Australia- interesting vehicles

From the moment we arrived the vehicles have awed us. These folks really “get it” when it comes to overlanding type rigs. We learned a few facts and made a lot of observations on our own.   Then we stopped by the Automobile museum in Launceston, Tasmania for an info overload!  auto museum1.JPGBut most of our photos have been snapped as we cruise down the highways.

The small and medium trucks are called “utes” or utility vehicle. flat bed ute.JPGMost of them have flat deck beds instead of truck beds with sides that we are accustomed to in the USA. toyota ute bed.JPGThen each of the decks are modified to hold a variety of boxes, tools, dogs, campers and more. Most of them have ‘roo bars on the front (which seem to be useful in many areas, as the wallabies roam the roads) decked out ute.jpgMany of the newer rigs are fitted with a snorkel, although we have yet to see water deep enough to demand a snorkel. snorkel ute.JPGBut they look pretty cool!  new toyota with bed cover.JPG

The one we have borrowed is a Toyota 2wd with a basic flat deck and a handy vinyl cover.

our favorite ute copy.JPG
Our favorite ute

This works perfectly for stowing our gear and zipping around. tent in back of ute with beach toys.JPGThe interior layout is the same as the late 90’s and early 2000’s Toyotas in the USA, but the steering is on the left side. our favorite ute.jpgMike has become quite adept at shifting with his left hand and using the turn signal stalk on the right side. He reports relief that the pedals are in the same positions (gas right, clutch left) so that only his hands have to adjust but not his feet! packing the ute.JPG

Another style of “ute” we have seen here is a lower, car-style truck. These are similar to the old-style El Camino/Ranchero body style in the USA. These are generally painted flashy colors and driven by men wearing mullets and shorts that are too short or young men hoping to be noticed by hot young girls. Similar to the huge, lifted, jacked-up, 4×4’s in the USA; wiggles pinky finger in the air! (Yep, I said that here!) low ute.JPG

We have encountered a few fantastic camper-type rigs. hightop van new.JPGunknown rig1.JPGunknown rig2.JPGThese are conversions on a basic frame or boxes built on to flat bed utes.home made camping box.JPGhomemadecamping box.JPG box on ute.JPGbox on ute1.JPGBut the coolest campers are the vans! (You knew we would think that, right?) There are VW vansVW coffee van.JPGvw coffeevan.JPGvw syncro .JPG, Toyota vans, Nissan vans, Mercedes vans and even Kia, Mazda and Mitsubishi are in on this a lifted delica.jpg

cool orange van.jpg
Unknown van

One van had a really cool windshield guard! cool front windshield gaurd.jpg

We also saw an Ambulance car- that makes perfect sense if the patient does not need to be laid out flat on a gurney for transport to the hospital! ambulance car.JPG

There are a lot of Land Rovers in various rover.JPGtricked out rover.JPGtricked out rover1.JPG

And cool trailers! Some pop open for camping use. Some trailers are for hauling dogs!

dog trailer.JPG
Dog hauling trailer- we saw 8+ dogs come out of here!

Many trailers have a pop-top section for easier towing but headroom. poptop trailer.jpg All trailers have plastic or Plexiglas windows instead of glass.  trailer camping.JPGAt the National Museum we saw the original “over landing trailer” which was pulled by a human as is crossed the Australian outback. original overlanding trailer- camel.JPG

We have seen a few “classic cars” on the road and several in the museum. Most are converted left-hand-drive.old ford falcon.JPGold ford.JPG One of the unusual ones in the museum was a right-hand-drive Mustang Shelby that was shipped from the USA. Coincidentally this one has Arizona plates on it, still! (Our home base)  Arizona plates in Tasmania.JPG

The new rigs here are really interesting. The Ford Ranger is produced as their “full-size” truck, and this example is all set up with snorkel, ‘roo bar, roof top tent, antenna, lights and accessories.

ford ranger1.JPG
Ford Ranger

fordranger2.JPGThe Colorado is produced in Australia by Holden (more on that shortly). This example is also well accessorized!  holden colorado.JPG

Holden is a company that originally was developed to be the first automobile produced in Australia. holden the first.JPGIt was a success and has enjoyed many years of production. Then the company was acquired by General Motors and now produces cars and trucks that are similar to the US models (but always right-hand-drive).

I am sure we will see many more vehicles that are worthy of note, so consider this massive picture collection to be just the beginning!


3 thoughts on “Australia- interesting vehicles

  1. Those are awesome rigs!! Just FYI, the snorkels are for the dust when driving across the outback. When driving in a convoy, most dust from the vehicle ahead of you is at grill level, right where the factory air intake sits. The snorkel pulls cleaner air from up higher.

    This is why you’ll also see snorkels on vehicles in Africa.

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