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Riverside Walk

Monday was a public holiday here, and the weather was marvellous for the long weekend! On Sunday I headed to Sydney’s northwest, to Lane Cove National Park (you can see the location in the last image, if you’re curious).

Off we go! Downhill, I approve of that.

A 5km walk follows the west bank of the Lane Cove River, and in some places you’re close enough to see the water.

Small flowers could be spotted beside the trail.

No danger of getting lost!

The temperature was about 30C, with barely a breeze, so the shady sections were welcome.

No shade here, but the ferns are pretty.

Messing about in boats!

At the end of the section of the walk that I did, I was puzzled by signs with numbers and names. They couldn’t be distances, surely. I finally realised that they were official picnic areas, and they were certainly popular on the day. They can be reserved in advance.

I’ve blurred the people’s name on this Reserved sign.

Once off the trail, it was no place for a pedestrian. You really are expected to drive or cycle to the trail. I often had to walk along the bush’s edge when a car came along.

Pedestrians beware!

And here’s the location of the park.


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I’m also including this walk in Lens Artists ‘A Photo Walk‘ challenge

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Travel Memories 5: Coober Pedy

Hole in one, maybe?

Hands up if you have actually heard of Coober Pedy. I certainly had not until I’d lived in Australia for a while. However, if you’re an opal lover, you probably are familiar with this small mining town in the outback. Due to the searing summer heat, many people live in underground houses carved from the rock; there are even underground churches.

However, it was the golf club that really caught my attention. There’s no grass whatsoever, but there is carefully raked sand and gravel. Where there’s a will, there’s a way! Forgot your clubs? No problem, you can rent some.

Travel Memories: a single photo from a trip — one that always makes me smile, or reflect, or want to go back.


click here for a larger version of the map below

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Up close with cockatoos

“Must you poke that camera at me?” (focal length 108.0mm (in 35mm: 600mm))

I love photos like this: sharp object in foreground, blurred background. If you regularly view my blog posts, you’ll have noticed a few of them (and thank you for your visits!). But I freely admit I can’t be bothered to figure out the technicalities of taking them. I use a combination of zoom and focus area size to compose my shots. I set the ISO, colour balance, f stop and shutter speed manually, but don’t think about what’s happening beyond that. All of these photos were shot at 1/400 sec, F2.8, ISO 100.

But Jude’s assignment this week got me looking more closely at this selection of photos, and I did notice that the focal length corresponds to the amount of blur. “Lens focal length tells us the angle of view—how much of the scene will be captured—and the magnification—how large individual elements will be. The longer the focal length, the narrower the angle of view and the higher the magnification. The shorter the focal length, the wider the angle of view and the lower the magnification.” (source)

So I’ve presented these photos in order of longest to shortest focal length. The photo above and this one below have the same long focal length (most shallow depth of field) and extreme blurring of background.

“Yum, this is tasty!” (focal length 108.0mm (in 35mm: 600mm))

The photos were all taken at Hamilton Island last July. Despite large signs stuck to the balcony doors saying “do not feed the cockatoos!!” the people beside me did just that.

“I wonder what’s down there?” (focal length 79.80mm (in 35mm: 443mm))

“Oh, that looks good!” (focal length 73.0mm (in 35mm: 406mm))

“I know you’re watching me.” (focal length 73.0mm (in 35mm: 406mm))

“Are you still spying on us?” (focal length 52.30mm (in 35mm: 290mm))

“I refuse to look at you any longer.” (focal length 52.30mm (in 35mm: 290mm))

This last photo has the shortest focal length (longest depth of field), and while the trees on the hill are certainly not in focus, they are much less blurred than in photos with longer focal lengths. The balconies are definitely much sharper.

“The show is over.” (focal length 30.60mm (in 35mm: 170mm))

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The Top End

The red outline shows roughly the area referred to as The Top End. (Google Maps)

In 2015 I did a marvellous tour of the area of Australia known as The Top End, starting and ending in Darwin. Here, in no particular order, are a few photos I like from that trip.

Pine Creek is about 225km (140 miles) from Darwin. Sadly, we did not stop for one of these icy cold beers.

Old ticket sales window at the Pine Creek Railway Museum.

Edith Falls: anyone for swimming?

This is Cahills Crossing, a road link to Arnhem Land. Those aren’t logs and twigs in the river to the right of the cars; they’re crocodiles.

No contest. You win.

Katherine Gorge, stunningly beautiful.

Termite mounds near Litchfield.

Kites at Wangi Falls. (Did you spot the one looming up from below?)

Wine and nibbles near Leichardts Point, a very civilised ending to a day of touring.

Becky is back with her squares, and for April the theme is “top“.

Top and bottom

The top of the ‘train line’ is at top right of this photo; the bottom is at bottom left.

The photo above captures the top and bottom of the Scenic Railway in the Blue Mountains (west of Sydney). From its website: “Discover the thrill of a 52° (128%) incline in open terrain riding the steepest passenger railway in the world, the Scenic Railway. Following an award-winning redevelopment in 2013, the fifth generation train travels an unforgettable 310 metre route through a cliff tunnel before emerging on the floor of the Jamison Valley. Passengers can choose their level of adventure, adjusting their seated position up to 20 degrees. Choose CLIFFHANGER at a steep 64° incline; LAIDBACK for a more relaxed journey; or for loyal fans, ORIGINAL at 52°.
The original railway was built in the late 19th century to serve the Katoomba coal mine. Acquired by the Hammon family in 1945, it has operated for tourists for over 70 years thrilling 25 million passengers.”

If you can’t make out the top and bottom, I’ve circled them below.

I thought people might be curious about what the train is like to ride, so have included two non-“top” photos (although they are square!). This is what an observer sees as the train comes into the bottom station. Looks like a ride at a funfair or amusement park, doesn’t it?

Hurtling into the ‘station’ at the bottom.

This is what you see inside the train. This is going up.

The view from inside.

Becky is back with her squares, and for April the theme is “top“.

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Random Fridays: The Red Bridge

This red bridge, tucked away amongst the trees, is in Emu Valley Rhododendron Garden, Tasmania. I learned of this garden on a TV program a few years ago and have wanted to visit ever since. However, I visited in March — early autumn in the Southern Hemisphere — and the rhododendrons were hardly at what you’d call their best. Nonetheless, the garden was delightful, and it was easy to see how stunning it would be in spring.


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Sling your hammock

Sydney’s Hyde Park Barracks — heritage-listed former barracks, hospital, convict accommodation, mint and courthouse — has reopened after extensive renovations and renewal. One room is set up as a dormitory with reproduction convict hammocks; audio brings alive the experience of trying to sleep in a room crowded with men talking, snoring, shouting, singing, fighting, etc.
The very rough texture of the rope used to hang the hammocks looks as if it would play havoc with soft modern hands and I hope the workers who tied those knots wore sturdy gloves!

Posted Posted as part of Jude’s 2020 Photo Challenge, specifically: Texture; and also Debbie’s One Word Sunday Challenge, specifically: Knot.