Jon Muir, one of the most audacious and colourful trailblazers, will be touring Australia for an ‘Off the Grid’ speaking tour in November 2018. Of his four decades of adventure, here’s what makes him Australia’s most versatile adventurer.

Having joked that he would need at least 10,000 lifetimes to satisfy his curiosity (and that’s just to explore Australia), Jon Muir’s fervour to unearth wild and remote places, while pushing the envelope of survival, has built up a portfolio that’s inimitable.

“The radically different extreme environments through which I have journeyed, and the people that I have met on the periphery of those environments have all played a part in shaping me towards taking direct personal responsibility for the most important needs in my day to day existence,” he tells World Expeditions.

Over four decades of trailblazing and adventuring, Jon has journeyed from different extremes – traversing Australia’s driest deserts with his canine companion Seraphin, summiting the highest mountains in the world, and pioneering new routes in the Polar regions.

John Muir on an expedition in the North Pole

Jon Muir – North Pole Expedition

Jon Muir on his polar expedition traversing the White Desert

Jon Muir takes on a multitude of landscapes and environments. Pictured here he is traversing the White Desert during his polar expedition.

While the Australian Geographic’s 2017 Lifetime of Adventure recipient says it’s difficult for him to single out a particular expedition he considers the most remarkable, he shared some tales of some memorable and challenging exploits he’s undertaken. Not only have they shaped him, but they’ve established him as Australia’s most versatile adventurer.

Summitting Kedarnath Peaks, India
While Jon is the first person to summit the south side of Mount Everest solo, he said his solo expedition of the Kedarnath Group was much more interesting and challenging than Everest.

The level of commitment that was required made this multi-peak traverse a notable mountaineering venture as it involved long climbs at high altitude, via a nine-kilometre ridge, that made retreating extremely difficult in these high Himalayas. It should also be noted that his first attempt in 1987 saw him caught in seven avalanches! In the same year, Jon made a second attempt and ascended three 6500+ metre mountains (Dome 6850m, Peak 6940m, Kirti Bamak 6500m), which he completed in 41 hours.

Traversing Australia
In 2001, Jon made history by becoming the first person to walk unsupported – that’s without any resupply, pre-laid depots and no vehicle support – from the south to the north of Australia alone. Over the 128 days he lived off the barren land, which Jon described as being tougher than his Sherpa-less summit day on Everest. (It became the basis of his 2004 documentary Alone Across Australia).

In 2007, he was at it again and completed a solo trek to the geographic centre of Australia over 70 consecutive days during the height of the millennial drought. 1800 kilometres later and 30 kilograms lighter than his starting weight, Jon said he was at the closest limits of his endurance than on any other expedition.

Two mountain adventurers traversing the desert with their essential outdoor gear

Jon Muir taking on the challenge of traversing the red centre of Australia

Jumping a dingo fence during his traverse across Australia

Jon Muir Faced a number of obstacles throughout his travels.. some large, some along the lines of a dingo fence during his traverse across Australia.

Death experience in Victoria, Australia
It was a rock climbing excursion that went wrong on Mt Arapiles back in 1981, which left Jon technically dead for three minutes. Struck by a two-tonne rock, Jon suffered broken ribs and punctured lungs. You could very well say it was a life changing moment that made Jon appreciate the preciousness of time on earth and motivated him to adamantly pursue his passion in exploration.

Sea kayak adventures in Australia

Imagine paddling more than 5000 kilometres along remote coastlines… Well, you guessed it, Jon’s done it. However, his 52-day kayak journey along the east coast of the Cape York Peninsula in the tropical north of Queensland in 2000 is one he deemed as a great accomplishment on his part. Again, living off the natural environment, the 800-kilometre solo traverse was an expedition where he constantly said he had to face his fears each day.

More recently, in 2011, Jon and his wife Suzan Muir accomplished the first human powered traverse of a wet lake. From mouth of the Warburton River down the Warburton Groove to Dulhunty Island then to shore at Belt Bay, they travelled 120 kilometres in 24 hours across South Australia’s Lake Eyre in a double kayak.

Jon Muir at sunset during his human powered expedition to cross Lake Eyre

Jon Muir – First human powered crossing of Lake Eyre

Jon Muir and his wife in their kayak crossing Lake Eyre

Jon Muir and his wife, Suzan, in their kayak on the first human powered expedition to cross Lake Eyre.

Feeling inspired? Jon Muir will take the stage across Australia next month, from November 7-13, sharing remarkable tales from his lifetime of exploration and how they led him to live a life ‘Off the Grid’ with World Expeditions.



#ExperienceIsEverything | #PaddyPallin | @WorldExpeditions

About The Author


Some 80 years ago, a young bushwalker's dissatisfaction with the limited and heavy bushwalking equipment available prompted him to design and make his own. Before long, word spread, and Paddy Pallin's lightweight, functional designs were soon in demand among fellow bushwalkers. From its early days the company has concentrated on supplying bushwalkers, travellers and adventurers with the highest quality and most advanced products and knowledge. Since 1930 the company has grown to become Australia's leading supplier of specialist outdoor and travel gear. The company, still owned by the Pallin family, now has thirteen stores throughout Australia as well as online, mail order and corporate sales divisions. We are using our vast wealth of knowledge, and experience, to build an online community where we can share our stories, reviews and tech tips to help you research and plan your next adventure.

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