Today, we are introducing… Charlotte and James Maddock.
Charlotte and James Maddock are a newly married couple who (usually) live in Perth, Australia. Charlotte is from Christchurch, New Zealand and James is from Moorine Rock (a small farming town) in Western Australia. Some of their well-known interests are travelling, photography, national parks and their kombi van. Their hobbies include watching Brooklyn 99 on repeat, eating perfectly poached eggs, having picnics that primarily consist of cheese and crackers, and trying way too hard to involve puns in everyday conversation.
For a long time, Charlotte and James had been dreaming of going on a road trip around Australia. So in 2016, they did just that. “We bought a 1975 kombi van (Vinnie the VW), took a year off work and set off on our big (40,000km) lap. It was during this trip that we started taking pictures and discovered our passion for landscape photography. We are now in the process of shipping Vinnie to New Zealand for the kiwi version of our Aussie road trip!”
Find inspiration for your next road trip and learn how to capture perfect moments by checking out Charlotte and James at awaywithcj.com
Favourite road trip destinations
Karijini National Park, Western Australia: Of all the places we visited in Australia, Karijini is hands-down our favourite. The National Park is characterised by sparkling waterfalls, breathtaking gorges and our favourite – ancient (yet somehow vibrant) cliff faces. We have been lucky enough to visit the park three times in the past three years and each time we’ve been, we’ve fallen in love with different aspects. The cheeky dingoes, the bright red rocks, the turquoise waters, the rolling Hamersley Ranges. To us, Karijini has it all. It is our definition of paradise.
Gibb River Road, Western Australia: We visited the Gibb earlier this year for our honeymoon and had the time of our lives. The Gibb is an old cattle route (approximately 660km long) and to us, a real iconic Aussie experience. We spent a week bumping along the gravel road and visiting all the beautiful gorges, waterfalls and of course, the awe-inspiring Cockburn Ranges. We even got chased by a crocodile! Don’t worry, it was a freshie. Thank goodness!
Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Red Centre: When we planned our trip to the Red Centre, we expected three days at Uluru would be plenty. But when we arrived something happened. Something changed. We can’t really explain what it was exactly – we were just mesmerised by Uluru. It is a special special place. We ended up staying there eight days in total, and watched the sun rise and set over Uluru every single day.
Road trip must-haves
Wet wipes: You never know when or where your next shower will be! Extra points if you can get flushable ones!
Dry shampoo: As above.
Good company: Road trips present so many new experiences and learnings – even if you’re only going for one or two days, you’ll end with so many new memories, laughs and ‘had to be there’ jokes. It’s wonderful if you get to share all this with good company.
Fridge: Not only will you save money by making your own meals, but it’s also great having the freedom to pull up wherever, grab a picnic blanket and sit down and eat your meal. We have some great memories of places we stopped at just to sit down and have lunch there.
Jetboil: Whether it’s to boil water for your coffee or a quick impromptu shower, the Jetboil has quickly become a trusted travel companion for us.
Headtorch: If you like to watch the sunrise and sunset as much as us, you will find yourself setting up camp in the dark most days (and needing both hands). For us, this made the headtorch very handy (pun intended).
Tips for people renting a car/camper
Try and get a Kombi van! [Laughs.]
If hiring a camper, we would recommend getting one with:
an auxiliary/second battery (so you can run the fridge).
a dual battery charging system.
inverter (so you can charge all your other appliances like laptops).
For a car, we recommend you do your research first and if the areas you are wanting to visit require a 4WD for access, make sure you hire a 4WD! We have done the whole hatchback down the gravel road thing and it never ends well.
The photo they are most proud of…
That’s a tough one! We would have to say our favourite photo is the one of the two of us watching the sunrise at Mitchell Falls because of the story behind it.
On our honeymoon, we decided to detour 500km off the Gibb River Road to see Mitchell Falls (a beautiful and rugged four tiered waterfall). We were so excited as it’s been a place we’ve always wanted to visit, even though the last 90km of the drive is considered to be one of the worst roads in all of Australia. The 90km stretch usually takes people up to four hours to complete. Once we arrived (safely), we were lucky enough to get a camping permit so we could hike to the falls and camp nearby overnight. This meant the next morning we woke to the sun rising over the falls. It was such a special morning and the absolute highlight of our honeymoon. We sat there all morning, well after the sun had risen – the sheer size of the falls just took our breath away.
Tips on how to become an influencer
To be honest, we wouldn’t really say we are ‘instabloggers’ – we just love sharing our pictures, thoughts and dreams on social media, but this hasn’t really been a career for either of us! Just something we love to do. We started an Instagram account as a way of sharing our photos, stories and memories and feel very grateful that people have wanted to follow along and be a part of it. For us, social media has been a really positive platform, we have made new friends, collaborated with some awesome brands, and even been lucky enough to sell a few of our images.
Our advice is to just be yourself and be kind. It’s your account so share what makes you (and as an added bonus – other people) happy. If our photo, story or travel tip helps to make someone’s day, then we are happy.
You can find Charlotte and James Maddock on Instagram at @cjmaddock
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A writer, blogger, and editor for more than 10 years, Manila-based Jayson Paor has written for numerous publications and entertainment websites such as BANDS Magazine, mnl-online.com, and PEP.ph. When he is not writing, he works as a freelance publicist and social media correspondent, researching and tracking new artists and bands, setting up and conducting interviews for local and international print and website. His interests are varied and range from live concerts, gadgets, travel, photography, cars and tennis.