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Win and Live the Wild Life

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What’s the likelihood of waking up to a phone call informing you that you’ve won a new 300-series LandCruiser GXL and a Coromal Thrill Seeker Caravan? With enough cashable gold bullion to make it a $330k total? You might think it’s zero, but that’s only if you don’t have a ticket. But if you do have a ticket, and you do get that call, your prize package is adventure ready. 

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It sounds like pure fantasy, but someone gets a phone call like that every time Mater Cars for Cancer holds a lottery draw. The lucky recipient could choose a BMW iX xDrive40 EV and round Australia luxury holiday for two. But what if you’re more about the ‘wild life’ than the ‘high life’? 

LandCruiser and Caravan

That’s where option two comes in; a brand-new, 300-series LandCruiser GXL and a Coromal Thrill Seeker 21½ foot family caravan. These babies will take you to almost every nook and cranny this beautiful island nation has to offer and give the family somewhere to stay while you’re there. I’ve waxed lyrical about both the 300-series ‘Cruiser and the Thrill Seeker before. What I haven’t shared is my ideal adventure, and while everyone has their own vision of an idyllic holiday, I reckon mine is, uh, wheelie good.

I love holidays, but I also really love cars; that’s why I’m a motoring writer. Australia has a huge amount of auto museums dotted around the country, each with their own unique collection of vehicles, and I haven’t seen many of them. That’s about to change, but I’m going to have to do this in chunks; work and school and all that. If I won, I’d kick off with Victoria and Tasmania, and the driven delights therein.

LandCruiser 300 Series GXL

I’m picturing that serious-looking 300-series in my driveway with the Coromal Thrill Seeker hooked up and ready for automotive-related adventure. I’m based in Adelaide, and the first leg is 4.5 hours to Mildura, although amusingly, the Mildura Holden Motor Museum is actually across the river in Buronga, NSW. After setting up the Thrill Seeker, I’d dedicate the next day to taking in the late Ron Morello’s extensive collection.

Thrill Seeker Caravan

Given the size of next day’s trek, I’d stay another night in the Riverland area before heading to the National Holden Museum in Echuca, almost 800kms away. Shepparton is the next stop and MOVE—the Museum of Vehicle Evolution. It’s only 70kms away from Echuca, which will give me plenty of time to check out MOVE’s huge Kenworth Dealer Pavilion. I do love me a truck.

It’s been 20 years since I visited Tasmania so I’m overdue. Just over the Bass Strait and down near Launceston is the delightful National Automobile Museum of Tasmania. They’ve recently added the famous HQ Monaro that was left teetering on the edge of the Tasman Bridge when it collapsed in 1975. The car, owned by Frank Manley, wasn’t yet a museum piece when we called by last time, so I’m keen to see it. Tasmania was our honeymoon destination back in 2003, but my wife Sarah is not coming this time, because breast cancer claimed her in 2018.

Her passing at the age of 39 often leaves me pondering how, this deep into the twenty-first century, that such maladies still afflict us. Maybe science fiction has twisted our expectations beyond the realistic, but organisations like Mater Foundation are striving to bring us the future ASAP.

They’re constantly funding valuable research into palliative and curative cancer treatments to help us, or our loved ones suffering the disease. Every ticket you buy in a Mater Foundation lottery supports in this work and helps those already living with cancer—it’s worth buying a ticket for that alone. 

Naturally, we tapped into the wilds during our 2003 Tasmanian honeymoon but were limited by the off-road practicality of my 1978 Holden Gemini panelvan, which is to say ‘extremely’. The 300-series LandCruiser GXL is going to access areas that were impossible back then, and while I like my cars, I like my wilds too. 

Cradle Mountain

Getting wild means I’d likely unhook the van before skirting the top of Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park and dropping down the west side to take in the tight track to the 104m-tall Montezuma Falls near Rosebury. Continuing anti-clockwise, the Cruiser will traverse the challenging Mount Huxley track just outside Queenstown. Then around the Walls of Jerusalem National Park, up through the Central Plateau Conservation Area, pick up the van and head back to Devonport to set sail back to the mainland. I’ve made a neat, 660km figure-of-eight and barely crossed my own path. 

I dislike backtracking, but it’s inevitable as I’d be heading for home after Tassie; magazine articles and Mater Cars for Cancer blogs don’t write themselves, after all. Besides this was just a shakedown, and an imaginary one at that. I know this won’t be everyone’s ideal itinerary, but maybe some will draw inspiration from it. 

Next month in the real world, I’ll be heading from Adelaide to Sydney and plan to take in a museum or two. I won’t be getting too wild though as I still don’t own the right equipment, but you might if you’re the lucky winner of lottery 111.

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