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First Light: Behind the Scenes

Being the most easterly point of Australia, it is the first place where the sun shines its warm rays each day. We soak it in, with fruity citrus scents in the air. 

Shot on location in charming Bangalow by photographer Matt Johnson, the orchid, a long way from the busy city, reminds us of the beauty in the basics. 


To make First Light we journeyed to the pristine beauty of Bangalow, a sleepy coastal town in northern New South Wales. The location was chosen for its authentically Australian feeling, and raw, untouched beauty.

The North Coast is home to a culture steeped in rural traditions, with country towns and villages nestled in the lush green hills and valleys formed from ancient volcanoes. With Nimbin to the west, and Byron Bay to the east, Bangalow is in the centre of the counter culture.

Bangalow is one of those country gems: a picturesque, largely nineteenth-century streetscape of tall verandahed buildings, shade trees and quiet parks. Despite the Pacific Highway running directly through the town until its bypassing a few years ago, Bangalow never succumbed the way so many other once-pretty villages did. No huge service stations and fast highway food. Instead - the CWA shop selling knitted teddies and lace doilies, the old pharmacy that retains its glass apothecary's jars and wooden benches, and local hardware store.