Kiama, part 4.

Hi there,

In part 4 of Kiama which will wrap up this trip, i will focus on some of the surrounding areas of Kiama that interface with the sea.  In non jargon language we would call it the Coastline.  We have seen some already and on any given day the sea can be calm or ferocious, which may or may not change our perception of the coastline.

cropped-img_6153.jpg

Look at the photo above, the rockpools are nice and calm whereas at the top right hand side of the photo the ocean is pounding into the coastline.  What if we change the sky to dark storm clouds?  Does that change our perception of the coastline?  Does it suddenly become threatening?  Maybe, maybe not.  One can find beauty in nature in any circumstance i would think.  One thing is for sure, it’s the ferocious ocean that sculpts the coastline.

IMG_6202

Look at the power of the ocean above which slams into some rocks and creates that huge spray.  Majestic and frightening all at the same time.

IMG_6430

Here it is nice and calm and barely a ripple in the ocean.

IMG_6148

I like this photo, it shows the interplay between rock, sand and ocean.  Sand that once was rock worn down by the ocean over centuries.

IMG_6187

Here’s a picture of some rough sea, angry at the wind pulling at it.

IMG_6639

Just the obligatory seagull surveying the sea, nothing more!

IMG_6670

Some interesting formations above created by the endless cycle of tides.

IMG_6620

It would be interesting to know if the first Western Explorers who saw these interesting block formations a couple of hundred years ago would notice anything different today.  I somehow think not, there may be one or two changes in size in some of these blocks.  One may have to go back 10’s of thousands of years to see any real difference.  I’m not a geologist, only surmising!

IMG_6689

The ravenous sea wanting to swallow you up!

IMG_6674

.

IMG_6699

.

IMG_6622

.

IMG_6274

The thing about Kiama is there’s some lovely coastline, rugged and dangerous looking, some lovely beaches looking cool calm and collected, some lovely rock pools that can be a whole lot of fun.  A bit of everything to suit everyone.

Until next time.

Cheers!

Advertisements

Kiama, Part 3.

Budderoo National Park – Minnamurra Rainforest

Hi There,

Following on from previous posts from Kiama, the Budderoo National Park is not far from Kiama on the south coast of New South Wales.  It’s a beautiful place with waterfalls and lookouts and a rainforest to boot as well.

Rainfall here approaches the 2 metre mark per annum, that’s 2000mm.  In other words a lot of rain and its evident here in the lush landscape of ferns, vines, rainforest trees and more ferns.  Ferns growing on ferns, on rocks, on trees, on everything in fact.  A very different landscape.

Above is a typical scene in this rainforest, huge vines scrambling everywhere, strangling everything looking for sunlight.  A constant theme in any forest is the search for sunlight by plants.  Trees reaching for the sky seeking that elusive substance.

Asplenium australasicum or commonly referred to as Bird Nest Ferns were evident everywhere.

These are actually Epiphytes(plants that grow on other plants-but not parasites).  They have a lovely silky smooth glossy green leaf.  Quite a spectacular plant and readily available in most nurseries.

A few more in some trees below!

And some more for good measure!  This rock was incredible-countless ferns and mosses all over it!

Check out the rock below, it has ferns running over it by the look of it, amazing!  I think it is Arthropteris beckleri also known as Hairy Climbing Fishbone Fern.

One of the trees in this rainforest is the Jackwood(see picture below) or Native Laurel, which is also known as Cryptocarya glaucescens which grows to about 35 metres tall.  Click HERE for more info on this tree.

I just realised that you can’t see the top!  Not a great photo but gives you a sense of scale!  Another commonly grown plant in gardens is the Elkhorn which is an Epiphyte as well.  scientifically known as Platycerium bifurcatum.  The one below is quite a size!

Another great tree was the Strangler Fig, Ficus oblique , which is also known as the Small leaved Fig.  The leaves are the only thing on it that are small!

And again!

It was very hard to get all of this tree in the frame, what a monster!

Some nice buttress roots

I think we will progress to smaller things just to calm ourselves down a fraction.  Below is the Fragrant Fern, Microsorum scandens which is clambering over a boulder.  Looks quite lovely don’t you think?

Now for something out of the blue and a slightly different track we came across a very interesting bird which can be difficult to see in its native habitat.

The Superb Lyrebird, Menura novaehollandiae .  Click HERE to find out more about this master of hiding and mimicry.  To hear its amazing vocal chords, click HERE.  I was quite chuffed to see this bird in the wild, a first for me.  One normally heres them if you can be sure of their birdsong but hardly sees them.

Not great photos, but in this case they will have to do.  Check out the amazing tail they have.  Below you can see the landscape and how green it is, a couple of patches of red reveal the Illawarra Flame Tree, Brachychiton acerifolius.  Click HERE for more info.  This was as close as I got to them.

Some more ferns, this could be Blechnum neohollandicum , Prickly Rasp Fern.

This may be the Sickle Fern, Pellaea falcata.

Some nice lacy effects from under a tree-fern

The one below is the Giant Maiden Hair , Adiantum formusum.

Heres another lovely side view of the Birds Nest Fern.

Some vines now to make it a little scary!

Look out!  You don’t want to stand still for too long Here!

Here are some roots of a strangler Fig and more vines!

Hmmmm.

A truly remarkable environment for adventitious plants.

Another remarkable tree here is the Australian Red Cedar, Toona ciliata var. australis.  This tree is now scarce as it was highly sought after by the early settlers and the early timber industry as the wood was highly sought after for its fine grain.  It has beautiful dusky pink-red trunks.

Very Majestic.

And another one.

This one below has some ferns growing on it.  I think they may be the Rock Felt Fern, Pyrrosia rupestris.

Ill finish our tour here with a couple of general shots in the Minnamurra Rainforest. Go and have a look at it if you ever get the chance!

.

.

Until next time.

Cheers!

EPIC SUNSET

Hi There,

Last week we went to our local water hole which just happens to be the Hume Weir.  A sizable body of water when full.  Click HERE for heaps of info on the Hume Dam.  The surface area of Hume Dam is a tad under 50,000 acres and when full can hold a touch over 3,000,000 mega litres.  Quite impressive for a local water hole one can say!  Anyway, the reason we were here was to cool down with a swim since we are smack bang in the middle of summer.

IMG_7703

after more than a week of constant 37-40 deg Celsius plus warm nights makes people go a bit stir crazy and senile.  Yes I know! we live in a hot country and should be used to it but it would be nice to have some hot days then some cool days, more hot days then some cool days and so on.  Stop whingeing you say, ok, no worries.

IMG_7707

Anyway, the sunburnt land contrasts nicely with the cool blue water and the fluffy white clouds.  Since we had now cooled down and had a bit of tea, the light playing across the weir started to change as the sun was sinking lower and lower.

IMG_7710

I quite like the above picture for its moody look. The cloudy sky and sunlight painting the far hills in subtle colours.  Then it all went a bit crazy!

IMG_7712

It started raining colour.  I particularly like how the clouds are outlined or highlighted in pinks and reds.

IMG_7726

Epic in my opinion!

IMG_7721

Nature! Got to love it, it entrances one at the most unexpected times.

IMG_7714

Not sure how a panoramic shot will look here but willing to give it a whirl.

IMG_7720

One final blast of colour above and then it was all over in a blink of the eye.  If we didn’t have such easy access to electronic devices and cameras today, one would hardly believe the spectacles that nature provides in an instant which then just evaporate away as if nothing happened.  We were entranced for the minute or so this light show was on and then promptly returned to our lives.  Until next time!

Cheers!

Kiama. part 2.

Budderoo National Park / Illawarra Fly Tree Top Walk

Hi There,

During our holiday to Kiama last January, we spent a day at the Illawarra Fly Tree Top Walk, where one can fly through the tall trees and walk amongst the tree tops of the Budderoo National Park.

IMG_6341

Hard to see in the above photo but the ground is on a slope of somewhere between 50-70% and the trees are quite tall.  Lower right in this photo, one can make out a zip line.  Quite a contraption that holds platforms to these trees.  Each year Engineers measure how deep the clamps are and adjust as necessary to keep the platforms where they are and to not strangle any tree as well.

IMG_6338

Here we are walking across a rope bridge.  The course was a collection of these bridges and three zip lines.

IMG_6337

And again

IMG_6336

To give you and idea of the steep terrain, check out the photo below!

IMG_6396

Notice those two trees seem to be quite close to one another.  Look where there bases are, nearly under each other.  Heres a nice long zip line!

IMG_6346

This one let you reach quite a speed which was exhilarating, if you’re not scared of heights!

IMG_6348

Soft landing!

IMG_6349

After the course is completed you are able to wander around the tree tops and enjoy the views and the flora of course!

IMG_6343

A mighty specimen holding its head high!  Intricate patterns of fern leaves from above, see below.

IMG_6342

The tree top walkway!

IMG_6365

Not for the faint hearted!

IMG_6388

At a mid-point there was a tower you could climb for some stunning views over the valley and to the sea!

IMG_6391

IMG_6385

unfortunately it was a little cloudy but yet  this made it quite mystical.  Sea in the distant.

IMG_6375

Some magical rock formations which sort of just drop straight down.

IMG_6401

If you are ever near Kiama, give this a go.  It’s a lot of fun!  Until next time.

Cheers!

 

Kiama

Hi There!

As its been a year, I thought I would look back to the start of last year where we went for a holiday to the seaside town of Kiama on the South Coast of New South Wales.  Quite a lovely spot with plenty to do and see.  Situated 120km south of Sydney this makes it an ideal spot for Sydneysiders to holiday here which we are not!  Most of the people we met were though.  It took us about 5 and a half hours to get there too.  The caravan park at Kiama East beach was really good with access directly onto the beach and plenty to do.

Beautiful clear water with nice waves, quite rough when the wind was up otherwise it was calm.

Sun has just set behind the hills to the rear of Kiama which lead to the escarpment up to the plains around Bowral and Moss Vale.  It’s quite a drop from Moss Vale through Knights Hill down to Kiama.  The Budderoo National Park is here to which is spectacular.  Here’s some nice rock pools at Kiama East Beach with the waves crashing in behind them!

A kid being buried alive on the beach.  Apparently he was rescued at a later date.

More kids contemplating the ocean.

Around Kiama there a couple of Blowholes.  A large one and a small one.  When we were there the small one was outpacing the large one by a country mile.  That’s a long way by the way!

Above we have some tourists waiting for the action and below we have the small blow-hole from a distance.

The coastline here is quite impressive and there’s a lovely walk along it in either direction from the caravan park.  Here a some photos of the sea crashing into the coastline.

There’s something therapeutic about watching the waves roll in If you are looking for a great summer holiday.  Kiama is the place to go!  Stay tuned for future posts from this part of the world.

Cheers!

Hi There!

Hi There!

I understand its been a while since I posted here!  I discovered another thing called Instagram but it’s not everything nor is Facebook or word press for that matter.  We’ve had a couple of little trips since the last big trip, spring has come and gone again(just about).  So, I have a bit of material I can talk about.

There was a trip to Kiama in January.  More will be revealed later.

There was some skiing action.  More may be revealed later.

There was a trip to the Grampians.  More will definitely be revealed later.  Just Beautiful.

Spring Arrived.  More will be revealed about this.

I think that will do.  Obviously there’s a whole lot more that goes on with life but seriously, who’s interested in that.  we go to work, we come home from work, we have tea, we go to the toilet, we sleep, we wake up, we go to work, we have morning tea, we come home, we have tea, we go to sleep, we wake up, we go to work, we have morning tea, we have lunch, we go to the toilet, we go home, we have tea, we go to sleep, we wake up.  Get the picture!

Have a nice day.  Don’t forget to brush your teeth.

Cheers!

A trip to the Northern Territory. Part 13.

The End Approaches.

Hi There!

You may have guessed from the last post or even from the heading above that our trip to the Northern Territory was drawing to a close.  In some ways it was good to think that we would be home soon because really deep down at the bottom of your hearts there is no place like ‘HOME’.  This old saying(if that’s what it is) is so true on so many levels it’s not funny!  In other ways it was sad to be leaving the Territory, this natural beating heart of Australia Its grandeur, its beauty, its harshness, its isolation, its story, its cultural significance and many more its.  We have only seen but a portion of it.

Our last day here dawned bright and clear albeit slightly chilly.  We were of to have a camel ride!  These animals having been introduced to Australia, certainly have taken a likening to the Outback and many thousands, roughly 300,000(2013 estimates after a cull which started in 2009, which estimated there to be 600,000 in 2009) roam the outback.  Apparently we are the only country in the world with feral herds of camels and the largest populations of them, seriously??

Here’s a few lined up ready to go on some long tours, we were only going to do the 20 minute version.

Old Tom’s waterhole, not sure who old Tom is.  You can see our rig in the car park all packed and ready to head south(home).

getting up close with our ride!  Here we go!

Time to head towards the Stuart Highway and start our 2,381 kilometre journey home!

Right it is!

A far too common sight on the side of the Stuart Highway.  Rolled and crashed vehicles, obviously too expensive to retrieve out here, wont be long and they will be scavenged and rusted away in this harsh landscape.  Another common sight is road trains, the lifeblood of the outback!  Click HERE for some interesting information on road trains.A couple more photos of these largish trucks!.

Not real great fun overtaking them either as you watch the individual trailers moving around!

We were heading for Marla, 5ookm away in South Australia, our first stop on the way home.  When we set up camp behind the Road House we realised there were seven of us instead of the usual six.  We had picked up a hitch hiker!

Poor little fellow, thought he might like a holiday, we caught him and placed him on the side of a tree at Marla much to the disgust of our youngest who thought we could take him home.

Next morning we continued south to Coober Pedy to have a look at this interesting place, click HERE to find out more about this bizarre place!  You know you are getting close when you come across these mounds.

There is some serious mining for Opals here, it is also known as the opal mining capital of the world with over 70 opal fields.  To me the unfortunate thing is it leaves the landscape looking like the above and below photo’s, interesting but quite ugly!

There are a lot of houses here that are mostly underground or partially underground to escape the searing heat experienced here.  You can see the ventilation shafts in the photo below.

Here’s a panoramic view from the lookout.

Another view.

Time to move on.  unfortunately we found Coober Pedy to be dirty, unappealing and creepy.  Not a glowing endorsement considering plenty of other people find it amazing.  I should also say that we didn’t do any of the underground mine tours or building tours, apparently these are quite good.  We can recommend the Coober Pedy Outback Bar and Grill, we had a really great lunch!  Time to hit the road again and get as far along as we could before it got dark.

Another road photo, not really exciting.  Lots of road to look at.

Last night on the side of the road,  plenty of firewood required for a nice warm fire!

Toasty feet.

It was a cold windy night.  We had one more night before we got home and we decided to book a house at a campground which was sort of nice not to have to unpack and set up the camper trailer, a last night of luxury.  Sort of!  I apologise for all the blurry/grainy photos above, they were all taken on a IPhone 5a, b or c, who would know…Well after 6500 kilometres and three weeks on the road, it was great to be home with a whole heap of memories and experiences which we shall never forget for all the right reasons!  Now the fun starts…..Unpacking!!

That’s just me with my family poking fun at me, never seemed to have the camera away from my eyes!  Oh, and a small bald spot!

Just in case you missed any of my posts on the Northern Territory, here is a recap for you with links to them.

Part 1 – A long time ago now!

Part 2 – Alice Springs – Olive Pink Botanic Garden

Part 3 – Alice Springs Reptile Centre
Part 4 – National Road Transport Hall of Fame.
Part 5 – Alice Springs Desert Park
Part 6 – Alice Springs, a few last glimpses.
Part 7 – Serpentine Gorge
Part 8 – Ormiston Gorge and the Ochre Pits
Part 9 – Kings Canyon
Part 10 – Kathleen Gorge
Part 11 – Uluru
Part 12a – Kata Tjuta – Valley of the Winds
Part 12b – Kata Tjuta – Walpa Gorge
Part 13 – You’re already on it!!
I will finish here with a tribute to the Northern Territory using lyrics from a hugely popular and loved classic of the screen and Broadway.  I couldn’t have said it better!!
“There’s a sad sort of clanging from the clock in the hall
And the bells in the steeple too
And up in the nursery an absurd little bird
Is popping out to say, “Cuckoo”
Cuckoo, cuckoo
Regretfully they tell us cuckoo, cuckoo
But firmly they compel us
To say, “Goodbye”, to youSo long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, good night
I hate to go and leave this pretty sightSo long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, adieu
Adieu, adieu, to you and you and youSo long, farewell, au revoir, auf wiedersehen

I’d like to stay and taste my first champagne

So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye
I leave and heave a sigh and say “Goodbye”, goodbye

I’m glad to go, I cannot tell a lie
I flit, I float, I fleetly flee, I fly

The sun has gone to bed and so must I
So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye
Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye
Goodbye”