TREE LOB­STER IS­LAND

MICK FAN­NING, ROB MACHADO, KAI OTTON AND MIKALA JONES IN THE LAND OF THE GI­ANT STICK IN­SECTS.

Tracks - - Contents - ALL PHO­TOS BY AN­DREW SHIELD IN­SIGHTS BY MICK FAN­NING

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.

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