What is it about Land Rover Clubs around the world that makes them so welcoming and unbelievably well-organised? The first club that I joined was in Sydney, Australia, and what blew me away was how well the club was structured. After initially meeting some of the members I automatically felt very welcome and it wasn’t long before I received plenty of expert knowledge about four-wheel driving around Australia, pre-trip preparation and the potential dangers of heading out into remote locations in the Australian Outback. And thanks to the members of the Sydney Land Rover Owners Club, I learned loads and experienced some awesome trips with confidence. On the other side of the globe, I recently caught up with Wolfgang Stadie from the Deutscher Land Rover Club, who attended the recent Abenteuer & Allrad show in Germany. Just like the Australian Land Rover Owners Club, these guys meant business. Wolfgang and I got the opportunity to chat about their awesome club and delve a bit more into what they do and where they go on their adventures.

Similar to the Sydney based Land Rover Owners Club the Deutscher Land Rover Club have been around for a while. ‘’Founded in 1975, we are an independent club that focuses on outdoor events/ offroad-activities/ and of course Land Rovers’’. With approximately 1,200 members the national Deutscher Land Rover Club is organised regionally and often meets each other regularly in their respective regions and at their national events. The club also have their very own and very impressive magazine that comes out twice a year, simply called the “ROVERBLATT”. Wolfgang told me that they print the popular magazine for their members, and it is distributed nationally. The club also hosts a very popular internet-forum and website. These online forums are a great way for club members to exchange information, their experiences and advice.

Wolfgang highlighted that a key objective of the club is to build relationships with other clubs throughout Europe and around the world, ‘’We always welcome participants from abroad to participate in DLRC events’’ said Wolfgang, by doing this we have built long term relationships with like-minded people. ’’Without
a doubt, most of our events have a social aspect incorporating camp-fires, barbecues and dinners for instance but it’s not all about eating and drinking, we love to be active with our vehicles, organising training programmes and competitions for our members and of course packing up and heading off on a club adventure.

One of these trips included a club trip to visit to the Spanish Land Rover Club (CLRTTE) in Rioja, Spain. One of the great things about mainland Europe is being able to visit countries and experience cultures without having to get on a Ferry or an aeroplane.

Wolfgang recalls Rioja being an awesome destination,it’s a Spanish province located in the north of Spain with Logroño being the capital . The province is known for the red wine of the same name. There are more than 100 wineries, some of which are world-famous, such as Marques de Riscal..The province is geographically encircled by 2 long mountain ranges in the North and South, which leads to an exceptional microclimate and offers visitors great views. Theirs was a two-week round trip which started in the Basque Country. Due to the Covid-19 regulations, registrations were limited and only reserved for club members.
They took part in an awesome event organised by their Spanish friends. The event took place at the Club Nautico in El Rasillo de Los Cameros. It’s a small, wonderfully restored mountain village located right on the lake. In the village, a large tent was erected next to a restaurant, where the meals and other events took place. In front of the tent, a small but challenging off-road course was set up. The whole meeting was very well-organised.

In total, 85 vehicles and 200 enthusiasts took part in the event. The number was limited to 200 people due to the strict Covid-19 rules in Rioja. The club had arranged three off-road routes but due to the length, it was impossible to do them all in one day. “On Saturday morning we were spoiled with the beautiful mild Basque Country weather, but we were also a bit “surprised” by the 2 degrees night temperature” recalls Wolfgang. Unfortunately, the fire bowl was not allowed to be used because of the danger of forest fires. Wolfgang recounts some of the details of the trip “The tracks that we covered were not technically demanding with 80% of them led over gravel roads. We had an awesome time tackling some of the tracks with our Spanish friends. Off-road driving is prohibited in the entire Rioja region, as the land is either privately owned or has been declared a nature reserve. This means that you cannot move around on your own as freely as in the Pyrenees or the Western Alps. The Spanish Land Rover Club officially obtained permits from the local Mayor of the village. The tracks are monitored to ensure rules are not being used illegally, in fact a green Defender of the Communidad La Rioja stopped us and asked us in a friendly way what we were doing there. After explaining that we had a permit,and a friendly exchange about our trip from Germany, we continued our adventure. We traversed through the mountain ranges that encircle Rioja and got a chance to enjoy the amazing scenery in this region”


The evening programme on Saturday consisted of a joint dinner for all participants in the big tent, followed by a raffle of various utensils from the sponsors – from a T-shirt to a real Pata Negra ham to a winch, there was everything an off-roader could possibly wish for. A culinary highlight was the “Quemada” prepared by the members from Gallicia – a strong alcoholic drink similar to a “Feuerzangenbouwle” with fruits, coffee beans and high-level-alcoholic Orujo, the Spanish version of grappa. The locals say, it can be used to drive away evil spirits and establish communication with one’s deceased ancestors – “I didn’t succeed in either of these on the evening, but it certainly warms the inside very nicely” said Wolfgang Last, but not least, as a sign of friendship, the flag of the German Land Rover Club was presented to the President of the Spanish Club. This caused the hall to erupt with cheering and there was a standing ovation which was awesome.

The Deutscher Land Rover Club, of course, issued an official return invitation for their annual meeting in June 2022, to which some participants responded promptly the next day, asking for more details, and assuring their visit. Wolfgang recalls a fantastic trip and is very much looking forward to welcoming their Spanish friends to Germany.