Our 2003 Land Rover TD5 Defender 130’s working life began on a Kangaroo Island farm before being bought by an Adelaide enthusiast who fitted some extras for family holidays in the Flinders Ranges and other places. We added more to suit our needs.“We like Land Rovers”
We chose a Land Rover 130 not for luxury or high performance but for its capability as a high capacity, fuel-frugal, long distance car designed for continuous operation in difficult country where you live directly from the car. It’s a five-seater crew cab with 1.5 tonnes load capacity riding on tough, ten ply rated tyres. It has rubber flooring, plain white duco and near-vertical windows. A fibreglass canopy covers our food, fuel, water, spares, lubricants, tools, camping and recovery gear.
We usually travel with no other vehicle, sometimes in remote trackless areas unlikely to have been visited much since early mission days, so we carry reliable recovery equipment and certain essential spares.
On APY Lands we’re usually camped out bush but we’ll often stay with other elders or wider family in their communities or homelands. It’s important to observe protocol, and when travelling with elders they should be given the best, fed and provided for, and always accommodated, considered and deferred to.
A mutuka (motor car) tends to isolate passengers from the country, scares animals away and blocks out the quietness and the sounds of nature. We do our best to travel gently and to respect our ancestors and country – and our reward is being able to peacefully observe, take in an extraordinary amount, and belong. In my years of travelling with the late Rev Peter Nyaningu we often stopped the car for him to recount stories and songs, or drove to particular places to spend time listening and contemplating.
Since Nyaningu spoke of his vision to establish Beyond The Dreaming to record messages we’ve carried a tiny Sony HD camera with a remote microphone and a tripod – and also travel with a laptop and a GPS both for safety and so footage can be manually geo-logged with co ordinate positions in the shot-log.
For safety and in case of medical emergency we also carry a satellite phone and an HF ‘Flying Doctor Codan radio.