Making its debut in 2003, the show focuses on New Zealand "celebrities" who travel over to exotic countries to see the country's history, culture and people. It is a multi-award-winning travel series. It is not a “Survivor” style manufactured “challenge” show. It is about meeting real challenges in the real world, travelling to lesser-known places and then getting around the way locals do… by foot, bus and camel.
Aside from being physically challenging, Intrepid Journeys also acts as a conduit to other cultures and countries that may otherwise only be seen on the news when all hell is breaking loose. This series is a chance to get past stereotypes, myths and bad press, to get out into the real world and experience life challenging and changing travel.
Across each hour-long episode, Intrepid Journeys follows a celebrity traveller for two weeks in a rough and ready destination. The appeal of the show is two-fold. Aside from seeing a personality rise to a real challenge, there is also the chance to gather real working knowledge and understanding of places, lives, events and happenings foreign to Western culture.
Although they are celebrity travellers, they travel and live as the locals do - ride bumpy local buses with chickens and goats, stay in ethnic villages and eat traditional food which stretches the palate. As a result, they are able to reflect on what is special about their lives in a Western and privileged world.
Travel shows tend towards luxury, spa and beach breaks while Intrepid Journeys gravitates towards countries with interesting and troubled pasts and presents. Destinations include Libya, Borneo, Iran, Uganda, Myanmar, Tibet, Madagascar, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Cuba, Vietnam, Ecuador and Mali.