A Travellerspoint blog

May 2015

On the way to Sydney - NSW

sunny 26 °C

Having left Sydney a few weeks before, I was keen to go back for the VIVID Light Festival which lived up to be as amazing as the advertising showed!
Nick was heading that way from the same town at the same time, and gave me a lift. It was a great chance to explore the outer suburbs of Sydney rather than passing them by on a train.
First stop Brooklyn
The photo below of the Cabbage Tree palm grove with the Hwkesbury River was taken in 1927.
It's amazing to see how high those trees have grown!

Adventures included a little off-roading at Buludelah
stopping for vital re-fuel ... of pies...
and managing a rather hairy turn around avoiding the sheer drop when the gate up the track was locked

Before we left Sydney there was one last chance to admire the Botanical Gardens, and the local Cockatoos!

On the way back up we stopped at West Head, to admire the views of the surrounding area
of Lion Island
and to Barren Joey (aka Palm Beach)
Somewhere down there on the water front was my home for the night

We weren't the only ones making the most of the stunning back drop, like this photo shoot

I was lucky enough to spend the night at the family's beautiful house at Palm Beach (aka Home & Away!)

Another day, another sunset,

Posted by charlystyles 13:32 Archived in Australia Tagged brooklyn palm_beach west_head Comments (0)

A spot of gardening in Tuncurry - NSW

Whilst walking along the harbour break wall one day, a friendly local stopped to discuss the Sea Hare I'd been studying in the water. To cut a short story even shorter, he asked for my number and I invited him up to come shell hunting with me on the nearby beach, despite the pouring rain!
So we went out fully prepared I even had wellies (gum boots) on, but they were soon full of water! So what else to do when you're already thoroughly soaked through - go for a swim in the ocean!
...this was Nick! someone just as crazy as me.
I've since learnt that most adventures involved a little off-roading in the land cruiser. The trip back from the pub that night was no exception!

Nick had a list of job to do in the garden before he went away for a couple of month, so I offered to help out (in exchange for food and board of course)!
First job was the Elephant Fence. Not that there is a problem with wild elephants in Tuncurry, but if you're going to build a fence, you might as well make it a good one!
Using old sleepers on their third lease of life,
creating a future trellis to grow jasmine along, which should soften it a little!!

Next were the raised beds in the rear garden.
First job was to clear all the buffalo grass - it's tough, as the name suggests!
Then add a trellis for climbing beans and banana tree support.
and soon you have what is affectionately called the Charlotte Style Chapel! First service held a few days later one evening (with a few beers)!

The Kookaburra liked it

The next bed, tucked under the stairs was built by an English Rose, for English roses (and other!).
and soon to be a path outside the shed.
Finished off by Nick with a lot of hard graft!
With the compost above ready for plating some goodies in a few months time.


Posted by charlystyles 13:18 Archived in Australia Tagged gardening tuncurry Comments (1)

Forster-Tuncurry Walking - NSW

sunny 20 °C

Spending a day exploring the local town, I walked from Forster to Tuncurry and back around the coastline.

Forster is a coastal town in the Mid North Coast region of New South Wales, Australia, in the Great Lakes Council LGA, about 308 km (191 mi) north-north-east of Sydney.
Looking out to sea, next stop...Chile!
It is immediately adjacent to its twin, Tuncurry, which is the smaller of the two towns. The two towns are joined by quite a long bridge
The usual local pronunciation of the name is "Foster".

At the Northern tip of the Great Lakes, these twin towns are where Wallis Lake meets the ocean.
Wallis Lake
Oyster Farming in Wallis Lake
Forster Breakwall
Looking from Forster Breakwall to Tuncurry breakwall
and back from Tuncurry breakwall to Forster breakwall
Just befoe Tuncurry breakwall is Rock Pool beach
A great spot to see some fishes, and this 'Sea Hare or Aplysia'

And the other side of Tuncurry breakwall, is Nine Mile Beach

The twin townships are surrounded by National Parks and feature majestic headlands and long secluded beaches. Boating, fishing, diving, paddling, cruises, whale watching and coastal walks combine with galleries, unique shopping and award-winning restaurants.
One of the activities I quite fancied (but not on my own) was 'aqua biking'!!

The towns host some of the best sporting events in Australia and many adventure enthusiasts make an annual pilgrimage to the region every year to explore the surrounding forests and waterways.

Some other characters enjoying the surrounding waterways, were the Australian Pelicans... lots of them!
these ones were hanging around the fish cleaning sinks on th ecamp site by the harbour
and these fellas, were just messing up someone's boat...

Forster has an attractive little harbour

Forster Ocean Baths
An application was made in January 1935 to the Unemployment Relief Council for the purpose of construction of Ocean baths and a Casino / Dance Hall at Forster.
In March of 1935, a work schedule was prepared and emergency relief workers, also known back then as 'Work for the dole', were given approval to be used as labourers.
April 1935 saw progress in the removal of rock and preparation of the pool bed.
In May of that year plans were approved by the Public Works Department and the Unemployment Relief Council.
Forster Ocean Baths was officially opened on the 18th January 1936 by the Hon. JM Dunningham, Minister of Labour and Industry.
Total cost of the Ocean Baths and casino Buildings cane to £5,734 with an additional £500 for fittings.Forster_Pool.jpg

As the walk goes further south along the coastline, I found Main Beach
and along to Pebbly Beach
before the headland rose, givin great views back to Main Beach

Have you ever seen the untamed beauty each time a wave breaks in the ocean.
Have you ever felt the coolness of the water as the sun breaks crystallising the entire ocean.
The lip crashes on your shoulder forcing you deeper into the hollow tube the beauty of life is the personal sensation.
This area here is one of the natures great beauties.


At the end of a days exploring, my ever-faithful sandls gave up. Bought in New York many years ago, they have been all over the world with me, and walked many, many miles
Still, at least I had a beautiful spot to sit and wait to be rescued

Posted by charlystyles 13:45 Archived in Australia Tagged forster tuncurry Comments (0)

Shells - NSW

The problem with travelling, is you only have so much capacity. If you buy anything, or find anything, you have to carry it with you! Or in my case, send it home. But that's not always possible.
Whilst staying at Diamond Beach, I spent hours shell hunting.
The beach was covered in them! More than I have ever seen before, and some amazing designs and colours.
I would love to have taken them all home, and in days gone by, added them to my fish tank. But instead, with Chris's knowledge, I have put together some information on the ones that appealed to me the most. I have added some online images of the snails that would have once lived in the shells.

Amoria Unulata
This species migrates in the spring from deep water to shallow water sandbanks to breed (Smith, Black & Shepherd 1989).
It lays egg masses in the shape of a hollow cylinder, 16 to 20 mm in diameter, attached to the substrate. Eggs are contained in capsules in the egg mass, and embryos can be seen through the walls. The embryos hatch as well developed, crawling juveniles.

Baler Shell (the large one pictured)
The shells of this large marine mollusc were highly valued by Aboriginal people, who used them to store water. The name came about because early Europeans recorded Aboriginal people bailing out their canoes with these huge shells.

Black Rock Crab
The Rock Crab is a common Sydney species found under rocks around the low-tide mark.

Bristle Worm
In free-living polychaetes, the bristles, combined with snake-like body waves, help the worm to move along. Other sedentary worms have a leathery tube, sometimes decorated with pieces of broken shell, or sand and mud particles.

Cart Rut Shell
When it was first discovered, this species was named the Cart-rut Shell because the grooves resembled the narrow, deep wheel ruts of the horse-and-carriage vehicles of the day.

Cone Shell
Cone snails use a hypodermic-like modified radula tooth and a venom gland to attack and paralyze their prey before engulfing it. The tooth is sometimes likened to a dart or a harpoon. It is barbed and can be extended some distance out from the mouth of the snail, at the end of the proboscis. All Conus snails are venomous and capable of "stinging" humans.

Cowrie Shell
The shells of cowries (especially Monetaria moneta) were used for centuries as a currency in Africa. Huge amounts of Maldivian cowries were introduced into Africa by western nations during the period of slave trade.
A print from 1845 shows cowry shells being used as money by an Arab trader. The Ghanaian unit of currency known as the Ghanaian cedi was named after cowry shells. Starting over three thousand years ago, cowry shells, or copies of the shells, were used as Chinese currency. They were also used as means of exchange in India.

Turban Shell
The name "Turbo cornutus" literally means "horned turban," and it is characterized by a hard, ventricose, spiny, imperforate shell.
What fascinated me is the hundreds of 'trap doors' you find on the beach - the door to the snail shell, which is closes tightly shut when threatened.

Green Turban Shell

Mulberry Whelk
The Mulberry Whelk, or Black Oyster Borer preys constantly on other molluscs and barnacles. It is able to use a sulphuric acid from its salivary glands to dissolve and bore its way through the prey's limy shell leaving a neat hole in their shell, and use its rasping tongue which is called a radula to cut up the animal and suck out the pieces. to use a sulphuric acid from its salivary glands to dissolve and bore its way through the prey's limy shell. Like the hole in the green turban shell below
Chris measured one medium-sized Mulberry Whelk's radula at 8 cm long.

Zebra Topped Shell
This Zebra Top Shell ranges from Townsville in Queensland around southern shores to Geraldton in Western Australia. It is very common in south-eastern Australia. It is unusual how the Zebra Striped Top Shell gains its striped shell pattern. At certain times of the year the algae it eats contains a substance that the mollusc excretes into its shell to form a darkened band. It is not known if the number of bands indicate the age of the Top Shell. What is interesting is that the bands occur in all variations of thickness from very thin to very wide.

Lobster Pot Rock
Left over and washed up from weighing down lobster pots out at sea.

Seaweedy beach
One day, the beach would be covered in sea-weed that had appeared over night. The next day, it could all be gone again, leaving a clean pebbly beach!

Love for the shells and the people at Diamond Beach

Posted by charlystyles 13:55 Archived in Australia Tagged shells diamond_beach Comments (0)

Out & About at Dimaond Beach - NSW

Just along from Diamond Beach is Redhead Beach, a great place for shell hunting
and then there's Nine Mile Beach
which goes all the way to the nearest town of Tuncurry. One afternoon I set off walking along the beach, but got distracted by the temptation of the sea...
As I walked back the sun was setting
and the fishermen were making the last catch of the day

One of Chris's secret spot was the 'Australia Cave',
where if you look from the inside out, the view is framed by the shape of Australia!
as Chris demonstrated

Like most Aussie's that live by the sea, Chris' passion was surfing.
It was such a pleasure to be taken out for my first surf lesson! and with an excellent teacher - I was standing up by the third wave!
However, it's not always perfectly sunny in Australia, but it was a great opportunity to get some unusual shots of the rain on the water.

Ranch Sorting
One of the local events Dianne took me to was Ranch Sorting. It's similar to Camp Draft, if you've read my blog from Victoria. It's an equestrian sport that evolved from the coomon ranch work of separating cattle into pens for branding, doctoring or transport.

Teamwork is the key during the time limit to cut out the correct cattle one at a time and drive them into an open pen while keeping the other cattle back. Each team had 2 minutes to get as many cattle in the pen as possible, starting with a designated number, and working up sequentially.
On the day we went, they were raising money for Breast Cancer. ... I've never seen so many pink cowboys and girls! ...and horses...

Posted by charlystyles 13:28 Archived in Australia Tagged shells surfing ranch_sorting Comments (0)

Kiama Coast Walk - NSW


I caught the train up to Minnamurra and walked the 13miles back.
I was taken about by the ticket machine on the platform - never seen so many buttons

The first section of the Kiama Coast Walk leaves the mouth of the Minnamurra River and heads south through reserves and streetscapes to the Kiama Visitor Centre at Blowhole Point.
The Kiama coast Walk starts at the mouth of the Minnamurra River and heads south through reserves and streetscapes to Blowhole Point.
The catchment for the Minnamurra River covers almost half of the Kiama Municipality. A maze of little creeks and bogs feed into the river. the river travels through Minnamurra Rainforest and Jamberoo Valley.
The estuary spills out to the sea where the eucalypt and banksia forest on the spit holding the sand in place and protecting the river and houses from the force of the ocean.
Across the tidal river mouth, you can see the secluded stretch of Mystics Beach.

Gerringong Cemetery
Originally dedicated in July 1863, this cemetery displays unique designs and craftsmanship in the range of headstones dating from the late nineteenth century. Early graves run east to west facing the spectacular coastline.

Cathedral Rocks
This distinctive latite rock formation has lured sightseers since 1820.
The rocks are remnants of the edge of a lava flow that has been eroded by the sea. The latite, commonly known as columnar basalt, owes its name to the characteristic vertical columns that are formed during the unique cooling process of this type of lava.
The below photo is courtesy of Gary P Hayes, and shows the rocks at their best.

Bombo Beach
The route was made more challenging due to various footpath closures, mostly due to bridge and road work

Bombo Headland or 'the Boneyard' was once a plentiful place where the Dharawal and other Aboriginal groups gathered to catch and collect marine life.
With the onset of colonisation, the headland was stripped of vegetation and became a loading dock for the blue metal industry. While middens remain here, sadly decades of quarrying destroyed most of the remnants of Aboriginal culture and history.
After a substantial fight by a local activist group to save the headland from further quarrying, it was declared a State Park in 1974.

Kendall's Beach

Surf Beach

Bombo Headland Quarry
The volcanic rock of the Kiama district, latite, was initially used for fences and buildings.
As the roads, tramways and railways of New South Wales rapidly expanded, the demand for the crushes latite (blue metal) created employment and industry in the developing community.
With the booming trade in blue metal, quarries opened up at sites outside Kiama such a Bombo.
A jetty was completed at Bombo in 1882 and steam powered crushing machines installed at the quarry. In the early days many of the quarry workers at Bombo lived in tents.
Clouds of dust regularly shrouded the camp in a gritty haze. A number of fatal accident in the first few years and the reputation of the sole drinking establishment gave the place a bad name.
If you can see me in the image below, you'll see how big the rocks are.
The blue metal industry remained the main employer in the district until the 1960's.
The remnants are spectacular - and very popular with location scouts.
King of The Boneyard
Cameron Boyd was known to many as the 'King of the Boneyard'. His passion for surfing, nature and the local community combined with a strong, steadfast character earned him enormous respect
Cameron was a regular surfer at Bombo and The Boneyard and his disposition was such that he spent almost as much time watching, assessing and chatting about the surf as he did in it. This wealth of knowledge was generously shared.
Cameron is also known to have performed many ocean rescues at The Boneyard and nearby surfing locations averting tragedy.
I work to live but live to surf.

Kiama Harbour Boat

Inquisitive Pelicans

Kiama Beach
Kiama Lighthouse
The Kiama Lighthouse was completed in 1887. It was designed by the Colonial Architects' Office by Edwards Moriarty. The light had to be imported from England and the completion of the structure was the cause of much celebration.

Kiama Pool

Kiama Blow Hole
The Kiama Headland is composed of volcanic rock called latite. A volcanic extrusion, known as a dyke, cuts through the latite. The dyke is composed of a softer rock cdalle basalt. Over millions of years the softer basalt has eroded faster than the latite creating a tunnel under the headland. Eventually part of the headland collapsed creating the Kiama Blow Hole.
As each wave surges through the tunnel, air is compressed in the rear chamber building tremendous pressure. As waves subside, pressure in the chamber releases forcing the trapped water up the blow hole with a loud 'whoomp'!

Black Beach

Interesting sign...

Little Blow Hole
Little by name, yet often grander by nature.
The best time to experience the Little Blow Hole is when the wind is blowing from the northeast.

I started the route form the south, but was cut of by a lagoon that was flowing into the sea after all the rain.
Werri Beach
The rocks even have a spa!
This overlooks the short section of the walk shown above

The walk was from the furthest point in the picture below
I spent a lot of time mesmerised by the rainbows created on the wave spray
A great walk along another part of the east coast

Posted by charlystyles 13:13 Archived in Australia Tagged kiama_coastal_walk Comments (0)

Sydney by Night - NSW


El Alamein Fountain
A fountain and war memorial located in the Kings Cross area. Commissioned as a memorial to soldiers who died in 1942 during the Second World War in two battles at El Alamein, Egypt, and was designed by the Australian architect Bob Woodward.

One of the great things about spending time in a city, is seeing it come to life at night, and taking the time to explore and investigate the sights.

Tower Eye
The Sydney Tower has been an integral feature of the Sydney skyline for over 30 years. Measuring 309 metres at its highest point, it is one of the tallest structures in the southern hemisphere and by far the tallest building in Sydney.

The Strand
When English architect, John Spencer unveiled his plans for the arcade in the mid-1880s he received a standing ovation. The plans were ambitious. The arcade was to be 340 feet (approximately 104 metres) long, and three storeys high. Magnificent cedar staircases at each end of the arcade led to the second and third floor galleries which were linked by a central bridge.
The arcade was one of the first Victorian buildings in Sydney designed to take into account the harsh Australian climate. The roof was to be made of glass, specially tinted to reduce glare, and the access gallery of the top floor was projected to shade the lower levels.
Spencer's plans were elegant. Delicate ironworks brackets to support the galleries and the railings, finely carved cedar balustrades and shopfronts, marble columns and richly tiled floor. The lighting was especially innovative, a combined gas and electric system was used in combination fittings designed by the architect, some of which still exist; the concourse was lit by two huge central chandeliers suspended from the crown of the roof trusses and having 50 gas jets and 50 electric lamps in each. There were also two Victorian state-of-the-art hydraulic lifts.
When it opened on April Fools Day 1892 the Strand Arcade was regarded as the very latest in shopping centre designs and was described as: "The finest public thoroughfare in the Australian colonies."
One-hundred-and-eighteen years, two depressions, two World Wars and two major fires later, it still stands, a little out of place, in the heart of modern Sydney's CBD.

Angel Place
Forgotton Songs
The thoroughfare is home to an installation by creative artist Michael Thomas Hill of 186 birdcages and 10 speakers which play the songs of about 50 bird species that once lived nearby before colonial development.
a lost Teddy Bear in the city

Bathurst St

Sydney Town Hall
Renowned for its High Victoria interiors and richness of decoration, it is the largest and most ornate late 19th-Century civic building in Australia. When completed in 1889, it was the colony's most daring, technologically innovative and controversial building, and it dominated the Sydney skyline for almost a century.

Queen Victoria
The Queen Victoria Building, now affectionately known as the QVB, was designed by George McRae and completed in 1898, replacing the original Sydney markets on the site. Built as a monument to the long reigning monarch, construction took place in dire times, as Sydney was in a severe recession. The elaborate Romanesque architecture was specially planned for the grand building so the Government could employ many out-of-work craftsmen - stonemasons, plasterers, and stained window artists - in a worthwhile project. Originally, a concert hall, coffee shops, offices, showrooms, warehouses and a wide variety of tradespeople, such as tailors, mercers, hairdressers and florists, were accommodated.
The QVB fills an entire city block bound by George, Market, York and Druitt Streets. The dominant feature is the mighty centre dome, consisting of an inner glass dome and an exterior copper- sheathed dome. Glorious stained glass windows and splendid architecture endure throughout the building and an original 19th century staircase sits alongside the dome.

St Mary's Church
This Cathedral represents the spiritual origins of the Catholic Church in Australia. It is one of Sydney's most treasured historic buildings and one of the finest examples of English-style gothic churches in the world.
St Mary's has the greatest length of any church in Australia (although it is neither the tallest nor the largest overall).

St Andrews Cathedral
Located in central Sydney, the cathedral is one of the city's finest examples of Gothic Revival architecture. Designed by Edmund Blacket, it was ready for services and consecrated in 1868, making it the oldest cathedral in Australia. Joan Kerr described St Andrew's as "a perfect example of the colonial desire to reproduce England in Australia in the mid nineteenth century."

Hyde Park
Hyde Park, the oldest public parkland in Australia, is a 16.2-hectare (40-acre) park in the central business district.

A lively harbourside precinct, Darling Harbour is just a 10-minute walk from the city centre. It was originally part of the commercial port of Sydney, including the Darling Harbour Railway Goods Yard.
During the Great Depression, the eastern part of Darling Harbour (Barangaroo) became known as The Hungry Mile, a reference to the waterside workers searching for jobs along the wharves.
Every Saturday night, it lights up with fireworks.
With great views over the city skyline, it's such a great view.
Click the link below for the action video!

A walk around Darling Harbour gave some great views, even in the rain!
The city Is disappearing into the rain clouds..
But we had a lot of fun anyway!

Pyrmont Bridge is one of the world's oldest surviving electrically operated swingspan bridges. The first bridge began operating in 1857 and the current swingspan bridge opened in 1902. The bridge provided the main transport route between the city and Sydney's growing western suburbs while the swingspan allowed tall vessels to access Darling Harbour.

Botanical Gardens
The Royal Botanic Gardens, are just a short walk around the water's edge from the Sydney Opera House, and is one of the most breathtakingly beautiful settings you will see anywhere. The gardens sit on the side of an undulating piece of land and the harbour views from up on the hill are superb. There are large trees with a wonderful shade canvas and this makes the best spot imaginable to stop and have lunch - sitting on the grass and taking in the harbour views.

Walking back through the Botanical Gardens one evening, I came across these two, rummaging for something in the undergrowth.
Not as demonic as the eyes make them look, honest!

Art Gallery of New South Wales
The most important public gallery in Sydney and the fourth largest in Australia. The Gallery's first public exhibition opened in 1874.

Steps to the harbour


Opera House
Identified as one of the 20th century's most distinctive buildings and one of the most famous performing arts centres in the world.

Harbour Bridge


Luna Park
The park was constructed at the foot of the Sydney Harbour Bridge during 1935, and ran for nine-month seasons until 1972, when it was opened year-round. Luna Park was closed in mid-1979, immediately following the Ghost Train fire, which killed six children and one adult. Most of the park was demolished, and a new amusement park was constructed.
Luna Park is one of two amusement parks in the world that are protected by government legislation; several of the buildings on the site are also listed on the Register of the National Estate and the NSW State Heritage Register. The park has been utilised as a filming location for several movies and television shows.

Central Business district (CBD)

an iconic city

Posted by charlystyles 13:27 Archived in Australia Tagged fireworks sydney_night Comments (0)

Hollaback Farm, Berry - NSW


Berry is an attractive and stylish village 90 miles south of Sydney. Rustic and sophisticated, its surrounded by rich dairy country below the coastal escarpment. It has many historical buildings which are listed on the New South Wales Heritage Register.
Wilson Store
Book Shop
With it's historic buildings and leafy surrounds, Berry is a delightful village which is a favourite with Sydneysiders seeking a less hectic lifestyle.
Post Office

Just three kilometres out of Berry is Hollaback Farm.
I spent a week with Craig and David at their beautiful home on the hill.
The house is a nearly finished vewry contemporary new build, with beautiful interiors and amazing views down the valley to Berry.
with a river at the bottom of the property
View from the lounge
dining lounge
view from the garden
Swimming pool
Along with the house, they are also doing a great job starting a farm, with angus cattle
and dauber sheep for grass cutters!
One of the small jobs was putting up fencing around the citrus and advacardo trees
Removing the poisonous fire weed from the paddocks
and splitting wood - with the pneumatic splitter on the tractor.

Although the winds roll up the hill, it was a great spot to admire the view
whilst working
It was great to see the colours inside the logs
However, some pieces had residents, from witchetty grubs
to snakes!
The splitter was good, and actually made it enjoyable, and not back breaking!
and then loaded into the trailer
to be stacked up

The Great Dividing Range, which runs from the blue mountains down to the Snowy Mountains and into Victoria, divides the region into three areas. The central strip, has beautiful beaches hemmed in by the rising mountains to the west.

Seven Mile Beach
Just nine minutes from Berry and extending from Shoalhaven Heads east of Nowra to Gerroa , Sevan Mile Beach National Park includes a beautiful beach stretching for mile ... seven of them!

Posted by charlystyles 13:26 Archived in Australia Tagged berry seven_mile_beach Comments (0)

Palm Beach (Summer Bay - Home & Away), Sydney - NSW

sunny 26 °C

One of the sights to see near Sydney is Palm Beach - about an hour and a half bus ride away on the Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park peninsula.
It is locally known as 'Palmy'.
It wasn't what I was expecting; I was pleasantly surprised by the lack of tourism in the area, and more so by just how beautiful the location is.
It's the main location for exterior filming of the soap Home & Away, which I admit, like most people, used to watch every day after school. So I had to go an have a look.
Alf's Bait Shop
The Jetty where they have their secret meetings
with some nice boats
Summer Bay Surf Life Savings Club
The beach they go for a walk along
The ramp where they walk down onto the beach
The fence where they always seem to bump into each other
The sand dune where they go to have a good cry

We walked the length of the beach, stopping to watch the surfers
and the impressive waves

and at the far end, we took a path up to the lighthouse
The path started from the beach
and wound it's way up the cliff, under the rocks

We didn't find the diner (it's probably in a studio somewhere) but there was a lovely looking restaurant
The headland at the northernmost point rises quite sharply from the beach to over 100 metres above sea level, and features an operational lighthouse. It's not the tallest, but still makes me look small...
The Barrenjoey Head lighthouse was the third light constructed on the Barrenjoey, New South Wales headland, and was completed in 1881. Designed by NSW colonial architect James Barnet, its construction cost £13,695, plus £2,210 for the lamp. At an elevation of 113 m, it is visible to a distance of 19 nautical miles (35 km; 22 mi) out to sea
The views from the top are stunning, almos the best I've seen so far...
and on the other side, looking north up the east coast
A customs station was established in 1843, as the Headland marked the entrance to Broken Bay and Pittwater – considered to be the back door to Sydney for smugglers. The first report of any lighted beacon on the headland was in 1855, when a fire was raised in a basket to assist mariners during storms.

George Mulhall - first principal keeper of Barrenjoey Lighthouse.
The census of 1828 stated that Gearoge Mulhall was born in Australia in 18111 (his headstone states 1814). Hi father and mother came in convict ships from Ireland in 1803.
George's death is an interesting tale- on a stormy night in June 1885 ventured out of the lighthouse for more firewood and was struck down by a tremendous bolt of lightening and as the journalism of that day recorded, was burnt to a cinder. His death certificate however, describes his cause of death as apoplexy (stroke). A few years later, George Junior was struck by lightening resulting in a badly burnt arm which from that day was bound in snake skin to ward off further celestial visitations.

They weren't filming on the day we went, so we took enough photos of ourselves to make up for it :)

Posted by charlystyles 13:12 Archived in Australia Tagged palm_beach summer_bay home_&_away Comments (0)

Flying Foxes, Wingham - NSW

sunny 20 °C

Wingham Brush is rare and endangered. It represents 90% of the last remaining subtropical lowland rainforest in the manning Valley and 10% of this type in NSW. It has at least 195 species of native plants, including 76 species of trees and 32 different vines.
The most predominant tress in the Brush are the huge Moreton Bay Figs. they are a type of strangler fig and are hundreds of years old. In a constant state of change, beginning as a tiny seed deposited in the fork of a host tree by a roosting bird or bat and growing year by ear, down to the ground and eventually taking over and strangling the host tree. Massive buttress roots support the weight of the trees in the shallow rainforest soils.

Grey Headed Flying Foxes
Classified as vulnerable specifies under both NSW and Commonwealth legislation. Wingham Brush is the only known continuously occupied roosting and maternity site for these animals between Bellingen and the Hunter Valley, peaking at over 200,000 (40% of the total population).

Flying Foxes are sociable an intelligent flying mammals which evolved in tropical rainforests Asia and New Guinea. They have adapted for life in the forest canopy.
They roost by day and fly out at night to feed wherever they can find trees producing nectar, pollen-rich flowers and succulent native fruits.
Guided in the dark by excellent eyesight and sense of smell, they forage for up to 40km from their roost.
Whilst feeding they do important pollination and seed dispersal work in the forest canopy.
Flying Fox numbers build in spring as nectar and pollen supplies become more abundant and it's around this time of the year the females give birth to their young.
On Christmas Day in 2005 a heat wave bought day temperatures in excess of 40 degrees and thousands of flying foxes experienced heat stress. More than 5,000 died, mainly the young. Rangers and volunteers helped by spraying the bats with cool water.
At sunset each day, thousands of flying foxes fly up to 50km in search of food and water. Moving amid the forest canopy they pollinate the trees.
Due to land clearing , remaining natural places like Wingham Brush are very important. Flying Foxes are endangered native wildlife and are protected by law.

Posted by charlystyles 13:57 Archived in Australia Tagged flying_foxes Comments (0)

Spit to Manly Harbour Walk - NSW

sunny 25 °C

If asked to recommend a single day trip outside the city, most Sydneysiders would nominate the 7 mile ferry ride from Circular Quay to Manly. this narrow stretch of land lying between the harbour and the ocean walls named for it's impressive bearing of Aboriginal men.
This walk is viewed by many as one of the most scenic harbour walking tracks in the world, it contrasts old and new Australia, taking you past modern harbour-side suburbs juxtapose with Aboriginal sites, native coastal heath and pockets of sub-tropical rainforest.
The walk from Spit Bridge to Manly Beach is rated to be one of the best harbour walks in the country.
They weren't wrong. It's a meandering path that hugs the shoreline and takes you up and down through fishing bays, harbours, national parks and beaches.
These images give you a sample of the varation of the path
Through the trees and under the rocks
In the image below, you can see where I walked, from the far right, to the far left!

Bridging the Spit
As early as 1834 there was a rowing boat service to ferry passengers across Middle Harbour. This proved inadequate and in 1888 proposals for a low level bridge at The Spit which could open for yachts was submitted by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works PLans were also prepared for a stream punt designed to carry eight horse drawn buggies in one trip with a crew of two. IT was planned that this pount would operate until the bridge was complete and then be removed to another site.
The punt introduced in 1889 became a reality. The low-level bridge was to follow 35 years later.

Sandy Bay
One of the many beautiful seafront houses I passed, dreaming
and who needs a car on the drive when you're metres from the beach

Ellery's Punt Reserve
Sight of the punt connecting Manly to the Spit for foot, horse, tram and vehicular traffic. The tram service ceased in 1939 and the walkway follows the old tram route for 200 metres towards Fisher Bay.

Middle Harbour

Fisher Bay
Sub-tropical rainforest vegetation can be seen at the head of the bay and along the creek that runs into the bay.

Aboriginals Shell Midden
This protected archaeological site contains layers of shells probably food refuse left by the Guringai Aborigines who inhabited the area.

Sandy Bay
A large sand flat is exposed at low tide. The sound of crabs scuttling and digging may be heard when walking over the firm sand.

Clontaf Beach
Sit of an early Sydney picnic ground and dance hall previously served by a ferry from Sydney. Prince Alfred survived as assassination attempt here in 1868 by Henry O'Farrell. The force of the bullet was slackened by the Prince's Indian-rubber braces.

Grotto Point Lighthouse
A First Fleet survey party camped at Grotto Point on 28th January, 1788. the lighthouse was built in 1911 and guides ships entering Sydney Harbour when aligned with the Parriwi light at Mosman.

Aboriginal Engraving Sit
Several Aboriginal engravings are readily accessible 20 meter from the main track. Images include boomerangs, fish, wallabies and relate to local storylines.

This is one of several engravings at the site depicting a variety of fish. Marine wildlife and wildlife played an important part in the social economy of the Eora, who actively fished, speared and netted from the harbour waters and foreshores.
Fish and marine mammals provided food as well as teeth and bone for tool manufacture.

Crater Cove Look-Out
Offering sweeping views of the harbour, the Heads and beyond.

Arabanoo Lookout
Whilst sitting admiring the view and enjoying my lunch I heard a noise and suddenly a Water Dragon came running at me from the bush! Hopefully after my lunch.
Shortly followed by his mate.
and then a Blue Tongue Lizard wanted some.
and also this fella!!
My salmon rolls must have been good :)

the coastal Banksia once grew all along the harbour foreshore. Banksias are named after Sir joseph Banks who took some specimens back to England in 1770.

Crater Cove
The first hut was built in 1920's for use by weekend fishermen,. Over the next fifty years, further huts were built and their use became more permanent. No one has lived in them permanently since the 1980's. The huts are still looked after by caretakers on behalf of the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

Reef Beach
Also known as 'Pirates Camp', a camping area was established there during the 1930's Depression. Today the camp is no longer in existence but easy access and peaceful surroundings make it an attractive destinations for many day visitors.

Fisher Harbour

Fisher Bay


Jilling Cove

Walking into Manly I was in line with a Kayaker, peacefully paddling long at about the same pace as I walked around the coastline

From this lookout, formally attired spectators watch a surf carnival against a sweeping panorama of thriving pines. Today high-rise buildings dwarf the trees, which were damaged by airborne pollution from North Headland sewage works.
Named by Capt. Arthur Phillip in 1788 for the indigenous people living here. "Their confidence and manly behaviour made me give the name of Manly Cove to this place."

Cabbage Tree Bay Coastal Walk
This coastal walk between Manly and Shelly Beach takes you along the foreshore of the Cabbage tree Bay aquatic reserve.
In 1898 the promenade to Fairy Bower was constructed above the sewer line to cabbage Tree Bay. Originally, Manly Beach was known as Cabbage Tree Beach because of the many cabbage tree palms growing in the area.

b]Shelly Beach[/b]
Looking back to Manly
Not sure what this sign meant...

Sandstone wall from 1880's
Built to separate the quarantine land from the land owned by the Catholic church.

North Head
Approximately 156 hectare, the North Head area of Sydney shelters a variety if native animals and plants as well as historic buildings and structures dating back to last century.

Blue Fish Heavy Anti-Aircraft Battery
A WWII installation that protected Sydney from enemy aircraft.

The Barracks Precinct
The area is home to some beautiful birds and animals, including this New Holland Honey Eater.

Gunners' Walk
Once a school of Artillery where Army gunners lived and trained, the headland is now a sanctuary.

Command Post



Gun Turret

Looking north up the coast

Fairfax Lookout
A spectacular harbour and ocean view, one of Sydney's best vantage points.

Sunset Ferry Ride back to Sydneylarge_Sydney_Skyline_sunset.jpg
One of the highlights of the long day's walking was returning to Sydney on the Ferry as the sunset behind the city. Although tricky to take sharp photos on a moving boat!
Opera House Twilight
CBD at twilight coming into the harbour

A full on scenic day!

Posted by charlystyles 13:43 Archived in Australia Tagged manly spit_bridge Comments (0)

Bondi - Eastern Beaches Coastal Walk - NSW

sunny 26 °C

Bondi to Bronte walk and on to Coogee is one of the most popular activities in the Sydney area. The coastal walk takes in stunning beaches, pools, cliffs and parks whilst hugging the coast line.
I decided to take it that one step further and walk the 8.6miles from Bondi to Maroubra.
Starting at Bondi beach...

From Bush to Boom - Although just 7km from the city, Bondi was described in 1842 as 'a place of peculiar loneliness...a shining sandy beach unmarked by human foot'. However, the rock carvings alone are a clear reminder that Aboriginal feet have walked these sand before those of European settlers. and today, it is far from lonely

North Bondi Rocks - Bondi Beach
The word Bondi is Aboriginal for 'water breaking over rocks'. Surfers visit from far and wide in search of the perfect wave, and inline skaters hone their skills on the promenade. The pavilion, built in 1928 as changing rooms is now a busy venue for festivals, plays and arts and crafts.
As surf bathing became more and more popular, changing sheds for 750 men and 350 women were opened in 1911. The foundation stone for a new Bondi Pavilion, which included the Turkish baths, a ballroom and dressing rooms for 12,000 people was laid in 1928. The excitement and competition of surf carnivals attracted thousands of spectators to Bondi. Hessian screens were put up to keep people off the beach and to change administration.
Although just 7km from the city, Bondi was described in 1842 as 'a place of peculiar loneliness...a shining sandy beach marked by human foot'. However, rock carvings alone are clear reminders that many Aboriginal feet have walked the sands long before those of European settlers.
Australia's first lifesaving club was formed at north Bondi in 1906 after an heroic rescue.
The Bondi Aquarium, Sydney's first coastal amusement park, opened on this headland in 1887, it's greatest attraction was a plunging rollercoaster that dived and twisted over the beach.

In the 1890's 'Nosey Bob' or Robert 'the Gentleman Hangman' Howard lived a lonely life in a cottage on the cliffs. A former horse drawn cab driver, he worked for almost 30 years as the state hangman after being shunned by society following a horribly disfiguring accident, in which his nose was destroyed. this, ans his reputation as a decent fellow, who carried out his job with respectability, gave rise to his nicknames.

Bondi is a great place for surfing, as you can see from all the little specs in the water
Sometimes they even 'catch a wave'!
Even when I got back to Bondi as the sun was setting, the surfers were still waiting for that perfect wave

Tamarama Beach
Tamarama Beach is a small beach between two prominent headlands, with a sand filled valley to the back, surrounded by pleasant parkland and picnic areas. Tamarama is an extremely narrow beach and deceptive for its size. Tamarama Beach is often referred to as Glamarama (or Glamourama), owing to the alleged abundance of glamorous people who sunbathe (often topless), on what must be one of the smallest strips of sand in the state. Tamarama Surf Club is located on the northern side, perched up on the headland where it overlooks the entire beach.
Because of its deep water, small size and easterly aspect, Tamarama is dangerous for most swimmers even in a moderate ocean swell. When swimming at Tamarama beach the directions of the surf life savers should not be ignored. Tamarama is considered the most dangerous patrolled beach in New South Wales, with more rescues per thousand bathers than any other of Sydney's beaches, by the Tamarama Surf Life Saving Club.

A small swell can produce rip currents of up to 2 metres a second (which is about the speed of the current 50m men's world record). One or two rip currents are always present, making the entire surf zone virtually all rip. When the swell really rolls in, an offshore rock shelf shapes a stunning 12 to 15 foot wave that draws committed board-riders, photographers and onlookers, taking in the grand spectacle from the cliffs above.
Variation in the layers of sandstone helps produce wonderful shapes in the cliffs.
Harder layers resist attack by wind, water, waves and salt and are left protruding.
It can also produce some great effects in the layers

Bronte Beach
Bronte Baths opened in 1887 with strict rules - the ocean pool was reserved for women between 10am and 4pm.
Outside these hours and on Sundays and public holidays, the pool was for men only.
Trams started running to Bronte in 1911 when a new route was cut deep into the sandstone above the baths. For 49 years beachgoers enjoyed breathtaking views across Tamarama to Bondi as the tram rattled down to its terminus, the same shelter that todays' visitors arrive at by bus.
A long distance ocean swimming event is held every December between Bondi Beach and Bronte. The beach is popular with surfers and despite the often rough surf, less abled swimmers can avail themselves of the bogey hole or rock pool towards the southern end of the beach. At the south end of the beach is a 30 metre ocean pool, one of the best known in Sydney.
The beach is patrolled by Waverley Council full-time lifeguards on a daily basis (except during winter) and volunteer lifesavers from the life saving club on weekends and public holidays.
It is home to Bronte Surf Lifesaving Club and is the oldest such organisation in the world, having been formed in 1903. A public park adjoins the beach, with provision of picnic seats and barbecue hotplates, although parking is limited and restrictions are strictly enforced. The beach is served by the number 378 Sydney City Bus from Sydney's Central railway station or the 378 bus from the Bondi Junction station. The beach is shaded by hills to the west and tends to become cool, windy and deserted towards the end of the afternoon.
The beach is widely represented in literature. Sylvia in Kathleen Stewart's Spilt Milk (1995) regularly walks the cliffs. Poets have often found voice on its sands.
The path leads through a conservation area
and squeezes past more cliffs
Twice Twist Bands
Keizo Ushio, 2012

Bronte to Waverley
Waverley Cemetery
The Waverley Cemetery opened in 1877 and is a cemetery located on top of the cliffs at Bronte. It is noted for its largely intact Victorian and Edwardian monuments. The cemetery contains the graves of many significant Australians including the poet Henry Lawson.
The cemetery is self-funded, deriving its income from interments – including burial, cremation, memorials and mausoleum – of which there has been over 86,000. Waverley Cemetery was used during the filming of the 1979 Mel Gibson film Tim. The Cemetery was designed to function along similar lines to Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris and Kensal Green Cemetery in London.

Clovelly Beach
Clovelly Beach is a small beach that sits on the end of the narrow bay. The bay is popular with swimmers. The bay is home to one of the first surf lifesaving clubs in the world, Clovelly Surf Life Saving Club, which was founded in 1906.

Gordons Bay
A unique and protected aquatic reserve, Gordons Bay is one of Sydney’s most popular dive spots.
Offering Sydney’s only underwater nature trail, the pocket-sized beach is lined with racks of boats from the local fishing club, reminiscent of a European fishing village.
The trail can be compared to a walking trail in the wilderness, only it's underwater. It usually takes about 40 minutes to dive the 620m trail following signs that illustrate the marine biodiversity in the area.

Coogee Beach
The beach is popular for swimming and famous for its dangerous shorebreaks. The name Coogee is said to be taken from a local Aboriginal word koojah which means "smelly place". Another version is koo-chai or koo-jah, both of which mean "the smell of the seaweed drying" in the Bidigal language or "stinking seaweed", a reference to the smell of decaying kelp washed up on the beach. Early visitors to the area, from the 1820s onwards, were never able to confirm exactly what "Coogee" meant, or if it in fact related to Coogee Beach. Some evidence suggests that the word "Coogee" may in fact be the original Aboriginal place name for the next bay to the north, now known as Gordons Bay.
The Aboriginal population had largely relocated by the mid-19th century after being decimated by disease and violent clashes with early settlers, though some Aborigines still live in the area today.
Randwick Council first allowed unrestricted surf bathing in 1902, provided neck to knee bathing dress was worn by anyone of five years. the popularity of bathing in the surf grew rapidly. In 1911 Council reported an average of over 15,000 per day at Coogee with 5,000 in the water in the middle of the day. However, the suitability of un-bathing of 'loitering clad only in a bathing costume' was still in question. It was banned in Coogee in 1910 by Council but Solicitor General agreed with sun-bathing as a healthy activity, allowing it to be banned from open beaches and the Council provided a special enclosure.

Lurline Bay
A surprising little seafront pocket, located on The Sports Coast between Coogee and Maroubra Beaches, Lurline Bay is a secluded rocky basin, exposed to the open waters of the Pacific Ocean.
Nestled between weather sculptured headlands, the small bay can only be accessed via the coastal walk from either Seaside Parade to the north or Marine Parade if coming from Maroubra Beach
A platform of potholes and pools - waves rolling onto this coast from across the pacific crash most fiercely onto the protruding headlans. the tip of the headlands is undercut as wave level until the mass of rock above fall away in giant chunks.
These chunks are pounded into smaller and smaller pieces and washed away, In some places all that remains is a platform of rock at sea level.
Pools are generally formed by potholing where the waves wash smaller rock pieces in and around small holes which makes them bigger. They may also be caused by the water wetting and then drying crack in the rock, causing them to enlarge.

Maroubra Beach
Maroubra is a local Aboriginal word meaning place of thunder. In 1861, the first house was built in the area by Humphrey McKeon. A number of other settlers arrived on the land in the 1870s to work on the wool scouring works located at the northern end of the bay.
The suburb first made headlines on 6 May 1898, when the Hereward, a fully rigged iron ship weighing 1,513 tons, was caught by the gale force winds and shipwrecked at the northern end of Maroubra Beach while heading north toward Newcastle. The shipwreck remained on the beach for a number of years until a failed attempt to refloat it was made by building a coffer dam around the wreck. Hereward Street in Maroubra is named after the event.

Just before Maroubra is a headland and home to Jack Vanny Memorial Park.
From here I could see all the way back to Bondi.
but whilst standing chatting to a lady I met, we watch a kestrel swooping on the thermals and I took this shot perfectly timed with the helicopter that was passing, unfortunately you can't see the aeroplane that was also passing!
The helicopter seemed to be out quite a lot, here they are over Bondi. Hopefully only practicing or maybe just a tourist scenic flight

For me, it was the bus back to Bondi...shared with a surfer, of course
As I sat enjoying a well earnt hot chocolate, the sun set, and the moon appeared from the horizon, the most stunning red colour, and unbelievably large.
The pictures don't do it justice, but the memories will stay with me.
A top day of walking some beautiful beaches

Posted by charlystyles 13:45 Archived in Australia Tagged bondi bronte coogee maroubra Comments (0)

Blue Mountains - NSW

semi-overcast 25 °C

The landscape of the Blue Mountain was more than 250 million years in the making as sediments built up then were eroded away, revealing sheer cliff faces and canyons. Home to Aboriginal communities for an estimated 14,000 years, the rugged terrain proved, at first, a formidable barrier to white settlers, but since the 1870's it has been a popular holiday resort.
The mountains get their name form the release of oil from the eucalyptus trees which causes a blue haze.
Blue Mountains National Park (267,183 hectares) is part of the Greater Blue Mountain World Heritage Area, a million-hectare conservations area that stretches for 230km along the ranges. World Heritage is the highest level of international recognition that is only given to places of global significance.
The Greater Blue Mountains Area was recognised because of its plants, animals and ecosystems that are different from anywhere else on earth - including at least 100 species of uniquely Australian eucalypts (gumtrees).
The World Heritage area lies across the traditional Country of six Aboriginal language groups - the Gundungurra and the Darug in this area and the Wanaruah, Wiradjuri, Darinjung and Dharawai to the north, south and west.
The historic importance of the Blue Mountains walking tracks has been recognised by their listing on the NSW State Heritage Register as Nationally Significant. Constructed in steep and difficult conditions, they are celebrated for being the means by which so many people from nearby cities have been able to experience the natural world.
Many of the walking tracks in the Blue Mountains were constructed over 100 years ago. Local communities were in competition to provide a
the 'most spectacular' round trip walking routes to attract tourists to their town. Developing tracks in such steep and difficult conditions involved extraordinary efforts by those involved.
At Wentworth Falls, Captain James Murray supervised a team of 4 workers, known locally as the 'Irish Brigade'. His team took over two years to build the 2.5km National Pass track. Accessing the base of the falls, which involved cutting steps down the sheer cliff face, was one of their biggest challenges.
It is thought that Captain Murray was lowered over the edge in a bosun's chair (a simple canvas seat on ropes) in order to work out a possible route.

Jamison Lookout
The first vie of the morning was a little misty!
but it soon began to clear

Wentworth Falls Lookout
The track winds through gullies and headlands along the top of the escarpment.

We walked the track to Wentworth Falls.
It started off like a normal bush walk
but we soon became surrounded by pockets of rainforest
and then the path cut into the limestone cliffs
mind your head!

Wentworth Falls Area
The Blue Mountains, reaching 1,100m above sea level at their highest point, at first made the early colonists virtual prisoners of the Sydney Cove area.
Many settlers were convinced that plains suitable for grazing and crops would be found beyond the mountains, but attempts to reach the imagined pastures failed repeatedly. In 1813 however, three farmers, Gregory Blaxland, William Lawson and William Wentworth, set out on a well planned mission following the ridge between the Grose and cox rivers, and emerged successfully on the western side of the mountains.
This is the view looking from the top
and looking behind

Fletchers Lookout
A steep walk down the Wentworth Falls track to a cliff-edge lookout, looking down onto the top of the falls.

Princes Rock Lookout
The route of one of the earliest constructed walking tracks (built in 1868) to an historic lookout on a rocky outcrop

National Pass
A famous scenic and historic walk that opened in 1908 and won awards for restoration in 2008.
The track descends steep steps cut into the cliff face beside Wentworth Falls then follows a ledge halfway down the cliff, through to the Valley of the Waters.

Katoomba-Leura area
Many tracks in this area were pioneered by The Katoomba hunting fishing & Excursion Club in 1803.
Further development of the tracks occurred when the sewer line was implemented in 1909 to reach the treatment plant in the valley below.
Leura Falls is another beautiful stop along one of the many paths

We stopped at Gordon Falls for lunch
after a short walk around the area

Within a few minutes drive of Katoomba, are the regions most popular attractions; Echo Point and the Three Sisters.
From here you can see the Scenic Railway which offer a nerve wracking plummet down the mountain gorge. Reputed to be the steepest rail track in the world, it was originally built in the 1880's to transport the miners down to the valley's rich coal deposits.

The Three Sisters
According to Gundungurra Dreaming, three beautiful sisters names Meehni, Wimlah and Gunnedoo once lived with the Gundungurra people in the Jamison Valley.
The maidens were in love with three brothers form the neighbouring nation of the Dharruk people, but marriage was forbidden by tribal law.
the brothers were warriors and decided to take the maidens by force, Tribal war forced the elder of the Gundungurra people to turn the sisters into stone. He intended to restore them after the danger has passed and the ware had ended. Unfortunately, the elder was killed in the battle and to this day nobody has been able to break the spell and turn the Three Sisters back to their natural form.
Queen Elizabeth Lookout "Her most Gracious Majesty viewed the Jamison ?Valley from this lookout during her visit on 12th February 1954"
Echo Point to Kedumba View
Mountain streams have cut through the upper layers of sandstone, following vertical faults in the strata. the softer claystone layers are more easily eroded. As the softer rock is eroded, unsupported sections of the cliff will collapse. this results in the characteristic vertical cliffs of the Blue Mountains.
Looking over the Kedumba River to Mt solitary.
The plateau that forms the Blue Mountains has been deeply cut by streams and rivers. The vertical cliffs are made of sand deposited here during the Triassic age (about 250million years ago). Directly below the cliffs are the layers from the Permian age, which included coal deposits. Exposed in the depths of the valley are the rocks from the Devonian age (about 400 million years ago). the Blue Mountains is a globally stable environment, which has allowed the developments of unique habitats and micro-climates, home to many plants and animals found nowhere else in the world.

Out tour guide Rod was very good at taking us to the secret spots, having grown up in the Blue Mountains, he knew how to escape the tousits.
This was a beautiful spot at Narrow Neck.
Just don't look down!
A great spot to sit and enjoy the sunshine for a little while

Posted by charlystyles 13:29 Archived in Australia Tagged katoomba blue_mountains Comments (0)

Sights of Sydney - NSW

rain 18 °C

Ms Macquarie's Chair the scenic Ms Macquaries Road winds up alongside much of what is now the city's Royal Botanic Gardens, stretching from Farm Cove to Woolloomooloo Bay and back again. The road was built in 1816 at the instigation of Elizabeth Macquarie, wife of the Governor. In the same year a stone bench, inscribed with details of the new road and it's commissioner, was carved into the rock at the point where Ms Macquarie would often stop and rest and admire the view on her daily stroll, taking in the harbour and all its landmarks, although it is much changed today.

El Alamein Fountain
This dandelion of a fountain in the heart of Kings Cross district was built in 1961 and commemorates the Australian army's role in the siege of Tobruk, Libra and the battle of Almein in Egypt during World War II.

Sydney Fish Market (SFM)
Over looking the Anzac Bridge, it offers visitors and Sydney siders the opportunity to experience an authentic working fish market.
It is the largest market of it's kind in the Southern Hemisphere and the world's second largest seafodd market in terms of variety outside of Japan.
You can choose from over 100 species both live and prepared.
Seafood Platter
Live Turban Snails
Live King Crabs
Baby Octopus
Business for the market begins at 5,,.30am when seafood buyers arrive to check the day's catch before the auction where 2,700 crates (52tonnes) are sold per day.
Anything you don't finish, won't go to waste with the abundance of seagulls and Ibis'
Sydney Seafood School is also located in the market, it holds a variety of seafood cookery classes including some hosted by Australia's leading chefs.

The Queen Victoria Building,
now affectionately known as the QVB, was designed by George McRae and completed in 1898, replacing the original Sydney markets on the site. Built as a monument to the long reigning monarch, construction took place in dire times, as Sydney was in a severe recession.
The elaborate Romanesque architecture was specially planned for the grand building so the Government could employ many out-of-work craftsmen - stonemasons, plasterers, and stained window artists - in a worthwhile project. Originally, a concert hall, coffee shops, offices, showrooms, warehouses and a wide variety of tradespeople, such as tailors, mercers, hairdressers and florists, were accommodated.

Dank Street markets by One Central Park
Dank Street Market is a good opportunity to purchase fresh farm food, homewares and Fair Trade products.
The market is held in the shadow of One Central PArk. French architect Jean Nouvel teamed up with botanist Patrick Blanc to create this pair of plant-covered Sydney towers that reflect light into their lower levels with a huge cantilevered panel of mirrors.

Tower Eye
Sydney Tower is Sydney's tallest structure, it is also the second tallest observation tower in the Southern Hemisphere, after Auckland's Sky Tower, though Sydney Tower Eye's main observation deck is almost 50 m (164 ft) higher than that of Auckland's Sky Tower. The name Sydney Tower has become common in daily usage, however the tower is also known as the Sydney Tower Eye, AMP Tower, Westfield Centrepoint Tower, Centrepoint Tower or just Centrepoint. The Sydney Tower is a member of the World Federation of Great Towers.
The tower stands 309 m (1,014 ft) above the Sydney central business district (CBD), located on Market Street, between Pitt and Castlereagh Streets. It is accessible from the Pitt Street Mall, and sits upon the newly refurbished Westfield Sydney (formerly centrepoint arcade). The tower is open to the public, and is one of the most prominent tourist attractions in the city, being visible from a number of vantage points throughout town and from adjoining suburbs.

Finger Wharf
The structure is the longest timbered-piled wharf in the world, and was completed in 1915.
The wharf, with a length of 410 metres (1,345 ft) and width of 64 m (210 ft), is composed of two side sheds running almost the length of the jetty, connected by a covered roadway between. The roofline is three parallel gable roofs and the external elevations are distinguished by a repetitive gridded structure.
During its working life for around 70 years it mainly handled the export of wool, but also acted as a staging point for troop deployment to the World Wars as well as a disembarking point for new migrants arriving in Australia.
Today it has been redeveloped as a fashionable complex housing a hotel, restaurants and residential apartments.

Posted by charlystyles 13:52 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

The Royal Botanical Gardens, Sydney - NSW

rain 22 °C

The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney is a major botanical garden located in the heart of the city.
Opened in 1816, the garden is the oldest scientific institution in Australia and one of the most important historic botanical institutions in the world.
Its stunning position on Sydney Harbour and immediately adjacent to the Sydney CBD, the Sydney Opera House and the large public parklands of The Domain ensure it is one of the most visited attraction in Sydney.
The gardens occupy 30 hectares (74 acres)

Ficus macrophylla - the most remarkable characteristic of this plant is it's lack of a single trunk.
Instead, it has 10 or more trunks, each having arisen from an aerial root.
In 1882 it was recorded that the largest of the old trees like this covered an area of about 1 hectare!

A single rose from the Rose Garden

The Lake
The lake contains Australian native freshwater eels, which colonise the ponds themselves. Even when the ponds are drained and refilled, the eels are back within weeks - staff have seen them squirming across the damp grass at night from the harbour!

Other wildlife includes plenty of Australian White Ibis

and the frst Kookaburra I've seen since Tasmania!!

Some of the statues include the four seasons (Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter, donated by Philip Geeves, historian, author and broadcaster
spring.jpg summer.jpgautmn.jpgFDA03A39F3F95F37EE4E5BD2AE347AA0.jpg

a Nymph

and the Girl & Boy
FD8CDD1D092B621EDB076DE17BA25391.jpg FD7EA127EAC85DF69DE7049CE49A0D36.jpg

A gunman and his dogs

Mare and Foal by Arthur Jacues Leduc (1848-1918)

Mrs Macquarie's Chair is an exposed sandstone rock cut into the shape of a bench, hand carved by convicts from sandstone in 1810 for Governor Macquarie's wife Elizabeth. It is on a peninsula named Mrs Macquarie's Point, and is part of the The Domain, near the Royal Botanic Gardens.
Mrs Macquarie was the wife of Major-General Lachlan Macquarie, Governor of New South Wales from 1810 to 1821. Folklore has it that she used to sit on the rock and watch for ships from Great Britain sailing into the harbour. She was known to visit the area and sit enjoying the panoramic views of the harbour.
Above the chair is a stone inscription referring to Mrs Macquarie's Road. That road was built between 1813 and 1818, and ran from the original Government House (now the Museum of Sydney) to Mrs Macquarie's Point. It was built on the instruction of Governor Macquarie for the benefit of his wife. There is no remaining evidence of the original road, other than a culvert over which the road ran.
The peninsula sits between the Garden Island peninsula to the east and Bennelong Point (where the Sydney Opera House resides) to the west. The chair itself faces north-east towards Fort Denison and the Pacific Ocean. The area around it on Mrs Macquarie's Point is a popular lookout position for the view to the north-west of the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Posted by charlystyles 13:47 Archived in Australia Tagged royal_botanical_gardens_sydney Comments (0)