Island Life

4X4 Australia gathered the heads of the 4x4 aftermarket industry for some R&R on Queensland’s Moreton Island.

WORDS MATT RA UDONIKIS PHOTOS ELLEN DEWAR

HAVE said it before and I’ll say it again: it’s not just the new 4x4s we get to drive and all the great places we get to travel to that make working for 4X4 Australia so good. More than anything else, the best part of this gig is working with amazing and talented people in an industry that is cranking out some of the best 4x4 products in the world.

With that in mind, our favourite time of year is when we get together for the annual advertisers’ adventure, and this year we took a swag of folks from 4x4 businesses that support our magazine for a few days on south-east Queensland’s Moreton Island.

We do the advertisers’ trip once a year and usually alternate it between Victoria and Queensland to best suit our main advertisers. On this trip we had representatives from ARB Queensland, Ironman 4x4, Cooper Tires, MaxTrax, Evakool, Williams Race Services (Samco), ERPS, Australian Offroad Academy, AFN 4x4, Wolf 4x4, MSA Accessories, Yakima and EFS Suspension. We also had Emma from Moreton Island Adventures showing us the best spots on the

There’s no agenda, no boardroom table. Just sandy tracks, locked diffs, lowered tyre pressures and a chance to enjoy what 4WDing is all about

island, while a team of 4X4 Australia staffers took up the opportunity to escape the Melbourne winter for some Queensland sunshine.

While we deal with these folks all throughout the year, the great thing about this trip is that it’s not about business. There is no agenda, no boardroom table, no signing on the dotted line.

Just sandy tracks, locked diffs, lowered tyre pressures and a chance to get out and enjoy what four-wheel driving is all about.

Our convoy of the who’s who in the 4x4 aftermarket industry convened midweek at the Moreton Island Adventures terminal in Brisbane’s port district, to board the MiCat vehicle ferry for the transfer across the bay to the island.

Moreton is an all-sand island, so a 4x4 is essential.

The ferry ride is the perfect time to drop your tyre pressures to a suitable level so you don’t become the joker who gets stuck straight away and holds up the disembarking process.

With 15 vehicles and 30 or so people we set up camp at Comboyuro Point, where there are facilities and designated campsites. This is a national park and your campsite needs to be booked

Moreton Island Adventures

MORETON Island is just a short ferry ride east of Brisbane and is the third biggest sand island on the planet. The only way to get there is via Moreton Island Adventures’ MiCat ferry service, which runs direct from the Port of Brisbane.

Once on the island, Moreton Island Adventures (MIA) offers glamping-style tents near Bulwer for those who don’t like to rough it. A few of our group took up this luxury option – should we shame them?

The last place to top up on ice, gas and hot food is at Castaways, a general store and cafe run by MIA.

We enjoyed an excellent meal there and would highly recommend it, but you need to give plenty of notification.

For more info: www.more tonislandadventures.com.au.

Isuzu Ute Australia And Ironman 4x4

WITH 4X4 Australia HQ feeling too close to Antarctica, we flew to Queensland to thaw out. However, we weren’t going to get far on Moreton Island without a proper rig.

So our first stop was to Ironman 4x4’s massive Brisbane office and warehouse, where Simon had a shiny new SR5 Toyota Hilux waiting for us.

Naturally, the getaway vehicle was fully kitted out with Ironman’s Foam Cell Pro suspension kit, front and rear bars plus sidesteps, Monster Winch with synth rope, new Blast LED spotties, Tailored Comfort seat covers, UHF radio and all-terrain rubber.

The seat covers are softfoam backed and add a thin element to cushioning, which is noticeable – it made the Hilux feel less tradie-like.

We used a Speedy tyre deflator to drop the pressures to suit the sandy tracks, while the spring and shock package felt well-matched to the car and didn’t make the ride too firm. Simon put a full recovery kit and a pair of Ironman Treds in the Space Case, but thankfully we didn’t need them at all.

We also had a team of company execs in tow to keep an eye on the beer budget; Isuzu Ute supplied an MU-X wagon and a D-Max ute for them. The MU-X is now our favourite compact SUV, and it’s still a 7-seater. A top choice for any family 4x4.

in advance, plus you need a permit to drive on the island.

An afternoon drive took us across the island and up to the Cape Moreton Lighthouse and then across the north shore and back down to Comboyaro – just what was needed to help us all forget about offices and budgets. And that’s how it went for the next couple of days – sitting around the campfire at night and exploring the island’s attractions in a 4x4 by day. The weather was so good a few even took a swim at Blue Lagoon, an activity the Melbournians in the group rarely get to indulge at this time of year.

Ideally you’d want to spend more than a week exploring and relaxing on Moreton, though after just a few days we were back on the MiCat to the mainland. The island is an amazing and accessible place, not only for Queenslanders but to anyone travelling through Brisbane from around the country. Our next visit can’t come soon enough.

Evakool

WITH a few days camping planned and plenty of thirsty heads to keep watered, we needed a way to keep the beverages cold. With our mates from Evakool joining us for the adventure, we asked them to throw a couple of iceboxes in the back of the Prado.

They brought along an 88-litre Icemate and an 85-litre Icekool. The polyethylene iceboxes are made tough and keep things cool over rough and bumpy terrain. The superior insulation of the Evakool iceboxes can keep ice frozen for up to 10 days, depending on the ambient conditions, so three days on the island was no trouble for them.

More info on the huge range of iceboxes and Australian-made fridges from Evakool can be found at: www.evakool.com.