Tom Derickx Takes His LandCruiser On A Once-In-A-Lifetime Journey Across Australia

Nick Kenyon
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Nick Kenyon

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Australia is known as “the lucky country,” and while that’s true in plenty of respects, our spectacular landscape certainly ranks among the top of our shared treasures.

That’s why the time-honoured road trip has such a special place in our hearts — and Tom Derickx recently enjoyed some of the very best of Australia as he journeyed in his Toyota LandCruiser from Sydney to Dunsborough, Western Australia.

The former AFL player turned musician, model, and man-about-town embarked upon the trip with his good mate and videographer Ryan Murphy. To document the journey, Murphy filmed much of the drive, creating a short film dubbed Remember The Feeling that traces the nostalgic roots long drives hold in many of our hearts.

Narrated by Derickx’s father and supported by a track composed by Derickx himself, the film revisits the journeys he and Tom took driving around Western Australia, both for work and to football games, during the latter’s childhood.

Car rides are a formative part of all of our childhoods, but when you grow up nearly three hours south of Perth and your weekends are spent visiting far-flung football clubs, the roar of road noise is practically in your blood.

The 3,934-kilometre journey wasn’t the only thing on the menu for Derickx and Murphy, who enjoyed plenty of Australia’s best pies and Chiko rolls as they made their way west through dotted towns and long stretches of the Nullarbor.

“The Chiko roll that stands out the most was probably at this Roadhouse on the Nullarbor,” Tom Derickx told me.

“I honestly think it was about three days old, but there was something just about eating that Chiko roll on the Nullarbor that made it all the better.”

Mealtimes made for a chance to get off the road and take a break, not only for the all-important matter of sustenance, but also to meet a few of the local characters along the way. The songs of Bruce Springsteen and Sam Fender kept the pair company rolling on the bitumen, though there’s nothing quite like a chat with a friendly stranger after the hum of the road.

“I lost count of the number of characters we met out there, but I think one thing we really took away was how all the farmers we met were interested in what we were doing,” said Derickx.

“They just have so much time for you, and it makes you remember how a good conversation can really help get you through the day.”

Taking a break from driving can take plenty of different forms on a road trip. For Derickx, there’s no better way than to find a good-looking beach with even better-looking waves crashing against the shore. In terms of essential elements on any car the bloke owns, a strong set of roof racks to carry his surfboards is a must-have.

While the two-finger salute to oncoming drivers was a favourite game of Derickx and Murphy — “I actually got upset with myself if I was daydreaming and I missed a wave” — once again, it was the people they met that stood out the most in their memories.

“We spent two or three nights in Geraldton and met a drone pilot and videographer called Jaimen Hudson,” he recalled.

“He had a motorbike accident as a kid and is a quadriplegic, but we went for a drive with him down to the beach and he showed us how he takes these incredible ocean photos with his drone.”

Tom Derickx continued: “He was such an inspiring guy. I’ll never forget his attitude towards life, because having an accident like that didn’t really stop him from doing what he wanted or from following his dreams. That’s really stuck with me.”

Growing up so far from the nearest capital city, time behind the wheel is as natural for Derickx as picking up a footy on the run, or spotting a tasty wave in an oncoming set. The countless hours spent on the road have essentially transformed Tom’s car from a metal box that gets him from A to B to a vehicle synonymous with connection, indelibly linking him to friends and family with the click of a seatbelt and turn of a key.

After the best part of a week on the road and nearly 4,000 kilometres on the clock, Tom Derickx finally pulled his LandCruiser onto the gravel driveway of his parent’s home, ready to be welcomed by their waiting arms. It’s not a road trip that many of us have taken on, but if the chance to take that drive ever presented itself, we’d be silly to pass it up.

As Derickx’s old man explained: “There’s always a blue sky if you stay on the road long enough.”

  • Directed by Ryan Murphy
  • Written and narration by Ryan Murphy & Anna Varga
  • Produced by Tom Derickx, Toyota Australia, & Havas Red
  • Music by Tom Derickx

This article is sponsored by Toyota. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Boss Hunting.

Nick Kenyon
WORDS by
Nick Kenyon is the Editor of Boss Hunting, joining the team after working as the Deputy Editor of luxury watch magazine Time+Tide. He has a passion for watches, with other interests across style, sports and more. Get in touch at nick (at) luxity.com.au

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