Somerset family attempting to travel to Australia without flying arrive in country for wedding

  • Watch: ITV West Country's Claire Manning spoke to the family about their journey

A family attempting to travel to Australia without flying have arrived in the country after a three-and-a-half-month journey.

Shannon Coggins, Theo Simon and their daughter Rosa, 19, left East Pennard, in Somerset to begin their 10 thousand-mile trip to Sydney on 16 August.

The family decided to stop travelling by plane 21 years ago for environmental reasons.

So when they received an invitation to Ms Coggins' sister's wedding near Sydney, they decided to attempt the journey without flying.

"The world is a huge thing and it is on a massive scale, and my one personal thing that I do will never make the difference that we need but I want to live by my principles," Ms Coggins said.

She added: "I want a world for my daughter when she's growing up in the future and the grandchildren — and the world is getting hotter, there is so much going on in Australia here at the moment with floods and fires, and I think we've all got to take that seriously."

The family stopped flying 22 years ago for environmental reasons. Credit: Shannon Coggins

The family arrived on the other side of the world just in time to see Ms Coggins' sister tie the knot on 28 December.

But the family said there were many moments during their three-and-a-half-month journey across continents and oceans when they thought they might not make it to Australia.

They said they had doubts about whether they could cross the border into Russia, catch a bus into China or navigate the Timor Sea between Indonesia and Australia.

19-year-old Rosa added that travelling with her parents sometimes had its challenges.

"It hasn't always been easy, but you know I get on well with them and it would've been much harder if I didn't like them because we had to be in close quarters almost all the time," she said.

"But I mean it was worth it, I've had such an experience, I didn't know I'd ever see the world and now I have and it's pretty amazing."

The family have travelled through numerous countries including China, Thailand and Indonesia on their journey. Credit: Shannon Coggins

Both Ms Coggins and Mr Simon left their jobs in August to begin the 9-month round trip.

Ms Coggins said they started saving for the trip 16 years ago when her sister first emigrated.

While it would have been cheaper to travel by plane, the couple said they believe they've used five times less carbon footprint.

"If we'd flown direct from London to Sydney it would've been about three and a half tonne of carbon each," Mr Simon said.

"Even though we had to take one flight from East Timor to Darwin, a little short flight, that was 0.1 tonnes and when you add that to the 0.6 tonnes of taking public transport, we think we've done 0.7 tonnes each — and so that is five times less hopefully."

He added: "One of the great things about the journey has been about appreciating nature and seeing the wonders and beauty of nature.

"We want to keep this beautiful planet don't we, so any way we can find to reduce that carbon footprint — we are up for finding it."

The family will begin their long journey back to Somerset in a few weeks.