How it all began

It started with a couple of friends and a big trip

Let us take you back to 1988. While most of us were listening to Kylie Minogue and INXS, two friends in Melbourne were spending their time planning a big trip that (little did they know) would change the way they, and intrepid people the world over, would travel forever. 

Their names were Darrell Wade and Geoff Manchester, but you can call them Darrell and Manch. They were your quintessential 80s backpackers; they craved adventure, loved to veer beyond the guidebooks and would choose a local homestay over a lavish hotel any night of the week.  

They were seasoned travellers in their 20s, but with this next trip, the duo were set to seriously up the ante on their adventuring on a nine-month journey from London to Nairobi. 

In true Darrell and Manch style, they decided to do things a little differently. They got their hands on a second-hand truck and turned it into what they believed was destined to be the coolest overland vehicle on the savanna. They added a bunch of seats in the back, a sunroof at the top and an awning on the side. They shipped the refurbed truck from Australia to London, crammed it with friends (12 to be exact) and supplies, and off they went – headed across parts of Europe toward the wilds of Africa.  

Somewhere between the rolling landscapes, countless card games and what can only be described as a handful of trip-defining moments along the way, Darrell and Manch had a thought. 

'Hang on, mate,' Darrell most likely said to Manch, or maybe it was the other way around. 'Could this type of travel be something others would be interested in, too?' And just like that, the idea for Intrepid was born. 

Sure, there were tour companies out there that showed people destinations from the comfort of a bus window. But the world was missing a style of travel that had all the joys of backpacking – immersive, affordable, hard-to-forget adventures – without the inconvenient hassles and the solitude that often came with it. Forget all-inclusive tours – they wanted to see a place through the eyes of a local while meeting and learning from those who actually lived there. 

So, Darrel and Manch set out to create a travel company not just for themselves but for intrepid people around the world. They started designing trips that met their thirst for adventure and hunger for cultural immersion and brought like-minded travellers together while benefiting the local people and places they visited.  

They ran Intrepid’s very first trip – in Thailand with just five travellers – less than a year later, in 1989.  

Since then, Intrepid has taken hundreds of thousands of travellers around the globe, serving up more than 1000 trips in over 100 countries on all seven continents. From creating The Intrepid Foundation in 2002 to becoming a certified B Corp in 2018, after all these years we’ve stuck to the original plan to create positive change through the joy of travel. And we still think our overland trucks are the coolest set of wheels on the savanna.  

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