Web Site: http://www.thisislandlife.com
Posts by Laura:
On our last day at Cape Panwa Hotel in Phuket, Thailand, the sun finally came out, making it the perfect weather to shoot this nautical-themed bikini by Brazilian swimwear label Vix. With picture perfect tropical gardens, vintage-print hanging chairs and an incredible wharf, Cape Panwa Hotel was the ultimate backdrop.
What I love best about the nautical trend is that it never goes out of style. Vix have done a great interpretation of the theme with this perfectly fitting triangle bikini that’s all about the details. Tan leather and gold metal accents work alongside the navy and white stripes to give the bikini a luxe feel. The only thing missing is the super yacht.
We were in Thailand as guests of Cape Panwa Hotel – an incredible resort tucked away in a quiet corner of southeast Phuket.
Photography by Jamil Hassan.
One of my favourite adventures from our last trip to Hawaii was reaching the summit of Mauna Kea – a dormant volcano on the incredible island of Hawaii (the big island). Mauna Kea is more than 4,000 meters (14,000 feet) above sea level, making it the highest peak in Hawaii and more than twice the height of Mount Everest when measured from its oceanic base. The last time it erupted was 4,600 years ago and it will most likely erupt again one day. It was our first time to the island, so we hired a Jeep and headed to the top of the one million year-old volcano to take it all in.
It only takes a few hours to drive from sea level to the summit, so altitude sickness is a high possibility and it’s recommended you stop at the Visitor Information Center on the way up to acclimatise. As usual we were on a tight schedule to make sunset and came to the conclusion that if we’d trekked to Machu Picchu in Cusco, Peru without any issues, we’d be sweet. The air at the top didn’t feel as hardcore as our adventures in the Peruvian countryside, but we definitely noticed the 40% less oxygen going through our lungs.
We were there in summer and temperatures were below zero – it was hard to believe that just a few hours earlier we were shooting bikinis in the sweltering Hawaiian heat. If you book a tour to the summit, all your arctic gear is provided – being independent and underprepared for the freezing conditions saw us layering the shit out of our summer gear. There are no photos of me in this article for a reason – at one point I was wearing two beach towels and three pairs of socks with my Havaianas.
The summit isn’t just an incredible place to watch the sunrise and the sunset; it’s also one of the best sites in the world for astronomical observation. The dome-like structures in the photos are observatories and house some of the most sophisticated telescopes in the world. After sunset head back down the volcano to the Visitor Information Center where you can partake in a stargazing tour of the night sky.
TIL tip: do not attempt the drive to the summit on your own unless you’re in a proper 4-wheel drive. Fake SUVs won’t cut it and you don’t want to get stuck in freezing conditions. You’ll also need a full tank of fuel as the nearest petrol stations are 48 kilometers (30 miles) away in either Hilo or Waimea.
It was a balmy evening just before sunset when we sailed into Phi Phi Island in Thailand for what could possibly be our shortest overnight island life stay ever. With only 30-minutes of daylight left, I grabbed a bike, found a flower and slipped into this super cool crochet one-piece by Lisa Maree Swimwear. I don’t usually gravitate towards one-pieces, but this not your regular one-piece. With it’s high neckline and intricate patterns, it’s just as incredible off the beach as it is on. I haven’t tried swimming in it yet – I’ve been too busy wearing it as a bodysuit and teaming it with an array of short shorts and denim cut-offs.
We shot this swimsuit amongst the beautiful tropical gardens at the Outrigger Resort & Spa on Phi Phi Island. Positioned in Loh Ba Gao Bay on the northeast coast of the island, the resort is super secluded and ridiculously private. We’d visited the hectic main port on Phi Phi a few hours earlier, where it can get so busy, you walk shoulder to shoulder with fellow tourists along the ocean promenade. Our ocean-front bungalow on the other side of Phi Phi was like a completely different island. Coconut palms swayed in warm breeze, you couldn’t go more than 20-metres without stumbling across a hammock, and we barely saw any other guests during our short 12-hour stay.
Photography by Jamil Hassan.
We’re excited to bring you our very first summer mixtape put together by local Sydney DJs Scruby and Milo Firewater. They’ve created an exclusive mix for you guys that’s a little bit party, a little bit poolside – so next time your out and about in the summer sunshine and in need of tunes, you’ll have something cued up and good to go. I’ve had this on repeat since the boys sent it to me and feel like slipping into a bikini as soon as I hit play. We caught up with the boys in Bondi and got their lowdown on life in Sydney, musical influences and parties on boats.
First of all, describe where you live?
Scruby: Bondi. I can’t be too far from the beach… I have to get my daily surf fix!
Milo Firewater: Bit away from Bondi Beach now. I’m up in Bellevue Hill. Still have an amazing view of Bondi and the harbour from up there. Perfect way to start the day.
How does Sydney’s laid-back beach lifestyle influence your music?
Scruby: Being close to the beach, most of my time is split between being in the water and in the studio. Nothing beats going for a paddle to clear your mind ready for a studio session.
Milo Firewater: Totally influences it. I wrote a lot of darker tracks back in the UK. Minor chords, really bass heavy. Never gonna completely get away from that – but I have to say my stuff it much more “optimistic”.
We love the mix you’ve put together for us – what was the inspiration behind it?
Scruby: These are the tracks that I’m loving at the moment. Plus I managed to sneak one of my new ones in there.
Milo Firewater: Actually just got back from a bucks weekend on a house boat up at the Hawkesbury. They were the favorite tracks for chilling out on the top deck – sun, larking around, back-flips into the water and drinking amazing wine.
When did you first get the electronic music bug?
Scruby: I’ve been playing with music ever since I was at school. While everyone was playing on their triangles I was out back sampling old school rave mix tapes. I didn’t start DJing professionally until 2000 though and only began producing last year.
Milo Firewater: Used to (and still do sometimes) play bass in rock bands. Always got frustrated by how hard it was to bring a band together – so took it upon myself to start creating whole tracks myself.
What music did your parents play?
Scruby: My dad was actually a DJ back in the day. He was into funk and soul. When I was at uni I used to come home for the weekend to find a new pile of house records ready and waiting.
Milo Firewater: Fleetwood Mac, Stones, 10cc, Kinks – that kinda thing. Gave me a real ‘rock and roll’ sense of music creation.
What’s the next big thing in electronic?
Scruby: Milo and his motion controlled instruments and FX.
Milo Firewater: Ha, it’s just the beginning. The line between audio and visual stuff is gonna become indistinguishable soon. People are gonna feel more like part of the show and less like simple observers.
Any cool gigs and collaborations coming up? Scruby – we hear you’re playing at a boat party on Sydney Harbour this weekend!
Scruby: Yep, I’m opening the top deck of the Frantic Boat Party this Saturday (16th Nov) and also playing at the Burdekin that evening for All About The Music. On the collaboration side, I’ve got projects on the go with Milo as well as a few other Sydney based producers.
Milo Firewater: Just finished off a remix for a Sydney based singer, Lanrae. Uploaded it here https://soundcloud.com/milofirewater/lanrae-crocodile-milo She was one of a bunch vocalists I used on my last album – http://milofirewater.com/linchpin-new-album/
Is fashion important to music?
Scruby: Behind the decks… yes. In the studio… no (comfort is king).
Milo Firewater: Its more important on the girls – that’s where everyone is looking!
Do you prefer your ladies in a bikini or a one-piece?
Milo Firewater: Have to agree – no comparison really.
What are your three favourite travel destinations and why?
Scruby: 1. Anywhere I can surf without crowds. 2. Stratford upon Avon, UK. My home town. 3. Bora Bora. My dream destination.
Milo Firewater: 1. Paris 2. Lady Elliot Island (look it up… it’s amazing) 3. Toyko.
What’s your signature drink?
Scruby: Café Patron.
Milo Firewater: Ol’ Fashioned w. spiced rum.
Fill Me Up – Scruby
New Day (Original Mix) – Andre Crom
Careless (Original Mix) – Dusky
Nobody (Original Mix) – Jay Lumen
You Can Do It (Original Mix)- Groovebox
More from Scruby: https://soundcloud.com/scruby
Milo Firewater Mix
Safia – Listen to Soul, Listen to Blues
Justin Martin – Don’t Go
Active Child – Subtle (ft. Mikky Ekko)
Lane 8 – So Much
Daughter – Youth (Alle Farben Remix)
Destiny’s Child – Say My Name (Cyril Hahn Remix)
Alba – Knokke
Kelela – Floor Show [Prod. Girl Unit]
Milo Firewater – Same Page (Scruby Remix)
Clubroot – Lucid Dream
More from Milo Firewater: https://soundcloud.com/milofirewater
Tucked away in Queensland’s tropical Whitsundays in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef is an island that needs no introduction. Hamilton Island (or Hamo as it’s called by the locals) is the kind of island that’ll have you ready to skip out on your flight back home. But if you’re more of the responsible type, it’s good to know that a weekend is just enough time to experience the island.
From the moment we stepped out of its alfresco airport, it was clear we were on island time. Sun-kissed locals cruised the island in golf buggies, lush tropical palm trees lined the roads and the smell of summer was thick in the warm Queensland air. It was hard to believe that just a few hours earlier we were sitting in Sydney’s peak hour traffic on the way to the airport.
While Hamo is pretty chill, you need to be pretty organised. The island never feels crowded so it’s deceiving – but restaurants, tours and buggies book out days in advance. The main mode of transport on the island is by golf buggy and you’re going to want to get your hands on one. They were all booked out when we were there, but a local real estate agent took pity on us trudging up a hill in the sun one afternoon and gave us a ride. He ended up giving us a tour of the entire island where we got inside information on some of Hamilton Island’s richest inhabitants and a look at their luxurious island homes.
One of the most impressive is owned by Nigel Austin, the founder of Cotton On chain, who recently developed the property next door to the late Beatle George Harrison’s former holiday home. He hired famed Qualia architect Chris Beckingham to create what is said to be a smaller version of the incredible Qualia resort at a cost that could feed a small country. But you don’t need to be loaded like some of the locals to enjoy the island.
Get inspired and scroll down to see our top three favourite things to do on Hamilton Island for the weekend.
1. Watch the sunrise from Passage Peak
Set your alarm for 4:30am and hike up to the top of Passage Peak for a spectacular sunrise – it’s the highest point on Hamilton Island that allows you to see the Whitsundays through a golden filter. Read more.
2. See Whitehaven Beach and Hill Inlet
Take a day trip out to Whitehaven Beach where the water is a clear aqua blue and the white silica sand is so soft, you can use it to polish your jewellery. Read more.
3. Visit Coca Chu for yum cha by the beach
Book in for Sunday yum cha at Coca Chu and feast on dumplings and dim sums in a picture perfect tropical setting by the beach. Read more.
We stayed at Reef View Hotel for the weekend as guests of Hamilton Island.
Sydney beach babe Lara Bingle is back on our fashion radar looking hotter than ever, with a swimwear collaboration for Cotton On Body. The collection is super minimal with simple, well cut one-pieces and bikinis that look crazy comfy. I’m particularly loving the colour palette of black and white, and the leopard and aquamarine prints. The best bit about this collab is that it’s super cheap – the separates are all $19.95 and the one-pieces $39.95. They’re the perfect little pick me up purchase to get you excited for summer. The collection hits stores on the 4th of November.
The last thing I thought I’d be doing on Hamilton Island was going to yum cha. I knew the island was a foodie paradise, but I didn’t realise it extended this far until we visited Coca Chu - a modern South East Asian restaurant that’s one of the most popular on the island. We had dinner there on our first night and it was incredible, so when we heard they did a Sunday yum cha, we booked in on the spot.
This was not the yum cha I was used to. In Sydney it involves queuing for a table, getting seated in a corner that the trolleys seem to miss, flagging down waiters to place a drink order, waiting forever for the steamed vegetables, having the trolleys hit the back of your chair, and the extreme arrogance of the staff that you come to expect and love.
Yum cha at Coca Chu was like being in some kind of weird parallel universe where bad things were replaced with good. We started with lychee tea cocktails out on the front deck by the pool and when we were ready to move inside, our table was waiting and it was on the balcony overlooking the beach in prime trolley thoroughfare. The staff at Coca Chu are incredibly friendly and seem to genuinely love their job. They took the time to explain the concept to us (they obviously get a lot of yum cha first timers up there) and then took us through the menu in detail.
Beachside yum cha is not cheap (although our $55 jug of alcoholic lychee deliciousness didn’t help) and will set you back around $70 per person (including drinks). But with super attentive staff, the sound of the ocean lapping the reef, delicious food and a DJ mixing cool tunes, yum cha back home had become a distant memory.
TIP: Everything on the island books out way in advance especially Sunday yum cha, so make sure you book by the Friday.
Photography by myself and Janine Poon.
On a rainy morning on the island of Phuket in Thailand, we managed to get access to an incredible hotel suite that was fit for royalty. Literally. We only had an hour to shoot this bikini before the princess of Thailand arrived to check-in to the luxurious abode. The Absolute Suite at Cape Panwa Hotel is completely private with its own lift and its own staff, making it the perfect place to take a break from palace life. But with its tribal accents and tropical tones, it was also the perfect place to showcase this zebra-print bikini by Brazilian swimwear label Vix.
I love animal print, black and white, and skimpy Brazilian cut bikinis, so this is definitely one of my favourite swimwear pieces right now. The fabric Vix use is really luxurious and not like any swimwear I’ve encountered before. It is delicate and silky to touch – it also dries super fast. The gold beads and tan leather detailing gives the bikini a luxe tribal vibe. I probably wouldn’t wear it in the surf, but it was perfect for lounging around in Thailand.
The Absolute Suite at Cape Panwa Hotel is not your average suite. It’s a sprawling penthouse that has 360-degree views of the Andaman Sea from every room. Over two glass-encased floors you’ll find two bedrooms, huge living and dining spaces, wooden sun decks, a private spa treatment room, your own lift and a full-sized infinity pool. The suite comes with complimentary massages, mini-bar access (that’s what I’m talking about!) and afternoon canapés. They also throw in a pimpin’ new Mercedes-Benz to cruise around in, and your own personal butler and chef. We got chef Kan to whip us up epic crab omelettes and fresh mixed juices (post shoot of course) that we ate around the pool.
We were in Thailand as guests of Cape Panwa Hotel – we had a pretty incredible suite ourselves, but this one was next level. The Absolute Suite isn’t as expensive as you’d think. Prices start at around $1,200 a night (depending on the season), which if you split between two couples isn’t that crazy.
Photography by Jamil Hassan.
I love the idea of relaxing by the pool with a book in one hand and a cocktail in the other, but in reality that’s just not going to happen. If there’s a reef nearby, I’m going to dive it. If there’s a boat heading out to a secret beach, I’m going to hitch a ride. And if there’s a mountain looming overhead, you can bet I’m going to climb it. So in the middle of the night while everyone else on the island was sleeping, I set my alarm for 4:30am and hiked up to Passage Peak – the highest point on Hamilton Island.
It was pitch black when we left, but luckily the trail started just behind Reef View Hotel – which is where we were conveniently staying. We left just after 5am with the intention of reaching the top by around 5:30am – but a quick check of the sign at the trail’s entrance estimated 90 minutes for the 2,650 metre climb. We were clearly behind in schedule, but there was no way we had gone to bed at 10pm on a Saturday night for nothing. Using only the light from our iPhones, we made our way through the first section of the trail in the dark pretty easily. By this time it was getting lighter, so about a third of the way up we decided to run the rest of the way to the top.
Maybe it was the fresh island air, or the fact that it had started raining and we were still powering on – but we got super arrogant with how superior our fitness levels were and mocked the reviews we’d heard about it being a challenging trail. Then we found out what all the fuss was about. The last 200 metres of the trail is an absolute killer. It’s crazy steep and energy should be conserved to tackle it. If it wasn’t for the fact that I could see the sun starting to make an appearance through the clouds I don’t know if I would have made it in time to see the sunrise.
We ended up doing the entire trail in 30 minutes and made it to the top of Passage Peak for an epic sunrise that looked like the heavens had opened up. It was a beautiful spot to take a moment to reflect (and catch our breath) and apparently it’s just as spectacular at sunset. Passage Peak is an incredible vantage point that allows you to see the Whitsundays from multiple sides of the island. With the weather wet and cloudy, we had the added bonus of moody mistiness over the ocean.
We stayed at Reef View Hotel for the weekend as guests of Hamilton Island – it’s the closest hotel to the entrance of the trail and many of the rooms have incredible views over Catseye Beach.
Plan your own mountain climbing adventure and check out the full list of epic trails on Hamilton Island.
I somehow missed the Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) craze last summer in Sydney, but I’d always wanted to try it. So when the boys behind Anchor Shapes offered me the chance to take a few of their boards out, I jumped at the chance. Based out of Bondi Beach in Australia, Anchor Shapes is headed up by Rich and George who have been shaping boards since way back. Made specifically for the Sydney lifestyle, their SUPs are just as comfortable getting around on Sydney Harbour as they are tackling the waves on the beaches.
After deciding that North Bondi was far too exposed and precarious for my first time on a SUP, we headed to Rose Bay Beach where the water is calm and the scenery nautical. We took out a 9’6 and a 10’6 and weaved our way in and out of the boats bobbing around the bay. Having never been on a SUP before I didn’t have much to compare the Anchor Shapes boards to, but according to my SUP friends they’re really light and easy to manoeuvre. They also look pretty good – the bamboo detail on the board is super slick and you can pimp it out with a matching bamboo paddle.
Their SUPs are currently on sale on their site, but if you want to try one out first, follow Anchor Shapes on Facebook and look out for their next demo in Sydney. You can also hire (non-Anchor Shapes) SUPs down at Rose Bay Beach near the RSL all day, every day.
Photography by James Page.
In a jungle on the island of Krabi is one of Thailand’s best-kept secrets. Travel about an hour out of town to the Bang Khram Wildlife Sanctuary and under a canopy of thick, lush rainforest you’ll find two of the most incredible thermal pools in the world. The island is famous for epic rock climbing and iconic long-tail boats, but until we arrived, we didn’t even know these natural hot tubs existed.
The Blue Pool
The creatively named Blue Pool glows an iridescent turquoise that you simply need to see to believe. It was slightly overcast the day we visited, but the intense blue water seemed to have a life of its own, illuminating the wet trees hanging overhead. The intensity of the coloured water varies according to the light and time of day you visit – we were there early morning which is when the colour is at its best. You’re not allowed to swim in its magical waters, but there’s a nearby pool that you can swim in that’s just as good.
The Emerald Pool
Naturally heated to a toasty 30-50 degrees Celsius, the Emerald Pool is nature’s very own Jacuzzi. The water in the Emerald Pool comes from thermal springs, originating from volcanic chambers deep underground. We got all creative in it with an underwater bikini shoot for cult swimwear label N.L.P Women. It was pretty busy when we were there – I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many selfies going on in the one place. Early morning is the best time to avoid the tourist crowd – we finished up around mid-morning and it was already getting packed.
Photos of me by Jamil Hassan.
I’ve been writing about these guys a lot lately and for good reason. Zulu & Zephyr are only new to the Aussie fashion scene, but they’re producing solid collection after solid collection and their latest titled ‘Eden’ is right on point. Made for girls who live on the beach, their new summer collection is a mix of swimwear, dresses, leather tanks, denim cut-offs, breezy shirts, flowing pants and loose skirts that were made for seaside chilling. The collection is now up on the site for your summer purchasing pleasure.
About six months ago I went island hopping around the Whitsundays in Far North Queensland with my agents and the other Remarkables. I loved it so much, I booked my next trip up there as soon as I got back – this time to Hamilton Island for a girls weekend. After three months of back-to-back travel in Indonesia, Thailand and Hawaii, I’m really looking forward to staying close to home. Hamilton Island is a short two-hour flight that goes direct from Sydney and straight into island time. I can’t wait to share our adventures up there which will hopefully be balanced out with some serious rest and relaxation.
I am obsessed with Brazilian cut bikini bottoms – OBSESSED! And at the top of my obsession are these black neoprene babies by cult swimwear label N.L.P Women (formerly known as A.T.G Women).
For many people the Brazilian cut is just far too skimpy – for me, it’s just right. While I feel the most comfortable in this cheekier cut, it wasn’t always the case. Three years ago, Aussie swimwear labels weren’t brave enough to sell a Brazilian bottom. I had no idea that it was my bikini bottom of choice until I headed over to Brazil for the first stop on my South American holiday, which coincidently sparked This Island Life into existence. I bought a leopard-print Brazilian bikini in what I thought at the time was super revealing and never looked back. Since then I’ve built up an impressive collection of bikinis, and have come to be a bit of a connoisseur of the Brazilian bottom.
These neoprene ones by N.L.P Women are one of my favourite cuts of all time. As you can probably tell from my tan lines, they are a little skimpier than my others. They reverse out to grey (although the label is printed on the reverse) and work with pretty much every bikini top I own. When I find something I love I buy it in multiple colours – I’ve got these Brazilian bottoms in orange with neon pink on the reverse that I pared with the strapless zip bikini top on tour in the Whitsundays (our bikini shoots have come a long way since the tripod and auto-timer days).
We shot this swimwear underwater at the Emerald Pool in Krabi, Thailand. These natural thermal pools are a must see for anyone visiting the island.
Photography by Jamil Hassan.
Some of you might remember that we were in Hawaii a year ago, staying on Sunset Beach and spending most of our time on Oahu’s North Shore. I’d never been that tempted to visit Waikiki – to me it represented everything that island life was not. Touristy, overcrowded and overrated. But with a conference in Honolulu to attend, I had little choice but to stay in the thick of it. Luckily, to help ease the pain was a pimpin’ corner suite overlooking Waikiki Beach at the famed Moana Surfrider - A Westin Resort & Spa. If you’re looking for accommodation on Waikiki Beach, the Moana Surfrider is the ultimate. With luxurious rooms, epic views and a killer beachfront pool, island life in Waikiki was looking pretty good.
The world famous beach is lined with resorts, bars and restaurants, making it a hive of activity with everyone from local surfers to tourist families. After working out that Sephora was in walking distance from the hotel, the waves were easy to ride and there was a high-powered air pump on the beach to inflate my Havaiana thong, I was sold. Nothing beats the North Shore, but with incredible shopping, beaches and nightlife, I’ll definitely be factoring a few days in Waikiki into my Oahu visits from now on.
Photography (with me in it) by Jamil Hassan.
I don’t usually follow trends, but there’s one I’m totally loving right now and that’s the summer turban. I first saw this look on Pinterest and just knew I had to try it. So when Schwarzkopf Australia asked me to create a hairstyle for summer, it couldn’t have been more perfect.
Summer in Australia is hot and what I like best about this style is that it keeps the hair off your face without having to have it slicked back. I’m also finding that the summer turban trend is great way to add a bit of interest to a simple outfit. Plus, it’s a great look for the beach, cruising on a boat or a summer music festival.
If you like what you see, head on over to the Schwarzkopf Australia Style Studio blog and get my step-by-step on how to rock the turban trend this summer.
Coordinated by The Remarkables Group.
Photography by James Page.
Last weekend on a sunny Saturday, Listen Out made its festival debut in Sydney. Taking over from where Parklife left off, Listen Out was everything the organisers promised and more. The festival had a boutique vibe that was low on douche bags and high on good times – it was the perfect event to ease us into the summer festival season.
RÜFUS whipped the main stage afternoon crowd into a frenzy – their sparkly deep house perfectly matching the golden afternoon sunlight across Centennial Park. John Talabot easily provided one of the more blissed out afternoon moments – their progressive tinged deep house was lapped up by a growing crowd.
While Touch Sensitive throbbed out their 80’s washed synth anthems, Classix lived by their name delivering reworked classics to an appreciative main stage crowd. The evening sets kept things going with AlunaGeorge playing their own solo set before joining Disclosure later in the night. They ripped through a slinky selection of electro pop gems before feisty bitch Azealia Banks delivered a typically bouncy set on the main stage.
One of our highlights was the back-to-back sets of Just Blaze and TNGHT. Both rocking their own brands of tough rap, bass heavy electronic dance and trap. Of course Dislosure closed the main stage in typical headline fashion. Job well done Fuzzy. We’re totally looking forward to more of these parties in the future.
There are a few tour dates left, plus a few side shows – so check your gig guide:
MELBOURNE – Saturday 5th October @ Observatory Precinct, Royal Botanic Gardens
BRISBANE – Sunday 6th October @ Cultural Forecourt, Southbank
We were only on tour in Indonesia in June, but already it feels like a lifetime ago. After a week in Bali shooting for Creative Holidays, we headed to Gili Trawangan and Lombok’s main island for one of the most whirlwind island visits I’ve ever done. Four hours on Gili T, three hours on Lombok. Turns out we weren’t the only ones on a tight schedule. David Hasselhoff was also on Gili Trawangan doing a private dive in a secluded spot. The locals told us the only people who visit Gili T for a few hours were us and The Hoff.
After hunting for fashion in Vintage Delivery’s new sister store (post coming soon) and a quick dive, we headed over to the mainland of Lombok to shoot the sunset. It was my first time on the island and all I wanted to do was stay longer. Lombok Island is like Bali 30 years ago with a terrain that was made for epic adventures. There are mountains to climb up and mountain bike down, jungle trails to hike and local wildlife that’ll give you nightmares. I was half asleep in our mini van as we headed to the airport when our tour guide decided to tell us about the Komodo dragon – a large species of lizard found on the island that can grow up to three metres in length and weigh 70 kilograms. The last thing I took in before I fell into a deep sleep was that the Komodo can smell blood more than a kilometre away so ladies need to be careful when it’s their ‘special time’. Sweet dreams didn’t happen, but bad dreams and scary lizards aside, the islands of Lombok are well worth a visit.
If you like what you see, follow our tropical adventures on Instagram.
1. Gili Trawangan, Lombok – Indonesia.
There are no cars on the island of Gili T, just these horse-drawn carts. Photo by Lizi Hamer for Creative Holidays.
2. Gili Trawangan, Lombok – Indonesia.
Sipping on coconuts with a splash of spiced rum while waiting for our boat to take us to the mainland. Photo by Lizi Hamer.
3. Gili Trawangan, Lombok – Indonesia.
Love the lights hanging off these branches and the imperfectness of this wharf. Photo by Lizi Hamer for Creative Holidays.
4. Gili Trawangan, Lombok – Indonesia.
The water is so aqua and translucent it’s hard to look away – it’s just incredible. Photo by Lizi Hamer for Creative Holidays.
5. Somewhere between Gili Trawangan and Lombok Island – Indonesia.
It was the coconut that just kept going so I took it with me – the water was crazy choppy, but I sacrificed stability for the coconut. Photo by Lizi Hamer.
6. Lombok Island – Indonesia.
The coastline of Lombok is home to some of the most beautiful palm-fringed beaches I’ve ever seen.
7. Lombok Island – Indonesia.
Laughing with Lizi – pretty sure it had something to do with the rum-infused coconut we’d just had. Photo by Jamil Hassan.
8. Lombok Island – Indonesia.
An Indonesian palm blowing in the breeze on a perfect summers day.
9. Lombok Island – Indonesia.
Wished we could have stayed here longer to watch the sunset – it felt like we were in the middle of nowhere. Photo by Lizi Hamer.
10. Lombok Island – Indonesia.
Lizi and Jamil were busy shooting from the temple that was behind me, so I just took this one shot and chilled out alone in the moment.
After making their mark last (southern hemisphere) summer with a fresh collection of neoprene bikinis, Aussie label Triangl are back with a new range of bikinis to take us into our hottest summer in years. Along with fellow bikini label N.L.P (formerly A.T.G) they’re leading the global trend in neoprene swimwear with their minimalist designs. They have a bunch of new smokin’ hot styles and I’ve become quite taken by this pink triangle mesh bra with metallic rose gold bottoms. Knocking off the metallic, mesh, neoprene and bra-style trends in one go, the bikini is pretty fashiony, but it’s also pretty practical. The top is so comfy I’ve been wearing it in place of a bra with all my low-cut dresses and singlets. I prefer my bikini bottoms much skimpier than these, but the metallic gives it an edge so I can deal.
What I love about Triangl is that even though they are a cult swimwear brand (just take a look at Triangl Swimwear on Instagram), their bikinis are all under 100 bucks – plus, they come in super cute matching neoprene bags.
This post was shot on the private beach at Cape Panwa Hotel in Phuket, Thailand where we stayed for four amazing days as their guests. A big thanks to the guys for flying us out – it was my first time to Phuket and we couldn’t have stayed at a more perfect place.
Photography by Jamil Hassan.
Penelope Chilvers, you have my attention. I had no idea who the British footwear designer was until I caught sight of these palm tree embroidered loafers in my Instagram feed. I’ve never been that into loafers, but with soft velvet and gold thread these babies are slipper like and almost regal. The loafers aren’t for dudes, but they’re the kind of shoes I could see Richard Brandson wearing on board his private jet heading to Necker Island – his private island paradise in the British Virgin Islands.
Slip into island life in a bunch of different colours including camel, green, black and navy, or a bespoke purple pair I spied on Instagram. It’s only September, but I’m adding the black pair to my Christmas list early and you should do the same.
(Above image credit: Penelope Chilvers on Instagram)
I’ve been to Bali in Indonesia quite a few times, so this time around I did things differently. One of them was getting up at the crack of dawn to watch the locals harvest sea salt from the Indian Ocean on Kusamba Beach. Now this isn’t something you’ll find listed in your guide book – even our Balinese guides didn’t know much about it. If you’re not into photography, sunrises or sacrificing sleep, this activity probably isn’t for you. Other than the local fisherman and farmers going about their business, there’s not a lot going on around Kusamba Beach. But if you’re curious about local life in Bali and want to see traditional farming practices in action using primitive tools, then Kusamba Beach is a unique place to visit.
Salt harvesting is a labour intensive process. The farmers make their way to and from the ocean with wooden or leather buckets weighing heavily on bamboo poles. They then splash the seawater in a rhythmic almost hypnotising motion across raked sand. Within a few hours, the hot Indonesian sun bakes the sand into flakes from which the salt is to be harvested. The flakes of salt are then washed with fresh water in wooden drums to create saltwater brine which is then poured over timber planks for further evaporation. It’s quite a process for a small return – on a hot day a farmer will produce around 10 kilograms of salt that they will sell for around 100,000 rupiah (just over AUD$9).
There’s something special about walking along the black sand beach of Kusamba, watching the daily village rituals come to life. So when you’re done with your regular sightseeing in Bali, jump off the tourist trail and head over to Kusamba Beach.
We flew to Indonesia for a shoot with Creative Holidays and travelled with their amazing guides from E.R. (Easy Rider!) Tours. If you’re dreaming of a vacay in Indonesia, get Creative Holidays to book your trip.