Businesses of Banyule’ presents Australis 4WD Adventures
Imagine it’s a balmy summer’s day. You’ve spent the morning exploring Victoria’s High Country and now it’s time for lunch. You perch yourself on top of a mountain and dig into a platter oozing with fresh, local produce. After taking your first bite, your eyes gaze towards the distance to find none other than Mount Buller directly ahead of you. A pretty sight, right?
This could be your reality with the help of Bruce Ouwerkerk and Australis 4WD Adventures. After 28 years of being a tool designer, Bruce was ready for a new challenge.
“By trade I’m a Fitter and Turner, but I’ve always been passionate about travelling and photography,” explained Bruce. “Out of the blue an opportunity came up for me to work as a tour guide in WA’s Kimberley region. I couldn’t resist. I had to say yes.”
This may sound a little out of the ordinary considering Bruce’s qualification. What got him over the line was his life-long association with Scouts Australia.
“I’ve been a Scout for over 40 years. I just love being outdoors,” explained Bruce. “For two years I ran four-wheel drive tours in the Simpson Desert with Scouts Australia. So through that experience I landed the touring role in WA. I was one of 14 tour guides. We all lived together in dongas. It was an awesome job.”
With his love for the outdoors in full swing, Bruce wanted to continue living a life of adventure, so that’s when he decided to launch Australis 4WD Adventures.
“In October 2015 I launched the business. I knew it was a niche idea as nobody was doing it in Melbourne. My aim was to get tourists to the Victorian High Country during the summer months,” described Bruce.
“In short, I offer private, fully customisable four-wheel drive tours. It’s something I love doing.”
If you’ve ever watched The Man from Snowy River, you’ll know of Craig’s Hut found near Mt. Stirling.
“Out of all the tours I’ve run, 95 percent of them visited Craig’s Hut,” suggested Bruce. “For a lot of people going to see Craig’s Hut is a bucket list item, because they fell in love with the movie. We’ve had fans from all over Australia join us on tour.”
It’s no question. Australis 4WD Adventures is the real McCoy.
“I really try to create authentic Australian tours. For example, our High Country Huts Tour has an included Aussie camp fire dinner. We sleep in swags beside a hut, underneath the night sky,” explain Bruce. “For fans of The Castle film, we even visit the Kerrigan’s holiday home in Bonnie Doon.”
Though Australis 4WD Adventures is still in its early days, Bruce is already writing its next chapter.
“I’d like to run two to three-day tours that include an overnight stay in a hotel and I’d love to buy a troop carrier. This will allow me to carry six passengers instead of four. I still want to maintain the intimacy that comes with small tours,” suggested Bruce. “I’m also about to run more one-day guided tours for seniors as well.”
“I’m looking forward to creating many more unforgettable experiences.”
To found out more about Bruce’s tours to the Victorian High Country, simply visit his website, australis4wdadventures.com.au.