A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: charlystyles

Flying Foxes, Wingham - NSW

sunny 20 °C

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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.
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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.
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Grey Headed Flying Foxes
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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.
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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.
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Guided in the dark by excellent eyesight and sense of smell, they forage for up to 40km from their roost.
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Whilst feeding they do important pollination and seed dispersal work in the forest canopy.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Due to land clearing , remaining natural places like Wingham Brush are very important. Flying Foxes are endangered native wildlife and are protected by law.
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Posted by charlystyles 13:57 Archived in Australia Tagged flying_foxes Comments (0)

Spit to Manly Harbour Walk - NSW

sunny 25 °C

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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.
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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.
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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
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Through the trees and under the rocks
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In the image below, you can see where I walked, from the far right, to the far left!
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Bridging the Spit
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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
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One of the many beautiful seafront houses I passed, dreaming
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and who needs a car on the drive when you're metres from the beach
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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
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Fisher Bay
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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
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This protected archaeological site contains layers of shells probably food refuse left by the Guringai Aborigines who inhabited the area.

Sandy Bay
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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
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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
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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
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Several Aboriginal engravings are readily accessible 20 meter from the main track. Images include boomerangs, fish, wallabies and relate to local storylines.
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Fish
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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.
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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
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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.
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Shortly followed by his mate.
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and then a Blue Tongue Lizard wanted some.
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and also this fella!!
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My salmon rolls must have been good :)
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Banksia
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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
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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
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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
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Fisher Bay
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Jilling Cove
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Walking into Manly I was in line with a Kayaker, peacefully paddling long at about the same pace as I walked around the coastline
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Manly
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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."
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Cabbage Tree Bay Coastal Walk
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This coastal walk between Manly and Shelly Beach takes you along the foreshore of the Cabbage tree Bay aquatic reserve.
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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]
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Looking back to Manly
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Not sure what this sign meant...
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Sandstone wall from 1880's
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Built to separate the quarantine land from the land owned by the Catholic church.
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North Head
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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
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A WWII installation that protected Sydney from enemy aircraft.

The Barracks Precinct
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The area is home to some beautiful birds and animals, including this New Holland Honey Eater.
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Gunners' Walk
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Once a school of Artillery where Army gunners lived and trained, the headland is now a sanctuary.

Command Post
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Gun Turret
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Looking north up the coast
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Fairfax Lookout
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A spectacular harbour and ocean view, one of Sydney's best vantage points.
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Sunset Ferry Ride back to Sydneylarge_Sydney_Skyline_sunset.jpg
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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!
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Opera House Twilight
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CBD at twilight coming into the harbour
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A full on scenic day!
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Posted by charlystyles 13:43 Archived in Australia Tagged manly spit_bridge Comments (0)

Bondi - Eastern Beaches Coastal Walk - NSW

sunny 26 °C

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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.
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I decided to take it that one step further and walk the 8.6miles from Bondi to Maroubra.
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Starting at Bondi beach...
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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
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North Bondi Rocks - Bondi Beach
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Australia's first lifesaving club was formed at north Bondi in 1906 after an heroic rescue.
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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
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Sometimes they even 'catch a wave'!
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Even when I got back to Bondi as the sun was setting, the surfers were still waiting for that perfect wave
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Tamarama Beach
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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.
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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.
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Variation in the layers of sandstone helps produce wonderful shapes in the cliffs.
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Harder layers resist attack by wind, water, waves and salt and are left protruding.
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It can also produce some great effects in the layers
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Bronte Beach
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Bronte Baths opened in 1887 with strict rules - the ocean pool was reserved for women between 10am and 4pm.
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Outside these hours and on Sundays and public holidays, the pool was for men only.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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
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and squeezes past more cliffs
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Twice Twist Bands
Keizo Ushio, 2012
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Bronte to Waverley
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Waverley Cemetery
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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.
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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.
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Clovelly Beach
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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.
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Gordons Bay
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A unique and protected aquatic reserve, Gordons Bay is one of Sydney’s most popular dive spots.
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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.
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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.
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Coogee Beach
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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.
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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.
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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
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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.
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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
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Maroubra Beach
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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.
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Just before Maroubra is a headland and home to Jack Vanny Memorial Park.
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From here I could see all the way back to Bondi.
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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!
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The helicopter seemed to be out quite a lot, here they are over Bondi. Hopefully only practicing or maybe just a tourist scenic flight
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For me, it was the bus back to Bondi...shared with a surfer, of course
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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.
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The pictures don't do it justice, but the memories will stay with me.
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A top day of walking some beautiful beaches
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Posted by charlystyles 13:45 Archived in Australia Tagged bondi bronte coogee maroubra Comments (0)

Blue Mountains - NSW

semi-overcast 25 °C

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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.
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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.
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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.
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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
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The first vie of the morning was a little misty!
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but it soon began to clear
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Wentworth Falls Lookout
The track winds through gullies and headlands along the top of the escarpment.

We walked the track to Wentworth Falls.
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It started off like a normal bush walk
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but we soon became surrounded by pockets of rainforest
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and then the path cut into the limestone cliffs
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mind your head!
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Wentworth Falls Area
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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.
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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
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and looking behind
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Fletchers Lookout
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A steep walk down the Wentworth Falls track to a cliff-edge lookout, looking down onto the top of the falls.
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Princes Rock Lookout
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The route of one of the earliest constructed walking tracks (built in 1868) to an historic lookout on a rocky outcrop

National Pass
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A famous scenic and historic walk that opened in 1908 and won awards for restoration in 2008.
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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.
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Katoomba-Leura area
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Many tracks in this area were pioneered by The Katoomba hunting fishing & Excursion Club in 1803.
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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
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We stopped at Gordon Falls for lunch
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after a short walk around the area
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Within a few minutes drive of Katoomba, are the regions most popular attractions; Echo Point and the Three Sisters.
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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.
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The Three Sisters
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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"
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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.
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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.
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This was a beautiful spot at Narrow Neck.
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Just don't look down!
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A great spot to sit and enjoy the sunshine for a little while
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Posted by charlystyles 13:29 Archived in Australia Tagged katoomba blue_mountains Comments (0)

Sights of Sydney - NSW

rain 18 °C

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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
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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.
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Sydney Fish Market (SFM)
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Over looking the Anzac Bridge, it offers visitors and Sydney siders the opportunity to experience an authentic working fish market.
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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.
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You can choose from over 100 species both live and prepared.
Seafood Platter
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Sushi
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Oysters
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Live Turban Snails
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Live King Crabs
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Crayfish
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Baby Octopus
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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'
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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,
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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.
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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
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Dank Street Market is a good opportunity to purchase fresh farm food, homewares and Fair Trade products.
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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.
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Tower Eye
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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
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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.
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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.
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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

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The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney is a major botanical garden located in the heart of the city.
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Opened in 1816, the garden is the oldest scientific institution in Australia and one of the most important historic botanical institutions in the world.
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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.
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The gardens occupy 30 hectares (74 acres)
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Ficus macrophylla - the most remarkable characteristic of this plant is it's lack of a single trunk.
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Instead, it has 10 or more trunks, each having arisen from an aerial root.
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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
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The Lake
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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
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and the frst Kookaburra I've seen since Tasmania!!
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Some of the statues include the four seasons (Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter, donated by Philip Geeves, historian, author and broadcaster
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a Nymph
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and the Girl & Boy
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A gunman and his dogs
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Mare and Foal by Arthur Jacues Leduc (1848-1918)
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Posted by charlystyles 13:47 Archived in Australia Tagged royal_botanical_gardens_sydney Comments (0)

Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney - NSW

rain 23 °C

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Neon Light Installations (Peter Kennedy)
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Drawing for Neon Light Installations (Peter Kennedy)
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U-8 Links (William Seeto)
...the perceptual qualities or art; how it affects our senses and how it can alter our awareness of space and time.
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Be Some Other Material (Sandra Selig)
...shows squares and rectangles of light projected on wall and a column.
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While appearing to accidently interact with its surroundings, the work is in fact highly choreographed.
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Untitled 2014 (Daniel Boyd)
...more than 18,000 circular disks reflecting the activity of the MCA foyer.
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naa (to see or look) (Jonathan Jones)
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to be carried away by the current, to be dissolved in the Other (Sangeeta Sandrasegar)
...larger than life, faces out over the harbour to the ocean beyond.
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It is a mer-child, combining the body of a child with the head of an ancient fish, a fossil of this 419 million year old fish was recently discovered in China.
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Untitled 2005 (Spiderman) (Stephen Birch)
...confrontation between a life sized model of the superhero Spiderman and a worm-like, bearded figre, whose head sits on an arm-;ike neck.
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Arnott's Collection
...consists of over 260 nark paintings from the late 1960's.
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Particle paradise (Brian Blanchflower)
...passionate about the natural environment, in particular the colours, textures and vasr scales of the Australian desert.
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The Tenderness of Rain (Lindy Lee)
...pierced and burnt with a soldering iron.
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Showtime (Nike Savvas)
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The Price is Right (Fiona Hall)
...made form humble Tupperware household items.
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Automated Colourfield (Rebecca Baumann)
...100 flip clock and lasser cut paper
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Snake Oil (Hany Armanious)
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it's kept together by moving all around (Nigel Milsom)
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Returning to Places (Ricky Maynard)
...Wik people, who were dispossessed of their land through mining and pastoral leases in the early 20th century.
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Painted Room
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Part of a temporary exhibition Luminous is an exhibition of light works by Australian artists from the MCA Collection. Luminous includes shooting star spirits, geometric patterns of light and dark dancing on walls, ambient installations and infinity windows carved into architectural space. Featuring works that explore the astonishing and subtle effects of light, the exhibition presents works created from the 1970s to the present day. DSCN0773.jpg

Posted by charlystyles 13:21 Archived in Australia Tagged museum_contemporary_art Comments (0)

Chinese Gardens, Sydney - NSW

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Stepping into another world it's easy to immerse yourself in a beautiful landscape of waterfalls, lakes and hidden stone pathways. Along the way are traditional carvings and sculptures.
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Initiated by the local Chinese community to celebrate Australia's 1988 Bicentenary, the Chinese Garden is the result of a close friendship and cooperation between the sister cities of Sydney and Guangzhou in the Guangdong Province of China.
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The Garden was design and built by Chinese landscape architects and gardeners and is governed by the Taoist principles of Yin-Yang and the five opposite elements - earth, fire, water, metal and wood. These principles also stress the importance of qi, the central force of life and energy.
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Yin-Yang plays such a vital role that just one missing element would disrupt the garden's harmony and balance. However, when combined perfectly, the five elements form a fluid and nurturing environment.
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Everything you see in the Chinese Garden has been hand-picked and meticulously placed to capture the five elements and the energy of qi. Some of the garden's highlights include:

Main Entrance
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Guarding the entrance to the garden are two Foo-dogs (Chinese Lions), which have been carved from rare Chinese granite. Always in pairs, the female with her cub guards to the left,
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while the make, with a ball of chi (energy), guard to the right.
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A hybrid of a dog, lion and dragon, they represent loyalty, strength and prosperity.
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Commemorative Pavilion
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Dragon Wall
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Dragon walls are often a feature of traditional Chinese Gardens and are normally created on a solid wall in bass relief. this ceramic wall is special in that it may be viewed from two sides and it is a three dimensional sculpture. It is formed from hundreds of individually crafted and glazed pieces. In this display the dragons of Guangdong and New South Wales are seen playing with the pearl of friendship.

Water Pavilion of Lotus Flavour
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With panoramic views across to distant pavilions, you can watch koi swim amidst the reflections on the still water. In summer the magical fragrance of the flowering lotus drifts across the lake.

Pavilions among Bamboo and Rock
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Featuring a traditional circular moon gate, this intimate courtyard is a garden within a garden.
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Walls of bamboo and a running stream create the atmosphere of a secret garden offering glimpses of the nearby lake and waterfall.

Reading Brook Pavilion
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For viewing the waterfall as well as contemplation and reading, this is a small intimate building at the head of the brook. Seating is the traditional bench with curved backrest. It is only a tiny building whose humble function is reflected in the very simple roof architecture.

Waterfall
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One of three main water sources in the garden the waterfall is the most dramatic.
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From its source on the mountain water drops to a series of smaller bodies beneath to finally end in the Lake of Brightness.

The Seven Sages in Bamboo Forest
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This peaceful grove of black bamboo evokes the Taoist retreat of a celebrated group of third-century Chinese scholars and poets. Bamboo is a symbol of old age and humility.

Dragon Post
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Depicting the traditional dragon motif spiralling around it this carved post also displays the various animals o the Chinese calendar. As a garden sculpture this decorative feature is also a lantern when a lamp or candle is inserted in to the caged section.

The Gurr
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Situated at the garden's highest point is a beautiful hexagonal, two-storey building - the Pavilion of Clear View, known as The Gurr.
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The golden roof tiles and intricate wood carvings are gifts from Guangdong. the ornate lamp signifies prosperity.

The Rock Forest
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based on an ancient Chinese poem, the Rock Forest tells the story of the Dancing Maiden Ashima and the Landlord. There are several variations to this tragic love story, but it always culminates in the drowning of the beautiful Ashima, whose spirit is transformed into a beautiful 'dancing rock'.

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A small simple pavilion with enough room for a visitor to pause and take shelter, this building is the gateway to the mountain.

Dragon Rock
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Dramatic rock forms symbolise mythical creatures. Dragons which can be seen throughout the gardens are seen as benevolent guardians and are associated with good fortune.

Peace Boat Pavilion
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[b]Rock Arch
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Featuring Ying Tek rock stacked and mortared this stone entry to the teahouse courtyard is an extension of the building.
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Not only does one of the upper floor structures 'grow' out of the stone but the only access to the tea house is via the steps through the rockery.
Integrated into the rock is a waterfall and pond.

Other beautiful views in the gardens include:
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The White Ibis
Historically rare in urban areas, the Australian white ibis has immigrated to urban areas of the east coast in increasing numbers since the late 1970s; it is now commonly seen in Wollongong, Sydney, Melbourne, the Gold Coast, Brisbane and Townsville. Debate continues on whether to consider it a pest or vulnerable species
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Posted by charlystyles 13:32 Archived in Australia Tagged chinese_gardens_sydney Comments (0)

City Walking Tour, Sydney - NSW

rain 17 °C

Flying from Perth to Sydney gave great views of the south coast, to Adelaide
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My first morning in Sydney I thought I'd get a feel for the place with a free walking tour. It was great, 2.5 hours of a little history, and a lot of sight seeing, including places I wouldn't have thought to go.
The tour started at Archibald Memorial Fountain in Hyde Park
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gifted to the citizens of Sydney under the will of the late J.F.Archibald, the Lord Mayor, in 1932.

Opposite St Mary's Catholic Church which has the greatest length of any church in Australia (although it is neither the tallest nor the largest overall). Built in 1882, the two spires were only added in 2000!
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and along Elizabeth St to Hyde Park Barracks museum
Described by Governor Macquarie as 'spacious and well-aired' they were built by convict labour and designed to house 600 convicts between 1819 and 1848.
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and of course, where there's convicts, there's always a Church for repentance - St James' Church. Constructed by convict labour and originally designed as a court house in 1819 but plans were changed to build a church instead when plans to construct a cathedral on George St were scrapped. It is the city's oldest church.
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There are several statues of Lachlan Macquarie.
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Some are more flattering than others! He served as the fifth and last autocratic Governor of New South Wales from 1810 to 1821, and had a leading role in the social, economic and architectural development of the colony.
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He is considered by historians to have had a crucial influence on the transition of New South Wales from a penal colony to a free settlement and therefore to have played a major role in the shaping of Australian society in the early nineteenth century.

Parliament House
The central section of this building which houses the State Parliament is part of the original Sydney hospital built from 1811-16.It has been a seat of government since 1829.
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The Royal Mint, operated on this site from 1855 to 1926, processing over 1,200 tons of gold from the Australian goldfields and producing over 150 million coins.
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The building then housed government offices and later a museum, before being transformed into Sydney Living Museums in 1997.

The Library
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A free public lending library service has existed in Sydney since 1877 when the New South Wales state government opened a lending branch of the State Library of New South Wales on Macquarie Street. By the end of the same year there were over one thousand registered borrowers.

Passing Ill Porcelino the wild boar of good luck!
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He collects money for the Sydney hospital. Legend sys that if you rub the nose of the boar you will be endowed with good fortune. So he has rather a shiny nose!

Lands Department Building This three storey colonial edifice was built between 1877 and 1890. All the decisions about subdivision of much of much of rural Eastern Australia were made in the offices within.
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Palace Gardens
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A fine set of gates leading into the Botanical Gardens on Macquarie Street announces the Garden Palace, home of the International Exhibition. Beyond the gates, a circular garden bed recalls the former location of the dome of the Palace building.
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Everything about this building was flamboyant. Its four towers and spectacular wooden central dome dominated the skyline, dwarfing all other buildings. However, being built of wood in Australia was not a good idea, and it soon burnt down.
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Governor Phillip fountain is the only large neo-classical fountain in Sydney and was the most expensive public sculpture produced in Australia in the 19th century. It was unveiled in June 1897.
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Crafted from Italian bronze and marble, it took seven years to complete and cost £14,000 (at the time the Director of the royal Botanical Gardens annual salary was only £550). Who knows what motivated the composition of large mythological figures representing mining, agriculture, commerce and navigation and self-conscious Australian motifs? All this in honour of the towering figure of Captain Arthur Philip, first Governor of New South Wales.

We saw several Australian White Ibis birds minding their own business, they look so prehistoric.
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First Fleet Memorial
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commemorates the first voyage and arrival in Sydney of the first fleet which bought to Australia European settlers under the command of Captain Arthur Phillip. The fleet sailed from Portsmouth on 13th May 1787 and anchored in Sydney on 26th January 1788.

H.M.S Sirius anchor,
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from the original ship which convoyed the First fleet, sailed from the Isle of Wight and was wrecked at Point Ross Norfolk Island from where this anchor was recovered and erected in 1907.

Customs House
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the first Collector of Customs was appointed in 1827 and the Department has occupied this site since 1854. After Federation the collection of customs duties passed from State to Federal control.
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It has a great scale model o the city of Sydney, under a glass floor!
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The Stables originally commissioned in 1815 as the stables and servants' quarters for the proposed Government House of New South Wales, the oldest Conservatorium building was designed by the convict architect, Francis Greenway.
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A gothic structure with turrets, the building was described as a "palace for horses" and is a portrayal of the romantic vision of Governor Lachlan Macquarie and the British architectural trends of the time. The stables, located close to picturesque Sydney Harbour, reflect the building techniques and the range of materials and skills employed during the early settlement era. It is now owned and used by The Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

Matthew Flinders who explored and skilfully chartered a large portion of the Australian coast during the years 1796 to 1803.
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and his cat you can see on the wall behind him
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Near the harbour is an area called The Rocks.
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Established shortly after the colony's formation in 1788, the original buildings were made mostly of local sandstone, from which the area derives its name. From the earliest history of the settlement, the area had a reputation as a slum, often frequented by visiting sailors and prostitutes. During the late nineteenth century, the area was dominated by a gang known as the Rocks Push. It maintained this rough reputation until approximately the 1870s. By the early 20th century, many of the area's historic buildings were in serious decay. In 1900, bubonic plague broke out, and the state government resumed areas around The Rocks and Darling Harbour, with the intention of demolishing them and rebuilding them. More than 3800 houses, buildings and wharves were inspected and hundreds demolished, but the continuation of these plans were brought to a halt due to the outbreak of World War I. During the 1920s, several hundred buildings were demolished during the construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. However, the outbreak of World War II once again stalled many of the redevelopment plans, and it was not until the 1960s that serious attempts to demolish much of the area were revived. Today the Rocks is a partly gentrified area, but still contains a significant proportion of Housing Commission properties, and there is still a significant problem of urban poverty and street crime in this district. As housing stock becomes dilapidated, government policy is to sell the now extremely valuable public housing units to private owners, in the expectation that they will restore the properties.

Today, it boasts one of Sydney's oldest pubs
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We walked up Nurses Walk
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The nurses at both Sydney hospitals, which were located in this area from 1788 to 1816, were selected from convicts . They received no pay but were maintained at public expense. The first hospital consisted of two roughly constructed buildings and a garden was located at the rear where both exotic and native herbs were used to relieve the shortage of drugs.
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to the Suez Canal
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one of few survivors of the many narrow alleys that acted as thoroughfares in The Rocks, it remains much as it was when first formed in 1841, no doubt named by locals after the torrent that poured down its course every time it rained.

and up to some old houses, that literally were two-up two-down.
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Campbell's Storehouse
Robert Campbell, a prominent Scottish merchant in the early days of Sydney, purchased this land on Sydney Cove in 1798 and in 1802 he began constructing a private wharf and storage houses in which he housed tea, sugar, spirits and cloth he imported from India.
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Nearby is the shortest street in Sydney
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and along to Susannah Place
a terrace of four brick and sandstone houses dating back to 1844 which has a rare history of continuous domestic occupancy since 1840 through to 1990. TI is now a museum showing the living conditions of its former residence..
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Opposite here is an original section of road, made from wooden bricks!
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This is how all of Sydney roads would have looked.

A wall painting on the side of a fish and chip restaurant interprets different stages of The Rocks,
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from pre-British settlement to the present. Specific buildings are highlights and reference so viewers can relate The Rocks of today with the artwork.
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and just down the road it an interesting three sided war memorial called The Impressions.
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It depicts The Convicts, The Soldiers and The settlers.

A little further down this road and you're at The Cove which comes alive at nights with restaurants and bars.
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here, I saw my first view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge
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with a beautiful tall ship in front
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and The Opera House.

I continued exploring after the tour with one of the girls I'd met,
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First, we went up the tower of a nearby restaurant, for some better views.
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Under the bridge you can see Lunar fun Park
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Looking to the east, was the imposing view of the Opera House
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there is a constant stream of ferries crossing, but this one, is called Charlotte!
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We walked along the jetty to find some lunch at the opera house, with a great view of the bridge.
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fending off the seagulls,
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but stopping to take photos of the colourful parrots that are almost as common as pigeons here!
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From the steps of the Opera House there's a great view back to the CBD (Central Business District) and the Botanical Gardens.
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Posted by charlystyles 13:00 Archived in Australia Tagged sydney_walking_tour Comments (1)

Sydney Harbour Bridge - NSW

semi-overcast 22 °C

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In 1922 after many years of debate, legislation authorised the construction of a bridge across Sydney Harbour.
A steel suspension bridge, though attractive, would not have offered the necessary load-bearing capacity. A cantilever bridge, though economically and technically viable, was less visually imposing than a steel arch. The winning design reflected the influence of New York's strong and handsome Hell Gate Bridge.
Building work commenced in 1924 and on 19th Aug. 1930 the half arch from the north shore finally met the half arch from the south shore. The work was completed over the following two years and the bridge was officially opened on 19th March 1932.
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The construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge involved the use of 52,800 tonnes of steel. steel expands as it warms up and contracts as it cools. To allow for the fact that the top of the arch actually rises and falls about 180mm due to temperature changes, hinges were incorporated into the design. These hinges or bearings support the full weight of the bridge. To stop the two side of the bridge collapsing during construction, steel cables were used to hold back the two halves, firmly anchored in 36 meter long horse-shoe shaped tunnels dug into the sandstone bedrock on both sides of the harbour. Each of the 128 cables weighed 8.5tonnes and was made up of 217 individual wires.
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By 7th August 1930, the two half arches were finished., A gap of only one metre separated the two sides. The order was given to start slackening the tie-back cables, so that the two halves would line up and join together perfectly.
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Below is a model of the centre pin that was used to fastened the two halves together. The pilot pin is about 2.5cm square, in section and about 215cm long.
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The first challenge to investigate the bridge, was to find the staircase up!
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Somewhere up this road is a small hole in the wall to Argyle stairs.
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This led to the Bridge steps.
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We started to walk across the bridge and at the first Pylon, went up!
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The Pylon Lookout offers spectacular views of the bridge, the harbour and the city.
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It's also about £100 cheaper than the bridge climb! You can see some crazy fools climbing the bridge here
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The pylon staircase was built during the construction from 1924-1932.
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Rivets were heated to white hot state in small furnaces located across the bridge, thrown to a catcher who passed them to a riveter who placed then and fixed them in position. Steel plates were transferred from barge to bridge by crane, often with a 'dogman' travelling with the load and then returning for the next 'delivery'. 'Tin Hares' manoeuvred each steel piece into position, fastening nuts and bolts and adjusting angles before riveting took place. Plates were bolted into position as a temporary measure until being riveted together.
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There was little in the way of safety equipment - no hard hats, safety line, protective boots or special clothing.
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You had to hang on by your eyelashes Tom Tomrop
There were six million rivets used in the bridge and in order to locate the holes an indent was made in the steelwork by hand with a punch - 'marking off'.
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- On a hot day the steel expands and the bridge can grow up to 180mm
- It took 7 years and 356 days to build
- he arch span is 503m
- The bridge is 49m wide
- The pylons are 89m above sea level
- Approximately 6 million rivets were used to make the bridge. In the 1920's welding was too unreliable and nuts and bolts were quite expensive
- Constant inspections of the steel work are made and painting is carried out on a 'as required' basis - the bridge is not painted from one side to the other as is often assumed
- 272,000 litres of paint were required to give the bridge it's initial three coats
- An area of 485,000 square meters has to be painted
- The arch is 134m above sea level
- The bridge is 1,149m long including approach spans
- It is the third longest steel arch bridge in the world, but is considered the greates because of combination of span and load bearing capacity
- Originally there were six vehicle lanes, two train lines, two tram lines, a footway and a cycle way on the bridge. Now there are seven vehicle lllanes, one bus lane, two train lines, a footway and a cycleway.
- It cost 10,057,170 pounds, 7 shillings and 9 pence to build
- In 2000 161,000 vehicles crossed the bridge each day.
- A whole lot of cats used to live in the a roof-top cattery here! They were owned by Yvonne Rentoul who managed the 'All Australian Exhibition' between 1948 and 1971.
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Views looking west
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Views looking east
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View of the iconic Sydney Opera house
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It 'appened this way: I 'ad jist come down,
after long years, to look at Sydney town.
An' 'struth! Was I knocked endways?
Fair su'prised?
I never dreamed! That arch that cut the skies!
The Bridge! I never thort there could 'a' been -
I never knoo, nor guest I never seen...
Well, Sydney's 'ad some knocks since I been gone
But strike! This shows she keeps on keepin' on.

from 'I dips me lid' by C.J.Dennis

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Posted by charlystyles 15:10 Archived in Australia Tagged sydney_harbour_bridge Comments (0)

Sydney Opera House - NSW

semi-overcast 22 °C

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The Sydney Opera House is a multi-venue performing arts centre in Sydney.
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Designed by Danish architect Jorn Utzon, the facility formally opened on 20 October 1973 after Utzon's won an international design competition in 1957.
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The Government of New South Wales, led by the premier, Joseph Cahill, authorised work to begin in 1958 with Utzon directing construction. The government's decision to build Utzon's design is often overshadowed by circumstances that followed, including cost and scheduling overruns as well as the architect's ultimate resignation.
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The project was estimated to take 3 years to build and cost $7million. It actually took 16 years and $102million!

Inside you notice it is like a building inside the shell
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The lift was a little unusual as it had no ceiling - great for those action films where they feel the need to climb up into the lift shaft!
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Though its name suggests a single venue, the project comprises multiple performance venues which together are among the busiest performing arts centres in the world — hosting over 1,500 performances each year attended by some 1.2 million people. The venues produce and present a wide range of in-house productions and accommodate numerous performing arts companies, including four key resident companies: Opera Australia, The Australian Ballet, the Sydney Theatre Company and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. As one of the most popular visitor attractions in Australia, more than seven million people visit the site each year, with 300,000 people participating annually in a guided tour of the facility.
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Identified as one of the 20th century's most distinctive buildings and one of the most famous performing arts centres in the world, the facility is managed by the Sydney Opera House Trust, under the auspices of the New South Wales Ministry of the Arts. The Sydney Opera House became a UNESCO World Heritage Site on 28 June 2007.

The tour led us through the internal workings of the Opera House
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to the Concert Hall
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which can seat up to 2,675 people. The Theatre is made from white birch ply and brush wood and designed to deaden any sound in 2 seconds for perfect acoustics. The circular acrylic orbs hanging form the ceiling are all to help with the acoustics.
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The organ is the biggest in the world with 1,500 pipes up to 8m deep. It took 10 years to build and 2 years to tune.

The front bar has spectacular views across the harbour to the bridge
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The tour then took us through the central corridor
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into the Opera Theatre, which is in the second of the two 'shells' of the Opera House.
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There are 20 technicians on hand for each performance, plus the staff provided by the presenting company.
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The Orchester pit can seat up to 50 musicians.
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The theatre can seat up to 1,500 people and present Ballet twice a year at Christmas and Easter and Opera throughout the res tof the year.
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One thing I thought was lovely at the bar
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is the chance to buy some signed ballet shoes from previous productions
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The roof of the Opera house is made up of 1million and 56 ceramic tiles from Sweden!
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Views of the Opra House with the CBD
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Posted by charlystyles 13:11 Archived in Australia Tagged sydney_opera_house Comments (0)

Life with Dogs (and other animals) - WA

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I've always wanted a dog. But if there's one thing I've learnt from dog sitting two working dogs for the last month, is the amount of time and commitment they require. As loving and obedient Badger and Karma are, I think I'll stick to the plan of being a mad cat lady in my old age!
These are two lucky dogs, with 17 acres of property to roam in and national parks on their dorrstep
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However, it was great every morning to have an excuse to go walking in the nearby National Park (Beelu).
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The dogs were nearly always obedient, only ignoring me when there was a kangaroo worth chasing! But how can you be cross with a face like this...
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and even if I didn't know my way, I could rely on them to take me for a walk! Even showing me the dead-end to a beautiful view
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Another place we investigated was Fred Jacoby Park. We'd be out come rain or sine!
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The property was purchased by Fred and his brother Mathieson in 1896, one of the first settlers in the Perth Hills.
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The land was cleared and a cottage and vineyard built.
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The oak tree was planted in 1886 along with an orchard and ornamental trees.
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In 1965 Fred's daughter Elfreda Devenish donated the property to the people of western Australia and the forests Department transformed it into Fred Jacoby Park, part of the Beelu National Park.
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The dogs went everywhere with me and how exciting it must have been to smell a million new smells along the way
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However, one of the highlights for both the dogs and myself, was the trips to the dog beach at Hilary's
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The dogs have a fortnightly wash, which puts the fear of dread in them -= but it's all fine when they get a treat at the end! and they smell divine!
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I'm going to miss waking up, pinned down, to sloppy morning kisses!
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Life wasn't just about the dogs, Arthur Is a beautiful Russian Blue cat,
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who is so loving and affectionate, followed me on my rounds to feed the animals, and snuggled down under the duvet cover at night, like a slithering snake!
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However, he is a cat, and showed off by catching his first mouse the week I arrived!
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I rescued it and put it back in the hay where they live.

The morning and evening rounds including feeding and cleaning out the chickens, including Fred the cockerel
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feeding and checking the paddock where Rosie and James lived. Rosie is a very well love cow
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and James is a very timid Alpaca
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with the use of the Quad to clear up the paddocks.
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and then there's the fish in the pond and feeding the birds - flamin' Galah's!
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and so, on the last day, Yvonne and I took some time out to enjoy Mandoon Vineyard as the sun set
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Posted by charlystyles 13:36 Archived in Australia Tagged dogs Comments (0)

Rottnest Island - WA

sunny 26 °C

Less than 12 miles off the coast from Fremantle lise the idyllic island of Rottnest. Settled by Europeans in 1831, it was used as an Aboriginal prison between 1838 and 1902. In 1917, in recognition of its scenic beauty and rich bird life, the island became a protected area and today it is a popular tourist destination. Rottnest's coastline comprises beaches, coves, reefs salt lakes and several visible shipwrecks.
Private cars are not allowed on the island, the only way to get around is by bike, bus or on foot.
We decided to hire bikes, and snorkelling gear and go explore!
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As we left Barrack St Jetty, we had some great view back to Perth.
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Barrack St Jetty area is under going major $20million renovation
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you can see the ambitious plans here.

On the way over to Rottnest, we had the pleasure of seeing some local dolphins playing in the waves of the ferry.
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There's a video online here:

Passing Fremantle we saw a Tuscan style villa
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and the most expesnvie 'house' ever sold in Australia
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and sailed right through the main harbour, Fremantle Harbour is Western Australia's largest and busiest general cargo port
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and on past the Maritime Museum, which reminded me of my next destination - Sydney!
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Rottnest Island played a key role in Australia's coastal defence. In 1933 Rottnest Island was identified as being critical to the defence of metropolitan Perth as guns on the island could engage hostile ships before they were in range of the port of Fremantle.

The Army Jetty once known as the Excusionists Jetty wa originally built in 1907. In the early 1900's it was the main point of entry to Rottnest Island.
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During this time a tram way connected the jetty to the Settlement.
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Kingston Barracks complex was built during the late 1930's to accommodate Royal Australian Artillery and Royal Australian Engineer personnel stationed on Rottnest Island as part of the coastal defences.

Royal Australian Engineers (RAE) are engineers within the armed services. Known as ‘Sappers’ they are fighting soldiers in their own right.
These administrative offices were purpose built for the RAE in 1938 and were occupied by the Corps throughout WWII.
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Construction during this era was to a very high standard and no expense was spared with beautifully constructed built-in jarrah furniture throughout. To combat the Rottnest Island salt-laden air, copper guttering and downpipes were fitted to all buildings in the complex. Ornamental features were also incorporated in the construction. The weathervane on this roof for example, resembles an engine. The engineers were responsible for major engineering projects on the island, including the construction of tunnels, the installation of gun emplacements and the supply of power and portable water.

Originally built for the Royal Australian Artillery (RAA) as administration offics, this building was constructed in 1938.
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During the height of the World War II the artillery soldiers known as 'gunners' played a vital role in the protection of the state and country, manning the 9.2 inch guns at the Oliver Hill Battery and the 6 inch guns at Cickley Battery protecting Rottnest Island tand the port of Fremantle from attack.
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Accomodation Block = If the Coastal Defence Batteries needed to bolster the garrison these Barracks could accommodate up to 150 personnel. The verandahs which wrap around the Barracks could be transformd into makeshift sleepouts with jarrah partitioning.
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Bickley Battery remnants of WWII, when two 6 inch gun protected the south passage to Fremantle from enemy ships.
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Between 1941 and 1944 the guns were manned 24 hours a day and military personnel from all three services, the Army, Navy and Airforce, were stationed on the island.
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The Plotting Room - information on enemy targets collected from the Observatry POsts, were translmitted to this Plotting Room. Target position was then p[lotted on a large horizontal mechanical table. Bearing and range were then transmitted to the 6 inch gund at Gickley Battery in order to effectivelt engage enemy ships.
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Signal Ridge Wadjemuo Hill was chosen in the mid 1800's as the site of the first Lighthouse because it is the highest point on the island some 50m above sea level. From Signal Ridge, the 9.2 inch guns located at Oliver hill are visible to the south east.
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Construction of the lighthouse beganin 1842. It was built with Rottnest Island limestone from Navy Cove by Aboriginal prisoners. It is recognised as the first stone lighthouse contructed and lit in Western Australia.
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However, despite this 7 more ships were wrecjed on the reefs around Rottenst between 1878 and 1891. It was decided to built a new lighthouse twice as high and with a more powerful lamp.
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The light was initially fuelled by heavy mineral oil, but a new mercury float type of pedestal and clockwork revolving mechanism were fitted in 1929.
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It's a pretty small motor for such a big mechanism
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the light was later electricfid in 1936.
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Howebver, the bulb remains relatively large compared with moden bulbs in use in lighthouses!
It still maintains it original, rotating lens
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and only became fully automatic in 1990.
Although, I wouldn't want to test the earth cable in a lightening storm...
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We had a great tour to the top
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where we could appreciate some amazing views, back to Salmon Bay
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and across to the Salt Lakes and the road we wrre about to cycle down
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Oliver Hill consists of tunnel structures supporting two 9.2 inch guns and railway lines.

Henrietta Rocks - Rottnest reefs have proven treacherous for many mariners with three vessels running aground at this site. In fact, the shores, reefs and island of Rottnest have claimed over 12 vessels since 1842.
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The Quokka are somewhat bigger than a cat, and are a type of wallaby.
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Although there is a small mainland population in western Australia, this is the best place to spot them.
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Osprey nests can be seen around the island. Some of these are known to be more than 70 years old Osprey stay faithful to their nesting sites, using the same stack for many years. the nests are built out of sticks, seaweed, rope and bones.
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King's Skink can often be spotted darting amongst the limestone rocks or across the road. Large dark-coloured lizards they are found only on the south-west coast and offshore islands.
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This fella was running across the beach and as I went to move a branch out the way to get a better view... he bit me! thankfully, the paperwork says 'they're harmless'!!!

One of the best spots for snorkelling is Little Salmon Bay, off Point Parker Point,
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where on a good day, you can follow a snorkel trail,
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made up of under water signs around 2m meters deep.
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On this day however, the sea was pretty rough, so we gave it our best shot, but after so many waves down the snorkel, we were defeated.
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We did see some fish though...
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and some coral
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Before giving up and, after battling the strong current and waves to get out the sea
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(me in hysterics at this point)
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we opted for a bit of sun bathing!
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As we returned, the sun was setting over Perth
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and Barrack St Jetty
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and I was looking like I'd been wind swept and surfed out.. for some reason!
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Posted by charlystyles 13:44 Archived in Australia Tagged rottnest_island Comments (0)

Rockingham - WA

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The city of Rockingham contains some of the finest coastline and parks in Perth's metropolitan area.
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We drove down, hired some snorkelling gear, and went for a day on the beach :) Mark went for a run and I met him there.
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Rockingham Beach has won the WA Clean Beaches award, the Water Conservation and the Heritage and Culture category awards.
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Apart from the abundance of wildlife, historical significance and award winning restaurants, there is a memorable world waiting underwater,
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The waters of Rockingham include the Shoalwater Island Marine Park and are home to a myriad of marine like and submerged reefs, plus a number of historic shipwrecks.
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Peron Point is one of the best shore dive and snorkelling sites in the Perth metropolitan area.
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They must also have a lot of fish for this fella (Australian Pelican) to be waiting for
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Sea urchins, sea anemones shelter in the seagrass near shore. Other inhabitants of the shallow sandy areas include turban shells, plump stars and spider crabs. Fish include whiting and batfish. We saw lots of seaweed!
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The limestone at Peron Point has been carved into numerous overhangs, small caves and swim throughs very close to shore in a maximum depth of five metres. However, the sea was pretty rough, and the water not so warm, so our snorkelling was limited
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But not bad for Mark's first experience
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and just a bit of fun
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before drying off whilst snoozing on the beach - me being sun safe!
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Happy to say I have so far seen an FTO in every state I've visited so far!
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I think white suits the Australian sunshine too.
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A great day out chilling out
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Posted by charlystyles 13:51 Comments (0)

Wave Rock - WA

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Western Australia's southeast is a sparsely populated, flat region of extreme aridity and limited fresh water. Vast stretches of its red, dusty landscape are inhabited by small mining companies and aboriginals communities.
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York was founded in 1831, in the new colony's drive to establish its self-sufficiency via agriculture.
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Now registered as a historic town, it retains many mid 19th century buildings.
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These include Settler’s House, now a hotel and restaurant and Castle Hotel, built in stages between 1850 and 1932, with it's unusual timber verandas.
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Nearby stands York Motor Museum, with one of the largest collections of veteran cars and vehicles in Australia. These include the 1886 Benz (the world's first car) and the very rare 1946 Holden Sedan prototype.
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Wave Rock, in Australia's Wheatbelt is one of Australia’s most surprising rock formations.
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A great granite wave has been created from a huge outcrop by thousands of years of chemical erosion, and reaction with rainwater which gives it's grey and red stripes.
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  • Wave Rock is over 100m long and taller than a 3-storey building (15 meters).
  • It is believed to have begun forming underground as much as 60 million years ago
  • The wave only became a national attraction when a photograph of it won the 1963/64 Kodak International Colour Picture Competition at the New York International Fair.
  • The Hyden dam (up on the rock outcrop) was a major component of the town's water supply up until 2000.

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The shape has been carved out of the slopes of Hyden rock by the weathering action of water in the soil that abuts the rock. This soil is dampened by water running off the rock - but near the surface it dries quite quickly. Deeper down the soil remains moist for much longer, allowing the 'rotting' action of this moisture to eat away at the face of the rock. As erosion exposes more and more of the outcrop this 'flared shape' seems to rise up.
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The colours on the wave are caused by tine lichens, mosses and algae which produce the orange and black stains that brighten the face of the wave. All these tiny life-form react in different ways to the presence (or absence) of water - and so the streaking pattern is a result of long-term flow patterns down the rock.
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This photo gives you an ideal of scale
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and maybe just how steep it was to climb
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and of course... surf!
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Although...
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Other 'waves' are found around the Hyden Rock and on other outcrops across Western Australia, and all over the world, but this is the most spectacular.
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Hyden Rock started its life as a massive granite intrusion deep beneath the earth's crust. About 120 to 130 million years ago the area around here was a wide rolling plain. Rainwater seeped into the soil - and attacked all rock that was fractured or cracked.
When the plain was eventually eroded down about 60 million years ago this rotted rock was washed away. Only the 'fresh' solid granite was left behind, in the shape of hills - and Hyden Rock was one of these.

Hyden's Signature Tree - Hyden has long been known as 'the town among the salmon gums' - like those below.
The salmon gum is one of Western Australia’s best known trees.
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While it generally does not grow to more than 25 metre in height, it is nonetheless the tallest growing in the vast eucalypt woodland around. The tree is best known for it's distinctive salmon-coloured bark.

Rain falling on the rock has to go somewhere.
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You can see a low stone wall above Wave Rock - this was built in 1928 to channel water into the Hyden Dam up on the outcrop.
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Today this water forms a back up to the town water supply. When in good working order, the walls capture approximately 45% of all water falling within the catchment.
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The ancient rivers that once ran through this country originally flowed from north to south. Millions of years ago the landscape tilted, causing them to flow from east to west. Out here they have dried back to a chain of ephemeral salt lakes that only 'flow' during a good wet winter. Salt originates from rainfall and accumulates in this area at approximately 20kg per year per hectare. This is a tiny amount, but has been accumulating for thousands of years, and some soils now have between 100 and 6,000 tonnes of salt per hectare stored in them.
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Flared slopes like Wave Rock are only one of several minor features well developed on Hyden rock.

A tafone is an Italian word meaning window, and is used to describe the large hollows or caverns that help turn many of these boulders into artworks.
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Tafoni usually grow from the indie out, so that eventually the outer rock shell is breached, creating windows.
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The inner surfaces are often scalloped, with smaller hollows developing inside the larger opening.
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Tafoni form when the rock begins to break down due to granular disintegration or flaking, cause by salt crystallisation. Swirling wind and water add to the process of weathering.
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This is another old quarry site - you can see the broken slab of granite under the man made sculptures. These include the drill holes where explosives were placed to fracture the rock into useable pieces. Thin sheets of granite were taken from this site to use as flooring
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The prominent lake in the distance is Magic Lake, when full, its waters are crystal clear (though salty) and the bottom is white gypsum.

A short walk from Wave Rock is Hippo's Yawn.
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The rock's resemblance to a yawning hippopotamus led to its name. It is about 12.6 meters tall and is located just out of the town of Hyden.
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Lizard spotting out on the rock you see plenty or Ornate Dragons, bobbing their heads madly or skitting across the rock as if their feet are on fire.
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Scarred trees remind us that Aboriginal people passed through this area before the coming Europeans.
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The Humps is another giant outcrop , approximately 16km north of wave rock. It's best-known feature is Mulka's cave, which holds one of the most significant Aboriginal rock art sites in western Australia.
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Mulka's cave is in a large block of rock that has slipped from the main granite outcrop of The humps. The lower surface of the block has been hollowed out by chemical weathering and by wind erosion to form the cave.
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The name Mulka comes from an Aboriginal legend associated with the cave. Mulka was the illegal son of woman who fell in love with a man with whom marriage was forbidden according to their law.
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It is believed that a result of breaking these rules, she bore a son with crossed eyes. Even though he grew to be an outstandingly strong man of colossal height, his crossed eyes prevented him from aiming a spear accurately and becoming a successful hunter.
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Out of frustration it is said Mulka turned to catching and eating human children and he became the terror of the district. He lived in Mulka's Cave, where the imprints of his hands can still be seen, much large and higher than that of an ordinary man.
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There are over 450 separate hand prints and images on the walls of the two main chambers, Handprints make up 69% of the 452 Aboriginal motifs found in the cave and left hands outnumber the right 3 to 2. Most of the hands are made from stencils, by placing the hand on the rock and blowing over I with a pigment,.
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They were principally a form of signature left by those who had rights to the area.

Local elders from the Njakinjaki tribal grouping speak of Mulka's Cave as a powerful place that could only be visited by senior lawmen, or those accompanying them,

The gnamma trail is a flat easy walk of around 1.2km with a strong Noongar (Aboriginal() focus to it’s interpretation. Ten panels use the words and illustrations of local elders and artists to describe the landscape, it's features and the birds, animals and plants that live in it.
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A Gnamma (water hole) were used when the Noongar tribes camped here. Sometimes they wer covered with a stone lid to stop children and animals falling in and reduce evaporation.
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This large flat rock is a lizard trap, propped up on several smaller stones to create a cool dark hiding place.
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Sandalwood trees provide edible 'quandong' fruit. In recent times it's mainly been used for making jam,
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Another great day out
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Posted by charlystyles 13:56 Archived in Australia Tagged wave_rock hyden Comments (0)

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