We’re stoked to introduce you to our first featured Adventure Seeker for our Wednesday Write-Up. Cairns local, Paddy Sheehan is the type of bloke that when you first meet him, you instantly feel like you’ve known him a while. He’d be the first mate you call if you were thirsty for a cold beer or keen for a ‘partner-in-crime’ on an epic long weekend. He knows all the perfect camp spots in Tropical North Queensland and can handle a mountain bike as good as his fourby! This kick-ass guy is one cool cat, and we hope you enjoy his story below. He is the epitome of an Adventure Seeker!
Name or UHF Callsign:
Paddy Sheehan or Paddywagon (named while convoying with the Discovery Cycles crew, and it’s stuck)
Where do you live and local 4WD playground?
I live in Trinity Beach, Cairns (Paradise). I like exploring Black Mountain Rd, Green Patch, and a few coastal tracks north of Cairns.
What is your current off-road vehicle including your set-up/living arrangements?
My current vehicle is a 2001 Diesel 105 series Landcruiser, which I’ve owned for about five years. I’ve decked it out over the years with Dual batteries, 2-inch lift, Rear Drawers, Bullbar, Side Rails, Winch, Dual Spare Wheel Carrier, Side and rear awnings and a dual spare wheel carrier. Although it’s not the newest 4×4, it’s comfortable, capable, and very reliable.
Describe yourself in 5 words.
Bearded/ Mountain Biker/ Explorer/ Camper/ Fisherman.
How old were you when you started your 4WD adventures?
I was into 4wding and travelling from an early age. My old man had a job where he frequently travelled up north, and if I was on school holidays and he’d let me, I’d travel with him, going to places like Coen and Cooktown, and even the Laura Dance Festival. I’ve always had an interest in wildlife and the outdoors in general for as long as I can remember.
What was your first 4WD/touring vehicle?
My first 4WD (and first car) was a 1983 SR5 Toyota Hilux extra cab 4WD, bright yellow, that I bought off my uncle for $500. Before I’d even finished school, I was doing trips up to the Mitchell River for a weekender with my mates whenever I could. I sold that not long after finishing school and bought a 1996 4WD Hilux to continue the adventures.
Who inspired you into this ‘adventurous’ lifestyle?
My parents were quite keen on camping, and those trips with my Dad gave me the love for the outback I’d say. I was also an avid fan of the Bush tucker Man, and Malcolm Douglas TV shows, and wouldn’t miss an episode growing up! Malcolm Douglas was an absolute legend in my books, and I still watch his shows to this day.
What has been your all-time favourite 4WD track in Australia and why?
I really don’t think you can go past the Telegraph Track, Cape York. Whether you live in Cairns, Melbourne or Perth, if you own a 4WD it’s probably at the top of your bucket list. I love the beautiful swimming holes, the awesome characters you meet along the way, and the technical driving and creek crossings. It’s such an enjoyable trip. I’ve been up to The Tip (Cape York) twice and still have so much left to explore up there.
Can you tell us the most bizarre experience that you have encountered on a 4WD trip?
My most bizarre experience was probably a trip to Coen I went on with my Dad. I swear we were cursed. We had a pair of pliers pierce through the back tyre and guard just past Laura, locking the wheel. We put the spare on and continued on our way. We made it a little further before a passing car threw a big rock which smashed through the driver’s window, we thought we’d been shot at! We made it to Coen only to realise that we’d lost the punctured tyre and mag wheel. We stayed at Cooktown on the way home, and the next morning when we went to leave we realised we’d lost the keys to the Landcruiser, and had to have a set flown up from Cairns. I hope to never have another trip like that again haha!
Fondest memory while out exploring Australian roads?
My Fondest memory would be travelling along the Old Telegraph Track last year with some great friends. Although I’d travelled some parts of it before, it was our mission to travel the entire track from South to North, conquering iconic sections like Gunshot Creek and Nolan’s. We met some great, likeminded people from all over the country along the way too. Everyone was happy to help the next guy/girl, whether it was recovering a vehicle or fixing a mechanical issue.
Describe your ideal campsite.
I’m not too fussy. Give me some shady trees and a nice freshwater river, and I’m pretty happy. Roll the awnings and swag out, grab a cold beer, as good as it gets! I guess my ideal campsite would be one that has access to Saltwater fishing and freshwater swimming without Crocs. I haven’t found one yet. My favourite camps so far would be Surprise Creek, Kowanyama and Pennyfather River on the west coast of the Cape.
What Australian Tracks are on your bucket list?
The Northern Territory, including Kakadu National Park and Uluru. Would also love to explore the Kimberley one day. I think every Iconic track is on my bucket list! One day….
What would be your advice to new 4WD enthusiasts?
You don’t need to spend $100,000 to enjoy the outback. Find a reliable 4WD vehicle, throw an awning and on it and off you go. If you have kids, don’t let it hold you back. I have done several trips with friends with young kids, and if anything, they make it more enjoyable and entertaining. Also, don’t forget the recovery gear
Name one product you wouldn’t leave home without?
Shade. Whether it is an awning or a gazebo, or both if you need it. Sometimes you just can’t get that shady campsite, and the last thing you want is to be sitting out in the midday heat!
Connect with Paddy on Instagram and continue to follow his adventures.
Would you like to share your story? Have a favourite track that others should know about? Leave your name in the comments below and we’ll be in touch.