The Islands of OZ - raw, moody, beautiful, dramatic and totally unique to Australia. Summersite is embarking on a lifestyle film and photo odyssey exploring our rare and magnificent Islands of OZ. This is Matt Wilkinson, Anna Jordan, Izi Simunidic and friends getting up to some Moreton Mischief.
The day has finally arrived. The forces of Mother Nature have finally got their shit together, and the flawless barrels that we’ve all been dreaming of have materialised about half an hour down the coast near Tailor Bight. Even without seeing the ridiculous grin on Matt’s slightly sunburnt face, I can tell that these waves are nothing short of world-class.
Everyone is in their absolute element all morning, chasing the perfect breaks, the perfect lighting and the perfect angles to capture these rare diamonds of the surfing world. Special mention to our water filmer Nick who spends about 5 hours straight dodging sets and surfboards while trying to get that perfect down the barrel shot. Exhausted but highly satisfied, we decide to ditch the baked beans on toast and head to the Castaways Store in Bulwer for lunch. Apart from serving up a mean fish and chips and some much needed local humour, this pinnacle of Aussie awesomeness proves to be a literal lifesaver on more than one occasion when we find ourselves in desperate need of fuel, water, ice, and double shot lattes. It’s not cheap, but if you’re camping up north I guarantee you’ll feel better just knowing that this feeble link to civilisation is here.
After lunch we spend our last blissful afternoon parked up at a hidden lagoon, just soaking up as much Moreton magic as we possibly can. Letting the gentle pull of the ocean dictate our course, we float downstream on our inflatable goodies from Sunny Life Australia and end up as we always do on a scorching summer afternoon - at the beach. Matt has always tried to convince me that waves look way smaller from the shore than the water, but I always thought he was just trying to talk up his teeny weeny ant-sized barrels. Turns out he might have been right, as what looked like dreamy little afternoon waves actually packed a bit more punch than expected. We spent a couple of hours getting totally flogged, constantly losing our floaties and occasionally our bikini bottoms in a heartfelt attempt to look like ocean savvy beach babes. As with most things that get the heart racing, this ended up being an absolute highpoint and we floundered back to the shore with bruised limbs and massive smiles on our faces.
No matter how well-travelled you are, one thing that you never really learn to expect in the tropics is just how quickly the weather can change from scorching sunshine to torrential downpours that make you curse the fact that you’re soaking wet even though you just got out of the ocean and you were soaking wet anyway..
Our hopes of enjoying one final sunset are slowly dwindling as we huddle in our Colorados and try to remember whether or not we zipped up our tents. Turns out this cyclonic assault is a mere sun shower, and the sky is soon ablaze with vibrant rainbows and golden twilight rays. With tousled hair and damp t-shirts, we cheers to another epic day of fun in the sun and the end of a trip where everything very nearly went wrong but ended up just right (that is, until we get back to our campsite and realise that no, we hadn’t zipped up our tents).
Our last night at the campsite is spent in surprisingly good spirits as we all dry our blankets by the fire and regale stories of pristine waves, possible shark sightings and countless sand-boggings. The next morning we pack up camp and head back down the coast along the beach to the ferry terminal. As if the island is somehow insulted by our sudden departure, we find the water too deep and the beach track impassable. We struggle south along the bumpy middle road through the island, stopping at the Castaways Store along the way to say farewell to our new friends and purchase a stupid amount of candy for the roadtrip home. We reach the ferry terminal with just enough time for a quick swim at the beautiful Moreton Shipwrecks, then it’s time to pump up the tires and head back to the city traffic..
I can’t say that I’ve suddenly changed my ways and become an adventure-seeking camping freak. What I will say is that Moreton Island makes you appreciate just how little you truly need to enjoy travelling around this beautiful country of ours. You don’t need fancy resort pools or expensive cocktails. Hell, you don’t even need to shower. All you need is good friends, good vibes and a camping spot where you can watch the sun set over the ocean.
Surfing // Matt Wilkinson @mattwilko8
Surfing // Jess Lawson @jessielawson00
Talent // Izi Simundic @izisimundic
Drone Photography & Filming // Sebby Hartog @sebbyhartog
Photography // John Respondek @johnrespondek
Photography // Ming Nomchong @ming_nomchong_photo
Filming // Nick Pollet @nickpollet
Edit // Sebby Hartog @sebbyhartog @newbeachmedia
Music // Alain De Carne @alaindecarne
Swimwear // Cantik Swimwear @cantikswimwear
Inflatables // Sunny Life Australia @sunnylifeaustralia
Beer and good times // Corona Extra @coronaextra_au
Words and Production // Anna Jordan @annajordan89
Production // Jon Laurenson @summersite