Marty & Kathy have been part of the Trakka Family now for close to 5 years. Their journey with us started in Trakkadu (youtube Ironhide, it's still one of the sickest Trakkadu builds to date) and progressed more recently into Jabiru J2M (2021).
This couple aren't afraid of a bit of adventure, keen mountain bike riders and they sure have put their J2M through some serious off roading. Join us as we get a great rundown of their latest adventure and a look at some epic drone shots.
Tell us about your latest trip!
We have had an ambition of doing the “Big lap” for a while now, but in reality to do it properly you need at least a year. So we decided to do our lap of Australia in stages. Our first stage consisted of heading up the East coast to Cooktown via the Bloomfield track, then heading West along the Savannah way to Darwin. Then we headed south taking in the Limmen, Kakadu and Litchfield National parks to Uluru, via the Red Centre way. From the Red Centre we tackled the Oodnadatta, Strzelecki, and Merty Merty tracks to Cameron Corner. Then east home to Byron via Bourke. In total we traveled around 14,000km’s
We were away for 8 weeks. When we travel we tend to not stay for longer than a night maybe 2 in one place. Most of the time we free camp, that's the beauty of the Jabiru. It's quick and easy to set up and enables us to be off grid for long periods of time.
The Merc was amazing, it’s such a rugged vehicle, that enables you to go anywhere, and took quite a beating on what at times seemed like endless corrugated gravel roads. We love the mid wheel base, it’s roomy inside, whilst at the same time we are able to park in standard parking areas when you are in towns. This as well as having good exit and entry on some of the trickier 4 wheel driving we did.
Having the 4x4 on the corrugated tracks gives you a much safer and easier ride, particularly on areas that are washed out. Where it did come into it’s own was on the Bloomfield track in far north Queensland, where it tackled with ease the river crossings and 31% climbs and descents. It also enabled us to get into some great beach camp areas through rutted, sandy tracks.
The van is so well designed with every part of an off grid long trip thought of. From the large fresh water tank, efficient electrical system, and go anywhere capability, meant we could really explore far flung places. Being completely self contained and quick to set up once you get anywhere, is also really important. Kathy’s favourite part of the van is the diesel heater. It’s pretty amazing how much we use it. The temps did drop at night particularly in the deserts, but it’s also great to dry out gear in the bathroom area. Just shutting the bathroom door with the heater on creates a fantastic drying room for the biking and hiking gear.
We love mountain biking, and hiking, and the Jabiru is the perfect vehicle to enable this. We had some amazing nights staying at the trail heads of remote mountain bike parks. There is nothing better than finishing a great day riding with a fire and a beer. Then in the morning rolling straight back onto the trails without having to drive anywhere.
We have a lot of smaller trips planned later this year. We’re in the midst of planning our WA adventure trip for next year, which we are doing with our friends who are soon taking delivery of their Jabiru.
When you are on a trip like this you see a lot of different solutions for getting off the beaten track. From off road caravans, camper trailers, to roof tents on Land cruisers. For us the Jabiru set up is perfect, you have none of the hassle of towing, and space issues of a caravan or trailer. But instead have something relatively compact and easy to maneuver and get anywhere, with all the comforts of home!