Meet Brenton and Gracie, Shutter and Dust, a young, free-spirited couple who live and love their life in the picturesque town, Yeppoon, Queensland. When they aren’t out touring along dusty roads in their Cruiser or camping in the Byfield National Park (they could almost call it their ‘backyard’) they are busy at home dedicated to saving cash and dreaming up the next big adventure. Gracie is a professional photographer, and Brenton loves shooting aerial shots with his drone, and together they enjoy anything to do with four-wheeling. They admit to “loving life” and are keen to tick off as many ‘bucket list’ destinations as they can. Enjoy their story!
Who INSPIRED you into this ‘ADVENTUROUS’ lifestyle?
We regularly find inspiration in each other to do the things we love. It all started with one camping trip six years ago for Grace’s birthday and since then we’ve just developed our gear & our need to explore has grown.
One PRODUCT you wouldn’t leave home without?
Brenton: Definitely, zippy ties!! (they are still currently holding my number plate on)
Grace: I have two other go-to products, a Go Girl & No Pong. Seriously ladies if you don’t know what these are, go look them up!
What is your current OFF-ROAD VEHICLE including your set-up?
Currently, we tour in our 76 Landcruiser, 33” tyres, a 2inch lift with Runva 11XP Winch and a rear e-locker. The back of our wagon is kitted with rear-drawers and a shelf for storage. A 12V dual battery system powers our camp & we sleep soundly in our new Darche rooftop tent.
Any new MODS for the future to make life easier on the road?
Our rooftop tent installation is only recent which has already made a great difference to our comfort. After our 2017 trip to Cape York, we made the change. We got tired of setting up and down our double swag and sleeping on the ground. We are about to install a drop slide for our 75L Kickass dual-zone, and some permanent LED strip lighting which will make a great difference on future trips.
We know it’s a tough one, but, share the most MEMORABLE MOMENT you’ve had during your travels?
Our most memorable moment would have to be completing three weeks remote camping along the Old Telegraph Track and the area around the tip of Australia and ending in Elim Beach. Some of the most challenging tracks and perfect campsites we have ever travelled to. At Eddies Beach campground, we were given a mud map, and after nearly an hour of thick bush driving, the track opened to a cliff edge which we could drive along and stand at the base of the monstrous Cape Bedford. Completely alone, this moment was surreal!
The most BIZARRE EXPERIENCE you’ve encountered on your travels?
Most likely the random animals we’ve had pass through our camp or even seen nearby. From large goannas, wild horses, dingos, camels, emus and chicks in tow, wallabies, huge carpet snakes, giant loggerhead turtles and strange sounds from hundreds of different birds. We were nearly trodden on by a horse late one night; it was pretty crazy to turn the torch on and see a black horse standing over our swag.
We have been lucky enough to have already experienced our ideal campsite. Awinya Creek beach camping on Fraser Island. We found this to be the most serene spot and offers everything the ideal remote campsite should. Fresh flowing water behind the camp, calm ocean waters in front and great fishing.
Favourite DISH to cook on the road?
We love a good campfire stew – yum! But let’s skip to dessert. Bananas split down the centre and stuffed with dark choc chips and marshmallows, wrapped in foil and placed on hot coals – mmmm!
Biggest MECHANICAL FAIL? AND were you able to fix it?
Aside from a minor issue of a bent exhaust (almost completely closed off) and a few split hoses due to billions of corrugations, we have been lucky enough to escape any big mechanical fails (touch wood!!). Our closest though would have to be a very large log scraping under the rear of our vehicle during a creek crossing and lodging itself in between the chassis rail and fuel tank, which required a lot of careful effort to remove.
What DESTINATIONS and TRACKS are still on your BUCKET LIST?
A whole tonne of course! For now, we are planning some adventures closer to home in the coming months to warm our Cattle Dog X into our camping lifestyle. In April we will head up to Lawn Hill National Park / Adele’s Grove for the first time & on our way back visit Grace’s family at their holiday house in Karumba (Gulf of Carpentaria). Our other big trip will be later in the year down in the Victorian High Country to tackle as many tracks as we can. We cannot wait for this trip either as we’ve never been that far south!
It is hard to find time to get away when a couple both works daily jobs but when it is your passion, you work around it and make it happen. In the short time we’ve been digging into this adventurous lifestyle we’ve been lucky enough to have articles featured on We Are Explorers, Plan2Camp and now with Winch and Unwind!! With so much more planned we cannot wait to see where we go in the future and hopefully catch up with some of you out there!