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MINI Countryman Hybrid car back view in Otways

OFF THE BEATEN TRACK.

Innovation, exploration, pushing the boundaries.

However you phrase it, there’s nothing like putting your own spin on a classic.

Fresh perspectives come in many forms – from the grand and global, to the more humble and familiar.

For photographer Sam Thompson and his girlfriend Olivia Brady, taking on a classic road trip – Victoria’s Great Ocean Road - means breaking away from the busy, conventional tourist route and seeking out their own path to a quiet place to unplug from the world.

Ocean view of The 12 Apostles“After a long working week we usually have one destination in mind for the weekend- the Otway Ranges,” Olivia says

“Few destinations offer temperate rainforest and ocean views from the rear view mirror like the Great Ocean Road.

“So we like to head to one of our favourite destinations, a sort-of secret campsite in the Otways where we sometimes go to recharge.”

MINI Countryman Hybrid car back viewNavigating the steep cliffs and scores of people along the 244km stretch of road was an effortless journey for the MINI Countryman Hybrid, with a sense of weightlessness balanced with power that negotiates the coastline’s famous curves with grace.

“Stopping at the Twelve Apostles for lunch and fresh air was first on our itinerary,” Olivia says.

“We rested a while and took in views of the limestone cliffs and huge rock formations rising from the sea; staying long enough to notice the brilliant colour changes in the rock and the surprisingly still ocean.”

As a couple who spend so much time in nature, the importance of a sustainable road trip isn’t lost on Sam and Olivia.

MINI Countryman Hybrid car back viewThe MINI Countryman Hybrid is a fresh take on the rugged and ready Countryman, balanced with technology that is a nod to the surroundings it’s built to navigate.

“The switch eDrive and petrol drive was a feature that we were particularly interested in testing,” Olivia says.

“We found the changeover to be smooth and without interruption to our driving experience…it’s particularly impressive when in electric mode and when one considers the lack of carbon emissions.”

With a petrol and electric engine, the MINI Countryman Hybrid offers the best of both worlds and the peace of mind to explore, without having to worry about electric range or power.

After making their way along the Otways’ signature winding roads, framed by ancient forests, Olivia and Sam found their camp site and settled in.

“We made camp at the secret spot and fell asleep to the sound of koalas overhead,” Olivia says.