Meet the Tower Guy

I love writing stories on people living the dream…

As a mobile travel agent, Ben Deering’s office can be anywhere with Wi-Fi and a laptop, so why not make it on top of a mountain?

Photo credit: Ockert le Roux

Mount Gambier’s Centenary Tower had been closed for two years when Ben volunteered to become its caretaker. He has brought the 114-year-old landmark back to life, with visitors from across the globe soaking up the epic view of the surrounding crater lakes and beyond.

Photo credit: Ben Deering

During quiet patches, Ben dons his other travel hat, booking itineraries abroad for corporate clients in Adelaide and the eastern seaboard. He also takes some pretty epic photos from his castle in the clouds…

Photo credit: Ben Deering

My article on Ben can be found on the Brand SA website.

Chameleons of the Sea

A priceless underwater eco-revolution is underway at Point Lowly, South Australia, with population numbers of Giant Australian Cuttlefish on the rise.

Growing numbers of divers and snorkelers are heading west to witness nature’s wonder. Local diver, Tony Bramley, calls Sepia apama ‘chameleons of the sea’ due to their fascinating ability to change colour and texture according to their surrounds. He says to add it to your bucket list:

“Anyone can do it; you just walk into the water up to your neck, put a mask on your face and lean forward. There it is – one of the most amazing marine spectacles on the planet right at your feet.”

My article appears in RM Williams Outback Magazine’s Feb-Mar 2019 issue.

20 Years of Outback Magazine

It’s been 20 years of telling stories of the bush for Outback Magazine. How lucky am I to have been on board for the past six! #dreamjob. It was such a privilege to be invited to share what it means to be a contributor:

“Absolutely nothing beats an email from the Outback editorial team asking me if I’m up for a road trip. Any time! I’ve been to so many places I may not otherwise have ventured, sharing stories, tears, celebrations, secrets, campfires and meals with the most genuine people. Good people. And oh the laughs! (Especially when photographer Robert Lang is within cooee.)

Interviews turn into unbreakable bonds, with promises of return visits. On Wilpoorinna Station, in outback South Australia, Lyn Litchfield’s baked chops are well worth the 13-hour drive from my farm on the Limestone Coast. And I’m still in awe of the Anzac Day dawn service on the Birdsville Track’s Cowarie Station. I’ll be back, Oldfields!

I’ve slept in dongas, shearers’ quarters and swags under the stars, and will be forever grateful to the shift manager of the Prairie Hotel at Parachilna who took one look at me after a dusty assignment and offered me substantial room upgrade – add it to your bucket list! The one constant that I’ve encountered in my extraordinary role as an Outback contributor is the universal high regard for the magazine. It’s trusted, honest and frank – far from pretentious – but it’s also filled with optimism and friendship. Such wonderful qualities in anyone’s book.”

Brand SA News

Brand SA News is a brilliant initiative helping to put positive stories from regional South Australia under the spotlight. Here’s a few of my recent contributions from the Limestone Coast. Thanks to Aboriginal elder and author Michelle Jacquelin-Furr, the uber-popular Metro Bakery and Cafe and make-up and gift box queen Katie Fox from Little Pink Box for sharing their stories.

Annie’s Story keeps lost language and local culture alive

The rise of Mt Gambier’s Metro Bakery and Café

Small online venture boxing up luxury on Limestone Coast

 

Greater Hamilton is My Place

I had such a fantastic time working with Southern Grampians Shire Council developing and directing their latest small-budget TVC campaign. This thriving corner of Western Victoria is full of movers and shakers and the friendliest, fun people. Love it!

We asked some high-profile locals like artists Jasmine Mansbridge, Grotti Lotti and Bunyip Hotel Cavendish chef Jimmy Campbell (formerly of MoVida) why they’re living the dream in this gorgeous part of the world.

Tatiara District Council Videos

Following on from the success of the sustainable Mundulla community video produced in partnership with RT Images, I was engaged by Tatiara District Council to produce a series of short videos highlighting the economic development and opportunities within their various townships, including Padthaway – a picturesque place steeped in history, with incredible industry diversity.

It’s also a place filled with movers and shakers who simply love their little town. Here’s one of our videos:

 

Australia in Style

Very, VERY excited to receive a copy of this incredible book produced by RM Williams Publishing in conjunction with The Tailor – Australia’s premier luxury travel specialist. 

I wrote two of the articles, and one of them involved a trip to Port Lincoln…immersing myself in the experiences on offer when you book a tour through Goin Off Safaris. Here’s some highlights:

Generations in Jazz 2017

I have just wrapped up a publicity contract for #GIJ2017…still speaking in hashtags!! It was epic. #nofilter

The number of schools participating smashed all previous records; an incredible 4700 students representing 125 schools from every state and territory were bussed into the Blue Lake city (Mount Gambier, South Australia) to make music on a massive scale. Here’s a couple of short videos I put together with Rob Tremelling from RT Images 

Inside South Australia

I was  involved in a Brand SA project throughout 2016, sharing good news stories from the Limestone Coast for the Inside South Australia website.

Photo by Ockert Le Roux http://www.oxenburg.com

I was so lucky to have the opportunity to write about people I seriously admire, including photographer Ockert Le Roux, whose striking images are not only luring tourists to the region but inspiring locals to explore their own backyard. Brian and Benedetta Wagner from Wagner’s Rose Nursery at Kalangadoo, vegan cook Leah Franklin from ‘just frank’, and the uber successful Generations in Jazz music festival (which is on again from May 5-7, 2017) also feature on the website. 

The 90 x 40-metre tent housing last year’s 6000-strong crowd was the largest big top South Australia has ever seen.

Mundulla’s Sustainable Community

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a tidier, more community-driven town than Mundulla on SA’s Limestone Coast. It’s total tree-change perfection, from the gorgeous sculptures awaiting discovery on the walking trail…

To the historic buildings…

And those idyllic farming scenes that look straight from a film set!

RT Images and I made this video as part of Mundulla’s national entry for the KESAB Sustainable Communities award. We also have some more good news stories on Tatiara towns coming soon!