A Whirlwind Tour Around Northern Australia in an Old Army Land Rover Part 1 – Goulburn, NSW to Lake Hart, SA

4WD Swagman trips in the old ex-Army Fitted For Radio “Perentie” Land Rover 110 were a fixture of 2018. In January and February I travelled over to Western Australia. In June I travelled to Tasmania. In September 2018 I set off for an odyssey through Northern Australia, and that’s the trip described in this series of posts.

We probably should start at the beginning…

The plan for the Northern Australia jaunt was to go from Goulburn NSW to Port Augusta in South Australia, then up the guts of the continent via the Stuart Highway before turning left onto the Lasseter Highway to Uluru (Ayers Rock). After seeing the Rock and the Olgas, I would retrace my steps back to the Stuart Hwy and make for the Alice. From Alice Springs, work my way north to Darwin where I’d pick up my missus from the airport, then do the tourist loop through Kakadu, Katherine Gorge (Nitmiluk) and Litchfield National Parks for a week or so. Then I’d farewell her at the airport and head due east into the Gulf of Carpentaria on my way to Cairns. From Cairns I’d head north to Cape York. Have a bit of a look around there for a few weeks then head back to Cairns and hack my way down the coast to Sydney before making my way back home to Goulburn. I figured the whole expedition might take anywhere between two and four months.

map-1---goulburn-to-lake-hart

The first leg of the Northern Australia 4WD Swagman Trip.

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(ex) Australian Army Land Rover Part 2 – Mine

Don’t want to spam my readers with too much tech info about my vehicle, but here’s the vital statistics –

  • Ex-Australian Army Land Rover 110 Fitted For Radio (FFR) with Winch
  • Civilian Land Rover Defender 110 hardtop fitted
  • Original canvas sides and rear used with hardtop
  • Body painted all over Protec Camouflage Brown (one of the three colours used in the ADF vehicle camouflage paint scheme)
  • Hardtop and canvas painted all over Protec Camouflage Green (one of the three colours used in the ADF vehicle camouflage paint scheme)
  • ATP snorkel
  • Power steering
  • Dual 12v battery system in place of FFR auxiliary 24v system
  • Heavy duty clutch
  • RFSV split rims and original Goodyear Hi-Miler Xtra Grip tyres
  • RFSV Mk I style dual jerrycan carriers fitted

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The Australian Army Land Rover 110 4×4

New vehicle, new adventures.

If you’ve been following my instagram (https://www.instagram.com/4wdswagman/) you’ve probably seen pictures of a light brown, almost pink coloured ex-army Land Rover being repaired and kitted out in the backyard.

Ffr

Line diagram of the Australian Army Land Rover 110 Fitted For Radio model – from the user’s handbook.

Sadly, the time has come to retire the old Shorty Forty Toyota Landcruiser, and the next best alternative was an ex-army Land Rover. Some may consider these kinds of vehicles primitive since they have soft canopies, no turbo, sliding non-power windows, and no aircon (OMG!!!), but in my opinion their capabilities and well-thought-out configuration more than makes up for a lack of luxuries. The seats are really comfy so that has to count for something… doesn’t it? Besides, the old Forty Shorty Landcruiser was more basic than these vehicles, so the Landy is a comfort upgrade for me.

In this post, I’ll describe some of the general characteristics of these ex-army Land Rovers from a new-user’s perspective.

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