Robson attempts cattle-wrangling in South Australia in episode one
As well as the Northern Territory, in the series he pitches up in the remotest corners of Queensland, South and Western Australia. In the Daintree Rainforest, he finds a community living off the grid. In Arnhem Land – a vast wilderness pockmarked with gorges – he meets the indigenous Jawoyn people.
As Green puts it, the outback is “a different world” and not just to us Brits; it’s alien to the 85 per cent of Aussies who cluster on the coast. “It’s one of the most hostile and brutal environments on the planet but 15 per cent of their population not only survive but thrive there,” he marvels. “They live a genuinely happy life in what to us would seem incredibly uncomfortable and scary. They’re very self-sufficient.
“In this hyper-connected world, sometimes the joy comes from being alongside someone who says to you: ‘We don’t own the land, we belong to it and I’m going to show you how.’ I met a guy in Katherine [a town in Northern Territory] who has the best back garden in the world. He’s never planted a vegetable in his life, but he lives this joyous, stress-free, happy life with what’s available to him.”
It’s obvious that one of the chief attractions for Green is this surrender to the land rather than to the computer or mobile. “Certain landscapes can put you at ease and relieve you of stress. The internet and phone suddenly don’t matter and you can appreciate what surrounds you. It’s good for the mind.”
Robson Green’s Australian Adventure begins on Friday 8th April, at 9pm on Quest
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