Hema Maps are a name you’ll be familiar with if you’ve done any off-roading, caravanning, trucking or road tripping in your life; and if not, you’ve been missing out. They started from humble beginnings back in 1983, founded by Henry & Margret Boegheim who took the first two letters of each of their names for inspiration on the company’s name.
Initially distributing marine charts primarily out of bait and tackle shops throughout South East Queensland, they’ve since become one of Australia’s household names when it comes to high-quality cartography and navigation tools, beginning the creation of their own mapping products in 1992.
Eventually succeeded by their son Rob Boegheim as managing director and chief explorer in 2007, their continued focus on providing intrepid adventurers with the best information for their next foray into the great unknown has made their Hema explorer maps the gold standard. Hema paper maps and digital navigation tools are among the finest you’ll be able to find, so what exactly is it that makes Hema maps so special?
Hema Maps Australia
In short, what makes Hema Maps special is their ongoing dedication to the craft and their innate understanding of their audience. Explorers by nature, the team at Hema are consistently updating and improving their maps with the most important information that someone heading on their next adventure would need.
In their 36 years of operation, the good people at Hema Maps have combined a genuine love for getting out and seeing remote parts of the world with a commitment to the constant reiteration and improvement of their products. That’s why Rob Boegheim’s job title is one you might not have seen too often before: CXO, or Chief Exploration Officer.
The cartography in Hema explorer maps, particularly that seen in Hema 4WD maps, has been scouted out and mapped over the years to a precise degree, showing the curvatures, inclines, track difficulty rating and much, much more. They’re constantly releasing new editions with finer and finer detail, mainly of Australia but also including international maps of Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, Europe & the United States to name just a few.
Naturally, their focus is on the unforgiving Australian outback, inhospitable deserts, rugged mountain ranges, vast untamed coastal stretches and everything in between. So to figure out which of Hema’s renowned products are right for you, we first need to find out where you’re going and what you’re looking to do.
Hema Paper Maps
Great Desert Tracks
For the truly adventurous out there that are looking to challenge themselves with some imposing desert tracks, the Hema Maps Great Desert Tracks book is exactly what you’re looking for. Featuring 25 featured 4WD maps, this atlas book gives you not only the most useful points of interest, camping spots and supply points, but also track grading, vehicle suitability and an even more crucial feature: the suitability of towing through certain areas and on certain tracks.
Covering the red centre of mainland Australia from Central NSW to Far North Qld, across the Top End to Broome, down to Kalgoorlie and back across the Nullarbor, this atlas has everything you need to be adequately prepared for what awaits when tackling your next great desert escape.
Australia Road & 4WD Book
If you’re looking to tackle the wilderness but not necessarily focussing on 4WD tracks only, the Australia Road & 4WD Atlas might be for you. This all-round book covers the vast continent of mainland Australia in exquisite detail, from the tropical rainforests of Far North Queensland to the wild untamed Western Australian coasts and The Great Australian Bight. With a focus on frequently and infrequently travelled stretches of highway, all manner of road warriors with all manner of interests are catered for.
The 224-page book is geared toward the needs of individuals or groups of people on the road for big journeys, and highlights rest areas, campsites, 24-hour fuel stations and much more. With 188 maps in exceedingly high detail, you can venture into any part of the great unknown knowing you’ve got this trusty guide in hand, and with its spine bound by rings you can easily identify a single map and focus on it with ease—perfect for navigating harsh terrain or identifying which highway to follow on your travels.
Australian Truckies Atlas
If you’re a member of Australia’s logistics backbone, there’s nothing that will beat the Australia Truckies Atlas. Its primary focus is, naturally, on giving truck drivers the crucial info they need to make quick and safe work of their many routes. As with other versions of Hema paper maps mentioned here, this edition draws attention specifically to points of interest most useful to the user, however, in this case, it’s truck stop areas, route information, and B-double & road train-accepted roads.
Aware that the start and endpoint of a lot of trucking is in major urban centres, the truckies atlas also includes detailed maps of capital cities and 112 town maps to make your life easier when it comes to starting or finishing a journey. Beyond that, it also contains an index of crucial trucking information like mass limits, heavy vehicle dimensions, permit information, dealer listing and service listings.
Camps 10 Guide Book
Switching gears slightly, Hema also has you covered if you’re looking specifically for an idyllic locale to set up camp for a day, a week, or more. They’ve put together a comprehensive list of almost 5,000 personally reviewed campsites, all focussed on which ones are free and what kind of facilities are on offer.
It doesn’t stop there though, with over 900 public dump points for rubbish and categorisation for just shy of 4,000 pet-friendly sites, meaning you’ll be able to bring along your furry friend on the family holiday. Besides the obvious details like the camp address and GPS coordinates, you’re also given information on disabled facilities, availability of power and shade, suitability for large vehicles (looking at you grey nomads out there) and any applicable fees. There really is no other guide like it for essential campsite information.
Hema Maps GPS
The crowning achievement in Hema’s suite of products has to be the HX-1, the most recent iteration of their award-winning range of navigational GPS units. Comprising the hard-won experience of over 36 years of outdoor experience, the HX-1 combines factors from all of their Hema paper maps into one constantly evolving and updating digital tool that can go anywhere and inform you of just about anything you might run into.
With over 45,000 points of interest and comprehensive indexation of over 6,000 campsites across both Australia and New Zealand, this device is packed full of information for any and all navigation, whether it’s across sunburnt stretches of Australian highway, through winding mountain passes, or through the busy streets of major cities.
The HX-1 features a 7.1” touchscreen glare-resistant display for maximum visibility in any setting, as well as two modes suited for the vastly different kinds of driving you might undertake. Drive Mode gives you full visibility on road markers like school zones and speed cameras, as well as an intelligent re-routing system that adapts to changing traffic conditions in realtime.
The Explore Mode function is suited for any and all off-roading, with remote areas made manageable by the topographic data fed through from Hema’s constantly updating servers. You can also take photos with the HX-1’s 5-megapixel camera and share your geotagged photos and videos with other intrepid explorers. It’s the premium option compared to their hard copy cartography, but this Hema maps GPS unit can’t be beaten on quality or depth of useful information.
Buy Hema Maps Online
By now you’ve got a good understanding of what you’re looking to do and which product is right for you, so the only thing remaining is following through and getting your hands on one of these consummate compendiums of cartography. As easy as Hema makes it to face the great unknown, Sparesbox has streamlined the process of ordering these high-quality products. Simply head to Sparesbox and browse the full range of Hema products available, as well as for any other 4WD accessories you might need along the way. Adventure is calling!