The Crossing

Sophie Matterson

An epic story of leaving everything behind to find purpose, adventure and love by crossing 4750km of rugged Australian terrain with five wild camels, from the winner of the 2022 Australian Geographic Spirit of Adventure Award

The Crossing is as profound as it is moving – a tapestry of adventure, love and, of course, camels.’ Tim Cope, author of On the Trail of Genghis Khan

In 2020, at the age of thirty-one, Sophie Matterson set out to walk her five camels from Shark Bay in Western Australia to Byron Bay on the east coast. At a time when most of her friends were getting engaged or starting families, Sophie longed for adventure, independence and purpose. She broke up with her long-term boyfriend, packed all her belongings into saddlebags and trained her wild camels to follow her lead.

Her thirteen-month solo crossing was the ultimate test of resilience and self-sufficiency – with each state in various forms of lockdowns, Sophie would often walk for weeks without seeing another soul. She crossed harsh, remote deserts, navigated treacherously beautiful salt lakes, and visited country towns and isolated cattle stations. Along the way she survived life-and-death situations, fell in love in the middle of the Outback, and slowly began to trust herself and her own abilities.

With echoes of Cheryl Strayed’s Wild, The Crossing is an empowering memoir about giving up a conventional life in the pursuit of something more.


Sophie Matterson

Sophie Matterson is a female adventurer from Brisbane. In 2021, Sophie became the first woman to complete a 4,750km camel crossing of Australia, walking her five wild camels – Jude, Delilah, Charlie, Clayton and Mac – from Shark Bay in Western Australia to Byron Bay in New South Wales. In 2022, she won the Australian Geographic Spirit of Adventure Award.

Allen & Unwin

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The Crossing
Rights sold
Sandra Buol