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26 April 2024 · Mazda Stories

A Home From Home

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Leaving the city in the rear-view mirror, the Hendriks family takes the new Mazda CX-90 to a paradisal glamping hotspot, ready and raring to create family memories to last a lifetime. 

Words Ed Cooper / Film and images graingerfilms.com

 

In Fremantle, on the southern fringes of Perth in Western Australia, two creative entrepreneurs are juggling the demands of raising a young family while managing not one, but two successful small businesses. Meet Sammy Smith and Sarah Hendriks Smith: the proud owners of Porch Ceramics – a ceramic tableware and lighting business that also hosts group workshops – and Cisco & the Sun, a ceramic studio specialising in the use of mineral-rich clay. The duo are not just husband and wife, but also equal business partners to boot.

Balancing work with the demands of two children is no small feat, which makes distraction-free holidays all the more important. “We need plenty of laughs, quality family time, sunshine on our faces, peaceful car journeys, story sharing, and time spent relaxing,” says Hendriks Smith. All with a sprinkling of adventure along the way...

“WE NEED PLENTY OF LAUGHS, QUALITY FAMILY TIME, SUNSHINE ON OUR FACES, PEACEFUL CAR JOURNEYS, STORY SHARING, AND TIME SPENT RELAXING.”

With roots now put down in Fremantle, it took an adventure or two for the family to get where they are today. For Hendriks Smith, it was leaving the world of corporate public relations and, for the family of four, it was a six-week, 6,000km cross-country road trip, which cemented their love for the open road. “We realised that the biggest pull back here was to spend more time in nature,” says Hendriks Smith, explaining why adventurous road trips like this always take precedence over pool-side retreats. “There’s a lot more opportunity for the kids and for us to get away.”

Inevitably, this is easier said than done. To stay comfortable, mobile, and secure, the couple found an impressive companion in the Mazda CX-90. Mazda’s latest family SUV, the CX-90 houses plenty of home comforts, from ample boot space to climate control and intelligent safety technologies as standard. As they leave suburbia in the CX-90’s rear-view mirror, Hendriks Smith enjoys “the ideal dance” between form and function in the car, with its “stable, reliable, and intuitive” drive proving to be just the ticket for this trip. 

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“WE REALISED THAT THE BIGGEST PULL BACK HERE WAS TO SPEND MORE TIME IN NATURE. THERE’S A LOT MORE OPPORTUNITY.”

Today’s journey in the powerful Mazda CX-90 is appreciably shorter than their cross-country road trip many moons ago. Following an afternoon session of ceramic workshops, the four have set out for Margaret River, home to an incredible coastline and beautiful forests. For this family, however, it offers something a little different, as they follow the CX-90’s navigation system to Olio Bello, a 320-acre lakeside glamping spot on an organic olive farm populated with no fewer than 8,000 olive trees across 14 unique olive groves.

THE MAZDA CX-90

Japanese craftsmanship meets leading-edge technology in Mazda’s newest headliner: the impressive CX-90. The biggest and most powerful vehicle in Mazda’s range, the CX-90 was designed with unwavering attention to detail by Mazda’s talented Takumi craftsmen and has enough space to comfortably seat up to seven passengers, making it perfect for any upcoming adventure. 


OLIO BELLO, A 320-ACRE LAKESIDE GLAMPING SPOT ON AN ORGANIC OLIVE FARM, IS POPULATED WITH NO FEWER THAN 8,000 OLIVE TREES.

The all-new CX-90, Mazda’s most technologically advanced release to date, meant that the family enjoyed every moment of the journey. The children chose their favourite songs to play on the Bose sound system, while both parents appreciated not just the high-spec safety standards – “We feel like the car is taking care of us,” says Hendriks Smith – but also the 360-degree exterior view monitor and active driving displays. Inside, the “well-designed and considered” interior spoke to their creative spirit, and every family member noticed the admiring glances the CX-90 attracted from passers-by as the family made their way from Yallingup’s beaches to Olio Bello. 

Paradise awaited: a safari-style bungalow tent, nestled by the lake and enveloped by Margaret River’s undulating and unspoilt natural landscape. “There’s nothing quite like the connection to land and inspiration from landscape,” explains Hendriks Smith. “We feel it’s reflected in the forms and colour pallet in our ceramics. Our latest colour, Moss Green, was inspired by the allure of the Australian bush.”

After some time spent relaxing in the hammocks, Maya and Anderson, the couple’s children, experienced a memory to last a lifetime – a short session plucking olives from the trees in the grove, ready to be used for their home-cooked dinner under the stars. It was a moment enjoyed not just by the family, but also by a few resident kangaroos exploring Olio Bello’s campsite. As the sun gently set, the quartet, now in high spirits, settled in for an al fresco meal of home-made bread, salad, and olives, all before a hearty ragu and tagliatelle. Keeping it local, cheeses from Margaret River Dairy, a few games, and story time finished off a day to remember.

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“THERE’S NOTHING QUITE LIKE THE CONNECTION TO LAND AND THE INSPIRATION FROM THE LANDSCAPE.”

Times like these are “the most valued” for the family, Smith says, as he puts the CX-90 to bed nearby, its Deep Crystal Blue paintwork matching the clear night sky. “After 14 years of owning our businesses, that’s the most important lesson we’ve learned,” he continues. “To pull yourself out, to have that pause, and to gain perspective.” As the couple drift off under the stars, dawn will bring another memorable day – and, this time, work can wait. 

THE ALL-NEW MAZDA CX-90

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