We’re pleased to see that the four wheel driving community is no longer made up of just men. These days there is a growing number of ladies who have proudly purchased their own vehicles, not content to sit in the passenger seat while the blokes drive. Our featured Adventure Seeker this week is Jess Fleming. She loves to pack up her truck, head for the High Country and camp as much as possible.
Name or Call sign: Jess
Where do you live and local 4WD playground?
I currently live in North-East Victoria in Wodonga. So my playground is pretty big, as I spend a lot of time exploring the High Country in both VIC & NSW.
What is your current off-road vehicle?
My current vehicle is a 2007 extra cab Hilux. I have had it for about two years now and was my first car I bought once I got my license. It’s decked out with 2″ lift, bull bar, winch, lightbar, awning and custom tray. There are plenty more mods in the works that I hope to complete by Christmas.
Describe yourself in 5 words.
How old were you when you started your 4WD adventures?
I was about 15 when the family first bought our old Prado that we had, which gave us the opportunity to start exploring Australia. Since then my family, my partner & I spend almost every weekend we get out exploring new places, and now where we are located many of those adventures are based around the High Country.
What was your first 4WD/touring vehicle?
My first 4WD is the car I currently drive, which is my ’07 Hilux
Who inspired you into this ‘adventurous’ lifestyle?
My Dad has been the biggest inspiration for living this adventurous life we do. With him being in the Army and as a kid always having to move around every few years. We treated each move to a new place as a new adventure. We would spend almost the entire posting being ‘tourists’ in the area that we moved to and just exploring all the areas surrounding that location. It certainly gave me many memorable memories throughout my childhood.
What has been your all-time favourite 4WD track in Australia and why?
My all time favourite track would have to be either Mount Pinnibar track or the iconic Blue Rag track. I know both are located in the High Country, but you certainly can’t go past the spectacular views of the mountain ranges below from the summit.
Can you tell us the most bizarre experience that you have encountered on a 4WD trip?
It was on a trip from Beachport to Robe, in South Australia the other year. The trip was going smoothly, just cruising along the gorgeous beach fronts, where up ahead was this old shipwreck on the beach. We all thought to ourselves, “sweet we will stop here to check it out”. But the closer we got, we noticed an old man taking photos of the shipwreck. Once we pulled closer to the ship we were in shock to see he was absolutely butt naked, everything hanging loose… such a weird experience that none of us will be able to forget!
Fondest memory while out exploring Australian roads?
My fondest memory would have to be just the lovely like minded people you meet while you are out exploring. So many incredible stories I’ve heard from other travellers, some from northern Australia, to overseas travellers. So many stories from so many different walks of like. You don’t get a good understanding of how many other people have experienced the same places you have in so many different ways, with their own story to tell.
Describe your ideal campsite.
My ideal campsite would have to be located on top of a mountain, overlooking the endless ridges below. Some of the best sunrises/sunsets have been witnessed at these spots.
What Australian Tracks are on your bucket list?
My number one track that is on my bucket list would be Gibb River Rd up in the Kimberley. It’s one place other than the High Country that I would love to spend a few months exploring the north end of Western Australia, all the way through the Kimberley/Pilbara region
What would be your advice to new 4WD enthusiasts?
Get what you can afford, you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on a 4wd to be able to get outdoors, same with the mods. You don’t need the biggest lift or tyres on the block to get you to most of the places that people go. As my dad told me, “it’s not the car that gets you there, it’s the driver’s abilities that will get you there.” You just need something that you can afford, and that gives you the ability to take you places you want to go. A reliable 4WD, swag or tent, awning and your recovery gear and you’ll be set.
Name one product you wouldn’t leave home without?
My camera, being a photographer I never want to miss an opportunity to capture that cracker photo!
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.