By the time Harry and the Delica finally return to Perth he will have put close to - if not over - 25,000km on his 265/75R16 Open Country A/T III, in what could be argued is the tyre’s toughest and most varied torture test on Aussie soil.
“In hindsight I should have planned this better - we built the van and started doing all the warm weather touring in the north, now as we get further south I’ve just been to the Vic' High Country in the snow, and it looks like I’ll be finishing in Tassie in winter!” he exclaims.
In our first chat with Harry, he admitted that his mantra towards the fitout of the Delica had been one of sparse practicality, but he’s happy to eat those words now and dress the Deli’ suitably for the freezing adventures that lay ahead of the mighty Mitsu’.
“I’ve splashed out on a good awning, a good sleeping bag, a more suitable chair, thermals – the lot!” he laughs, admitting that a recent trip to the Victorian High Country taught him a thing or two about camping in the freezing alpine regions.
“You can’t leave anything outside overnight. You’ve got to prepare for anything,” he explains of the High Country’s wild weather.
It’s that same extreme weather that froze the Blue Rag Range Track during his trip there. “It was their coldest May day on record. Everything froze!” he explains, his voice still thawing from the trip.
“At the start of the trail, everyone warned us that we’d need lockers and muddies. I had neither. I had a winch and my right foot and that was enough! It turned out to be a really fun track and a great trip, and I’ve got to admit, the Open Country A/T III really impressed me in the snow, especially on the frozen muddy roads where I thought they wouldn’t have a chance” he adds.
One of Harry’s final Victorian stops before he jumps over to Tassie was a trip to Bonnie Doon - the town in North Eastern Victoria made famous by the classic Australian film, The Castle. Harry’s tour of the town, including the movie’s iconic family holiday home, is a must-see!
“We’ve probably got around 16,000km on the Open Country A/T III now. They’ve done the Cape, some tough tracks through NSW with the Red Dirt Diary team, been tortured through the Vic’ High Country and they’re soon to do Tassie. They’ve done plenty of on-road driving amongst some pretty rough terrain on a variety of surfaces - I’ve thrashed them and they still look perfect!” beams Harry.
Never one to stop moving, Harry is already looking forward to the Deli’s adventures post-Tassie. “We’ll give it an updated fit out when it’s back in Perth with some new drawers and bedding, and then I want to emulate what I’ve done along the east coast and get the van up to the Northern Territory to do some cool stuff,” he says in closing.
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