People either forget or have never experienced the incredible stretch of coastline, white sand beaches, dreamy waves, pristine bushland, rivers and waterfalls of this region.
There’s a perceived difficulty and expense of planning a tropical getaway, to relax or to chase empty waves. For many, annual leave has an assumed delegation to an overseas trip, which may or may not see you returning rested (considering the amount of travel it takes to get there and back).
Whether it’s a weekend escape or a week of annual leave, you should definitely head to the south coast for your next adventure.
Photos and guide by Jam Hassan
A VEHICLE THAT HAS IT ALL
It pays to put together the ultimate camping kit, all in one plastic box, so you can hit the road without any fuss. But what if that camping kit was built into your vehicle? It seems like everyone is kitting out a van, Defender or Landcruiser, building their perfect adventure mobile. But, if you don’t have the time or money, rent one from the legends at Bear Rentals. Bear Rentals have a fleet of decked out Defenders, complete with everything you need for an epic trip. Owner Brendan Ives has spent his life chasing outdoor adventures, and has put that knowledge back into building custom Land Rovers complete with a fridge, stove, all the cooking necessities, a roof tent, bedding and towels. These decked out rentals make it easy for you to suck the marrow out of your next trip – and they’re awesome to drive!
RESEARCH BEFORE YOU HIT THE ROAD
The right selection of friends to camp with is crucial. Travel with people who are easy going, love the outdoors, have a sense of adventure, a keenness for chasing waves and can bring something to the group. The skilled campers might bring their culinary skills, superior fire building ability, or simply a case of Coronas, but those who bring their reconnaissance skills are invaluable. Places like the south coast have it all, so put in a little extra effort into researching where you’re going. Waves, waterfalls, jump rocks, sunset spots, secret beaches, hidden lakes, epic hikes, fishing spots – always bring options for activities and you’ll be worth your weight in gold.
The mornings are getting crisp, but the autumn waves have arrived. Sure, you’re asleep in your tent with six layers on, a couple of blankets and are probably feeling pretty toastie. But you’ll kick yourself if you don’t get up for an early morning slide. If you can’t muster your motivation, try the ‘Cafe Sunrise’.
– Go to sleep with a half jar of strong, cold coffee within arms reach of your bed (lid on tight).
– Set your alarm for 15 minutes before first light.
– Wake up, drink the coffee, fall back asleep.
– Five minutes later you’ll jump out of bed, put your steamer on and be in the water as the sun begins to rise.
CAMPFIRE SLOW COOKING
Camp food can be as simple or as lavish as you want. Slow cooking around a campfire may seem like the hard option, but with a few simple steps and a little bit of prep, you’ll get amazing food – all cooked in nature’s kitchen.
– Square stack fire: stack your wood as if you’re building Jenga blocks. It allows you to create a structure of long burning wood while placing the kindling, newspaper or fire lighters in the middle. Once the middle starts burning, the fire will draw oxygen from outside of the stack, feeding the fire and will light much quicker.
– Small coals: if you’re slow cooking meat on an open fire, you’ll want small coals. Coals and embers will drop under the square stack fire, which you can pull aside with a stick into a pile. Above this pile of coals balance your meat grill on a couple of stable rocks. Like an Argentinian BBQ or asado, the meat will take a little longer to cook, but the flavour is incredible. Make sure you keep tending to the fire, dragging over small coals. Also, use lots of salt.
– Cast iron hot pot: these are a game changer. Stews, soups, scrambled eggs, goulash or even a laksa can be cooked with ease. Prepare everything, throw it in the pot, then put the pot in the fire. The cast iron cooks the food at an even temperature, without much loss of liquid. Pull the pot to the side of the fire once it’s hot and the heat will be retained until it’s cooked. Grab one from the good people at Poler Stuff.
SCOPE THE SUNSET
When on the road, give a little bit of extra thought to your sunset spot. Watching the sunset caps off an epic day of adventures, so bring a little bit of intel here and you’ll reap the rewards (Coronas, backslaps and that last piece of steak at dinner). Remember you’ve got contributing factors like elevation, the angle of the coastline, inland rivers, low-lying cloud cover and the angle of the setting sun. Want to really get technical? Download an augmented reality app called Sun Seeker 3D (available on iOS and Android) that will show you the exact point and time the sun will cross the horizon, allowing you to easily plan your position.
Then all you need is an esky full of ice-cold Coronas, limes, ice and a bottle opener. It may seem straight forward, but get this right, and everything else will just fade away.
BEANS ARE KEY
Good coffee can make or break a trip. These days it’s easy to buy your favourite beans from a local cafe, but brewing on the road can be fiddly. Do yourself a favour and get an AeroPress. A simple little device that pumps out amazing coffee at the same pressure as a proper coffee machine.
To celebrate the spirit of the Australian road trip, we’ve teamed up with our friends at North Journal, Bear Rentals, Dead Kooks, and Poler Stuff to bring you our latest Australian Corona Journeys – all easily obtainable! Each journey will provide inspiration and expert tips from locals within each area and the Corona Creative Community that’ll help make your next roadie a breeze. Special thanks to Skin and Bone Wetsuits for keeping the ladies warm in the water this trip.