I was recently invited back to the Northern Territory for my 5th adventure in Central Australia. I will always jump at the opportunity to work here. There is SO much beauty left to see, to be inspired by and to explore.
The raw beauty of the Australian desert literally takes my breath away. It is, remarkably, one of the world’s most harsh and demanding natural landscapes. For 60,000 years Arrernte (the traditional owners of Mparntwe or Alice Springs) have survived here through a deep spiritual connection to land, an incredible level of skill and an encyclopaedic knowledge of the environment and it’s ecology.
The stories to discover here make Alice Springs a destination you need to add to your list.
My visit coincided with Parrtjima – a festival in light – a physical and virtual experience to celebrate the oldest continuous culture on earth, like never before. All photography is light, light is the paintbrush to my canvas, and watching the artwork of traditional indigenous stories bought to life under the night sky on the 300-million-year-old MacDonnell Ranges was definitely an experience enjoyed by all.
In the Northern Territory the land is alive inside of you.
When you’re on the road and only in destinations for a short amount of time, there is one thing you learn: you cannot control the weather. You have to adapt and be willing to throw any expectations out the window to the likes of “I can create this image here” or “shoot atsro in the outback” etc etc. Having not rained since January all the locals were exceptionally excited to welcome the rain. And you know what? I might not have captured the images I’d hoped or expected to, but I really did see something special and unique being there in the rain.
A desert storm is something you feel from the inside. The rich red dirt is vibrantly contrasted against the sky cast with a deep, ominous cloud cover while the static in the air electrically swirls around you.
It’s something to be seen and felt – magical.
And for the moments in-between when the clouds parted and the light shone through onto this stunning region, we made the most of it.
We explored Ormiston Gorge from below, then took to the sky with an incredible view of country from a helicopter flight over Mt Sonder and Ormiston Gorge. We immersed ourselves in Nature’s finest: the refreshing beauty of Ellery Creek Big Hole (Udepata). And we marvelled at the natural beauty of the significant and ancient site of Rainbow Valley, witnessing a fleeting rainbow and dynamic display of light and clouds before the electrical storm set in.
I hope you can see why there is a special place in my heart here. I truly believe every Australian (and international traveller alike) needs to visit the Northern Territory. As always Central Aus, thank you for having me and I will be back. One day I will road trip all the way through and sleep under that magical sky, hear the stories of country and feel inspired by your stunning landscapes, remote communities and thriving, spirited land.