The desire to create ExplorOz evolved from the passion of the company's owners, David and Michelle Martin, who have been passionate outdoor enthusiasts all their lives.
When they made the decision to leave Sydney
and travel around Australia
in their early 30's, it was made with the ultimate goal to never go back to the life they left behind. To set the goal in action they had to review their financial situation and make some tough choices; they also had to plan their mode of accommodation and self-sufficiency, and of course decide and agree on where to go. The preparations involved extensive research, intensive conversations, endless leg-work visiting camping stores, 4WD shows, joining a 4WD club, undergoing driver training
etc. But it also involved selling all their worldly possessions, not just their home but all the contents and clutter. What immediately struck them, was how difficult this trip was to plan. This was a time before the current caravanning boom - a decade before the baby boomers retired so outback tourism was not as popular as it is now, and the term grey nomad was not yet known. To plan their trip, they sought out information about visiting the iconic outback destiantions they had seen on 1970's television documentaries (think Bill Peach, Leyland Bros etc). They turned to the internet, but Google didn't exist back then and even government tourism websites lacked substance particuarly in providing information about the exciting places
they had mapped out to visit. Furthermore, what they really wanted to hear was other people's stories - ideally from other young
people with a similar outlook on life.
It is this first-hand experience, of struggling to gather information to plan a trip, that has forged the vision for what ExplorOz offers as an information service to the self-drive tourism market. It took almost 2 years of being on the road
however before David and Michelle even recognised the need for the website and gathered the courage to put all their energies into building it into a business - but in January 2000 they settled in Perth
, Western Australia
. ExplorOz.com was officially launched in March of the same year and has now been in operation for 12 years.