We live in an amazing part of the world, one of the largest tracts of sparsely inhabited land on earth, a hugely diverse continent covered in wild snowy mountain peaks, deserts, tropical forests, from sweeping coastlines to the red centre.
To travel across the land, enjoy its vistas and sunsets, sit beneath a billion stars and listen to the night as it comes alive...to wake up and see newly made animal tracks across the sand, to go there and bring back memories. That's what an overlander does. That's why we love overlanding. And that's why we're here.
As overlanders ourselves, we’ve always valued wonderfully crafted and beautifully engineered equipment. When it’s simple, built well, works reliably, is light and robust and serves its purpose perfectly, its a pleasure to own. You take care of it and it takes care of you. Its an essential part of the journey - the overlander takes only what is necessary. Good equipment lasts decades, is rarely superseded, and because it lasts generations, it leaves as small an environmental footprint as possible. That's the equipment we use ourselves, and its what we bring to you through The Overlanders.
Francis Birtles (pictured top left) was one of the great original overlanders, an inspirational character whose overlanding achievements are the stuff of legend. Birtles made goggles for his dogs Wowser and Dinkum to protect their eyes as they accompanied him, hurtling along in an open top vehicle.
Who hasn't heard of these guys! The original overlanders, tasked with crossing the continent to find a route for the proposed Australian Overland Telegraph Line, Robert O'hara Burke and William John Wills and co. departed Melbourne on 20 August 1860 with 20 tonnes of equipment and supplies. Though they didn't make it back alive, they were successful in their mission and paved the way for further exploration.
Where do we start with this legend??!! Melbourne born hero Birtles set an array of overlanding records, starting with cycling from Perth to Melbourne in 1905, before completing a couple laps of the country in subsequent years. In 1912, Birtles started racking up an amazing list of overland motoring feats, including driving a Bean 14 car from Darwin to Melbourne in 8 days 14 hrs, and then driving a Bean car from London to Melbourne in 1927.
Well, we're hardly famous, but we are Aussie overlanders. We've been hiking, cycling and touring across Australia for decades, regularly out and about in our Landrover Defenders. We've tried every form of sleep system...the trusty swag, tents of all types and sizes, hammocks, sleeping in the back of our cars, and finally rooftop tents. Simon bought a 30yr old Autohome Columbus...and it went from there.
Thankfully today you don't need 20 tonnes of equipment and 26 camels to get out and see Australia. With a well set up vehicle, you can comfortably explore with a minimum of equipment and fuss. But we find that every good day starts with a good night's sleep! Send us a photo of your overlanding and Autohome setup and be sure to tag us in your social media posts!
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