A short stay in Bellingen

In late October, I took my mother, Eleanor, down to Bellingen for a girls' trip away. We stayed at a lovely little Airbnb called "the Dairy Bales" near Thora, further up the beautiful river valley from Bellingen. It was the perfect time of year, with the silky oaks in flower and black cockatoos screeching as they feasted. The scenery was stunning, as you will see, and the cottage was truly delightful. And at last, I made it to The Promised Land! Yes that is a real place, near Glennifer and can be seen in the last photo below. Here are a few of my favourites from the stay:












Photos from our trip

In September we did a quick trip down to Canberra and back - the Lexus was a dream and so comfortable all the way. We didnt have a lot of time for photography and not the best weather and conditions, but here are a few from our Central Coast stop. I highly recommend Smiths Lakehouse for a peaceful and stunning place to stay, a bit of a detour off the highway, via Forster, but so worth it!





And here are a few by Alan and of Alan in his happy place - at Floriade. Again this was a quick stop in late afternoon light, which was different from other years we had been there and aimed for earlier in the day.






Fingal Rocks

Last month, we finally got around to something we’d been wanting to do for years. That is to photograph the dawn out at Fingal Rocks, also known as the Giants Causeway. Its an amazing example of geology on show. The columns of basalt rock were formed when lava flows from the Tweed Volcano cooled suddenly. Anyway we were suddenly inspired, so we went out the evening before to check out timing, access and angles. We were the only photographers, but there were plenty of couples holding hands as they watched the sunset. Very romantic, except for us who were scrambling over the rocks taking photos as usual. We stayed overnight at Kingscliff so that we could be there before dawn. We were surprised to find there were about 6 other photographers all vying for the best spots. It turned out they were an enthusiastic Flickr group who had come down from Brisbane with the same idea. So here are some of our favourites from the morning, plus one of Alan during the scouting process. One of these photos (the sunrise shot at the bottom) is going to be featured in a display at a new guests lounge at the Tweed Billabong Holiday Park, together with several other of our photos. More on that later!

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Fingal Dawn 1

A road-trip to Canberra

This month we headed down to Canberra to attend a workshop. Seizing the opportunity of a road trip we put the car into camping mode and headed off for ten days, leaving the dogs, llamas, fish and everything else in the capable hands of our friend and house-sitter, Barb. We went down the coastal way and back via the Blue Mountains and the New England Highway. As usual there wasn’t enough time to explore and photograph as thoroughly as we’d like but its given us some great ideas and inspiration for future trips! Below are some of our favourite photos from the trip. Hope you enjoy them!

Sunset at Myall Lakes

Sunrise the next morning at Myall Lakes (the ones below too)


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Dingo in the dunes at Myall Lakes - he was so curious and came so close to the car.

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Windfarm near Lake George

Blossom tree in Canberra - October’s a good time to visit

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Floriade (above and below)

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My god-daughter, Tiana, taken at a local park

Tiana dance

Quinces in a Leura cafe

The Three Sisters Katoomba - everyone has to photograph them once don’t you think?

Distant view from the Garden of Stone National Park

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A dogwood tree somewhere along the way.

Evening light, Lake Glenbawn

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Poplar drive near Glen Innes

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Sheep or rocks? near Glen Innes

The humble dandelion

Morning at Crams Farm

Yesterday we had a barbecue breakfast at Crams Farm, a beautiful local secret location for all sorts of activities. Not only is it very picturesque it also has all sorts of wonderful facilities like under cover areas as well as barbecues (free, just press a button and away you go) and heaps of room for almost any activity. We had invited past photographic workshop participants and families for an informal, fun breakfast. The first attempt had to postponed due to far too much rain in February.
This one was attended by a couple of enthusiastic families and we had a great time enjoying the beautiful morning as the sun rose, the mist shimmied around and the waterbirds woke to an other magnificent day in paradise - oh what a beautiful day! We arrived a little after 6:30am to try to catch the sunrise and do a time-lapse series, to create a small movie: Dawn Reflection with Mount Warning. The others also arrived early to try to catch the beautiful sunrise then we enjoyed breakfast accompanied by the resident kookaburras and butcher birds.
Michelle’s girls seemed keen to model for the photographers, so after breakfast we walked through the long wet grass to some old wooden fences where the girls perched themselves. The background became beautifully moody as dark clouds and rain quickly passed through. Here are some of our favourite photos from the morning.









The Rim of the Caldera

We had been planning for a while to revisit the wild places of the Border Ranges with the aims of refreshing ourselves in the forests as well as an enjoyable day taking photos. Accompanied by our new friend (and fellow photography nut) Peter Bracher, we headed off from Uki at 4.30 am in order to catch the sunrise from the mountains. We were rewarded with the amazing display you see below. Here is a taste of what we witnessed and captured!

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It was quite windy up on the edge of the caldera as you can see from the next photo:

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We then delved into the more sheltered forests for the rest of the day, exploring the treasures large and tiny - from ancient antarctic beech trees to carpets of moss sparkling with jewels.
As they say in the kids books “tired but happy they wend their way home” - just stopping at Sphinx Rock Cafe for a great hot chocolate on the way.
Here are a few more images from the day:

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Tasmanian trip

Naturally, nine days in Tasmania was barely enough to scratch the surface of exploring and photographing such an amazingly scenic place - hope we can go back there some time soon. HIghlights include the wide bays of Bruny Island, the Russell Falls and tarns (alpine lakes) at Mount Field National Park, and the rugged peaks of Freycinet. Hobart itself is amazingly interesting - you could spend days just looking at the old stone and brick wall (while indulging in some great food and coffee)



















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