TREE LOBSTER ISLAND
MICK FANNING, ROB MACHADO, KAI OTTON AND MIKALA JONES IN THE LAND OF THE GIANT STICK INSECTS.
When Mick Fanning abandoned the pro tour to indulge his sense of wanderlust, much was made of his intrepid sojourns. In a year where travel miles took precedence over trophies, Mick sent postcards from around the globe; everywhere from Iceland to Ireland; to Norway and a mystery right-hander in the middle of Nowhere featured in his dispatches. Despite relishing the life of a nomad surfer who has the mandate to travel to waves in any obscure coastal fringe, one of Mick’s favourite trips of the year involved an island off the Australian mainland. Mick didn’t want to name it specifically but we can tell you that it is a natural wonderland, formed over six million years ago by a violent eruption of underwater volcanoes. Its towering mountains gore at the sky like giant green-horns while its blue lagoon casts a spell on sea-gazing eyes. It is host to the planet’s southernmost coral reef and home to the ‘tree-lobster’, the largest species of stick insect known to man. It has a population of around 350 and only 400 tourists are allowed on the island at any one time. The island lends access to a cluster of surf breaks and there are no doubt many days in the year when dreamy waves roll across its translucent waters unridden. We’re fairly certain we’ve given you enough hints to figure out the rest for yourself. Over the following few pages Mick gives you his insights into a priceless island experience.
Main: Rob Machado bottom-turning into the land that time forgot. Inset: The phasmid, otherwise known as the tree-lobster.