Van packed and we were ready to go, driving only a few hours in the first day, stopping for a night of camping out bush with new friends we had to leave behind. A celebration of life in Darwin, and legends who sent us off on new adventures .The mission was to arrive on site as soon as possible, and after the massive extended five day drive from Darwin we got into Hedlow creek in the dark a week before the festival. dsc_0311We woke up to an orchestra of bird life occupying the neighbouring wetlands, and it was all go from there. dsc_0323-1dsc_0327What an amazing group of volunteers! Far out it was unreal to watch the progress each day with many hands hard at work. Excitement grew, as did the crew.dsc_0017dsc_0046

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Practise for the weekend workshop, getting the hoop-making process down.

dsc_0268dsc_0273The picturesque setting was dreamlike, what a place to camp up for a week. I had a great time exploring, eager to capture the magic of the site. I found myself  wandering at dusk and dawn, and creeping up on the gorgeous wildlife.dsc_0271dsc_0352

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Elegant black swans, magpie geese & egrets enjoyed the flooded wet lands, sharing with many other species.

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Magnificent Mount Hedlow in the middle of the day.

In the last two days we bombarded the site with as much art and colourful décor as possible, and I finally found time to set up the local and indigenous art galleries. dsc_0065dsc_0064

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An installation that formed as an image through banter over dinner; I created it as a gentle reminder of the numbing power of the TV.

dsc_0279Two years ago this seed was sewn, sprouting a one-night party in an unexpected heat wave. This year the festival blossomed into a jam-packed weekend of music, art, culture, education and healing. Attracting open minded and fun loving souls, families, friends, new and old, locals and travellers; artists of all kinds. dsc_0063dsc_0071dsc_0132dsc_0088dsc_0103fotorcreatedndsc_0100The highlights are endless, from wicked dance-floor sessions to hangover curing yoga, taro readings, bush poetry accompanied by chai and cake, sunset missions and workshops. ‘Create a healing routine’ delivered by Echo inspired myself, and many others to sync our daily rhythm to the cycles of nature. Wade’s dreamtime stories gave wisdom and insight, and the opening ceremony displayed amazing Aboriginal art, dance and didgeridoo. The kids ran in tribes and were guided in making many beautiful creations over the weekend; wands, wings, gardens, hula-hoops and poi… just to mention a few.

dsc_0113dsc_0127dsc_0122dsc_0129Relaxed Sunday afternoon vibes as everything begins to wind down.dsc_0067Over the weekend, I was soaking up all that was on offer, leaving the collection of pictures on my camera limited.dsc_0141fotorcreatedI felt like we owed it to the sun, and the earth to climb Hedlow this time, to witness the light drop below the horizon, saying a final goodnight to Tropical Bloom for the year.

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Lake Mary winds through the field, as a giant snake would slither, bringing water and life.

dsc_0198dsc_0212dsc_0255dsc_0221dsc_0202The land here speaks for itself. It holds a unique energy, that is refreshing to the soul. Open paddock views that stretch in all directions, spotted with lone hills and mountain ranges. A magnet to wildlife, and as we have discovered, people too. This event will continue to grow and expand, bringing light and curiosity to the small beach town of Yeppoon. I am so proud of my brother Leo, and the entire family for such a mighty effort every year to make this event a reality.dsc_0203

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