MINI Countryman Driving Through Great Ocean Road.


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The new MINI Countryman's robust performance, innovative infotainment features and sporty nature make it the ideal companion for any spontaneous road trip.

Adventure photographer Sam Thompson and Sydney explorer Anya Afanasyeva navigated their way through the coastlines of the Great Ocean Road in their MINI Countryman travelogue.

We shared a matcha tea with the duo to discuss the destinations that they uncovered along the Victorian coastline.

> You visited a lot of different destinations on your Victorian road trip, did you pre-plan your itinerary before departing?

We had a few specific locations that we wanted to visit, but 70% of the destinations that ended up capturing our gaze were not in our original itinerary. Our first pit stop was at Lorne, and as we sat on the Countryman's foldable picnic bench looking out at the expansive sea in front of us, we made the decision to scrap the itinerary and uncover some untraveled roads.

This spontaneous decision lead us to Erskine Falls, the Apollo Bay, a pine plantation near the Eyre River, Port Campbell and The Twelve Apostles.

> The photography from your road trip showcases the dark side of the Victorian coastline, what inspired you to present the Great Ocean Road in this way?

People more often than not portray The Great Ocean Road as this idyllic destination where the sun is always shining. We really wanted to capture the unseen tones of that coastline, explore spots that people may not know about and allow the moodiness of nature to take centre stage in the background of the shots.


> Your video piece features a lot of interior shots that highlight the MINI Countryman's innovative technology, what was your favourite feature of the MINI?

Anya: "I loved the roominess of the MINI Countryman and the panoramic sunroof. I even ended up sleeping in the back of the Countryman under the stars instead of in our tent.

Sam: It sounds a bit nerdy, but the heads up display and Sports Driving Mode were my fave features. Driving in that mode along the coastlines with the display visible in your line of vision all the time made driving so effortless.

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