We last saw Rick ‘Ricko’ O’brien on the Offroad Adventure Show in 2018. But no-one has seen much of him since he left the show to pursue other things. So what has he been up to, and what news has he got to share? I managed to catch up with Ricko recently and he answered these questions and more!
Aiden Frost (AF): G’day mate, it’s been a while since we saw you on the telly – in fact I think since 2018 if I’m correct? Where have you been mate, and what have you been up to?
Rick O’brien (RO): G’day Aiden, yeah that’s true! I left the Off-road Adventure Show in 2018, with the idea of building my own 4X4 show – one which focused on sharing Australian Stories, whether that be of explorers, bushrangers, pioneers, or even Aussie legends. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while but it took some time to get off the ground, especially with COVID! However, I’m now out filming and hope to release the first episode of my new gig,” Australia Rediscovered with Ricko” very soon.
AF: That sounds really exciting mate. Given your love of 4X4’s I’m guessing it will still have an off-road adventure style element to it?
RO: Yep – for sure! It’s all about the adventure, I’ll just be focusing on the history and story behind the places I’m visiting, to uncover the past and really appreciate some really special Australian stories.
AF: With that in mind, you’ve obviously been building a new vehicle. Can you tell us a bit about that?
RO: Yep – Her name is Winnie, and she’s a trusty GU Patrol. I’ve had a lot of fun already, and I’ve been putting content together on the build, which was targeted at building a solid off-road tourer. The great thing is that there are plenty of options out there for customising a Patrol!
AF: Can’t wait to see the finished product mate! Where can people find out about the show and when it will launch?
RO: That’s easy mate – check out and follow my facebook page –www.facebook.com/ricko4x4
5 Minutes with Rick O’brien
How did you get into 4WDing?
I got into dirt bike riding as a kid and 4WDs were a natural progression. My earliest memories as a kid were of camping trips away surrounded by FJ55s!
How many 4X4’s have you owned?
I haven’t kept count, but at least a dozen I reckon! I’ve had them all! Toyotas, Nissans, Range Rovers, Jeeps, Mitsubishis, Fords, even a Holden HJ One Tonner body on an old Patrol chassis wayyyy back in the day! I wish I had that one back!
How many do you currently own?
Just the one. Sadly. A new Jeep Gladiator would be nice if you are reading this, Jeep!
What’s your favourite thing to do when you aren’t busy filming or wheeling for work?
4WDing, camping, fishing and playing guitar. Not all at once though.
What’s your hidden talent?
I’d love to be able to say it is the guitar, but I am a realist and I know I suck! Probably my photography.
What are you the worst at?
Returning phone calls. Sorry to those who wait patiently…
Where haven’t you been yet, but are keen to explore?
Soooo many places! The northern end of W.A is right at the top of my list!
Favourite 4X4 destination?
Just one? Impossible! The Simpson Desert is just so special. Cape York has more to offer than most places. Queensland’s sandy islands are too much fun! Tassie is amazing! Sorry.
Most useful 4X4 accessory you’ve ever owned?
My big inverter does a great job of running my electric blanket on those cold winter nights!
Least useful 4X4 accessory you’ve ever owned?
A puncture repair kit. I’ve owned a few and have never had to use it.
Most epic trip you’ve ever done and why?
There are a couple that stand out. My first desert crossing was life changing. The snow trip we did in the High Country a few years back was pretty epic, as was Tassie’s west coast. But I think tackling the entire Old Telegraph track in a Lada Niva is the standout. That trip had it all!
What’s the best thing about being insured with Club 4X4?
Knowing that my investment in my GU is fully protected, no matter where the stories take me, and believe me, that is a serious load of stress taken off my shoulders – All of the modifications and accessories I have made to the rig are covered under my policy, and no matter where I am, as long as I am legally allowed to be there, I am covered. You beauty!