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.

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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.

Matt Wilkinson @mattwilko8 | Photo by John Respondek @johnrespondek

Matt Wilkinson @mattwilko8 | Photo by John Respondek @johnrespondek

Jess Lawson @jessielawson00 and Matt Wilkinson @mattwilko8 | Photo by John Respondek @johnrespondek

Swell. Just swell | Photo by John Respondek @johnrespondek

Nick Pollet @nickpollet in the green room with Matt Wilkinson @mattwilko8 | Photo by John Respondek @johnrespondek

The laydeeeeez @annajordan89 @izisimundic and @jessielawson00 | Photo by John Respondek @johnrespondek

Photo by John Respondek @johnrespondek

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.

Matt Wilkinson @mattwilko8 making friends with the locals | Photo by John Respondek @johnrespondek

The Castaway Store, Bulwer saving our skins once again | Photo by John Respondek @johnrespondek

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.

Sunny Life Australia @sunnylifeaustralia | Photo by John Respondek @johnrespondek

Matt Wilkinson @mattwilko8 juuuust before faceplanting | Photo by John Respondek @johnrespondek featuring Sunny Life Australia @sunnylifeaustralia

Jess Lawson @jessielawson00 kicking back with Sunny Life Australia @sunnylifeaustralia | Photo by Sebby Hartog @sebbyhartog

The girls- @izisimundic @jessielawson00 @annajordan89 and @shanakehoe | Photo by John Respondek @johnrespondek

Nick Pollet @nickpollet and Matt Wilkinson @mattwilko8 | Photo by John Respondek @johnrespondek

Drowed rats floating into shore @izisimundic @mattwilko8 and @annajordan89 | Photo by John Respondek @johnrespondek

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..

Photo by John Respondek @johnrespondek

Photo by John Respondek @johnrespondek

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).

Photo by John Respondek @johnrespondek

Photo by John Respondek @johnrespondek

Matt Wilkinson @mattwilko8 and Anna Jordan @annajordan89 | Photo by John Respondek @johnrespondek

Matt Wilkinson @mattwilko8 | Photo by John Respondek @johnrespondek

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..

Jess Lawson @jessielawson00 | Photo by John Respondek @johnrespondek

Photo by John Respondek @johnrespondek

The road home | Photo by Sebby Hartog @sebbyhartog

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.

The Crew - @johnrespondek @nickpollet @shanakehoe @ming_nomchong_photo @prayforthejon @izisimundic @sebbyhartog @jessielawson00 @annajordan89 @mattwilko8

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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

Location // Moreton Island, Queensland @queensland

Beer and good times // Corona Extra @coronaextra_au

Words and Production // Anna Jordan @annajordan89

Production // Jon Laurenson @summersite