A FORMER Bromsgrove veterinary nurse is set to complete a gruelling five month trek across the Australian outback.

Anna Hingley, who worked at Clent Hills Veterinary Group in Stourbridge Road, is coming to the end of the epic challenge, which has never been attempted by an English woman before.

The 24-year-old is riding nearly 2,000 miles across Australia from Broome on the north west coast, in Western Australia, across the Northern Territory, to the north eastern coast to Cairns, in Queensland.

She left in March with her Australian boyfriend John Ostwald, riding wild horses they have trained themselves with only a two-man film crew in a mobile home for support.

They are due to arrive in Cairns on August 5, and will be met by a host of people, including Anna's family.

Anna, from Stourbridge, met John while travelling in Australia last year.

The brave couple also set themselves a double challenge by using the journey to raise cash for Aussie organisation Angel Flights.

They are hoping sponsors will contribute to their target of 100,000 Australian Dollars for the charity, which flies sick patients from remote parts of the bush to hospital for treatment.

Anna's proud mum, Marlene, told the Advertiser/Messenger: "I am so proud of Anna. This really is a once in a lifetime opportunity. They have both been through so much together on this journey and I can't wait to see her."

Marlene said Anna and John met while Anna travelled around Oz. She left her job in Bromsgrove after working as a veterinary nurse for six years.

She stayed with family friends in Sydney before travelling around the country. She met John, who is an experienced bushman, on a tour in Kakadu National Park in Northern Territory, where he was working as a tour guide.

Their love of horses brought them together and while she continued her travels around the country, the pair kept in touch.

Marlene said: "John is lovely. He is a real Croc Dundee type and when he and Anna were together I could see a difference in her. She was so calm and there was a sparkle to her. It was brilliant to see."

It was John's dream to cross the country by horseback and Anna was the perfect partner in this quest.

Marlene added: "John catches and tames wild horses and with Anna's veterinary skills they were a good team. I knew he would take care of her, but she is a very determined and strong young woman.

"But I want everyone who is helping in this to get the recognition they deserve."

To read more about Anna's trek log on to www.crocjohn.com