Story By Thijs Heslenfeld

The unique colours and landforms of the Australian outback have inspired artists for thousands of years. Dutch photographer Thijs Heslenfeld was captured by the same magic that is reflected in Aboriginal rock art when he meandered from Adelaide to Darwin, taking in locations as far afield as Peterborough, SA, and the Northern Territory’s Rabbit Flat Roadhouse and Calvert Hills Station.
The flat, distant horizon and spectacular dawn hues are beautifully rendered in his latest book, Hot. Crossing the centre of Australia from north to south, Thijs brings to life some of the continent’s most remote areas. While the scenery is undeniably spectacular, it’s the people who give the outback its character and he captures them honestly in their environment. To name but two there’s Oodnadatta’s Lynnie Plate, standing in bright pink shoes on the chequered lino floor of the famous Pink Roadhouse that she and husband Adam own and manage. And Tom Bruce, a Vietnam veteran who’s been a jackaroo in Australia and a cowboy in Wyoming, USA, and now lives in Peterborough with half a dozen pet ’roos and an enormous longhorn bull called ‘Vegemite’.
To buy Thijs’s book, or view his other photographs, visit

This story excerpt is from Issue #69

Outback Magazine: Feb/Mar 2010