SHOTS AROUND SYDNEY

Our family loved Sydney. I get there frequently but have very little time to tour. I did click off a few shots while moving around the city from meeting to meeting a few months back. One meeting was held at Cockatoo Island, a place with a long and storied history.

Cockatoo Island, an UNESCO World Heritage Site,[4] is an island located at the junction of the Parramatta and Lane Cove rivers, in Sydney Harbour,Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

At 17.9 hectares (44 acres) it is the largest of several islands that were, in their original state, heavily timbered sandstone knolls. Cockatoo Island rose to 18 metres (59 ft) above sea level and is now cleared of most vegetation. Called Wa-rea-mah by the Indigenous Australians who traditionally inhabited the land prior to European settlement, the island may have been used as a fishing base, although physical evidence of Aboriginal heritage has not been found on the island.[5]

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The water taxi out. He was late. It was raining very hard …

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After my speech we headed down to the wharf for a ride back to Sydney. Luckily, it stopped raining for the walk.

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Someone marking time.

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The old ship buildings remain intact.

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There are a few unusual cottages at the top of the island, apparently for rent.

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With great views of Sydney and your own private tennis court. Hard to beat the view.

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Perhaps we will consider it for our next holiday.

BACK DOWN UNDER, AUSTRALIA

Spent last week in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne. A whirlwind of a tour with very little free time but I did snap off a few shots.

Canon 5D Mark III with a 50mm Sigma f/1.4 – my only non-Canon lens, most handheld HDR.

On the redeye.

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Off the redeye.

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A war monument in Brisbane.

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I do like the way that Australia has preserved their buildings. So much character.

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The clock outside the Westin in Sydney.

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A few shots around the Westin.

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No time …. just 18,453 km.

AUSTRALIA’S GREAT BARRIER REEF

 

Getting to the end of my Australia posts.

One of our excursions was to the barrier reef. The boat ride out to the reef (we were heading to the outer reef) was beautiful as we wove through the islands to the outer reef.

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There are a lot of islands with no one on them.

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Arriving at the outer reef is an odd experience as it is not an above water destination. You look down and it is there. Fish quickly congregated off the back of the boat, obviously conditioned to our arrival. These fish were big .. and friendly.

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The coral was beautiful.

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It amazes me how the colors change over short distances. This is the same coral (as above) but from a bit farther away. Note the way the colors wash out. I have just started playing with underwater photos and the G12, but one thing is clear – closer the better.

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A beautiful pink coral.

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As luck would have it the trip was rather uneventful as snorkelling is all about timing and we didn’t see any fish life that were more interesting than what we saw in the reef off the beach. We had better luck in Belize, but one off the bucket list – we have been to the great barrier reef.

SNORKELLING AROUND HAMILTON ISLAND

 

The tide goes out in the afternoon providing excellent access to the reef system off the beach. You walk in ankle deep water for 300m and then make your way out to the system. The wind and waves will determine the visibility. On boxing day we spent a couple hours snorkelling with excellent visibility. I was swimming with my Canon G12 and an underwater case.

The coral is beautiful.

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I have no idea what type of fish this is but the camouflage was very impressive.

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There were a few jellyfish so you had be careful. Most people were not wearing a stinger suit.

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I happened upon this huge sea turtle grazing. No one else was around so I just hung out for 30 minutes swimming beside him/her and snapping shots. They are such magnificent creatures.

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He/she was not bothered at all.

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The turtle was over a meter long. Beautiful.

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Amazing experience.

TOURING AROUND HAMILTON ISLAND

 

Our first couple of days were rather spotty, filled with rain. As a big fan of Trip Advisor, I had planned using the tool and had a list of options. One of our first “rainy day” actions was to head up to Passage Peak, the highest point on the island. A 3KM hike in on and off again rain is very do-able when it is 27C out.

The view from the top.

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View of the hotel area.

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The vegetation goes from very lush to dry brown.

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We also went to Target Sports, which is a range. I grew up in Alberta shooting. My boys had never shot a gun. They did very well.

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And we stopped off at the Wildlife Park to see the koalas. I have never seen or touched a koala. We all took a turn holding “Elvis”. Their fur feels matted and wiry, and his “hug” very soft. Beautiful animal.

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As I mentioned it was raining. Here is how a Koala weathers out the rain.

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I found this fellow’s eyes piercing. He just stared right at me. I wonder what he was thinking?

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As the rain stopped, this fellow came out of his sleep.

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And a mother brought out her baby for a swing.

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The island does not have a weeks worth of activities but it was good for a few days. Luckily, the sun came out.