Customer Adventure Series: Is the Sunny Coast an off-road secret?!

Australia is more than rugged red desert and coastal landscapes! We have a lush side that needs to be explored to be believed. Rhino-Rack’s Customer Adventure Series sees Paul Crimmins take on the tropical rainforest tracks around the Sunshine Coast in Qld. After seeing Paul’s photos you’ll be planning a trek immediately.

Four Wheel Driving Steep Hill

For more great photography and adventure head to Paul Crimmins Facebook page SEQ-LRD or his Instagram @disco_fever. Some photos featured here were taken by Raelie Anderson. 

Where: Sunshine Coast Hinterland, Qld
When: 2016
Vehicle: 2010 Land Rover Discovery 4

Rhino-Rack Products:
Rhino-Rack Pioneer Platform (3 years old and going strong pre powder coating)
Rhino-Rack Pioneer Shovel Holder Bracket
Rhino-Rack Spare Wheel Holder

Rhino-Rack: What is it about exploring the outdoors that keeps you coming back?

Paul Crimmins: Where do I start! I have loved the beach and surfing since I was a boy, I guess it started there. Nowadays I have a pretty high-stress job so to get away, whether overnight or for longer, is just such a great way to wind down. Also, the kids already have such a connection with tech toys, I want to try and balance that by showing them nature and exploring new areas. 

Rhino-Rack: Where on the Sunshine Coast, QLD did you get out and explore?

Paul Crimmins: This adventure was set in the Sunshine Coast hinterland. It's amazing what’s in our own backyard. This time we wanted to explore the Kenilworth area and Imbil forests. They’re incredible! Proper tropical rainforests with some amazing tracks to get lost on.

Rhino-Rack: What vehicle are you driving and have you done many modifications?

Paul Crimmins: I have a slight problem! I love Land Rovers and right now I have a 2010 Discovery 4. I have slowly started building it up to cater for my adventures while still using it as a daily vehicle during the week. I’ve got AT tyres on it, still 19" but that's a long story, sliders, rear charging system for an AUX battery, secret squirrel UHF install that's is basically undetectable when not in use and the Rhino-Rack Platform which is going strong after three years use and is pre the black powder coating. Also, the Rhino-Rack Shovel Holder Bracket and Rhino-Rack Spare Wheel Mount are up top.

Four Wheel Driving Tight Challenge

Rhino-Rack: What are your three tips for preparing for each trip?

Paul Crimmins: For me, the number one thing for any adventure, esp one that my kids are coming on, is planning. Every minute planning saves at least 5 mins in execution. I use checklists to make sure I've got all my gear, which is all stored on one side of the garage ready to go. There are dedicated tubs for everything like recovery gear, camping gear and food etc. This makes it so easy to be able to hit the road at the drop of a hat if we want to. 

The second thing is food and water, bring way to much. If something goes wrong I want to know we have enough supplies for approx double the amount of time we plan on being away. 

Thirdly, maps and communication. It's easy to rely on GPS these days but I always print paper maps of the area as a backup. I have 2 GPS running, HEMA on an iPad and VMS dedicated GPS. Prior to the trip, I will have uploaded an approximate route we plan to take on the GPS and shared it with someone who isn't coming like my wife or a friend. I also share an approximate itinerary and when to raise the alarm if we haven't made contact. If there is no phone reception, this person also knows what UHF channels we use as well. Might sound like overkill but especially when my kids are involved I don't want to take any chances. I am looking at investing in a satellite phone in the future for more remote trips. 

Rhino-Rack: That’s a great guide to safety first, what are the weather and terrain conditions like?

Paul Crimmins: HOT and DRY. It was summer in QLD and the temp was upward of 35 degrees. The terrain in the area is amazing. It goes from rainforest to pine forest in a matter of meters. Plenty of creeks to cross and swim in and a big Dam to cool down in, which was very welcome when we found a track down to the banks to have lunch and a swim. 

Rhino-Rack: What was it you intended to do/see/ experience there?

Paul Crimmins: I have been looking at this area on a map for a long time. As I mentioned earlier I have been organising and running group trips for a little while now so the purpose of this trip was to not only explore the area and enjoy it for ourselves but to get a feel for it and potentially run future trips out here with others to show them how awesome It is. 

Creek Crossing

Rhino-Rack: Did you accomplish that?

Paul Crimmins: Did we explore the area, have an absolute ball out there, drive good tracks and find little pieces of paradise.... Hell yeah. Is there more that we haven't uncovered...absolutely. I think we saw about 10-15% of the area so I can see many more trips out there in the future. 

Rhino-Rack: Tell me about any other explorers you met along the way? 

Paul Crimmins: That's one of the great things about this area. Once we were deep in the forest we didn't see another soul, we could have been a million miles from anywhere but really we were just a stones throw away from the coast. 

Rhino-Rack: Were there any lessons learnt? 

Paul Crimmins: You don't need weeks to discover adventure. This was an overnighter and we packed in so much exploration, time with friends and time with just myself and my boy. Friendships were made stronger, places were discovered and cold ones from the fridge never tasted so damn good. 


Rhino-Rack: How did Rhino-Rack products help to facilitate your adventure?

Paul Crimmins: The disco is big but without my Rhino-Rack Platform and accessories, I just wouldn't be able to do all the things I want to do. I can throw the swag up there, keep my shovel, Maxtrax and spare wheel up there and mount an awning to it which we camp under. None of that would be possible without my Rhino- Rack gear. It's easy to add or remove whatever I need to for each different adventure and I'm confident that it will continue to take the beatings that it has received in the past.  

Rhino-Rack: What is it about the destination or the journey of your adventure that makes the trip worthwhile?

Paul Crimmins: For me, it's not just about the destination, it's about the journey to the destination and even the planning of the whole adventure that makes it all worthwhile. I think that if all you care about is the destination then you are missing out on a lot.

Mountain View

Rhino-Rack: What’s the logistics of the adventure that other thrill seekers can follow?

Paul Crimmins: Charlie Morlands campground is a great base to start from. Heading out of the campgrounds to the west past the horse paddock is a good track to start on and from there everything to the north (and even south) is your adventure. You can find good maps of the area on the Internet and there is some phone reception on top of certain hills but otherwise, it's UHF only. You will need a decent 4wd to get down some of the tracks but it's also possible to stay on the main tracks in and stock vehicle. Getting to the huts, the dam and the fire towers are good destination points to aim for. 

Rhino-Rack: Thanks so much for your time and experience. Now more Rhino-Rackers can get out there and discover all the Sunshine Coast has to offer for off-road exploration.

Customer Adventure Series

We'll be posting stories taken directly from Rhino-Rack Customers. Adventurers who want to share their explorations around Australia and the world. If you'd like to get involved in the Rhino-Rack Adventure Series please contact Rhino-Rack through any of our social media platforms below.

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