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

Eat Local Dinner @ Wharf One

When you say the word “hump” a few things might spring to mind…but we bet a mouth-watering serve of beef isn’t one of them.

But, that’s exactly what was served up at Wharf One’s ‘Eat Local Dinner’ prepared by former MasterChef contestant, Lynton Tapp as part of the inaugural Territory Taste Festival last week.

The special four-course dinner with matching wines featured produce sourced locally (think fresh seafood like prawns, ah-mazing barramundi, mackerel, kangaroo, citrus flavours and damper) with Lynton basically serving up his idea of the Northern Territory on a plate.

And, having grown up on a remote cattle farm, the Territory chef made the bold choice of plating up Brahman Hump.

For the non-Territorians out there, Brahman cattle is often considered the poor cousin to the Angus steak you normally carve up at your fav restaurant but you might not know that this tasty cow is actually our main cattle exported overseas.

The Brahman is easily identified by it’s stand-out “hump” over the withers at the back of their necks. Apparently, it helps the animal survive in hot, arid conditions ie. the Northern Territory.

Now, we’re not going to lie.. there were a few raised eyebrows on our table after it was revealed the Brahman Hump was on the menu and yes, a few verses of the Black Eyed Peas were sung at various points during the night…

But, it was absolutely delicious! Everyone was genuinely surprised at how tender the meat was comparing it to pulled pork. The Hump was served with blackened cucumber and fermented chilli and was hands-down our fav dish of the night.

But enough about the food … what about the wine?!

As part of the dinner, the winemakers up from down south for the Territory Taste Festival talked about each wine presented, which as you can imagine involved a fair few LOL’s (these guys do drink for a living after all). Our fav drops were the Salome Tempranillo Rosé and the Woodstock Chardonnay.

Quote of the night went to the winemaker who said he “feels naked without a Chardonnay in his hand”…

All we can say to that is… Welcome to the Northern Territory. We’ve got no beef with that here.

 

Restaurant: Wharf One Food & Wine

Chef: Lynton Tapp

More information about the Territory Taste Festival here.

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.

The Hangover Cruise

The appropriately named, The Hangover Cruise was held on the Sunday of the Darwin Cup long weekend.

This meant that most cruise-goers were a) hungover from the Darwin Cup Gala Ball the night before, b) hungover from regular Saturday night festivities c) preparing to be hungover for the Darwin Cup the following day (which is a public holiday for the main race day of the year in Darwin) or d) just hanging out for some fun in the sun.

A new event on the Darwin social calendar this year, The Hangover Cruise was pure genius by the super-talented @PippatheTrader (aka Pippa who owns The Trader cafe in Winnellie).

The style set were mostly decked out in classic white and nautical theme with more than a few reflector sunnies.

Beats were provided by DJ Christian K and was a mix of classic chill and a decent dose of ol’ skool hip hop with an impromptu performance on the bongo drums from local lads, Jed and Julian. If you didn’t get your groove on the boat did it for you.

End result: everyone was swaying one way or another.

Additional pics: Instagram/@Pippathetrader

Skirt: Aje

Sunglasses: Dior

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.

Sunday Sesh @ Taste Festival

The perfect Sunday Sesh was had by approx. half of Darwin at the annual Taste Food & Wine Festival at SKYCITY Casino on the May Day long weekend.

We always love going to the Taste Fest each year – the Casino lawns are one of the most beautiful locations in Darwin with ocean-views and front row sunset seats.

Speaking of seats… it was pretty hard to get some it was that busy.

Loved the live band which turned into DJ chilled beats… perfect with Vodka, cranberry and lime cocktails and jugs of Pimms (the Pimms was so popular it sold out at around 7pm…!)

Definitely one of the major highlights on Darwin’s social calendar.

We’ll be back next year.

 

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.

Cricket World Cup Final

A TV, antenna, generator and plenty of petrol. These were the ingredients for a World Cup Final viewing party on Sunday. Darwin Style.

A group of friends thought it would be a good idea to watch the game on Nightcliff Foreshore and they were right. There may have been a record 90-something-thousand at the MCG but these seats went okay too. Hot sun, cold beers, beach views, an Aussie win and a pretty damn good sunset made for a pretty damn awesome day.

Some even called it one of the best Sunday Seshes ever.

The Darwin Style Facebook page certainly agreed…there was a whole lotta love for the unique set-up with our pic of a few of the boys watching the game on the (not so) big screen going ballistic.

So Melbourne you can keep your MCG.

We’ll take our cricket with a drink in hand, on a picnic chair by the ocean under the palm trees with a side of slacklining.

**Special shout-out to Reggie and Amanda who organised the gig, brought basically their entire apartment block across the road and provided pool access for essential drink-break cool-offs.