australia

Frolicking in God’s Pocket by Nasuna Stuart-Ulin

adam.facepaint_1 When you find yourself alone in Tasmania, with melancholia and homesickness beginning to creep around your edges, sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and swap islands.

Although I was halfway around the world, I’d been invited by my dear friend Claire to join her and a few friends at God’s Pocket - a cold water diving resort near Vancouver Island operated by her relatives. She was taking care of the place during the off-season, and wanted to share its serenity and beauty.

I had planned to continue travelling in Australia (Dive with whale sharks? Ride the transcontinental Indian Pacific line? What about New Zealand? I was so close to New Zealand!). I was paralyzed by choice for some time, sitting in a park in Hobart, ignorant that the Trees had Eyes behind me.

In the end, I flew back for the gathering, and spent an idyllic couple of weeks frolicking, dancing, exploring, cooking, eating, sleeping and skinny dipping every morning in the freezing cold sea – the plunge making me forget everything I know for a clean instant. Those same piercing waters were lit up nightly with phosphorescence, and at the time it occurred to me that the ocean held a mirror to the starry sky, just as it turns blue on a clear day.

Here, a fellow God’s Pocketeer is being decorated by his fiancée, one of many portraits from that adventure. There’s plenty more where this came from, since (as you may know) face-painting is contagious, and I will be posting more as I sift through them, but this is one of my favourites.

The Overland Track, Tasmania by Nasuna Stuart-Ulin

Overland Track, Tasmania  

I stepped back in time on the Overland Track, a strange and stunning bush walk on the often overlooked island of Tasmania. The trek is roughly 40 miles long and packs a lot of scenic punch, with terrain ranging from sheer mountains, temperate rainforests, wild rivers and alpine plains. Magnificent, prehistoric dolerite cliffs soar into view from the start. Tasmania's relative isolation has been kind to the landscape, with only 60 hikers allowed in per day during peak season. If you've ever imagined a world where dinosaurs roamed, look no further.