A former SA farmer and Adelaide Crows player shows through his stunning photographs why the NT is now his chosen home.

Story + Photos Nick Joyce

Life started at the local hospital a short drive from our family farm in SA’s Mid North, where 5 generations of Joyces before me cleared, tilled and fenced the land we still call home today. With 2 of the best parents any child could ask for, my brother and I were encouraged to venture outside our comfort zones and take on responsibility at a young age. First it was motorbikes that took us on ‘family holidays’ around Australia, however, when the bikes started to get a bit more expensive, combined with a couple of dry years on the farm and no first-place trophies at the national events, Dad thought it was time to take up a more team-orientated and much more local sport: football.Aussie rules, that is. I eventually got selected in the national draft by the Adelaide Crows and ran out for a couple seasons in the AFL. Injuries kept me on the sidelines a lot and city life really wasn’t strumming my chords so I found myself making every effort to get back to the farm to help Dad or up into the hills with my bow and arrows to hunt deer and unwind.

The moment came when I was set free from the AFL and could finally load up the Hilux and ‘head bush’. I told Dad to write me off for the next 10 months and that I’d see them at harvest time. As I crossed the border into the NT, a feeling of being home hit me. I made it out into Arnhem Land and found my paradise. I made a fast connection with the local mob due to my football background, and probably having a reliable motorcar to go get a killer held some weight also. Those 10 months I told Dad to write off is now 10 years. While I do go back down south to help at harvest or seeding every once in a while, the Territory is home.

I picked up a camera a few years back and now try my best to capture some of the beautiful landscapes and wildlife I run into along the way. I later fell into a tourism/safari hunting business after having discussions with the local traditional landowners. It combines my passion for wild places, hunting and business. There’s hardly ever a dull day.

My wife Georgia and I can’t see ourselves leaving anytime soon!

This story excerpt is from Issue #153

Outback Magazine: Feb/Mar 2024