The Rozak House

 

If you can imagine a veranda hovering over a rocky cliff face high amongst the trees – you’ve just pictured the Rozak House.

Located on a secluded 60 acre block of bushland at Lake Bennett, 80 kilometres south of Darwin, the Rozak House was the vision of retired Microsoft software engineer, Mike Rozak.

He bought the land in 1999 after he fell in love with the raw, unspoilt natural beauty of the Northern Territory and lived in the Rozak House until he sadly passed away in 2013.

Rozak worked with local firm, Troppo Architects, to design the award-winning house and deliver his dream of a home that truly blurs the line between “inside” and “outside”. The result, a house that epitomises tropical living with three separate, elevated pavilions connected by slatted timber decking.

“Mike relished the remoteness of his house, its glorious seclusion and fantastic views,” says Tony Rozak, Mike’s father.

“He loved to share his house. His doors were always open to the local wildlife and to his friends.”

Perched more than 60 metres high above the Lake, you can’t see the house from the main road. In fact, it’s so hidden, only glimpses of its tin roof can be caught through the trees as you approach via a steep driveway.

Only recently the house has been listed on Airbnb, with Mike’s family keen to see his legacy of sustainable living (the house is completely off the grid) and love for the natural environment and wildlife embraced and shared.

And while Mike famously slept only in hammocks, queen beds have been added for guests. Some hammocks still remain though – perfect for curling back with a good book.

The first thing we noticed about the Rozak House was: there are no walls.

Instead, insect mesh and louvered windows from floor to ceiling provide sweeping views of the surrounding bush down to the Lake below. They also keep thing nice and breezy (there were ceiling fans but we didn’t need to use them).

After being bathed in the most incredible golden light in the “living” pavilion, we enjoyed a glass of red, feet up, totally relaxed as the sun set.

Even the shower is connected to the outdoors here, with insect-mesh walls and timber slat flooring.

And those lack of walls make for a pretty incredible sight come sunrise.

From the eastern bedroom pavilion, we watched from our beds as the sky caught fire, casting an ethereal glow over the tree-tops.

According to his family, Mike Rozak referred to his home as a “thinking house”.

And, after witnessing THAT view, there was only one thought on our minds.

Total Bliss.

 

More info:

www.rozak.com

Book via Airbnb here

Flame Trees and Urban Myths

 

 

A blazing bouquet of flame-red flowers, the Poinciana Tree at Darwin’s Botanic Gardens is arguably the City’s most beautiful tree.

The ‘Flame Trees’ are also home to one of the town’s urban myths – The Poinciana Woman.

A haunting ghost story, only kids who grow up here during the 80s and 90s would recall it.

As the story goes the ‘Poinciana Woman’ hung herself from a branch of a Poinciana Tree after she was raped and fell pregnant. Apparently, you can hear her high-pitched screams in the dark and you can call her “back” if you stand under one of the trees and call her name three times… (*eeeeep!)

Whether you believe the myth or not, the trees are truly beautiful.

But, like a ghost in the night, blink and you’ll miss them.

The ‘Flame Trees’ are only in full bloom for around 4-6 weeks traditionally during October-November.

Just in time for Halloween…

 

Hat: Akubra

Skirt: Rowie the Label

Top: Rowie the Label

Amazing Arnhem Land

A friend described Arnhem Land as God’s Country and turns out she wasn’t wrong. It is quite simply, spectacular. You might even say heavenly.

Arnhem Land is where the outback meets the sea. Think red dirt roads blending into white, sandy beaches where aqua waters lap the shore. Oh, and chances are there is not another soul in sight.

Not kidding.

Pristine and untouched are not just words you throw around here. This place defines them.

The photos above are from the campsite at Garanhan (Macassan Beach), which is in north east Arnhem Land 37.5 km or around a 40 minute drive from Nhulunbuy (Gove) along a sandy 4WD track. Gove is an easy 90 min flight from Darwin and you can hire 4WD at Gove airport. There are toilets at the campsite but bring your own drinking water and you must pre-arrange a permit to camp there.

The campsite is set right on the beach and perfectly placed to watch the sunrise. We were lucky enough to be treated to a special Yolngu cultural performance by Lirrwi Tourism at sunset, which was truly magical.

The Yolngu people are the Traditional Owners of the land and are only now opening up more of these special places to tourism so check it out. You’ll see it’s paradise, just without the people.

 

More info:

Permits to Macassan Beach have to be arranged before you go there through Dhimurru Aboriginal Corporation.

More information about Arnhem Land here.

Every cloud has a pink lining

The Mindil Beach Sunset Markets always produce stunning sunsets.. but this one was something else.

An unusually dull, overcast and cool night for smack-bam in the middle of the Dry Season, here I was walking along the beach with my Po Pia feeling robbed. Yes, robbed.

You come to the markets to see a sunset and it looked like we were going to get nada (see second “before” picture above to get my drift.. a lot of grey, right?).

Then, out of no where, this crazee neon pink glow starts to creep out from the beneath the grey clouds on the horizon producing the weirdest sunset I have ever seen in my life.

@Australia on Insta shared the pic and it got more than 70,000 likes! Which is quite a shock as it was one of my more dodgy pics taken hurriedly on my i phone.

So, dinner didn’t turn out so bad after all and it seems every cloud does have a silver lining – it just showed up pink in this case.

Fairy Floss Sky

The Dry Season has already delivered some killer sunsets and we’re only a week in.

This fairy floss-like delight lit up the sky recently with sweeping puffs of pure amazing-ness.

The photo in the middle we called: ‘The Ripple Effect’.

It was taken at our fav sunset-snapping spot at East Point… the colour ripple across the sky reflected in the water below to create an eerie mirror image you just gotta love.

Enjoy.

Welcome to the Dry

May is here and that means the Dry Season has officially started…YAY!

Cue: blue skies, dragonflies, the most amazing sunsets and a jam-packed social calendar.

Festival season is upon us and it may just require super-human strength and endurance to make it through the next six months. But hey! who’s complaining.

The nights have cooled down, the sun is shining…

And you can walk outside without breaking a sweat.

Life is good.

End of the Wet Season

The nights are getting cooler, the sky is getting bluer… the Wet is almost over. So we thought we’d make the most of all this greenery before it’s gone.

Burn-offs have already started in some areas of Darwin turning that electric green speargrass a rusty brown. But as you can see, we found a patch untouched.

Here, the pandanus trees were still a vibrant, vivid green, the landscape still lush.

But, what do you know… soon after we arrived storm clouds rolled in, the sky started to turn black, the wind whipped up and raindrops began to fall.

What started as brief shower, quickly escalated into a full-blown storm over the City complete with sideways rain.

Proving perhaps, that the Wet Season still has some life in her yet.

Top: Cue

Skirt: Zimmermann

Boots: Country Road

Sunshine On A Rainy Day

Darwin turned all grey and gloomy last week with a Category 4 cyclone off the coast bringing with it a torrential downpour all-day-long.

It also made for a pretty cool backdrop down at Casuarina Beach, where we thought we’d brighten things up a little in an oldie but a goodie, neon yellow Bianca Spender dress. And for the record – yes we got wet … the break in the rain didn’t last long.

Dress: Bianca Spender