To: Ricki Coughlan <>
From: Trevor Hampel <>
Date: Mon, 27 Feb 2006 11:02:41 +1030

Ricki Coughlan wrote:

I know that we're all very defensive about our choices of vehicles, so I'm probably going to offend everyone here. However, please spare me the Subaru Foresters, RAV 4's, BMW 4X4s, Mercedes 4X4s, Jackaroos, Jeeps and the like. You can keep them along with all of the other "highly polished" 4WDs that I (and probably many others) laugh at all day long on Sydney roads. Get a good ute and, if you're really worried about roads or keen to get into the mud and sand try a Toyota Hi-Lux 4x4 ute or crew cab or a Mazda Bravo 4x4 ute or crew cab and don't forget your bins and scope. Ricki

Hi there Ricki and other birders,

I've deliberately kept out of the debate but finally got sucked in. Most of my early birding (70s and 80s) was done in an old Toyota Land Cruiser set up primarily for camping out bush. The extra storage space was a plus for a growing family of four. The extra clearance was also appreciated. We had some amazing camping and birding holidays this way.

I the 80s and 90s we had a Ford Falcon wagon which also did an amazing job in some remote areas. First towing a 6x4 trailer and then an old caravan (made in the 60s). Over 17 years and several 100 thousand kms we literally drove this Ford to a halt.

Since 2000 we've had a Mazda Bravo crew cab. While this is a 4WD we have rarely needed to use it as such. The main reason for getting this vehicle is that we use it to transport thousands of plants to sales - my wife has a plant nursery - and it is ideal for this. It is also great to tow a trailer which we also fill with plants. On holiday trips we tow our (now much older) caravan.

The MAZDA BRAVO suits our needs perfectly. And that's the whole point. Buy what you can afford that suits your needs.

In the 80s I did a lot of Atlas work on a bicycle. Great views, no noise, heard many more birds and got great exercise. Nowadays, I prefer to drive to a spot and then walk - again great for seeing many birds. I'll keep walking while I can - someday I may not be able to walk distances.

Most city people - if they are truly honest - don't need big, bulky, flashy 4WDs.

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