While the ensuing decade saw Bernie strive to build and refine his motorsport skills, he also pursued a host of other outdoor interests. Weekends that weren’t spent rallying were filled with canyoning, skiing, rock climbing, kayaking, bushwalking or 4WDing adventures. In the years after his schooling, Bernie spent periods of time residing in the Blue Mountains, the NSW ski-fields and Central Australia.
Despite these geographical movements, Bernie regularly travelled long distances to compete in NSW state events and in 2001 he entered the ARC for the first time, co-driving for West-Australian Ben Searcy in a Suzuki Swift GTi. It was here that he was first introduced to the idea of Stage Notes (or pacenotes as they are otherwise known).