The Outdoor Experience Factory gives you the only opportunity in Australia to drive three of the most powerful and fastest side-by-side buggies through steep bush tracks.
Story Ken Eastwood Photos Peter Pap
"I want you to drive as fast as you can to there, then hit the brakes as hard as you can, turn around and do it again,” says adventure guide Jamie Bezina. The grass is still soaking in the heavy morning dew, and just ahead of where Jamie indicates is a disconcertingly close forest of apple gum and ironbark, with solid trunks looming menacingly out of the fog. Helmet check, seatbelt check. Then the 170hp engine roars to life, throwing the driver back in the racing seat. With the capability of reaching 100km/h in just 3.5 seconds – on dirt – this green Can-Am Maverick DS, with its huge, insect-like suspension, is a beast of raw power, and instantly cranks the Rotax engine and the driver’s heart rate up around 7000 rpm.
This little exercise, over in seconds, is the first adrenaline-fuelled induction in a day driving three different sporty Can-Am Mavericks around hundreds of kilometres of mountainous bush tracks. Only established at the beginning of 2021, Outdoor Experience Factory is the only place in Australia you can enjoy hooning around in these extraordinary vehicles, unless you know someone who has one. “They’re quite impressive,” says Jamie, who owns one himself. “And pretty addictive.”
During the second part of the induction – a slower crawl up and down an awkward diagonal slope that tilts the vehicles sideways – drivers start to get a sense of the versatility of the vehicles, and some of the fun that will be had later in the day.
This story excerpt is from Issue #139
Outback Magazine: October/November 2021