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Be Inspired by Ozzie Wheelchair Adventures

Getting to the start line of your big lap adventure is never easy for anyone.

In fact by the time you get to Day 1, I reckon most of the hard work is already done.

So when I heard about the Hughes family and their big lap adventure . . . 'Ozzie Wheelchair Adventures' I had to find out more.

These guys have had all the usual challenges - time, money, gear, etc etc. but to add to that, their eldest son Declan who is 6 years old, is confined to a wheelchair following an accident when he was 16 months old.

But rather than let this be an excuse NOT to go and chase their dreams, B-jay and Kya have just worked that much harder to make it happen.

Even to the extent of customizing their 2009 Patrol to accommodate Declans wheelchairs and other gear.

It's inspiring stuff and proof that no matter what your situation, if you have a dream to see Australia then you can find a way to make it happen.

The Hughes clan started their adventure nearly three months ago and have just made it to the tip of Cape York and are on their way back down before heading west towards Darwin.

I wanted to know more and I'm sure you do too so I emailed off a list of questions to B-Jay and here is his responses below.

Tell us about yourselves, who's on the trip?

We are the Hughes family of 5 including B-Jay (29), Kya (31) and our sons Declan (6) Xavier (3) and Logan (7 months)

Tell us about your trip plans

We're planning to be traveling between 8-10 months as we're building a new home to custom suit Declan's requirements so we'll just keep traveling until our house is near completed.

We've been on the road now for 76 days.

We started our adventure from Rutherford about 30 km North-west of Newcastle N.S.W.

Leaving there we headed inland out to Lightning Ridge before heading back east to Byron bay then north headed for the tip.

After following the east coast we headed into Wepia then on to do the old telly track on our way to Loyalty Beach.

We're currently at Georgetown QLD on the Savannah Way heading to Darwin.

How long have you been planning your trip?

Overall we started planning the trip up to the Cape just over 6 years ago when we had our first child Declan.

Then we started planning the holiday again when Declan had his accident at 16 months which left him with serious brain damage and leaving him in a wheelchair needing 100% care from us both.

Then just when we thought we could go again Xavier come into the world which delayed it again.

Then we decided to do our big adventure and started really planning it about 18 months ago when we found out we were expecting our third child, Logan, but decided we could not put it off any longer so off we went with our 5 month old.

What inspired you to do the trip?

When we planned it 6 years ago it was because my wife wanted to go over seas but I wanted to see Australia, so we planned to just do the tip.

But after watching your Big Lap film series last year it really inspired us to do our own big lap.

What do you hope to get out of it?

We're hoping to raise awareness to other families with disabilities that you can still travel around Australia. We also have adults from Australia and overseas following us now on our Facebook page which is helping them plan their trips to Australia with places they can stay and things they can do in wheelchairs.

What has been the biggest challenge so far?

Our biggest challenge as a family would probably be the walk to the tip of Australia.

Plus, with over 6 years of planning and all the corrugations and then being stuck with the leaking water pump on the car at Loyalty beach for 7 days and only being 30 km from the tip.

Why do you think other people should do their own big lap road trips?

Australia has everything and so much to see plus the family bonding that comes with it is just awesome.

I've gone from working 6-7 days a week and 8-14 hour days and missing so much of the kids lives to spending every day with them . . . it is unreal.

Tell us about your rig setup.

On the trip we've taken our 2009 GU Patrol that we got chopped into a dual cab and 600mm extended chassis so we could fit all 3 of Declan's chairs, plus all the toys.

We sent it to Western Australia to remove the 3ltr engine and install the new 6.5 turbo diesel Chev.

It's had a 4 inch lift, Micky Thompson MTZ 35s, light bars all round, reversing camera, dual batteries, 3000 watt inverter to charge the wheelchair while driving plus lots more.

Camper wise we are towing our Complete Campsites soft top that we bought 2 years ago second hand.

It's been great even doing the old telly track.

We chose the vehicle over the Landcruiser as they are too expensive and we had a Navara before the Patrol so kept with the Nissan.

What are some of the 'must go' places you are planning to get to?

Must go places for us have been the Great Barrier Reef, the tip of Cape York and flying over the tip, a walk in opal mine at Lightning Ridge, Uluru and Tasmania.

Find out more

If you want connect with the Hughes family and follow their awesome adventure, jump over to Facebook and Like their page . . .


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Steve Baile
Steve Baile
I’m the founder of Expedition Australia, a writer, filmmaker & adventure travel junkie. Passionate about my family, health and fitness, hiking, 4WD touring, adventure motorbikes, camping and exploring as much of the planet as I can.


  1. WOW. They were at loyalty beach the same time as us. tried to have a look at their truck but every time I tried they nicked off. great to see, no boundries no limits. go for it guys have fun.
    Cheers warren

  2. Good on ya guys, most people would roll over and give up, but your kids have seen some of the beauty our country has to offer.
    Cheers and happy trails

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