Matt Wilson reveals ’why I flee from Neighbours’
ON SCREEN, he spends most of his life within the confines of Ramsay Street but Neighbours star Matt Wilson prefers the great outdoors when he's away from the set.
He recently completed a trek to South Australia's Gawler Ranges in a Mazda BT-50 ute but his most memorable drive was a 12,500km solo trek through the outback.
"I went on a six-week road trip - saw pretty much half of Australia - on my own in the ute," he says.
The love of utes blossomed when he was an apprentice carpenter. During the week, his trusty Toyota HiLux would carry the tools around but at weekends it was put to more adventurous pursuits, including trips to the dunes of Stockton Beach, near Newcastle in NSW, and four-wheel drive trails around Araluen on the NSW Southern Tablelands.
"Whenever we got a bit time off, pretty much everyone at work just packed their swags in their utes and got going," he says.
The ute was also practical for around town. "I needed something to put the tools in and you can't really damage a ute too much. When you've got a metal tray you can reverse into things and it doesn't really matter," he says.
Wilson enjoys the seclusion of an off-road trip and says "no mobile phone coverage" is one of the perks of visiting remote corners of Australia.
"You write your own itinerary as well. You might see a good little quarry and say, 'I might sleep here tonight.' You've got the freedom to do whatever you want. You're not bound by any rules."
His first taste of the big road trip was in his dad's Holden Commodore, which used to make the journey along the Pacific Highway from Sydney to the Gold Coast and back three times a year to visit relatives.
For as long as he can remember, the journey has been at the mercy of roadworks. "It's the road that will never be complete," he says.
A set of wheels is more than a conveyance to the 29-year-old actor. "If I buy a car it's not just so I can get to and from work. It's so I can go away on a weekend or a four-wheel-drive trip or load the back up with whatever you want."
It's also an entertainment option. "We went to the drive-in in the BT-50 a couple of weeks back. We put a mattress in the back of the ute with some cushions and everything. It was great," he says.
Wilson wants to retrace the tracks of his epic solo trek - with company.
"I want to take my girlfriend from Uluru to Alice Springs along the Mereenie Loop. Last time I was on my own and it was special but you need someone to share it with," he says.