Wollongong and the South Coast….something for everyone

We recently spent 4 days in Wollongong, a seaside city which is situated 80 kms south of Sydney.

We stayed at the Novotel on the beach which was a fantastic base to explore the entire area.

We spent lots of time at Wollongong Harbour, which is the only point on the East coast of Australia to have two lighthouses – one on the headland and the other at the entrance to the small harbour.

Our second day was spent exploring Minamurra Rainforest. This beautiful area is in Budderoo National Park near the village of Jamberoo. The walk is fantastic. It is a 4.2km round trip to the falls and back and in spots is a little ‘challenging.’ There are beautiful views over the  gorge and the walk concludes at the base of the Upper Falls.

We also visited the Nan Tiem Temple which is situated at Berkeley (about a 10 minute drive south of Wollongong). As the largest Buddhist temple in the Southern hemisphere, this temple nutures its devotees and the general public in buddhism and harmony between eastern and western cultures. It is set in the most magnificent grounds and is a beautiful place to wander around and reflect.

It was a great break away and of course the camera got a great workout 🙂

Today I leave for Italy, France and England so I won’t be blogging for the next 5 weeks…

Take care everyone, I’ll be bringing backs lots of new pics and experiences to share with you…

Chris xx

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Melbourne…what I saw

Melbourne is a fantastic place to visit.

Often referred to as ‘the cultural capital of Australia’, this city is situated on Port Phillip bay with the city centre positioned on the estuary of the Yarra River.

4.1 million people live in Melbourne making this city the second most populated in Australia.

If you want to experience superb food, fantastic shopping, live theatre and sport, sport and more sport, then put Melbourne on your list of places to visit.

I spent three days there earlier this year.

I wandered the streets, admired the architecture, rode the trams and took in the sights.

Here’s what I saw…… 🙂

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North Haven…a touch of paradise

North Haven is a beautiful, sleepy town on the mid north coast of NSW, Australia

Its approximately a 4 to 5 hour drive from Sydney.

My grandparents and parents spent a lot of their younger years holidaying here.

When I was a kid my parents also bought me here for holidays 🙂

I have so many memories…the beautiful beach, ice creams at the shop, North Brother lookout, the break wall, the pub, the caravan park….Its a place I think of often.

When my children were younger, I also holidayed with them at North Haven….I guess its a place thats holds a lot of tradition in my family.

My parents live here now. They enjoy the quietness of the town, the community spirit, the dolphins on the river and the new friends they have made.

To me its paradise….

 

 

 

 

What a great start to the day….sunrise at Cronulla Beach

Sunrise really is a special time of the day.

The light is spectacular and I love nothing more than getting out on my own with my camera 🙂

This series of shots were taken at Cronulla Beach earlier this year.

I used fast and slow shutter speeds to record the movement of the water and the lone swimmer who was enjoying his early morning dip.

Do you like to get up and enjoy the sunrise?

Have a wonderful day….and don’t forget to click on the pics to view them as a slideshow 🙂

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Aah Venice…..

I am the luckiest girl on the planet. 🙂

In less than two weeks I leave on a 5 week trip of Italy, France and the UK. Yay!!

So today I thought I’d show you one of my favourite photos of Venice – a place I’ve visited twice before that truly took my breath away.

This beautiful city in Northern Italy is made up of 118 small islands linked by bridges. It was a major maritime force during the middle ages and also a trading centre for spice, silk and grain from the 13th century up till the end of the 17th century.

Also well renowned for its art and beauty, this ‘city of canals’ is also called the most romantic city in the world….

To me it was.

The first time I visited I drank it all in – got lost, saw all the sights, rode in a gondola, enjoyed the people and the FANTASTIC architecture. My favourite place of all was St Mark’s Square and the beautiful winged lion (the symbol of The Republic of Venice)

St Mark’s Basilica and the Doge’s Palace were magnificent and it was right there in the square that I fell in love with the city. I imagined all the Venetians of long ago and wondered who else had fallen in love here? Who had met here? 

The second time I visited I was with a small tour group and we walked into the middle of the square holding hands with our eyes closed (I told them it would be a great way to get your first glimpse of the square)

When we opened our eyes, they gazed in awe at the beautiful church and the surrounding architecture of the square.

I was reduced to tears…So much beauty…

It was as if the city wrapped me up in itself. I’ll never forget how I felt there….

Im looking forward to having that feeling again….

Don’t forget to click on the photo to enlarge it 🙂

Have you been to Venice? Please feel free to contact me in the comments section below or on Facebook , twitter  or pinterest.

 

Whale Tails and Spectacular Breeches….

Whale Watching. Its something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time.

In April I won the photography competition via Whale Watching Sydney’s facebook page..

With Sydney putting on a magnificent winter day, we secured our spot on the boat with the hope of seeing some sort of whale activity.

Our harbour is always magnificent and today was no different. I never tire of looking at the Opera House, the Harbour Bridge or Fort Denison.

We sped out through the heads and spotted our first whales about 8 miles out to sea.

The whales migrating south are usually found further out to sea in the East Australian Current.

This strong southerly current carries the whales during their southern migration to Antarctica.

There were two humpback whales and they gave us quite a show for a few hours.

These beautiful gentle mammals are a wonder to see. I loved just being near them.

And of course the camera was going click click click 🙂

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Photo of the day….The ride of my life

“You can sit centre front” said the pilot.

I couldn’t get into the chopper quick enough and I tried not to smile too much.

It was my first helicopter flight and I was just a little bit excited 🙂

Due to weight distribution in the cabin, this photographer had to sit in the best seat in the house 🙂

We were flying from Las Vegas, Nevada to the Grand Canyon, Arizona taking in Lake Mead, the Hoover Dam and finally landing in the magnificent Grand Canyon.

I loved every moment of that flight but NOTHING prepared me for the view. The feeling of being high above the world and taking in some of the most magnificent scenery I’ve ever laid eyes on was truly memorable.

At maximum water capacity, Lake Mead is the largest reservoir in the United States. It is situated on the Colorado River and crosses the states of Nevada and Arizona. Formed by the Hoover Dam, it boasts an impressive 410 square kms of surface area, and measures approx 152 meters at its greatest depth.

Drought has caused the capacity of Lake Mead to drop significantly over the past decade.

I love this photo. Look at the colour of that water!! It was so beautiful…

I love the browns and ochre colour of the landscape and the obvious mark left by the receding shore line..

Have you flown in a helicopter? I’d love to hear your story and what you saw on your adventure.

Thanks to Mat from Maverick Helicopters

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