melanie ball

My career as a travel writer and photographer fell off the back of an overland expedition truck between London and Johannesburg in the 1980s. Back then most travel articles about Africa described experiences in eastern game parks.  Mine took readers across the Sahara Desert in an ex-army Bedford truck and by road to Timbuktoo, and shared with them Christmas celebrations under a thorn tree during a west-African border war.
Over the decades since that life-changing adventure - thanks for the inspiration, Wilbur Smith - my articles and images have appeared in publications across Australia and overseas, including The Age and Sydney Morning Herald newspapers, Canada's Globe and Mail, and inflight and other magazines.  I have been a regular columnist for Victoria's Royal Auto magazine since 2007. A member of the Australian Society of Travel Writers (ASTW) since 1995, I won best image taken in Australia at the Society's 2007 Awards.
My love of the bush (and walking in it) predates my African journey, however, and having ridden horses and bicycles and tried all types of skis, I am still happiest with only footwear between me and terra firma.  I have travelled (and hiked) across Australia and overseas, from Tierra del Fuego to Ethiopia’s Simien Mountains. I am up for most types of travel but write best when given the opportunity to sandwich day-time soft adventures between sampling local fare.  I prefer bushwalking to bungy jumping, hideaways to high-rise resorts, and anything – including deep-fried grasshoppers - to McDonald’s.
After living most of my life close to Melbourne's CBD, in 2013 I moved two hours north of Australia's second largest city and over the Great Dividing Range to the country town of Euroa with my husband, Simon, and cat, Buster, there adopting a greyhound called Ruby.  While I can be back in the city's bustle - and gridlock - in two hours by car or train, I love living day-trip distance from walking trails in Victoria's High Country, central Goldfields and the mighty Murray River, and am eager to write more about regional and rural Victoria in addition to continuing to delve into the wider world's endlessly fascinating wonders.
MELANIE BALL © ALL RIGHTS RESERVED (Photo this page by Simon Box)