There's something romantic about the place at the end of the track. No roads pass through here, it's on the way to nowhere, and nothing really happens. But somehow it still does.
The drive in here took a long while, hours of dust and dirt, then radio silence as we drew closer. Between the nearest town and here, the road twists and turns along the escarpment, valleys sweeping away to the distance below. I've not been here before, but it feels like I'm coming home.
The village is small, the homes quiet, the grass overgrown. But there are signs of life everywhere, from washing on a hills hoist over a falling down fence, to a dog barking in the paddock across the road. Then the pub, packed every night, makes me feel like I've moved back in time. As though it's the middle of the Gold Rush, when the town was bursting with some 8000 residents, and 27 pubs to quench their thirst. Today it feel strangely like that, with people who come from where I don't know. It's lively, but it's old, it's familiar, but nostalgic.
As the sun sets and the publicans settle in for the evening, the rest of the landscape begins to stir. Roos move around in mobs, birds chatter in the treetops, and the mountain range on the horizon lights up then falls under darkness as the setting sun passes over.
For an hour or two there's a darkness so dense you feel you could touch it. The sound of the campfire crackling, animals rustling along the dry ground, but nothing else, for it's miles to anywhere near, miles to anywhere far. The start are vibrant across the sky until the full moon begins to rise, so bright it cuts through the darkness, yet eery enough that the stars still glisten faintly up above.
There's something romantic about the place at the end of the road. No roads pass through here, it's on the way to nowhere, and nothing really happens. But it has that familiar sound, the noise of the bush, the mountain sound.
It's the place at the end of the hill, Hill End.
*Photos a mix of digital and film shot with Kodak Portra.