Perhaps the brightest jewel in Australia’s diverse crown of scenic locations, Cape York is an ancient corner of the world that draws in explorers with its untamed character. Etched in company history as the first off-road map Hema Maps produced 20 years ago, it epitomises Australia’s love affair with the unknown.
Taking this into consideration, Carlisle Rogers was the natural choice for the role of Hema Explorer, with the full-time editor and dyed-in-the-wool adventurer well prepared for the responsibility of updating Hema's Cape York Atlas & Guide. Carlisle has had a long-standing fascination with Australia, combining his talent for photography and storytelling with his obsession towards strange people and places; culminating in freelance opportunities with magazines such as Australian Geographic, Rolling Stone, RM Williams Outback and The Age Travel.
Since that time he has been the editor for 4x4 Trader and Camper Trailer Australia, before realising his dream of launching his own magazine. A lot of hard work has gone into 4WD Touring Australia, his progeny that in 12 months has risen to become the highest circulating monthly 4WD magazine.
This all sounds like hard work, but Carlisle insists his position as one of Australia’s most recognised off-road travellers stems from a passion for Australia itself.
“This place is utterly unique in its wildness, in the landscape's ability to completely overpower us. That and I love getting away from the big smoke…and a 4WD is the best way to do that,” he says.
While any trip to Cape York is difficult to qualify as work, the job of updating map data and and information for Hema’s famed Cape York Atlas & Guide is an intensive process. As he makes his way through the Cape, Carlisle will be constantly capturing data relayed from a sub-metre accurate GPS, before displaying it with the current data set so any alterations can be added. To help him reach the Tip is a dedicated support crew of Hema Explorers, which comes in handy when it comes to negotiating the tough terrain in Cape York at this early point in the season.
The end result of this extensive field-checking will be updated map data with touring information and symbols to match, which is something that only comes about from actually driving the tracks; a job Hema is proud to do so other explorers can navigate with confidence. Far from being put off by the responsibility, Carlisle is happy to be partnering a company that has a mutual love and respect for off-road travel.
“I'm really honoured, and excited!” he says.
“Hema embraces the same ethos that I do: quality, honesty and hard work. To be working with the team at Hema means, to me, that my work must be the best because I've never seen anything less come out of there."
Carlisle will be field-checking the Cape for three weeks, exploring every track he can while doing what he does best: take breathtaking photos.