Exploring the East Coast with Ben Gamlin

When it comes to getting out there and exploring, you don’t have to tell Ben Gamlin twice. The great outdoors is his second home, and he will happily take any chance he gets to take a trip in his pride and joy Hilux.

Both Ben and his girlfriend love surfing, so it’s not surprising that their adventure spots of choice are generally along Australia’s plentiful coastline. Beautiful beaches, crystal clear water and an abundance of surf opportunities — it’s impossible to go wrong with thousands of kilometres of coastline to familiarise yourself with and discover hidden gems.

When Ben’s not capturing footage of his adventures for fun, he’s doing it for his work as a photographer and videographer — and either way, the results he gets make you want to start planning your next journey up the coast.

Ben sat down to share some insights on a recent trip where he had Big Red Gear on board:

Where have you travelled in the last 12 months?

In the last 12 months my girlfriend and I have done a lot of travelling up and down the East Coast. We both love to surf, so our trips are always based around being near the coast, and recently this has taken us up around Crescent Head and Coffs Harbour a few times and as far out as Bermagui, which is just south of Batemans Bay.

Out of all the destinations you have visited, which one was your favourite and why?

Out of everywhere we’ve been our favourite spot would have to be Point Plomer! It’s become a lot more frequented lately due to the road in being tarred, but it's still hard to beat camping 20 metres from the sand. When we were there in mid-January, we got great surf and the water was beautiful and clear, which made it ideal for a snorkel.

What was the location of this shoot? Had you been there before? What do you like about it?

These shots were taken just south of Point Plomer on our way back to Port Macquarie. There’s a little track that runs behind the beach and it’s got a variety of terrain from ungraded dirt that’s plagued with potholes, a few sandy bits and even the odd water crossing depending on the rain. It was an awesome spot to take some shots amongst the greenery but after an hour of hitting potholes we were pretty ready to get on the ferry at the other end.

Can you tell us about your of your build/set-up?

This old Hilux is my pride and joy. It’s a 1994 2.8L LN106 and it goes anywhere! It had a re-spray a few years ago, but that’s pretty well where the good-looking parts end. Other than that, it’s got a few suspension upgrades to help it ride and handle better. It has got two Big Red Gear 7-inch driving lights at the front and a 40-inch Big Red Gear light bar above the cab, which provide an insane amount of light on those late-night drives.

What is your favourite thing about your build/rig?

I love everything about my old Hilux! It doesn’t go anywhere fast, but it just makes you sit back and appreciate your surroundings a bit more. The addition of Big Red Gear lights means we can get even more from our trips, with awesome visibility at night.  There’s no aircon, so the windows are almost always down and between the sound of wind rushing through the cab and music blaring through the one working speaker, you really just get to cruise leisurely to your destination. It’s definitely not for everyone, but my partner and I enjoy it – it’s all about the experiences and destinations we have visited.

What did you like about the Big Red Gear lights?

The Big Red Gear lights were incredibly easy to install, and they provide so much light. Plus, they look great on the car too! BRG have a ‘Plug and Play’ wiring harness that is sold separately which makes installation easy, but with my Hilux, II had to do a bit of DIY on some sections, but that’s only because the Hilux has had almost 30 years of different people having a crack at their own wiring. One thing to mention though, if you are going for a light bar and driving light combo, you will need two separate plug and play harnesses, which is common.

What lighting products would you say are a must-have for anyone starting out with their build?

You can’t really beat the combination of a couple of driving lights and a light bar for anyone looking at getting new lights on their build. The driving lights are great for lighting up things in the distance, while the light bar throws a wider beam which is great for lighting the edges of the road.


Big shout out to Ben for chatting to us about his adventures.

If you’re inspired by Ben’s rig, you can explore the lights he has on his Hilux here:

BRG 7-inch Driving Light

BRG 40-inch Light Bar

You can take an in-depth look at what he gets up to on over on his Instagram @bennygamlin. While you’re there, give us a follow too @bigredgear. We would love to see your endless adventures and Big Red Gear in action, so be sure to use the hashtag #brgadventures when posting your 4WD capers.