'Cheese Is Very Calorie-Dense': Nick And Lavinia Pembroke's Hunted Honeymoon Comes To A Crashing End

Nick and Lavinia's time on the run saw them baffle the Hunters as they spent most of their time completely off-grid, but the lure of champagne and cheeseboard proved too much.

When Hunter HQ first learned of the then-engaged couple they assumed it would be easy to track down the newlyweds as their penchant for the finer things would see them struggle with their time on the run.

But as the days went on, Nick and Lavinia turned out to be one of the toughest teams to track down, with the Hunters having very little to go off at all. Unbeknownst to the Hunters, living off-grid with very limited resources was actually a dream come true for Nick.

"It was five weeks off work, no credit cards, no phone, no responsibilities of paying bills [just] hanging around the bush for up to 21 days, I was like yes please," Nick told 10 play, joking that he would have been happy to pay for the experience, the promise of $100,000 was just an added bonus.

Lavinia, on the other hand, loved the idea of challenging herself, and that combined with Nick's dream scenario saw them head immediately out to set up camp and make "as little noise as possible" in the early days.

"We always knew we'd struggle when the Hunters were close," Lavinia explained, "we knew we'd panic and stress. We wanted to go under the radar as much as we can and let them not have one thing on us which, I mean we did for two weeks."

And while the Hunters had little to nothing on the location of the couple, Nick and Lavinia admitted they were paranoid every single day. The duo spotted a pair wearing black and holding a mounted camera one day, dropped everything and sprinted into the bush.

"We hid in the baking sun with no water and no food for four hours until we were like... maybe it wasn't them," Nick said, laughing.

Despite being on edge, Nick and Lavinia had no idea how well they had managed to give the Hunters the slip, but they admitted that being so out of the sights of Hunter HQ actually worked against them in the long run.

"If I would do it again I reckon the only thing I'd change is actually more interaction with the Hunters," Nick said. "You spend two weeks fully paranoid, but you're not seeing them. When you're face-to-face, it's overwhelmingly intense.

"That's inevitably going to happen, it's too much of a shock to the system," he continued. "If you kept on playing with them a little bit, you desensitise yourself for when it's super important. I know you're risking getting caught earlier, but I think you gotta risk it for the biscuit."

Though the pair had found success in camping off-grid, they reached a breaking point when bad weather and flood warnings made camping too uncomfortable. Needing a break, they reached out to friends nearby for a place to stay and a much-needed cheeseboard.

"We told ourselves before, when you start to get comfortable that's when it all goes wrong," Nick said.

"But then you get handed champagne and a board of charcuterie and cheese and dip," Lavinia swooned, "you've got shelter, dogs and beautiful scenery and you're just like... I don't want to go back to camping, that's hell!

"If I can be on the run here, why would I choose to go back to the bush?"

The couple planned to do some work on their friend's property in exchange for food, board and some spare cash - at this stage fully unaware that the Hunters had frozen the bank card they were given at the start of their run.

But all that came to a crashing halt, and they received that immediate shock to the system Nick mentioned when they received a call from their friend that two black cars had just screamed down the driveway.

"We were like oh, this is Hunted, this isn't Nick and Lavinia go camping and find themselves," Lavinia joked, "they're here and they're around the corner. Nick's shovelling cheese in his mouth and I'm like, stop eating the cheese!"

"Cheese is very calorie-dense," Nick noted.

Dropping everything (except the cheese which they asked to be wrapped up so they could take it away), Nick and Lavinia made a mad dash to get as far away from the Ground Hunters as possible. With basically nothing but their bank card, the pair still had no idea the Hunters had frozen their assets.

"We knew going into Hunted, right from the beginning, freezing cards was a possibility," Lavinia said. The pair also had decided early on that they didn't want to use the bank card unless it was absolutely necessary.

"Not using it would really confuse them, we thought," Nick added.

"They'd expect us to use it," Lavinia agreed, calling it a "power move" to ignore the card altogether. But when they were forced to abandon everything, with a handful of days left on the run they knew they would have to tap into their emergency funds.

"When there was no money on the card, it said like 'restricted card' or 'card not accepted', I was like okay is it this ATM or have the Hunters really frozen our money? Even though we knew it was an option, it didn't feel real."

Knowing it was a risk to use the card even once, as it would immediately alert the Hunters to their location, Nick and Lavinia risked their position, even more, when they attempted a second ATM.

"It was a risk, we knew we had to get money and we didn't even get the money. That really sucked," she said.

Boarding a bus with plans to head to Geelong, Nick and Lavinia were shocked to see Ground Hunters pull up and approach the vehicle just before it was about to take off. Slipping through the bus doors, Nick bolted on foot, but Lavinia had no time to follow and - almost instantly - the bus pulled away, splitting the pair.

"We were never, ever going to split up. We knew it was an option that you could do as a strategy and we were like, we’re not going to split up," Lavinia said. "If it happens it will be by force or by accident, that’s what happened."

With Nick captured after a tense footrace, it was only a matter of time before the Hunters caught up with the bus, and with Lavinia.

Though their time on the run ended, Nick and Lavinia said their experience truly had strengthened their relationship, with Lavinia calling it the "perfect test before marriage".

"I wouldn't advise it for everyone," Nick added. "If it's rocky, don't do it," Lavinia chimed in.

"We worked really well as a team, even better than I could have expected," she continued. "I think it brought out the best in ourselves and each other."

Marrying earlier in the year, Hunted served as their 'pre-honeymoon', and though they're planning their actual honeymoon for next year Lavinia is adamant that they won't be spending it camping.

"Nick was so desperate to go... he was like, we're really good at it! I was like absolutely not. This doesn't mean every holiday is going to be like that, thank you very much!"

"Lavinia's insisted we do resorts... pools," Nick said.

"Cheeseboards and champagne!" Lavinia added.

Hunted Australia’s Grand Finale airs Tuesday at 7.30 on 10 and 10 play on demand