EX­PLORE OUR BACK­YARD

Tourist sea­son pro­vides a snapshot of the Bur­nett

Central and North Burnett Times - - FRONT PAGE - Macken­zie Co­la­han Macken­zie.Co­la­han@cnbtimes.com.au

MATT Wil­liams is no stranger to ad­ven­ture.

The in­trepid trav­eller and 4WD en­thu­si­ast quit his day job four years ago to pur­sue his pas­sion for pho­tog­ra­phy full-time.

The free­lance pho­tog­ra­pher is now liv­ing the dream, get­ting paid to visit some of the best lo­ca­tions both at home and abroad.

He’s been lucky enough to drive some of the most leg­endary 4WD tracks Aus­tralia has to of­fer, doc­u­ment­ing his jour­neys in the hope that it will en­cour­age others to do the same.

This month, Matt trekked through our re­gion on as­sign­ment for Bund­aberg North Bur­nett Tourism to build aware­ness of the district as an off-road­ing des­ti­na­tion.

Very few Aussies have seen as much of Aus­tralia as he has, and Matt de­liv­ered a glow­ing en­dorse­ment of the “hid­den gems” in Bur­nett’s back­yard.

Matt is hap­pi­est when he’s dis­cov­er­ing places that most peo­ple don’t get to see, and says the rich his­tory and nat­u­ral beauty of the North Bur­nett ri­vals that of any­where in Aus­tralia.

“There are many parts of Aus­tralia that only a very small per­cent­age of our pop­u­la­tion will ever get to see,” he said.

“A lot of trav­ellers spend their time straight up and down the Bruce High­way.

“My job is to help drag more peo­ple off the beaten track to find out what places like the North Bur­nett have to of­fer.”

As a keen off-roader, he’s al­ready ticked many of the coun­try’s epic road trips off his bucket list.

The Can­ning Stock Route through the Kim­ber­ley, the Gun­bar­rel High­way, Flin­ders Ranges, the Simp­son Desert and Cape York – he’s done them all.

His lat­est ex­pe­di­tion took him to Mount Walsh, Utopia Falls, Coon­gara Rock, Mingo Cross­ing and Ca­nia Gorge, stop­ping in all the North Bur­nett’s ma­jor towns on the way.

He be­lieves the resur­gence in pop­u­lar­ity of SUVs is ev­i­dence that an in­creas­ing num­ber of peo­ple want to be a part of the off-road life­style, a mar­ket the North Bur­nett is well-po­si­tioned to tap into.

“The re­gion has so much to of­fer,” Wil­liams said.

“Many of these lo­ca­tions are still rel­a­tively un­known and need to be put on the map.

“There are so many lit­tle gems, like Wu­ruma Dam and Mingo Cross­ing, it’s just about find­ing them.”

Thanks to the in­cred­i­ble im­ages of his trip, Matt hopes to ex­pose more peo­ple to our re­gion, pro­mot­ing it as a tourist des­ti­na­tion in its own right.

“It’s re­ally good to dis­cover and ex­plore these ar­eas close to home,” he said. “Peo­ple spend a lot of time and a lot of money trav­el­ling over­seas and they ig­nore some of the most amaz­ing sites in our very own back­yard.”

Check out Matt’s web­site: www.mat­twilliamsp­ho­tog­ra­phy.com.

PHO­TOS: MATT WIL­LIAMS

TOP OF THE WORLD: Matt takes in the view at Ca­nia Gorge Na­tional Park. INSETS: What our beau­ti­ful re­gion has to of­fer.

PHO­TOS: MATT WIL­LIAMS

PAINTED SKIES: A beau­ti­ful sun­set at Mingo Cross­ing.RIGHT: The rolling hills on Utopia Rd make for a scenic drive to Mount Walsh Na­tional Park. What W a spot! By the wa­ter’s edge ed at Mingo Cross­ing.

In­cred­i­ble drone im­age of Mount Walsh on a foggy morn­ing.

Land­scape pho­tog­ra­pher Matt Wil­liams.

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