The Somerset family travelling to Australia without flying

Theo Simon, Rosa and Shannon Coggins
Image caption,The family decided to stop flying for holidays in 2002

A family travelling to Australia without flying have reached Indonesia after a journey of three and a half months.

Shannon Coggins, Theo Simon and their daughter Rosa, 19, left East Pennard on 16 August to begin the 10,000-mile (16,000km) journey to Sydney.

They decided to stop flying in 2002 “because of its effect on the climate”.

The family is hoping to make it in time for Ms Coggins’ sister’s wedding on 28 December.

They have travelled through Kazakhstan, China, Laos, Thailand and Indonesia, and are now in Dili, East Timor’s capital, hoping to find a boat to cross the Timor Sea to Darwin, Australia.

From there they plan to take a bus to Sydney.

Theo Simon, Rosa and Shannon Coggins
Image caption,Ms Coggins said unfortunately the world “isn’t currently set up to make low-carbon travel easier than flying”

“My sister moved to Australia in 2007 and she’s getting married in New South Wales on 28 December,” Ms Coggins said.

“Although we live far apart, we’re very close because our mum died when we were young but I’ve never been to her home, or taken her son to school, or even met the man she’s marrying.

“I want us all to be there on her wedding day but I am also trying to do my bit to reduce my carbon footprint by trying not to fly.”

The family saved up for several years to pay for the trip, which has cost them much more than air tickets would have done.

‘A fabulous adventure’

In August, Ms Coggins left her job as administrator at the Avanti Park School in Frome and Mr Simon finished working at Songbird Naturals in Ditcheat.

They also had to turn down bookings for their band Seize The Day during their journey.

“Our band can’t play any gigs without us, but we hope to be back in June 2024 for the summer season,” Mr Simon said.

“All three of us have campaigned in different ways for action on climate change, so we decided our journey to Australia would have to be as low-carbon as practical.”

He added: “But we’re realistic. We know that people can’t necessarily find the time to do this, and unfortunately the world isn’t currently set up to make low-carbon travel easier than flying.

“But it has been a fabulous adventure so far, and we’ve still got our fingers crossed that the harbour master in Dili can help us find a boat.”

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