In an unexpected sight for Longley locals, John Elliott arrived at the Longley International Hotel on Friday afternoon with his five camels and his red heeler-dingo cross Rusty.
Mr Elliott arrived in Longley after walking down from Ferntree as part of a nationwide tour to raise awareness about skin cancer.
Deciding there was more to life than making money, the former Perth, W.A. businessman decided to make a change and embarked on the long journey around Australia to raise awareness of the early detection of melanoma and to promote regular skin checks.
Mr Elliott is an ambassador for Beard Season, a non-profit charity which raises funds to put toward free, educational skin check sessions and bringing skin specialists to where they are needed most.
Prior to setting out, Mr Elliott had a skin check himself only to find he had a melanoma on his back.
Once that was sorted, he set out from Bundaberg, QLD in 2019, with his camels carrying his goods.
A camel can comfortably carry half its bodyweight, making them suitable pack animals for Mr Elliott’s trek.
His journey has not been exactly as originally planned, with Mr Elliott facing the dreadful drought, then horrendous bushfires and then COVID-19 restrictions throughout his travels.
There was also a fall down a cliff with a very large camel, but nothing has stopped his progress so far.
After zigzagging through eastern Australia, Mr Elliot arrived in Tasmania in October.
Since then, he has wended his way south and hopes to get as far as Southport or Cockle Creek before he returns on his way northward.
Mr Elliott’s final destination is Perth, W.A, which will mean conquering a long haul over inhospitable desert before the end of the road.
pictured above: John Elliott, his five camels and his red heeler-dingo cross Rusty,arrived at the Longley International Hotel on Friday, December 4. The exotic entourage arrived in Tasmania in October as part of a nationwide tour to raise awareness about skin cancer. (PS Carolyn Whitehouse)