This is why Adventure flows through my veins
My first memories of heading off on an adventure are from 1975. Cyclone Tracy has ripped through Darwin on Christmas Day 1974 and the city was still off limits to outsiders. We had set off from Wheelers Hill in an EJ Holden sedan, Mum and Dad, three kids under 8 and our faithful dog Tanji.
Mum and Dad had taken three months long service leave and were taking us around Australia. My grandparents also joined us with their brand new Kombi that they’d imported directly from Germany. This was an amazing challenge for my parents and on the car as the majority of the Princes Highway was still just a dirt road.
I remember rolling paddy melons down the road at Rubyvale, eating lunch in the shade of a water tank in Kynuna, along with some horses and cattle. Climbing the Devils Marbles and waking to freezing mornings in Alice Springs, Tanji’s water bowl frozen over. The feeling of disappointment at being too young to go and climb Ayers Rock (I was 6) didn’t leave me until I finally climbed Uluru in 2011. The West MacDonald Ranges were as spectacular then as they are now, just less crowds. We even met the Leyland Brothers in Alice Springs, too young to realise how famous they were.
In Western Australia, we struggled along a wet and slippery road that brought us out near the newly built town of Karratha, to see a “Road Closed” sign. The sight and smell of whales being dragged up the concrete slipway at Albany will never leave me, nor will the memory of Dad pulling over on the Nullabor so Mum could have a toilet break, only for her to nearly step out of the car and fall down a sinkhole.
The rest is a bit of a blur, so when Mum and Dad asked if I would like to join them on another Around Oz trip in 1994, I didn’t hesitate in saying “Yes please”. This adventure was undertaken in Dad’s 60 Series Landcruiser, the first 4WD our family had owned. We covered some amazing parts of the country, the Corner Country a big highlight for me. Mum loved camping so much on the banks of the Cooper at Innamincka, that after she passed away, I spread some of her ashes there and visit as often as I can. The west coast of Australia and the Kimberley were both places I fell in love with, the beauty, the colours, the people and of course the Boab.
I bought my first 4WD in 2001, an 80 Series Landcruiser with the petrol 3F engine. I don’t know how many times the carburettor was rebuilt on that beast, but it was an amazing vehicle. I raised it, added some big rubber, threw in some extractors and chucked a big winch on the bullbar, then drove it all through the Victorian High Country, Yarra Ranges and Victoria’s desert region (Little Desert, Wyperfeld and Murray Sunset National Parks) before heading further afield over the following years. Buying this 4WD introduced me to photography and writing and the love of this lifestyle has continued over the years. Between 2003 and 2005 the 80 was a dependable vehicle for my Tag Along Tour business that led groups across the Simpson Desert and around the Gulf Country before personal issues meant the business was no longer viable.
It all culminated in my third long Adventure Around Australia with my son in 2006. We had an absolute ball and pursued some amazing experiences on the three months that we spent on the road with my first camper trailer (that is another story). By the time we arrived home, my love for exploring was truly embedded into my DNA.
As you can see, I have been truly blessed with the opportunities given to me and they have led me to what I am doing today. I hope you enjoy the journey I am about to take you on as much as I will.
Living the Dream, Sharing the Experience