This DIY website (blog and galleries) is designed to construct and publicly share a project based on my journeys to, within and from, northern Australia. The assumption was that I would be making more than one long drive to the north –to the Northern Territory initially, then to northern South Australia.
Initially ‘journeys’ meant roadtrips — to and from a location eg., to Lajamanu. Journey’s now means walking the country in northern South Australia. Walking refers to walking within the country, and doing so with both camels and ARPA bushwalkers.
The first walk with camels was a 12 day walk in the Northern Flinders Ranges in 2018 from Umberatana to Mt Hopeless. The second camel trek was in 2021 from Blinman to Lake Frome. The first walk with the ARPA bushwalkers was in the Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges National Park with a base at Balcanoona.
The Long Road to the North refers to the Japanese poet Matsuo Basho, who went on a journey in 1689 that would form the basis of his most famous work: Oku no Hosomichi or The Narrow Road to the Deep North.
This haibun – a combination of prose and haiku – is one of the greats of classical Japanese literature. The text tells the story of Basho’s wandering from Edo (now Tokyo) into the country’s interior and the hardships he faced there.
The project’s title, The Long Road to the North, is also a reference to Richard Flanagan’s 2014 novel, The Narrow Road to the Deep North, which takes its title from Basho’s The Narrow Road to the North.
The project has evolved since the initial trip to Lajamanu in 2016 and it has become more centred on photography and walking as distinct from roadtrips.