well. Would love to make such a journey in the Landy, but not really enough space in a 90! Best of luck

  23. Hester says:


    Just read about your amazing adventure in LRO magazine… and cant wait to read more about your amazing adventure…. Good luck… and safe trip!


  24. Hi Simon, Megan… following your exploits with envy… enjoy yourselves and don’t forget to take it all in… Always here if you need any help.
    Bon voyage

  25. Anthony says:

    Hi Chaps
    I have to say that I never realised how gifted Simon is in the literary sense. You really are very witty and I love reading the blog….its become a feature of my day! You have an ability to laugh at yourselves, which judging from the trip so far is just as well!! Keep it up and keep enjoying life.
    Love Anthony and all at Ringwood. xx

  26. Andy ( douglass motors north) says:

    Hope the trip goes well for you both, really envious, good luck i will be following youre progress.

  27. Hi guys,

    Hope you are still having a good trip!
    You mentioned something about posting a spreadsheet with estimated expenses and costs on it, are you still going to do it? I have a dream to drive to Cape Town in South Africa from the top of Scotland. Not using a landy though, but a landcruiser! So, let me know how you guys get on!
    Good luck and I really do hope the old landy holds out for you!

  28. danny says:

    good luck on your trip! im so envious! have fun!

  29. Tim Parrott says:

    The whole trip so far sounds great,keep posting the blogs we will be following your progress.Keep safe and have fun.

  30. Greg says:

    Hi there. Just read LRO and saw your plans. I am very, very envious, and wish you all the best on your adventure.

    Please keep us all posted and enjoy Oz!

  31. Guy Sumner says:

    Hi guys. We have never met, but I saw your article in LRO – what a fantastic Landy and what a great trip! I drive a Discovery, but if I ever get chance to do ‘the trip’, a 130 has to be the vehicle of choice!

    If you ever get chance (maybe on a day when you’re not on the road), you could check out a website about overlanding. It would be great to see your 130 on there. The website is: . My Discovery grew up in Australia but came home to the UK a few years ago, see it here:

    Suffice to say, I will be watching your trip closely. Enjoy, and stay safe!

    Cheers, Guy.

  32. Steveo says:

    Hi there. Just read the article in LRo about your adventure and I’m very jelous!! Good luck with your trip and hope all goes well. Keep posting the updates as it great for all us watchers to see how your getting on.

    Good luck


  33. ed price says:

    hello simon and megan
    only just read lro article ! hope your journey is going well and good luck

    take care

  34. Helen says:

    Hi Meg and Simon
    I’m in SA at present but still following your progress with interest. Love to you both. Helen C

  35. Christopher says:

    Just to wish you guys all the very best. I am stuck behind a desk in the UK but dreaming about doing an Overland to Oz. Wife thinks I am joking…little does she know!

    Will watch with great interest over the coming weeks and wish you a safe journey.

  36. Mark says:

    This is way better than McLundies blog 🙂

    Have u cracked the code…………… 🙂

  37. Stephen McCraith says:

    Just thought you’d like to know that the Llanion Buoy has been moved 20m to the East

  38. Colin says:

    Hi Guys

    I have just read the article in LRO and I am full of admiration for you both. Good luck and have a safe trip.


  39. Gerry says:

    As they say in Norn Iron,

    Keep her lit, Simon!!!

  40. Edu Spee says:

    Hi Simon, Hi Megan,
    Read the article in LRO as well … Will follow you guys via this site …

    Drive carefully and hold tight … Enjoy

    Defender 110
    Johannesburg SA

  41. Nigel says:

    Hope all is going really well for you 🙂

  42. Nigel says:

    Hope all is going well for you guys ! 🙂

  43. julie westerby says:

    Been reading your bit in LRO. I’m green with envy. Hope everythings going well. Your blogs are very inspirational.

  44. Charmaine Ulyate says:

    Hallo happy campers!
    Hope this is the case. Hope you are having a great time! It is so nice to see what you are up to and where you are.
    I have just returned from a short trip to India and if you ask me, you may pass it by.
    We have just moved into our new house and have got so much space around us. Something that you most probabley long for. At least you do stop at little hotels and have time to appreciate the luxurious facilities.

    You are in our thoughts and God Bless.

    Charmaine and Hilton and the girls

  45. Connie (Grandma) says:

    So glad to hear that the adventure continues. Herbert says that the reason you are having problems is because you call the LANDROVER the car. Harriet is her name and she prefers to be called just that. (You have nothing to lose by trying it and you will make an old man very happy!!!!

    All our love is with you

    Connie and Herbxxx

  46. anuar says:

    hi, are you going to Malaysia? There is a place call Black Hawk Workshop at Subang, Shah Alam, specialize for Land Rover. Can get servis or sparepart here too.. LROM are at the same place, so we can meet and share some experience.

    • FRANK LAI says:

      Hi, I have a Freelander V6, Land Rover. I would like to exchange my drive shafts both side. Would you recommend me a good work shop offers reasonable price.



  47. Graham and Heather says:

    Hi you two!!!! You sound as though you could do with a little bit of the M25 to remind you of how bloody marvellous it is to be off this frigging swamp of an island. Fog, frost,grey skies, rain and then some chirpy idiot of a weather-babe saying things like “It’s going to be a cold old day today with just a wee bit of rain pushing in from the southwest, so whatever you do today, you’re going to get wet, but don’t worry,it will warm up to 3 degree tomorrow…etc!” Terrific!!! lest’s have a barbie! Who the hell do they think they’re fooling????????? I’d love to be stuck in the desert (no parking charges, no rain, and no amphetamine-fueled weather-witch telling me to cheer-up because it’s just a ‘”wee spot of rain again!”
    Miss you both (a bit), and envy you like hell!
    lots of love, and a man-hug for Si !!! (Ha ha!) Take care you two, and no Muslim jokes !

  48. Connie (Grandma) says:

    So glad you are on your way again. However you are still commiting the cardinal sin by referring to HARRIET as thec** (Cannot let myself write the forbidden word!!!!!!!! Please try harder to break the habit.
    Much love Grandma and distraught Grandpa xxxx

  49. Steve and Denise says:

    Hey guys, we are brits living down under in tasmania, just wondered if you were planning to come down this way, if so it would be good to catch up as own a few landies myself and am a bit of a fanatic.

    all the best with the trip!

    Steve and Denise.

  50. Tom McGuigan says:

    Delighted to see that you’re heading to the Cameron Highlands … Land Rover heaven! Why? You will see when you get there. Best have your camera to hand as the loads they carry have to be seen to be believed. If any mechanical problems en route, that’s the place to head for; they will fix ANYTHING!!!

    Three things you need for the rainforest (should have said while you were sitting waiting for Harriet).

    1. Salt – a sprinkle on a leech having breakfast on your ankle will see them drop off quick smart.

    2. Savlon – or the Malaysian substitute. Great around the naughty bits to counteract prickly heat ‘down below’!!! It’s the humidity which causes the irritation, Savlon is the cure!

    3. Tiger Balm – if mozzies love you as much as they love me, then this helps. However, if you can prevent bites with Deet spray, then so much the better.

    Have fun kiddies, Tom Mc

  51. brian & marlene Gordon says:

    Hello Simon/Megan,

    We wish you a very Happy Christmas and a good New Year. Hope you enjoy the festivitiies wherever you are. All the best for your travels.
    Marlene and Brian Gordon.

  52. John and Pam says:

    Enjoying reading the blog.Thinking of you at this time.MERRY CHRISTMAS to you both.

  53. Marta Kusa says:

    MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR WHEREVER YOU ARE for Cpt. Simon and his ,,seaman,, Megan.
    Have a safe trip.

  54. Haikel Africatwin says:

    Hey mate! Enjoy you adventorous trip! hit me up when you guys coming to Singapore! Cheers!

  55. Mum "Maple" says:

    Hi Guys. Just caught up on the blog – great stuff. Christmas Eve now and hope to have some time over the holiday to settle down and write a long over due e mail!. Glad all going well – have a good Christmas. We are missing you lots Si and Megan – take care. Love Mum P.S. Could have done with Harriet (!!) here in Cornwall over the past week, roads have been an icy nightmare. xx

  56. Pam and John says:

    Happy New Year hope you have a good time.Love us xx

  57. Pieter & Ann says:

    If you find the time and interest, you’ll find we had much the same and different problems in Iran. In Tabriz a pseudo policeman stole 800 Pound Sterling from us and in Pakistan, at only 240.000 km the engine of my 110 Td5 seized due to the oil pump coming loose from it’s shaft, clearly a manufacturing fault, and I had to buy a brand new engine. Land Rover did not want to be bothered, as was the case in Egypt when my good gearbox was replaced by a faulty one, by an accredited Land Rover dealer
    The problem with the handbrake is caused by the earthing from engine to chassis coming loose and the current choosing the handbrake cable to close the sercuit when you start the engine, burning off the lining.
    We are in South America now with a Toyota, but will travel to Australia as soon as we can to get a Toyota troop carrier, and start a whole new worl adventure. I would never trust my life and soul to a Land Rover again.

  58. Jacek says:

    I can not know if you are already on their way to Australia or just going to leave?
    I too have a plan to ride my Defender 110 with Polish to Australia, so we can do it together. Waiting for the answer to my e-mail.

    Translation by google

  59. Connie (Grandma) says:

    Happy New Year Meg and Simon. You were both missed over the festive season but we were rather envious when reading of the sun and cocktails you were forced to endure!!
    Reading your news brightens our overcast days.
    Much love to you both
    Grandma and Grandpaxxx

  60. Meg's mum says:

    Hi Megs and Simon Happy nNw Year glad you liked your pressies. Hope that Nick and your Dad are having a great time with you both and that India is as exciting as trying to get there turned out to be! Hope to catch you on Skype at the weekend. Love to you both
    Mum x

  61. Ian McKenzie says:

    Gidday Simon and Megan,
    Nice to meet you in Torquay, Victoria, Australia ( Not the Torquay in Britain) very impressed with your setup, enjoy the rest of your journey, drop me a line anytime if I can be of assistance.
    Very ipressive website too.


  62. Oliver Coakes says:

    Hi there,

    i see you are getting close to selling your vehicle. Are you in oz at the moment?

    As I am a dual citizen with the UK, i may be able to purchase the vehicle legit here in oz and it can remain?? Could you contact me to discuss please…thanks

  63. Tom McGuigan says:

    We’re still following your progress on ‘4×4 Overland Forum’ – – even if you have turned into “trailer trash”. Keep those photos coming, especially of the 130 in wierd and wonderful locations. Have fun kiddies!

    Tom Mc

  64. Ranga says:

    Hi mate,
    Thanks again for popping over and answering my myriad of questions, and providing inspiration. Was lovely to catch up with you both. Heopfully we’ll catch up again soon!

  65. Hywel says:

    Hello Simon

    I have followed your epic journey with great interest and as others have said your Blogg has been so entertaining. By the way the price of diesel has gone up to £1.40 per litre since you departed.

    Take care on the last leg


  66. Stephen McCraith says:

    Hi Simon,
    Following your Oz journey with an increasing desire to down tools and jump on the next plane.
    My favourite place on earth is Jervis Bay National Park where I see you spent some time recently. I’ve camped there so many times over the years and recently with the family who love it just as much as I do.
    I was sunbathing on the beach at South West Rocks 21 years ago when I felt an earth quake which killed a couple of folk down the road in Newcastle.
    Enjoy the rest of your time.
    The weather in Ireland has been a wonderful 22 degrees with little or no wind since about last August which makes the decision to leave quite difficult!!!!
    Good luck

  67. Connie (Grandma) says:

    Dear Simon and Megan,
    You have met so many people on your trip the majority being fellow travellers. Have you had any meaningful conversations with real Aussies? The time is going so quickly now and we are so looking forward to seeing you both. Congrats on getting the job ,Meg and commiserations to Simon for his future loss of Harriet.
    Much love
    Grandpa and Grandmaxxxx

  68. Tom McGuigan says:

    Hey Connie, perhaps you could buy Harriet and go off on your own ’round the world venture? Now there’s an idea!!!

  69. Connie (Grandma) says:

    Hi Tom McGuigan
    Not quite sure re meaning of your comment. It is a shame you have not come across my last book
    ‘Zimmer Surfing in the Outback – with style and panache!!’

    All good wishes

  70. Yo Simon. It’s younger Maple’s erstwhile westcountry counterpoint and occasional London visitor here, aka Nick. Been enjoying your blog and the pics. Looks like awesome fun and try holding out from the return to civilisation for as long as possible. Will post a link to your blog on mine and shamelessly wondered if you might be so kind as to reciprocate the love. You can find me at Cheers. Nick

  71. Paul Betts says:

    So come on then Simon and Meg.. what next !

  72. Ian Womack says:

    Hi guys, im currently in Bamaga at the tip of cape York and on a similar journey around Oz as what you did. On having a google I came across your site. Im looking at options for driving my truck back from Australia overland to the UK…… Is it possible??


  73. Rob says:

    Hi guys, we are doing a lap of Oz in a 1968 series 2a LR right now.
    I found your blog and have had a brows through. Very cool 🙂
    We are planning to drive our car back to UK.
    We also stayed with David in Adelaide 🙂
    Rob & Emma

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