Every Friday we will feature fellow binge-explorers/adventure seekers who are living the ultimate Australian dream of exploring the amazing country in a camper. Our aim is to get an insight on the lifestyle of this idolised community. Salty Summits takes no responsibility of severely increased FOMO!
OI! OI! OI! THERE IS NO BETTER FRIDAY FEATURE TO PUBLISH ON AUSTRALIA DAY THAN THIS CRACKER OF COUPLE WHO ARE ALWAYS “DTP” (DOWN TO PIE) !!!
Like always let’s start with the lowdown: who you are and why you have chosen the idolised lifestyle of exploring Australia in a camper.
Alex: Individually we’re Alex and Jacob, but together with our bus Conny we’re Alternate Route. Alternate Route is our recently launched Youtube Channel where we will bring you all sorts of videos ranging from short-form documentaries to fun facts about Australia, and everything in between. I used to work for one of the world’s biggest media companies and Jacob has a background in global sustainability and solar innovation. We were both really fed up with the 9-5 daily grind and rat race lifestyle of city-living. So we quit our jobs, bought a bus, and now we’re funemployed scallywags who spend everyday taking photos and making documentaries about Australia’s various social and environmental issues. What better way to make docos about Australia than vanlife-ing round Straya? We’ve been on the road for over six months and we haven’t looked back.
Apart from the obvious ‘there is so much room for activities’ 😉 why did you guys choose a Toyota Coaster bus over any other option?
Alex: Last year we road tripped in a van from Cape Tribulation to Byron Bay – and it was great! – but constantly having to pack the table away just to make our bed did my box in. In the Coaster, everything has its place, and nothing needs to be packed down or set up. Also, we knew we were going to be on the road for a really long time, so we needed something that felt more like a home than a car. AND we have a hell of a lot of camera gear, so space was a big deal. Plus, you can stand up in there!
Jacob: Alex can stand up. I can only stand if my head is in the pop-up air vent.
The ultimate road trip pit stop is for ice-cream (and maaaybe fuel too). So, as Craig David would say, what’s your flava, tell us what’s your flava?
Alex: Is ice cream the ultimate road trip pit stop? We’re always stopping for pies. Breakfast, lunch or dinner we’re always DTP (down to pie).
Jacob: I’m always keen for a Gaytime. Wouldn’t be mad about a Bubble o Bill either.
Speaking of fuel, what has been the most expensive C per litre you have come across so far?
Alex: $1.88 a litre on the Nullarbor.
Jacob: Bit heavy.
We all have that one travel story that is always shared around the campfire, what is yours?
Jacob: TBH it’s hard to pin-point just one because we’ve had a few. Scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef, filming brumbies in the Snowy Mountains, spotting a wild Cassowary in Cape Tribulation (there’s only 1,000 left in the wild), climbing St Mary’s Peak – the highest point in the Flinders Ranges. I’ll shut up now.
Alex: Then there’s the other half of those stories, you know, the horror stories. Things like breaking down two weeks into the trip and having to spend $2,000 on a total gearbox rebuild. We were stuck in Cooma for 15 days and had to live at the mechanic’s shop. At least he let us use his shower!
What is your favourite wild swimming spot in Australia?
Jacob: Although there’s been some awesome freshwater swimming holes, the ocean has to take the cake. We like the salt. Normanville, Cape Le Grand, Goolwa, Apollo Bay and Pebbly Beach – just to name a few – are the favourite salty spots that have taken our fancy so far.
Alex: Preach it ^ #saltydawgs
If you were a musical instrument what would you be and why?
Jacob: Tough question. Alex would be a trumpet because she’s a tight brass. As for myself, I think I’d best be represented as a piano as its pretty standard.
Living out of a campervan, not being grounded and having no routine is very daunting for some. In two sentences how could you change their minds on it forever?
Alex: Working for the man, living for the weekend, slave to the 9 to 5, and all just to pay your bills? Ain’t nobody got time for dat.
Jacob: In the famous words of Admiral Ackbar: “It’s a trap!” There’s plenty of time in life to ground yourself but without getting out and seeing what’s out there, you’re going to have a less stable footing to build from. No routine? You make your own routine on the road, just depends on what you want to do. Sometimes you need to listen to Nike.