John ‘Roothy’ Rooth was brought up on a sheep station in remote South Australia where he and his brother played with the local Aboriginal kids amongst the ghost gums when they weren’t peddling the school radio. He learnt to drive, weld, plough, shear and cook damper before his tenth birthday. These skills led to a decade of machinery work around the bush, teaching high school History and English, racing motorcycles and cars, working as an outback tour guide and finally a career as a magazine photo journalist specialising in bush travel. In the last twenty years he’s best known for clocking up over a million kilometres exploring the most remote parts of Australia in an old truck he built himself presenting 4WD DVDs. Currently he’s got a regular weekly radio show on the 2UE network (Roothy’s Australia), does guest spots in Queensland’s Creek to Coast (Channel 7), writes columns for four magazines and is employed by several Australian companies as a product tester.
What is your best fishing spot?
Anywhere close to Scott or Gary so a bloke’s got a chance of eating fish.
Your favourite 4WD track?
Still the Telegraph Track, up Cape York, early in the season when the water’s up. We’re so lucky to have such a wild place to play.
Best camping spot?
North Straddy, even though it’s where the Handbrake said ‘yes’…
What is your hidden talent?
They’re all hidden. Really well hidden if you ask my Handbrake.
Item you always have with you for camping/driving/fishing?
A knife in a sideways pouch on my belt. A man’s got to have his tooth!
Who is your celebrity doppelganger?
Brad Pitt of course.
What food do you despise the most?
The cardboard the Handbrake feeds me just before I duck around to the pie cart for morning smoko.
Meat pie, with sauce.
What is your best party trick?
Falling asleep out the back with the dogs during the middle of all the action.
On a day off where would we most likely find you?
Playing with old motorbikes or trucks in the shed.
Your best relaxing spot?
On my own, a long way from anywhere. Or at the flicks in Bulimba with the family, although our kids are too old to want to hang out with Mum and Dad these days…
Tell us about someone memorable you’ve met along your Creek to Coast journey?
The Channel 7 crew. Some of the most talented creative people on earth. Just hanging out with them is really cool!
Your life quote or motto (who said it)
Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference. ~Winston Churchill