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Roadtrip – The Northern Territory

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 ©Kara Rosenlund

Thought I would share my latest road trip with you, straight down the centre of the Northern Territory, Australia…. I couldn’t believe how fast and dramatic the landscape changed along the three day journey….. I have always wanted to visit the NT and of course Uluru, though flying into Alice Springs and driving out just didn’t feel right for me, I wanted a longer journey which made the reward – being Uluru, feel deserved….. If you have the chance to make the trip I would strongly recommend the drive from Darwin. There is just something silencing about a road trip; you set off with your head ablaze with city stresses and before long the landscape dissolves all the pressures….today’s post is a lengthy one, make yourself a cuppa and settle in….

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 … I arrived in Darwin and was welcomed by the winter heat in the air… I was keen to hit the road, so I headed straight out of Darwin down the Stuart Highway to Katherine for the night…. watching the landscape change in the light as I drove…

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 … passed many a ‘road train’ on the highway; some of the longest I have ever seen with numerous dogs – dogs is trucker talk for trailers – impressed? Some empty, some full of cattle. I found the truck drivers to be very considerate on the road, indicating and waving when it was safe to overtake and giving a friendly ‘Hoy’ hello when passing in the opposite direction, in actual fact there was so much ‘hoying’ happening on the highway my index fingers were feeling the strain of the kindness….

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 …. what I love most about road tripping is when you see something you want to take a shot of or take a closer look at you just can pull over – hence this herd of curious brahman lining the highway in parts…. 

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 … driving into Katherine on dusk; the ghost gums almost glowed against the back burnt scrub…

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… and then on to Tennant Creek…. old gems like these make my heart sing; original old establishments lost in time…

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 … back on the road for sunrise…. watching the electric colours of the dry grass alight whizz by, framed by the car window….

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 … I like looking out for quirky things along the way; something unexpected, something that makes you realise that within the vast open country activity is happening…

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  … then after three days of driving the colour palette of the land intensified and I realised I was in the heart of Australia, in the red desert… I had arrived…

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 … I was very fortunate to stay at Longitude 131; I had always wanted to stay here, for years and years. I would see shots in magazines of the luxury tents nestled in the sand dunes of the desert and rip out the pages and stick them onto my mood boards. Their timeless nature really stayed with me, immersed in the wilderness with views of the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. I had promised myself that if I ever had the chance to make the journey to Uluru I would make the most of it by staying at Longitude 131… who wouldn’t want to wake up to Uluru…

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… each tent plays a visual narrative; homage to a notable pioneering Australian who has had a significant impact and challenged Australia’s vast interior; either through exploration, anthropology or indigenous rights, including Edward John Eyre, John O’Hara Bourke and William John Wills, John McDouall Stuart, Ernest Giles, William Christie Goss, Sir Sydney Kidman, John Flynn, Jane Webb, Bill Harney, Len Tuit, EJ Connellan, Ian and Lyn Conway, Peter Severin, Olive Pink and Bill King… impressive line up…

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 … the interiors of the each of the tents are very considered…. lots of framed handwritten letters and paper ephemera matching the unique person of whom the tent is named. This particular tent was named after Ernest Giles, the Australian explorer…. and given the style and layout of Longitude 131 you really feel as though you are a little bit of an explorer – discovering the undiscovered…

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… nothing was overlooked at Longitude 131.... even the colour palette of the furnishing and linens were indigenous of the landscape, with rust reds and burnt browns… and don’t even get me started on the tent’s fabric canopy ….. I couldn’t take my eyes off it….

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 … complete with a little writing nook… where I wrote some of the post from…

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… I loved how at one the tents are with the landscape; no bright colours to distract your eye; just calm colours of the area…

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… I also stayed in the Pink tent; named after the illustrator, anthropologist and indigenous activist Olive Pink who lived in the Northern Territory. This is one of her hand written letters, sent with string and a wax seal no less…..  however beautiful these letters appeared they were often politically fierce…

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 … upon evening turndown hot water bottles were placed under these beautiful blankets…the temperature sure does drop after sunset…

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 … even a pool to cool off those desert winds…

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 … after settling into Longitude 131 it was time to explore Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park and get ready for sunset…

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…While waiting for the light to become just right at Uluru, Longitude 131 catered at every stop with delicious local produce such as canapés of salted murray cod with pretty pink beetroot and more, indicative of the surrounding colours…

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 … I wasn’t really expecting the vibrant colours of the native flora, at every turn, like a colourful carpet…. 

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  … then it happened….being up so close to Uluru was such a surreal experience… I suppose when you are familiar with a particular visual through postcards and television it is easy to become nonchalant; however nothing prepared me for how I would feel in the presence of Uluru, the true emotion of it all… it took my breath away, no words. I just stood and inhaled it all, couldn’t take my eyes away for a second at the thought I would miss a subtle change in light or colour….

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  … surprisingly it was actually lightly raining and there was heavy cloud cover which prevented a blazing sunset, though I was actually really happy to see a ‘cooler’ toned Uluru, with blues, magentas and purples in the shadows…  in any conditions I think Uluru comes to life… everything feels insignificant in it’s presence…

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 …. then back at Longitude 131 each meal was such an opportunity to get excited… breakfast, lunch, dinner, such an array of local, greater local and seasonal produce ….

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 … the Smoked Murray Cod in Paperbark was a favourite; accompanied with crispy leaves and the delightfully humble choko….

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 … Hervey Bay Scallops with Sea Urchin Butter and Lavender…. so pretty…

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  … have you even seen a more beautiful House Salad….  

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 … the spectacular Native Plate with Davidson Plums, Lemon Myrtle Leaves, Quandongs, Reberries, Quandong Seeds and Finger Limes, on a bed of Paperbark…  

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 … I really wanted to see Uluru and Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) by air to really understand the full scale of the area and the park… the aerial gives another dimension to the vastness….

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… Kata Tjuta…

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 … then on the last day I decided to visit one last time and capture Uluru in full sun before I left…

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…. the aerials going over the Northern Territory, South Australia and New South Wales were like nothing I had seen before…. so graphic and almost illustrated….. rivers and waterholes beneath….. so beautiful….

… and then before I knew it I was back at home, missing the NT badly.

K x

Print Sales Launch

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©Kara Rosenlund

I’m extremely happy to announce that I have made available a small selection of my favourite recent photographs available for purchase…. including the above print a personal favourite  ‘Wild Horses’…. which is about to be hung in my hallway at home.

If you are interested head on over to my shop click here. They are available in two sizes – 20x30in and 11x14in, signed and handled by me, unframed for easy postage and printed on archival rag paper.

Enjoy

K x

 

SA Vignette Class THIS SUNDAY

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©Kara Rosenlund

South Australia friends…… The School are in town in Adelaide with their Road Show consisting of lot of exciting classes which I am part of. If you would like to learn the language of Vignettes then please come along. I share all I know doused with my tips and tricks to build a beautiful and strong still life. There are still a couple of tickets left for Sunday from 3pm til 5.30pm at The Props Department, 12 Logan street Adelaide, SA. To book please pop on over to The School’s website www.theschool.com.au

See you there

K x

P.S This has now sold out – thank you very much x

The Design Files

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….. What a day…… I’m featured on The Design Files today….. Australia’s most popular design blog you know… and to me TDF is my loyalist and most loved friend when it comes to blogland; you know the girlfriend who is always ahead of the pack, the cool chick with the great haircut, the one that tells you where we should eat lunch today and whether or not your shoes really do look weird with your new jeans…. well, to me The Design Files is that girlfriend… and I am beyond delighted to be featured today… It sure is a Good Friday!

K x

Postcards from the Road – How and Where Australians Live

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©Kara Rosenlund

Postcards from the Road – ‘How and Where Australians Live’….. thought I would stop in and say ‘Happy Easter’ and share a few new shots from my adventures on the road travelling around Australia. I’m actually spending  Easter on a remote sheep station in the Flinders Ranges and then into the dessert…. ohmy, can’t wait!

I’m still looking for all sorts of interesting forms of authentic or unusual Australian shelters to visit for my project (click here for more information)  - huts, shacks, cottages, stations or just plain damn beautiful interiors. If you have seen it, I would love to see it too! Email me

Happy Easter and you can follow along here on the adventure through instagram

K x

 

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