Big Open Spaces In A Yellow Tin Can
Inspiring you to step outside of your comfort zone with the wonderful human that is Amber Cree and her family. Get a sense of a less conventional way to explore Australia and the magic that comes along with undertaking journeys like these.
How on earth do you sleep 4 in a Kombi? Haha, are you still happy to see each other once up your up in the morning?
Haha, we can totally appreciate that it’s not everyone's ideal lifestyle, travelling in a tin can with 4 people! Its cozy, there’s no denying that, and yes there are times when it’s challenging. But truth is, it’s the closeness with each other that we love. It’s so different to regular home life, where everyone has their own space (probably too much space), and life is so busy there’s often a disconnection with each other. We’re there with each other 24/7, watching faces light up with the sunrise, and seeing their smiles at night around the campfire. The Kombi itself is set up surprisingly well to fit us all, there’s a bed up the top in the popup roof where our girls sleep, and the back seat folds down to make our bed, and really we have everything we need to make it home.
In a world where Children's education can be overrun with television, phones, tablets and watches that you can talk into but they still can’t shoot lasers like in James Bond… What are your girls learning & experiencing that so many do not get the opportunity too?
This has been the most rewarding part of our travels, seeing our girls grow and blossom from it. What they have seen and experienced can never be taught in a classroom. They have such an appreciation for the natural world and have learned hands on about our land and history. Also life skills, like adaptability, and resilience, qualities that will make them strong women, who can overcome life’s challenges and who won't be afraid to chase their own dreams. They’ve also learned the value of family. Our girls are such close friends, they spend a lot of time together, and without the distraction of tv or Ipads, they know they need to rely on each other for amusement. It has really strengthened our bonds, I think the importance of that can often get lost.
You and your family often leave the concrete jungle behind. Why do you choose red dirt destinations instead of a 5-star hotel?
For us there’s a certain feeling that we get from being on the road and out on the land, whether that’s in the red dirt, a remote stretch of coast, or somewhere among the trees. We crave the quietness and the stillness, the vast open spaces and the big skies, away from the hustle. We get a strong sense of belonging, and it frees our minds to focus on simpler things. We find ourselves seeking out the places off the tourist trail, and we’ll often disappear off the grid. We’re set up for off-grid camping, and pretty much free camped our way around Australia, only spending $200 on camping fees in 6 months of travel. But all that’s not to say we don't love a good hot shower and a big bed at a 5-star resort!
Amber, you’re really into your photography. With so many photographic opportunities on your adventures what are your favourite things to photography and what gear do you use?
Seeing Australia the way we have has definitely opened my eyes from a creative perspective, it’s an absolute visual treat! What stands out to me the most are the colours in our landscape, we have such a unique palette here in Australia, and I like to try and capture the essence of that, whether that’s in the landforms, the sky, or the wildlife. Also the night sky, especially in the outback, it’s incredible. I’m new to astrophotography and have really enjoyed getting out to shoot on those clear nights. As for gear, I’m using the Canon 5div, having upgraded to full frame just recently, that in itself has been a game changer. Lenses, its Canon L series, the 24-70mm f2.8, 70-200mm f2.8, and the 50mm f1.4. They all have their use, but my favourite is the 70-200, such a beautiful lens. We also use the DJI Mavic Pro, and GoPro and AxisGo for some underwater shots.
A wall goes up between all states and territories across Australia, you only get to cross the border once. Where do you go?
We’d head straight for Western Australia. Hands down, that state has it all! From the white sand beaches and turquoise sea in the south, the open plains and red earth of the Pilbara, the geological wonders in its incredible gorges, to the stunning tropical north-west. Everything is amped up in WA, the colours are breathtaking, the sunsets are spectacular, the landforms are just on another level. There’s just too much to mention. We’ve loved everything about exploring WA, and because of its huge size, we feel like we’ve only scratched the surface. We’re heading back next year for a few months to experience more.
What do you feel when your out adventuring and exploring?
The first thing that comes to mind is freedom. When we get in the van and head out on the road, there’s total freedom. We’re free to choose our path, where we want to go, and how long we want to stay. The best feeling is when we move on from one place and take the road to another, with no set plan or schedule. It’s the thrill of the unknown, the anticipation of what’s ahead, and the journey that will take us there. We usually have the music cranking, busting out the 70’s tunes, the girls will be singing in the back, we’ll look at each other and think to ourselves, ‘yep, this is living’, and so grateful that we’re all there together to experience it.
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