Adventures in Australia: Yacht


When we put out a call for artists who had been professionally inspired by their travels in Australia, our former guest bloggers Yacht were among the first to respond. It turns out that they became obsessed with photographing Utes (an Aussie version of a pickup truck) while touring through the country just last year. Check out some of their photos, and discover a few more of their country-specific obsessions, after the jump.

What was it about Utes that you found so compelling? Were there any other country-specific obsessions you came across while there?

The Ute is a very special car. It’s as though the El Camino had been delivered to an isolated island on the Galapagos and left to evolve for centuries into something completely different, and yet fundamentally the same. It’s fascinating to us to see the product of decades of car design in an area that the U.S. essentially gave up on. It’s also hilarious that Australians, whose country is 99% impenetrably rugged outback, drive around in sleek mini truck-ettes while Americans drive Hummer H3s through suburban shopping mall parking lots.

What were the venues like there? The crowds? Did you try any of the domestic beer?

It’s a truism of ours that Australia is like America, only slightly better in every regard. There is a higher quality of life. The coffee is better. The weather is better. People are better-dressed, and better-looking. Food is slightly better. It is, on the whole, a wildly pleasant country. Our experience with the venues and crowds have followed this overarching trend; we’ve found willing and enthusiastic YACHT acolytes in essentially every corner of Australia. The beer is also pretty great, especially Little Creatures and Victoria Bitter (or “Very Best”).

Were you traveling the country as a twosome? Or did you have a large group?

We actually had the great fortune of traveling around with a posse, including two of Australia’s most valuable exports, our friends Cameron and Kellie from Architecture in Helsinki. They are great representatives of their country’s genial vibe, and they are almost comically interested in the cultural ephemera of their own home country. As a result, we’ve been educated in all the important stuff: the rules and politics of Australian rules football, vintage Vegemite jingles, and the reckless abbreviating of Aussie slang.

If you’d had to stay put in one city, which one would you have picked, and why?

Melbourne. We know it’s facile to make comparisons, but Melbourne is like San Francisco, Seattle, and Portland all rolled up into one coffee shop-heavy paradise. It may be on the east coast of Australia’s mighty landmass, but it’s West Coast in spirit all the way.

What do you think would surprise people the most about Australia who haven’t visited before?

The great surprise about Australia isn’t that it’s particularly exotic — quite the opposite. What disoriented us the most was that after flying overnight, crossing time-zones and leaping, essentially, into the future, we arrived in a country that was totally “normal.” Australia is home to major cosmopolitan cities full of interesting people just like us that go about their lives all the time when we’re not around. You would expect after traveling such great distances to be somewhere completely alien, yet Australia is like our home, only slightly nicer. It’s a jarring, bizarro-Universe kind of feeling.

Is it a country that inspired you creatively at all? If so, how?

Absolutely. It’s a vast and beautiful place with centuries of energy floating over it.

Want to work and play in Australia, too? Visit for more information.