Four weeks ago, Richard van Pijlen pushed his lightweight trolley into a cafe at the coastal suburb of Stanwell Park, south of Sydney, asking for directions to get to Perth.
By his own admission, the 67-year-old hadn't planned the finer details of his long trek, but it's a dream he's had for decades. Part of his motivation is to raise money to plant one million trees.
"If I think of every little detail I may not even do the trip" he tells AAP.
The Sydney man cuts a slim figure on the side of the road, as he pushes the cart with all of his worldly possessions, including a change of clothes, a tent, sleeping bag, water filter, solar panel and his lifeline - a mobile phone.
The grandfather of eight set off from Sydney's northern beaches on May 2 with just his family to farewell him, a steely determination to raise money for Landcare, and a desire to reach the other side of the country by foot.
"I'm very optimistic by nature and that probably helps," he tells AAP, his face beaming.
The Sydney painter admits he hasn't been vigorously training for the trip, although he says some long walks, regular yoga and painting have all kept him fit.
"I've never really done massive walks," he says.
When AAP first met him at Stanwell Park, a suburb of Wollongong located 60km south of Sydney, he'd already been lost a few times.
"I have been following the walking trip on Google and it's taking me all sorts of strange places."
One month in, and 300km further south of Sydney, Mr van Pijlen's planning has improved.
The Dutch national now has a daily plan of where he wants to get to before dark, aiming to walk around 25km a day.
"It's pretty hairy sometimes ... I sort of walk on the edges, I keep pulling over and when I hear trucks I just get out of the way."
Mr van Pijlen tells AAP he's always had a thirst for adventure, and he says he used to go on unplanned walks when he was a child in Holland, leaving his parents to look for him.
In his 20s, without preparation, he tackled Africa's highest mountain, Kilimanjaro, wearing just a denim jacket and jeans. People gifted him with boots and a weatherproof jacket en route.
His desire to plant trees was inspired by his 12-year-old self, when he planted a tree in the front garden of his home in Holland. He successfully relocated the tree when his family moved.
"You have to start small," he says.
"I would love to get lots of trees planted ... yeah why not?"
In the past month he's faced torrential rain, hazardous roads, traffic and shin splints to walk to Bermagui on the far south coast of NSW.
One of his biggest challenges has been finding somewhere to sleep at night. For the past few nights, he's slept in sand dunes and shelters. Sometimes he stays with friends.
But not once has he questioned what he is doing.
"There have been moments that I felt like the luckiest person in the world," he tells AAP on the side of the road near the coastal town of Narooma.
"I felt like I had to do something different, I felt like I had to get out of my comfort zone."
Seeing for himself the amount of forest lost in the Black Summer bushfires has been a jarring experience for the nature lover, as he makes his way down the scarred coast.
"Even where I am sitting here now, I can see where the bushfires have been, everywhere really where I am walking."
"It really impacted me ... I'm just trying to do my bit."
Mr van Pijlen is also saddened by the amount of dead wombats he sees, hit by cars, a loss he finds difficult after so many were killed in the fires.
He says doing his bit involves raising money for the community group Landcare to carry out the planting of trees. After raising around $2000 so far, he knows he has a long way to go, both in fundraising and walking.
The chief executive of Landcare Australia, Shane Norrish, commends the walker for his efforts.
"This fantastic initiative by Mr van Pijlen shows just how passionate Australians are about Landcare and bush regeneration, especially following the Black Summer bushfires," Dr Norrish says.
"Planting native trees and shrubs not only helps to restore valuable natural assets and native habitat, but it also benefits local communities."
Mr van Pijlen says meeting new people has been a highlight of the journey.
One shopper immediately bought him water when he told her he was walking to Perth to raise money for trees. Since then, others have gifted him a high visibility jacket.
He is confident he can make it to the other side of the country. He wants to make it to the Nullarbor Plain before it gets too hot, and to Perth by Christmas.
The only thing that will stop him, he says, is if his knees or hips break down. For the moment, he says he's feeling strong.
"In the morning I get up at sunrise and I feel like getting on the road. Walking is a bit addictive."
Australian Associated Press
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.