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Explorer author, life changer, mental wellness ambassador


Brando Yelavich is a young explorer from New Zealand who, on the 24th of August 2014, was the first person to walk the coastline of New Zealand (8700km over 600 days). Since then, Brando has completed numerous self-supported adventures around the globe.

Brando completed his first adventure at 19 years old, he circumnavigated New Zealand's beautiful coastline. He climbed, walked, ran and swam around the entire country, living off the land, catching fish, wild birds, wild rabbits and whatever else he could get his hands on, using a guide to all of the edible plants for assistance. Contributions to Brando's incredible feat went to the Ronald McDonald House, raising money and awareness for all the children and families who are under their care. Brando's circumnavigation was inspired by his own Depression, he knew he was headed down the wrong path in life and needed to change his direction in a big way. The journey almost cost him his life on several occasions; it took him 600 days to traveled more than 8500km, basically alone.

Since then, Brando has completed multiple self-supported adventures, including:
• Surviving in the wilderness of Stewart Island, 30 days. 570km
• Skiing across the Greenland Icecap 33 days 600km
• Kayaking around the largest island on the west coast of the Americas, Vancouver Island 72 days 4780km
• In 2019, Brando was the first person to cycle across Australia west to east through the deserts 130 days. 5555km

In 2015, Brando was awarded Kiwibank Local Hero Auckland
In 2014, Brando was a runner up for the Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year.
In 2013, Brando has received the prestigious 'Warrant Officer of the Defence Force Award' from the LSV, for the most effective team member and for leadership.

Today he's produced three books, something he says he found remarkable as he struggles with Dyslexia and ADHD.
Brando’s best-selling book Wildboy, detailing his epic trek around the coastline of New Zealand (released in 2015), was awarded the 2016 Children & Young Adults Choice Award.

Speaking work
Brando has dedicated his life to adventure and exploration, calling his expedition at 19 years old, a turning point in his life. Brando says he learned so much on the journey that it ignited a spark which he can’t ignore. His goal is to empower others, motivating and inspiring people through sharing his personal story and the lessons he learnt along the way.

An inspiring speaker with exciting adventures to share, Brando is able to mould his stories around key messages to increase happiness, productivity and motivation in a team environment.

He captivated the audience of 30 young professionals from the very start with his honest & down to earth presentation. Well actually it wasn’t really a presentation, it was more of an unmasked story of his amazing life to date, focussing on his life changing and almost life ending 600 day odyssey on foot around the coast of NZ. His talk was enhanced by the gear he brought with him that had been his life’s belongings during the journey. Brando is inspiring and motivating in his address and clearly reliving his experience when telling his unique story - He is a consummate story teller. He adds a refreshing new face on the speaking circuit. He is a must have for RYLA 2016." RYLA

We were looking for a speaker who could offer something very different to the 'usual' corporate speech....and Brando delivered 100%. An outstanding young guy and we'll be following his future with genuine interest.

Direct Capital

Listening to Brando Yelavich has reminded me of what true courage is all about! He kept us spell bound and fully engaged as he gifted us with insights into the survival extremes, close-to-life-ending situations, the life wisdoms and the humor he learned and experienced within his 600 day journey around the coast of NZ. I Would recommend others of all ages listen, because I believe all will benefit from giving him air time


The high level of engagement Brando created with his address and story was exemplified by the extended question time. Rotarians have seen and heard many stories and Brando's ability to cut through and tell an honest and captivating story is a real credit to Brando.

Rotary Newmarket

Enthusiastic, confident. We wanted Brando to illustrate to our audience that youth are worthy of our investment in time and money. He did this brilliantly

Rotary Club of Riccarton

The team loved his presentation and Brando! He gave 100% and was adept at presenting online. He walked us through his adventures and journey of self-discovery, describing how it helped him overcome depression to get his life back on track. His presentation particularly resonated with parents in our team, but all enjoyed his story, honesty and courage.


Fantastic speaker, really takes you on a journey which makes it easy to relate.

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