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Front Runner On The Move: Sidetracked Australia

Front Runner On The Move: Sidetracked Australia

- February 03, 2022

Brothers Mark and Nick Wiseman make up the core of Sidetracked Australia, an adventure travel and lifestyle brand. While they both work full-time jobs, they dedicate a significant amount of time to upgrading their off-road rigs (a Nissan Patrol and Land Rover Defender 110), as well as putting in some serious overland mileage and camping in some special, remote places.

The pair have been documenting their adventures (and vehicle-build work) for half a decade and have a highly entertaining and insightful YouTube channel.

© Sidetracked Australia

How many kilometers have you travelled in the past year?

Roughly 10,000 km. We went to Tasmania, which was about a 3,000 km round trip, and then to Perth on the opposite side of Australia, another 6,000 km. On top of that, we did a good couple of weekenders. In total, that isn’t too bad considering lockdowns and border restrictions, not to mention we work full-time jobs.

© Sidetracked.Australia

What are your top five camping spots of all time?

1. Lake Cumberland, Tasmania

The track that leads there is incredibly tough, so it’s not like everyone can get there in their two-wheel drive cars. The views are insane – on the one side you are high above this spectacular lake and then behind you there are these expansive views of the West Coast of Tasmania.

2. Chili Beach, Cape York, far north Queensland

We’ve been there twice now, some years apart. The first time it was a bit like a movie set, with arched palm trees hanging out over white sand beaches. Just tropical perfection. The second time was after a huge cyclone had been through there. It was a different place. There had been so much destruction! It will be 50 years before it is back to how we first saw it. In a way we’re glad we saw it how it was, but also got to see the power of what Mother Nature can do.

3. Cape Leveque, northernmost tip of the Dampier Peninsula, Kimberley, Western Australia

It is incredibly picturesque – with these red cliffs, white sandy beaches and turquoise blue water. You camp right on the beach, which is also really special.

4. The Eyre Peninsula, South Australia

This is a bit of a hidden gem in our home state of South Australia. It is not one single campsite, but there are multiple spots along the coast where you can camp. Just beautiful.

5. High Country, Victoria

It’s just about an hour out of Melbourne, but remote and really incredible. There are big mountains as far as the eyes can see and we’ve had some insane experiences there, from sunshine to torrential rain and thick snow. Many of the campsites are near the rivers. Camping near water is always good.

© Sidetracked Australia

What is the biggest challenge you’ve ever had to overcome on an overland trip?

On the Balfour Track in Tassy we spent nearly four hours getting through a 50-metre section. We probably made a fair few rookie moves, particularly not sending the least capable vehicle through first, which led us to eventually have three of our four vehicles bogged down. We had nothing to winch off but after about three hours of thick, sticky mud we had about 200 m of line out; winch extensions, you name it – we didn’t have another strap left in the recovery box.​

© Sidetracked Australia

What Front Runner gear are on the rigs?

On the Nissan Patrol, we have the Slimline II roof rack. We have the Stainless Steel Prep Table that slides underneath the rack, which is amazing, because it’s just the most awkward thing to keep in your car. On the sides of the rack, I’ve got multiple brackets including shovel mountsLED Light Bar and the like. Inside we have the Expander Camping Chairs, and I’ve also got the Camp Kitchen Utensil Set, the 52L Water Tank with the pump (which we use for showering and washing dishes). In the back we have the massive Front Runner Drawer System which has made it super convenient to live in now.

On the Defender we’ve also got the Slimline II roof rack (we’ve pretty much converted everybody to this rack). Then I’ve also just put the Gullwing Windows in on the Defender – something I’ve always wanted. Inside we’ve got the Drawer SystemExpander Chairs and another Stainless Steel Table that slides in under the rack.

© Sidetracked Australia

What’s next on the upgrade list?

There’s still a lot of work to do on the Defender. We’re working on the 12-volt system, getting an auxiliary battery with a battery management system in there, charging outlets, fridge, stereo and things like that. After that, bar work is probably up next. I have a front bar on the way. Then we’re going to need some side steps or side protection, and the same around the back. Then underneath are lockers, gears, stronger axles and CV joints.

© Sidetracked Australia

Where to next?

Southwest Western Australia. It has been on the list for a long time now. It’s had some tough restrictions but hopefully in 2022 that should be all sorted. There are some beautiful, picturesque camps and neither of us have done nearly enough over there. It’s not too tough in off-road driving terms, but it has really picturesque campsites and beautiful scenery.