The 1971 Lions played just two games in Australia despite being away from home for more than three months and playing 26 matches in total.
The trip to Oz simply acts as a largely forgotten footnote to a lengthy adventure that will live long in Lions folklore thanks to their exploits in New Zealand.
Coached by Welsh genius Carwyn James, the class of '71 were the first, and so far only, pride of Lions to secure a series victory over the All Blacks. Captain John Dawes led a side that included legendary figures such as Gareth Edwards, Barry John, Willie John McBride and JPR Williams to a 2-1 win in the four-match series as the Lions rewrote the record books.
But few could have predicted that such glories who would await in NZ given how the Lions fared in Australia. While the tour ended on an almighty high, it began in far more subdued style, with the Lions losing to Queensland in their opening fixture.
One of the most-talked about teams in 125 years of touring were beaten 15-11 in Brisbane on May 12 in what was a far from ideal way to begin their quest for greatness. The tourists scored the only try of the game through England centre John Spencer but three penalties and two drop goals were enough to see the hosts home at Ballymore.
And while the performance of local referee Kevin Crowe was questionable to say the least, the Lions were given an absolute hammering in the Aussie press who saw no chance of victory across the Tasman. Queensland coach Des O'Connor even claimed that, "These Lions are hopeless; they are undoubtedly the worst team ever to be sent to New Zealand."
Things didn't get much better in game two, either, even though the Lions bounced back with a win. The 14-12 victory over New South Wales at the Sydney Cricket Ground was hardly convincing and did little to persuade the doubters that a turnaround in fortunes would follow in New Zealand.
But that's exactly what happened when the Lions waved goodbye to Oz, with just one more loss blotting their copybook across 24 more games. The Lions went unbeaten against the best provincial outfits the Kiwis had to offer and then won Tests one and three and drew the fourth to become lifelong heroes in the Home Nations.
The 1989 Lions were the first to visit Australia in 18 years, the first to play more than two games in the country since 1966 and only the second ever Lions side to use Australia as their sole destination. Only the Reverend Matthew Mullineux's tourists 90 years earlier had toured Australia without venturing to New Zealand.
With this in mind, it was perhaps hardly surprising that there were plenty of doubters ahead of the '89 adventure.
Australian Rugby had really struggled during the 1970s but the Grand Slam tourists of 1984 had shown that the Wallabies could challenge the more established nations.
Critics questioned whether Australian Rugby had the infrastructure or the depth of talent to host a Lions tour but the country proved them wrong. They proved their worth against the Lions, playing a full part in one of the most competitive Test series in living memory.
The Lions may have won all eight of their non-Test fixtures but they were convincingly beaten in the first international in Sydney.
Sir Ian McGeechan's men were on the wrong end of a 30-12 hammering as an Australia side featuring the likes of David Campese, Nick Farr-Jones and Michael Lynagh showed the quality that would see the Wallabies crowned World Champions two years later.
But that defeat only spurred the Lions on to create history of their own. The '89 Lions bounced back to win the next two Tests and claim a 2-1 series triumph.
This was the first time since 1899 that the Lions had lost the first Test against any opposition but come back to win the series. No Lions side has yet followed that achievement, although the class of 2009 did come close.
The second-Test win in Brisbane - commonly referred to as the 'Battle of Ballymore' - will live long in the memory for its sheer ferocity, while the third-Test triumph back in Sydney has few rivals for sheer drama.
With the series tied at one-apiece and the Wallabies holding a narrow lead early in the second half, Campese experienced a moment of madness. One of the game's most-instinctive players, the Wallaby wing wonder attempted to run the ball out from behind his own tryline before throwing a speculative pass to Greig Martin. The Australian full back couldn't get anywhere near the ball and Ieuan Evans pounced to score what would be the match, and series, winning try.
Campese was mercilessly pilloried in the Australian press, while the Lions were left with plenty to celebrate.
A little bit of history
In the year that the Lions returned to Australia for their first proper visit since 1966, Queen Elizabeth II was 37 years into her reign and had already become the third longest-serving monarch in British history; George Bush had just taken over from Ronald Reagan as US President; Theo Walcott, Ben Youngs and Dan Biggar were born but Samuel Beckett, Sugar Ray Robinson and Done Revie all died; the Berlin Wall began to fall; Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu was executed; the Hillsborough Disaster claimed the lives of 96 football fans; China witnessed the Tiananmen Square Massacre; Poland elected its first non-communist president and Hungary declared an end to communist rule; England experienced its hottest summer in 13 years and Frank Bruno was knocked out by Mike Tyson in the fifth round of their Heavyweight title clash.
The Lions arrived in Australia seven years after Melbourne hosted the Commonwealth Games; five years after Advance Australia Fair was proclaimed as Australia's national anthem; three years after all remaining rights for the UK Parliament to pass law in Australia were removed; a year after the country celebrated its bicentenary and the same year that an earthquake in Newcastle near Sydney killed 13 people.
The 1989 Lions were series winners on their first solo tour to Australia since the 19th century
Did you know?
The Lions played two more games after the three-match Test series - something that hasn't happened in the five tours since.
The first of those games was a 70-point thrashing of New South Wales Country but the second was a far tighter affair.
The Lions beat an Anzac XV 19-15 in Brisbane but the side they faced was much weaker than the fixture managers had anticipated.
The Anzac XV was supposed to be a Barbarian-style side combining large numbers of All Blacks and Wallabies but, in the end, the New Zealanders refused to fully support the concept.
A total of 12 All Blacks dropped out of the squad and only one of the three who did turn up was a current international.
Mike Teague was rightly named the player of the tour after a fantastic individual contribution on his first Lions adventure.
Teague had made his England debut back in 1985 but had drifted out of contention until he became an ever-present for his country in the 1988/89 season.
Having missed the first Test defeat with a shoulder injury, Teague started both the second and third internationals as the Lions turned things around.
Widely considered to be one of the central figures in the Lions' change of fortunes, Teague led by example as the tourists took the final two Tests to the Wallabies, never taking a backward step and dominating the physical exchanges.
The Lions took a squad of 30 players to Australia in 1989 and called up two replacements while on tour.
England's Rob Andrew and Tony Clement of Wales joined the party Down Under, but despite the ferocity of some of the rugby, no forward replacement was called upon during the six-week tour.
Much was made of possible tensions between the English and Scottish contingent but any national rivalries were put aside thanks in no small part to the 'one for all and all for one' attitude of captain Finlay Calder.
The Scottish back rower was an inspiration on his first and only Lions tour, six years after his twin brother Jim toured New Zealand with Britain and Ireland's elite.
Calder was among nine Scots in the party, with England providing 11 players, Wales eight and Ireland four.
For the first time, the Lions took two coaches, with Roger Uttley assisting Sir Ian McGeechan. They also took an official team doctor and a physiotherapist, with Clive Rowlands heading the party as tour manager. The tour was the first of McGeechan's five as a coach, following on from his two as a player.
PW Dods - Gala and Scotland
AG Hastings - London Scottish and Scotland
Centres and wings
JA Devereux - Bridgend and Wales
IC Evans - Llanelli and Wales
JC Guscott - Bath and England
MR Hall - Bridgend and Wales
S Hastings - Watsonians and Scotland
BJ Mullin - London Irish and Ireland
C Oti - Wasps and England
R Underwood - Leicester, RAF and England
CR Andrew - Wasps and England
G Armstrong - Jedforest and Scotland
CM Chalmers - Melrose and Scotland
A Clement - Swansea and Wales
PM Dean - St Mary's College and Ireland
RN Jones - Swansea and Wales
PJ Ackford - Harlequins and England
F Calder - Stewart's Melville FP and Scotland (captain)
GJ Chilcott - Bath and England
WA Dooley - Preston Grasshoppers and England
M Griffiths - Bridgend and Wales
J Jeffrey - Kelso and Scotland
DG Lenihan - Cork Constitution and Ireland
BC Moore - Nottingham and England
RL Norster - Cardiff and Wales
D Richards - Leicester and England
RA Robinson - Bath and England
SJ Smith - Ballymena and Ireland
DMB Sole - Edinburgh Academicals and Scotland
MC Teague - Gloucester and England
DB White - London Scottish and Scotland
D Young - Cardiff and Wales
The 2001 tour of Australia was a heart-breaking one for the Lions. A case of what might have been but ultimately never was, the tourists came so close to a second successive series victory only to suffer an agonising defeat.
The Lions travelled Down Under as massive under dogs at a time when the Wallabies were World Champions and could boast a star-studded line up packed with experience and class.
Graham Henry was named as the first overseas coach in Lions history having earned an impressive reputation with Wales but the decision was met with criticism in many quarters as sections of the press and public alike argued that an Irishman or a Brit should always be handed the reigns ahead of a foreigner.
That controversial appointment seemed to have been largely forgotten about when the Lions began the tour by putting more than 200 points on their first two opponents but it soon reared its ugly head when things started to go array.
Rumours of discontent in the camp were rife before newspaper columns and player diaries threatened to ruin the tour but the Lions somehow still produced one of their best-ever performances in the opening Test.
In front of what looked to be a home crowd thanks to overwhelming British and Irish support in Brisbane, the Lions cruised to a 29-13 victory at The Gabba, scoring four tries and shocking the rugby world in the process.
That victory looked destined to lead to series success, especially after the Lions led 11-6 at the mid-point of the second Test in Melbourne. But while the Lions were imperious for much of the first 120 minutes of Test action, they went to sleep in the next 40 as the Wallabies racked up 29 second-half points at the Colonial Stadium to level the series.
What followed was sheer desolation for the Lions as the hosts edged a thrilling final Test 29-23 in Sydney to steal a series that the tourists had seemed in total control of just over a week earlier.
And while little was expected of the Lions prior to departure, at least as far as the Australian public was concerned, the 2001 tour will go down in history as a missed opportunity.
A little bit of history
In the year that the Lions made their first tour with a squad in which every player was a full-time professional, Islamic terrorists carried out the 9/11 attacks in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania killing close to 3,000 people; US President George Bush Junior subsequently declared a 'war on terror'; Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi was convicted by a Scottish court in the Netherlands for his role in the Lockerbie bombing; Slobodan Miloševi?, the former president of Yugoslavia, surrendered to police and would later be tried on charges of war crimes; US millionaire Dennis Tito became the world's first space tourist; Labour won the UK General Election by a landslide and Apple launched the iPod, while Lions lock Gordon Brown, legendary Australian cricketer Sir Donald Bradman, revered sports commentator Brian Moore, English dramatist Anthony Shaffer and Beatles band member George Harrison all died and Abu Ali Mustafa, the leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, was assassinated.
The Lions arrived in Australia five years after John Howard's election as Australian Prime Minister ended 13 years of Labour rule; four years after Tasmania legalised homosexuality; two years after the Australian people rejected the chance to become a Republic via a referendum; a year after Sydney had hosted a hugely successful Olympic Games and in the same year that Australia would claim a 4-1 Ashes series victory on English soil.
Did you know?
The Lions began the tour with a 116-10 thrashing of Western Australia, the first time they had registered a century of points in their then 113-year history.
The 29 points scored by the Lions in the first Test in Brisbane was the highest by the tourists against any of the southern hemisphere giants in 35 years and their second highest in history.
In contrast, the 35-14 defeat a week later was their most comprehensive reverse against the Wallabies.
Matt Burke's 11 penalties in the series remains a record against the Lions - not bad for a player who was only on the bench for the first Test.
Martin Johnson became the first player to skipper the Lions on more than one tour when he captained the party Down Under.
This was the tour in which Brian O'Driscoll announced his arrival on the world stage. The then 22-year-old Ireland centre had already scored a stunning hat-trick in a Five Nations win in Paris a year earlier but his first Lions adventure made him a global star.
O'Driscoll was simply sensational for much of the Test series, with his sidestepping solo score in the first Test the highlight of a remarkable individual tour. That particular try will go down in history as one of the greatest ever scored by a Lion and will be remembered long after O'Driscoll calls time on an illustrious career.
Despite starting the tour at full back, the Blackrock College and Leinster magician formed an ever-present midfield partnership with countryman Rob Henderson and returned home with so much to smile about despite the lingering pain of series defeat.
Ireland youngster Brian O'Driscoll was outstanding on his first Lions adventure
The 2001 Lions squad was dominated by Englishmen, with the future world champions making up exactly half the 36-man party that left for Australia.
In addition to the 18 Englishmen in Henry's squad, the Wales coach selected nine players from his adopted country alongside six Irishmen and just three Scots.
A further two Irish, two Scots and two English players were called up during the tour, with Scott Gibbs the solitary Welshman to win a late invitation.
Gibbs, a Lions hero in South Africa four years earlier, had been the most high-profile omission from Henry's initial squad, while Scotland youngster Simon Taylor had been the surprise selection. The 21-year-old back rower only made his international debut a few months prior to departure and was a far from well-known commodity outside his homeland.
The other major talking point among selection centred on rugby league convert Jason Robinson, whose second spell in union had only begun in November 2000. Robinson had experienced a previous loan period at Bath but that in itself had been far from successful and the former Wigan star had yet to make a start for his country prior to being handed a chance among Britain and Ireland's very best.
One strange fact to come out of selection was that Bath provided both full backs in Matt Perry and Iain Balshaw and Saracens contributed two locks in Danny Grewcock and Scott Murray, while the arrival of the replacements meant Leicester gave the Lions two flankers in Neil Back and Martin Corry and Swansea two centres in Mark Taylor and Gibbs.
I Balshaw - Bath and England
M Perry Bath and England
B Cohen - Northampton and England
D James - Llanelli and Wales
D Luger- Saracens and England
J Robinson - Sale and England
T Howe - Ulster and Ireland*
M Catt - Bath and England
W Greenwood - Harlequins and England
R Henderson - Wasps and Ireland
B O'Driscoll - Leinster and Ireland
M Taylor - Swansea and Wales
S Gibbs - Swansea and Wales*
N Jenkins - Cardiff and Wales
R O'Gara - Munster and Ireland
J Wilkinson - Newcastle and England
M Dawson - Northampton and England
A Healey - Leicester and England
R Howley - Cardiff and Wales
A Nicol - Glasgow and Scotland*
J Leonard - Harlequins and England
D Morris - Swansea and Wales
T Smith - Brive and Scotland
P Vickery - Gloucester and England
D Young - Cardiff and Wales
Phil Greening - Wasps and England
Robin McBryde - Llanelli and Wales
Keith Wood - Harlequins and Ireland
Gordon Bulloch - Glasgow and Scotland*
Dorian West - Leicester and England*
Jeremy Davidson - Castres and Ireland
Danny Grewcock - Saracens and England
Martin Johnson - Leicester and England (captain)
Scott Murray - Saracens and Scotland
Malcolm O'Kelly - Leinster and Ireland
Neil Back - Leicester and England
Colin Charvis - Swansea and Wales
Lawrence Dallaglio - Wasps and England
Richard Hill - Saracens and England
Scott Quinnell - Llanelli and Wales
Simon Taylor - Edinburgh and Scotland
Martyn Williams - Cardiff and Wales
Martin Corry - Leicester and England*
David Wallace - Munster and Ireland*