Arn­hem Land, NT

Australian Traveller - - Contents -


Watch­ing a blood red sun sink slowly into the orange dirt of the Aus­tralian bush is worth pick­ing up a 4WD for alone, and get­ting as deep as pos­si­ble into this land of ours. This shot was cap­tured while pho­tog­ra­pher Elise Hassey was on as­sign­ment with Aus­tralian Trav­eller’s dig­i­tal ed­i­tor Steve Madg­wick in the vast stretches of Arn­hem Land, 97,000 square kilo­me­tres of wilder­ness that be­longs to the Yol­ngu peo­ple. The Yol­ngu con­sti­tute many re­mote com­mu­ni­ties, one of which is cen­tred on the small town of Bul­man. Thirty bouncy kilo­me­tres from town is Bagetti Home­stead, where Steve


and Elise took part in a hunt for wild bul­locks for a feast at a cer­e­mony (meet up) that evening and a tra­di­tional Wel­come to Coun­try. “The cer­e­mony was at their sa­cred spot by a river made treach­er­ous as it was full of crocs and bull sharks,” recalls Steve. “The place was empty to be­gin with, but one by one beaten-up Toy­otas ar­rived from the bush full of fam­i­lies.” The dust is al­ways in the air here, as you can see in the shot. “And when the danc­ing starts the dust makes it even more dra­matic,” says Steve. “It feels so re­mote, but it also feels like home; it feels like you’re part of the com­mu­nity.”

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