From vibrating beds to infinity mirrors: motels that never left the 70s – photo essay

There’s a seedy romance to a rundown motel, and photographer Kate Berry has made it her mission to capture regional Australia’s finest

Picture the road trip: a Kingswood wagon or maybe a Fairmont. Olivia Newton John in the tape deck. Mum and Dad smoking in the front. The marginally cranked-open window only serving to corral the smoke into the back seat. When you pull up at a small-town motel, the race to run in and jump from one single bed to another is sweet relief from the past five hours of travel sickness.

Thirty-plus years later, you’re in the grip of a very different kind of sickness – nostalgia. In the 19th century, it was considered to be a malady so serious it might get you committed. But it’s the lifeblood of Kate Berry, the Melbourne-based founder of OK Motels: an Instagram account – and, more recently, a gig series – celebrating and documenting the unique world of regional Australian motels.

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