Document Type

Journal Article


In this paper, we explore understandings of the Kimberley as wilderness through the embodied knowledge of sites encountered on the travels of four-wheel drivers. We critically review attempts to conceptualise the social role of automobiles in touring practices then turn to non-representational theory to develop our own conceptual framework of four-wheel drivescapes. Our use of this term acknowledges that understandings of the world are fashioned by our bodily situatedness in, and towards the world. Through the vantage point provided by four-wheel drive technologies, tourists are engaged in generating embodied understandings of tourism destinations through an ongoing process of defining, experiencing, interpreting and responding to human and non-human worlds. We trace the means by which the emobodied knowledge of tourists who travel through the Kimberley by four-wheel drive becomes integral to their understanding of this place as wilderness. Our results suggest how two separate, yet intersecting four-wheel drivescapes of luxury and hardship reconfigure normative ideas of the outback as wilderness.