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Australian photographers take Outback New South Wales into focus

Anticipation bubbled and gave way to excitement, as annual outback photography competition, Life and Light, announced its winners earlier this year.

Emerging photographer, Abbie Kelly, took the spotlight on the day, claiming first place in both primary year categories. The pint-sized winner was joined by eight other photographers to receive first place recognition across 10 categories.

Life and Light aims to bring together amateur and professional photographers from adults to primary age students, in celebration of a commonality between them all. That is, their shared love of everything Outback Australia.

This year’s theme ‘What makes our outback special’ inspired photographs that captured outback lifestyles, environments and communities. In response, many photographs featured the drowned red river gums of the Menindee Lakes, the hardships of station life, iconic outback wildlife and landscapes and brilliant starry nights.

Out of the Ordinary Sponsorship

When approached about sponsorship opportunities, outback proud tourism group, Out of the Ordinary Outback, gave a resounding yes.

“Outback Australia is our passion,” says OOO spokesperson, Janine Gowenlock.

“We are thrilled to be involved in anything that supports and promotes the successes, the unique cultures and lifestyles and iconic landscapes that have become synonymous with the outback and its communities.”

The tourism group sponsored primary age categories, Primary Black and White and Primary Colour. Entries into these categories were incredible, particularly considering the young ages of entrants, who were enrolled in primary years K-6.

These categories included the incredible work of Abbie Kelly, who is responsible for the photograph, featured on this page.

A number of organisations also gave sponsorship to the competition, showing strong support for outback initiative. Sponsors included, Western Landcare NSW, Far West Rural Supplies, NSW Farmers and government department, Western NSW Local Land Services.

High calibre entrants make the competition difficult to judge

Miss Kelly’s success was one of many. Submissions into this year’s contest were of such a high standard, that the judging panel states they had trouble determining winners for some categories.

Instagram star, Emma Moss, of Life on a Station stated that the Black and White category was particularly difficult to judge.

“There are a lot of talented photographers that either live in the region or have travelled through it,” said Ms Moss, “and it is great this competition has been around for so long for them to express their talent.”

“I was particularly impressed with the Open Black and White category which I found particularly hard to judge so special mention to all the photographers that entered that. I found there was great variety with the photos in all the categories and also great originality.”

2018 Life and Light Award Recipients

Colour open – “Thirsty Goats at the Trough” by Jane Smith Colour secondary school – “Stare Off” by Charli Smith Colour primary school – “Sunset & Sunflowers” by Abbie Kelly Black and white open – “Well Oiled Machine” by Mel Adams Black and white high school – “Tired Pup” by Georgia Bragg Black and white primary school – “Junction Mine” by Abbie Kelly Digitally enhanced – “Sunset in a Glass” by Brock Martin 20 Years of Life and Light – “Windows” by Simon Seppelt Professional – “Vast” by Andrew Barnes People’s choice – “When the Dust Settles” by Jenna Shirt.

2018 Life and Light Entries

View all photographs entered in the 2018 Life and Light competition on the Life and Light website here.


Join outback tour specialists, Tri State Safaris, on the adventure of a life time!

Outback Australia is heating up, with these hot spring specials! Save 15% on these award-winning outback adventures on any spring* departure.

Choose your preferred tour, and call our office on 1300 688 225 for more information. Or use the enquire now link below.

Enquire now

3 Day Outback Exposure Tour

Take an outback adventure over dirt roads and changing landscapes. Travel the wetlands of the Menindee Lake systems to the ‘underground community’ of White Cliffs and toward the waterholes and cliff faces of Mutawintji National Park. There are abundant opportunities to explore Australia’s pastoral, indigenous and mining cultures with unique opportunities to sleep in an underground motel, visit restricted access indigenous rock art sites and take a lake cruise through flooded red river gums.

Price: Twin share prices from $1232.50 or single supplement from $1334.50

Tour features:

• Flooded red river gums and abundant bird and wildlife of Menindee Lakes • Indigenous culture and Australian history of historic river port Wilcannia with accommodation at the renowned Warrawong on the Darling • Mining culture and underground accommodation at the White Cliffs Underground Motel • Indigenous engravings and hand stencil sites in the restricted-access Historic Site of Mutawintji National Park • Lunch at the award-winning Gol Gol Hotel

Read more about Tri State Safaris’ 3 Day Outback Exposure tour

5 Day Outback Lap

Step off the beaten track and onto an out of the ordinary adventure with this tour package starring the unique accommodation of the Out of the Ordinary Outback group. Discover Australian cultures, heritage and history with abundant opportunities to spot native wildlife species as we travel through diverse landscapes and iconic destinations.

Price: Twin share prices from $2252.5 or single supplement from $2507.50

Tour features:

• Journey through the ‘locked gate’ of Mutawintji NP to discover ancient indigenous engravings and stencils in the restricted-access Historic Site • Noodle for opal in the mining community of White Cliffs and sleep in unique underground accommodation in the Underground Motel • Take a step back in time through the lunettes of Mungo NP where human occupation dates back over 40,000 years • Immerse yourself in the picturesque landscapes of the heritage filled Menindee lake system, its flooded red river gums and abundant birdlife • Explore the history of Wilcannia before enjoying an Australian campfire dinner alongside a billabong at Warrawong on the Darling • Other fascinating destinations including Cobar, Pooncarie, Louth, Tilpa and Ivanhoe

Click to read more about Tri State Safaris’ 5 Day Outback Lap

*Spring departures include specified tours departing in September, October and November 2018


Massive August discounts at the Broken Hill Tourist Lodge

Until the end of September, book your accommodation at the Broken Hill Tourist Lodge at a discounted price of $65 per night! Rooms are strictly limited, so call soon to confirm your reservation.

Call 1300 866 225 for reservations and enquiries

About the Broken Hill Tourist Lodge

The Broken Hill Tourist Lodge provides comfortable and affordable accommodation for outback travellers.

The venue’s central location, offers travellers the utmost convenience. Positioned in the central business district of outback heritage city Broken Hill, the Tourist Lodge is within walking distance of a variety of restaurants, art galleries, tourism icons and speciality stores!

The venue boasts a pool and BBQ area, entertainment facilities and wireless internet.

Read more on Broken Hill Tourist Lodge website

Promotion available from 1st August – 30th September 2018