After travelling more than 6000kms, at just 35km/h, Sam Hughes - also known as The Travelling Jackaroo - has finally met the people behind one of the charities he is raising money for on his extraordinary journey.
The 18-year-old from Maleny, Queensland, has been on the road for the last six months with his dog Bitsa and his cockatiel Flynn - driving a 60-year-old tractor around the country - all to raise money for charities that help rural and remote Australians.
One of those charities is Dolly's Dream, founded by Katherine locals Tick and Kate Everett in memory of their daughter Dolly who took her own life due to relentless bullying in 2018.
The trio met in person when Sam arrived in Katherine on Thursday, having already raised around $50,000 for his three charities, which also include the Royal Flying Doctor Service and Drought Angels.
He said he chose to support Dolly's Dream because he is passionate about promoting mental health awareness and bullying prevention.
"Bullying is something that's very ever present in the modern day society. Whenever I think of the rise of social media, and I've had a little bit of bullying when I was in school," he said.
"I've always tried to prevent it if I can and I find Dolly's Dream, it was an excellent charity for not just educating kids on what to do if they're being bullied but also to educate the parents."
Ms Everett said she was blown away by what Sam was doing.
"I think it's an amazing achievement for someone so young to be doing something as epic as driving a Chamberlain tractor around Australia," she said.
"You know, most 18-year-olds are worried about their first job and their first interviews and this guy's tripping off around the wilderness, putting COVID in its place and crossing borders and raising awareness.
"We're pretty excited about it, to be honest."
Sam has travelled through central and north Queensland, through the Barkly region and is now on his way up to Darwin.
However, he said Katherine has been the most difficult place to navigate his self-described "contraption" made up on the tractor and a trailer with a car inside and a boat and a light aircraft on top.
"I've never known a place with so many low hanging trees and powerlines that cut across the road," he said.
The plan is to drive across to Western Australia and on to South Australia and Tasmania, but with COVID, Sam said it's hard to predict when he will make it home.
"I'm expecting eight to 12 months, but it could be anything because while I'm on the road I'm raising money for charities. The more I travel, the more I raise," he said.
"There's no point hurrying when you can only do 35k's an hour.
"So you just learn to sit back and smell the roses."
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