Without question, one of the highlights of my trip. We recently drove from Perth across Australia to Sydney, up to Coffs Harbour and back again. I’ll be writing about that soon! On the way from Sydney up to Coffs, we stopped for an overnight’er in Gloucester, home to the well-known Drifta headquarters.
If you didn’t know, Drifta is an Australian business, employing young Australians and manufacturing a whole range of gear for the outdoor enthusiast including camper trailers, trailer kitchens, 4WD drawers, camping accessories, and also stocking the impressive range of Snow Peak products from Japan.
Check them out at http://www.drifta.com.au/
“Luke the Drifta” was just back from a bush adventure in the 70 series cruiser when we met up at H.Q. We were fortunate enough to have a tour of the facility and showroom. I left in awe and didn’t stop talking about it for a few days.
Drifta are now making a range of quality in-house manufactured camper trailers. Production includes all in-house sheet metal work including bending, cutting and welding, as well as plasma cutting intricate pieces. Very little is left to off-the-shelf or other suppliers (suspension, bearings, tents). Everything is Australian where possible. Just beaut!
While Drifta was closed (Boxing Day), the place was spotless, you could eat off the floor in every workshop/shed.
Drifta also employ a number of full-time staff for canvas works. Bags and cases of all sizes as well as other useful items. This started as a way to reduce canvas waste and has turned in to a whole “department” of its own!
We made it to the showroom, wow. Like a child in a candy store. Knives, Axes, camping accessories, outdoor furniture, fire-pit’s, kitchenware, you name it, it’s here and it’s titanium or stainless steel and bamboo! Quality gear from Snow Peak Japan, and more…
Check out this corner of the showroom, setup to give you an exact feel for enjoying the fire-pit and grill at camp. Minus the wildlife of course!
Luke showed us his latest little corner of fun, axes and leather work, combined, to make a stunning little axe package that every bush-crafter or outdoorsy-type would want. The Sweden-made Hultafors axe, combined with Luke’s own leather-crafted pouch and some brilliant oil and wax products from Western Australian business “Gilly Stephenson’s”.
Luke spent a great deal of time working with leather back in the day, repairing saddles, belts, buckles and all sorts. He has always dabbled with leather and even taught his son Kaito a thing or two. A useful craft!
Look closely at the edge of the axe on the shelf. Luke has a purpose-built machine allowing him to put an incredible edge on any axe. Sharp enough to shave, not kidding, I tried it.
Each axe is sharpened, oiled, and personally finished with a leather sheath in tan or brown coloured leather.
Note the copper rivets, hand fitted to the leather the old fashioned way, with a hammer and punch. Luke ‘punching’ my name in to the leather. It doesn’t get more personal than this.
We spent the rest of the evening having a BBQ on the fire-pit at H.Q. It was great hearing of stories and meeting Luke’s mate Jakub who had plenty of experiences to talk about too.
If you’re ever in Gloucester, look up Drifta and take a look. Otherwise, have a gander at their great website here: http://www.drifta.com.au/by