Despite having the bends twice, 75-year-old John Dillon is a bundle of energy, exciting yarns and wildly fruitful ideas.

Story By Cormac Hanrahan

In his 75 jam-packed years, John Dillon has done many things. He helped create Australia’s most southerly vineyard, established the Tasmanian abalone industry, worked as a pioneer skipper on the North West Shelf looking for gas, has grown apples, worked in sawmills and spent time in the Air Force. But in the pub on Bruny Island, Tas, he’s best known as the bloke who drove a tractor underwater for 1.2km.
“The fish farm over on Woody Island [officially named Satellite Island] was having trouble getting fresh water, so I said, ‘Why don’t you put a pipeline in?’ and they said, ‘Sounds good, so why don’t you go and do it?’” John says. “So then I went and had to find out how to do it. It was a case of skiting off at the pub then having to come up with the goods.”

This story excerpt is from Issue #90

Outback Magazine: Aug/Sept 2013