Dusk and day at Coledale in the Illawarra, NSW.

Stunning, if fleeting, colour and drama at Coledale, in the Illawarra region of NSW.

Coledale 2AM-002791
©Andrew McInnes. All Rights Reserved.

Aerial (drone) photo of wave wrapping around rocks.

Coledale 2AM-000161
©Andrew McInnes. All Rights Reserved.

Freedom and playtime on the beach.

Coledale 2AM-007447
©Andrew McInnes. All Rights Reserved.

Coledale 2AM-007450
©Andrew McInnes. All Rights Reserved.

Another splendid summer day at Coledale Beach.

Coledale Beach 2AM-009728
©Andrew McInnes. All Rights Reserved.

 

Cheers 🙂

Days 9-11: Makarora and Fox Glacier etc, New Zealand – December 2015.

 

Day 9-11. Makarora and Fox Glacier etc, South Island – New Zealand.

Onwards…
More from Otago, plus some from West Coast.  As is the case with all holidays, the end comes too soon.

This last post includes images from Blue Pools on the Makarora River, the Whataroa River, Fox Glacier, and Lake Hawea (near The Neck).

Dusk settles over the Southern Alps at Makarora.

Makarora 2AM-000934. ©Andrew McInnes

Makarora 2AM-000934.
©Andrew McInnes

Makarora River 2AM-000931. ©Andrew McInnes

Makarora River 2AM-000931.
©Andrew McInnes

Makarora River 2AM-000930. ©Andrew McInnes

Makarora River 2AM-000930.
©Andrew McInnes

 

The stunning, and frigid, Blue Pools.

Blue Pools - Makarora River 2AM-000916. ©Andrew McInnes

Blue Pools – Makarora River 2AM-000916.
©Andrew McInnes

Blue Pools - Makarora River 2AM-000914. ©Andrew McInnes

Blue Pools – Makarora River 2AM-000914.
©Andrew McInnes

 

Happy hour 🙂
Cold beers and conversation in and alongside the Makarora River.

Makarora 2AM-000539. ©Andrew McInnes

Makarora 2AM-000539.
©Andrew McInnes

 

A Tui (Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae), in the honeyeater family, foraging on New Zealand flax (Phormium sp.).

Tui 2AM-004945. ©Andrew McInnes

Tui 2AM-004945.
©Andrew McInnes

 

Dawn over the Southern Alps at Fox Glacier – includes Aoraki / Mount Cook.

Fox Glacier 2AM 1002-4 HDR. ©Andrew McInnes

Fox Glacier 2AM 1002-4 HDR.
©Andrew McInnes

Fox Glacier 2AM-000957. ©Andrew McInnes

Fox Glacier 2AM-000957. ©Andrew McInnes

Fox Glacier 2AM-000981. ©Andrew McInnes

Fox Glacier 2AM-000981.
©Andrew McInnes

Fox Glacier 2AM-000988. ©Andrew McInnes

Fox Glacier 2AM-000988.
©Andrew McInnes

Fox Glacier 2AM-000993. ©Andrew McInnes

Fox Glacier 2AM-000993.
©Andrew McInnes

Fox Glacier 2AM-000995. ©Andrew McInnes

Fox Glacier 2AM-000995.
©Andrew McInnes

The Neck 2AM-000537 iPhone panorama. ©Andrew McInnes

The Neck 2AM-000537 iPhone panorama.
©Andrew McInnes

Whataroa River 2AM 1024-1029 panorama. ©Andrew McInnes

Whataroa River 2AM 1024-1029 panorama.
©Andrew McInnes

Whataroa River 2AM-001017. ©Andrew McInnes

Whataroa River 2AM-001017.
©Andrew McInnes

 

I hope you enjoyed this and the previous posts of my images from a fantastic holiday in New Zealand.

Cheers 🙂

Day 7: The Catlins, New Zealand – December 2015.

Day 7 – The spectacular Catlins area, South Island – New Zealand.

Spectacular, diverse, ever-changing – we drove through beautiful rural scenes, along a rugged coast, saw a few more yellow-eyed penguins, sea lions, a couple of lighthouses, and low tide allowed us to walk among a 180 million year old petrified Jurassic forest – one of only three such accessible fossil forests in the world! All this and so much more we couldn’t fit in 😦

Nugget Point Lighthouse, built in 1869-70. A place of spectacular views, many rocky islets (The Nuggets), and much wildlife.

Nugget Point Lighthouse 2AM 0739-0744 Panorama_edit

Nugget Point Lighthouse 2AM-0379-0744 panorama. ©Andrew McInnes

Nugget Point Lighthouse 2AM-000749

Nugget Point Lighthouse 2AM-000749. ©Andrew McInnes

Nugget Point Lighthouse 2AM-000754

Nugget Point Lighthouse 2AM-000754. ©Andrew McInnes

Nugget Point Lighthouse 2AM-000775

Nugget Point Lighthouse 2AM-000775. ©Andrew McInnes

 

To be able to view, and even walk among a petrified forest in the intertidal zone at low tide was remarkable. There are both stumps and fallen trees, petrified, with some growth rings plainly visible. This is but a sampling of the numerous specimens at Curio Bay.
Curio Bay is of international significance for its fossilised forest dating back to the Jurassic period. The tree fossils you see here are 160 million years old and the forest was alive when New Zealand was part of Gondwanaland. (source: The Catlins New Zealand website).

Petrified Forest - Curio Bay 2AM-000635

Petrified Forest – Curio Bay 2AM-000635. ©Andrew McInnes

Petrified Forest - Curio Bay 2AM-000631

Petrified Forest – Curio Bay 2AM-000631. ©Andrew McInnes

Petrified Forest - Curio Bay 2AM-000634

Petrified Forest – Curio Bay 2AM-000634. ©Andrew McInnes

Petrified Forest - Curio Bay 2AM-000665

Petrified Forest – Curio Bay 2AM-000665. ©Andrew McInnes

Petrified Forest - Curio Bay 2AM-000656

Petrified Forest – Curio Bay 2AM-000656. ©Andrew McInnes

 

Four images of the Waipapa Point Lighthouse. This is the site of New Zealand’s worst civilian shipwreck. In 1881 the SS Tararua ran aground on Waipapa Reef and 131 of 151 passengers and crew died. The lighthouse, built after the disaster, stands as a poignant reminder. (source: Southern Scenic Route website).

Waipapa Point Lighthouse 2AM-000600

Waipapa Point Lighthouse 2AM-000600. ©Andrew McInnes

Waipapa Point Lighthouse 2AM-000611

Waipapa Point Lighthouse 2AM-000611. ©Andrew McInnes

Waipapa Point Lighthouse 2AM-000622

Waipapa Point Lighthouse 2AM-000622. ©Andrew McInnes

Waipapa Point Lighthouse 2AM-000616

Waipapa Point Lighthouse 2AM-000616. ©Andrew McInnes

 

I hope you enjoyed these images from a fascinating region of New Zealand.

Cheers 🙂

Days 5 and 6: Moeraki and Dunedin, New Zealand – December 2015.

Days 5 and 6 – Moeraki and Dunedin.

Just outside the coastal town of Moeraki there are numerous large concretions, exposed and highly visible, lying along a stretch of Koekohe Beach. I thoroughly recommend reading more about them (here is a Wikipedia link).

Here are a series of images captured during our brief visit.

Moeraki Boulders 2AM-000526

Moeraki Boulders 2AM-000526. ©Andrew McInnes

Moeraki Boulders 2AM-000500

Moeraki Boulders 2AM-000500. ©Andrew McInnes

Moeraki Boulders 2AM-000496

Moeraki Boulders 2AM-000496. ©Andrew McInnes

Moeraki Boulders 2AM-000517

Moeraki Boulders 2AM-000517. ©Andrew McInnes

Moeraki Boulders 2AM-000533

Moeraki Boulders 2AM-000533. ©Andrew McInnes

Moeraki Boulders 2AM-000549

Moeraki Boulders 2AM-000549. ©Andrew McInnes

Moeraki Boulders 2AM-000538

Moeraki Boulders 2AM-000538. ©Andrew McInnes

 

After a thoroughly enjoyable dinner washed down with a local amber ale at the Moeraki Tavern, I took these shots of the nearby harbour. We had hoped to also eat at the famed Fleurs Place restaurant another night but, alas, it was closed for a while over the Christmas break.

Fleurs Place - Restaurant 2AM-000598

Fleurs Place – Restaurant 2AM-000598. ©Andrew McInnes

Moeraki 2AM-000599

Moeraki Bay 2AM-000599. ©Andrew McInnes

Moeraki 2AM-000593

Moeraki Bay 2AM-000593. ©Andrew McInnes

Moeraki 2AM-000595

Moeraki Bay 2AM-000595. ©Andrew McInnes

 

A little further south is the city of Dunedin, where I have family heritage. We had a joyous visit with a cousin and her family, and she accompanied us on a lovely hike to see the Organ Pipes. “The Otago peninsula was formed entirely by volcanic activity and the tall polygonal columns featured on this walk are remnants of this past. As molten lava cooled slowly beneath the hardened crust, it contracted and formed geometrical cracks which propagated downwards as the mass cooled.” (source: NZ Tramper website).

The Organ Pipes 2AM-000567

The Organ Pipes 2AM-000567. ©Andrew McInnes

The Organ Pipes 2AM-000576

The Organ Pipes 2AM-000576. ©Andrew McInnes

The Organ Pipes 2AM-000577

The Organ Pipes 2AM-000577. ©Andrew McInnes

The Organ Pipes 2AM-000578

The Organ Pipes 2AM-000578. ©Andrew McInnes

 

After the organ pipes we wanted to visit the world’s only mainland breeding colony of Royal Albatross so we ventured out to Taiaroa Head on the Otago Peninsula. Unfortunately we did not see any albatross, but there was a rather active colony of gulls. Whilst wandering along an observation path, we heard, then saw, quite an aerial commotion… upon further observation we saw a Black-backed Gull being harassed by several smaller gulls – the larger gull had apparently “kidnapped” a chick and was heading off with it. For those who may be a bit squeamish about natural history, the following two images may concern you.

Black-backed Gull 2AM-004861

Black-backed Gull 2AM-004861. ©Andrew McInnes

Black-backed Gull 2AM-004882

Black-backed Gull 2AM-004882. ©Andrew McInnes

 

Looking down the steep cliffs of Taiaroa Head I was entranced by bull kelp (Durvillaea species) as it seemingly twirled and shimmied in a whimsical tango with the ocean.
Rimurapa - Bull Kelp 2AM-004857

 

Overlooking the spit within Otago Harbour – our lunch spot on our way back to Moeraki.

Harrington Point 2AM-000580

Harrington Point 2AM-000580. ©Andrew McInnes

 

Back to Mouraki, we were thrilled and fortunate to observe, up close, a few Yellow-eyed Penguins (Megadyptes antipodes)! These New Zealand endemics (native) are purported to be among the worlds rarest penguin species.

Yellow-eyed Penguin 2AM-004739

Yellow-eyed Penguin 2AM-004739. ©Andrew McInnes

Yellow-eyed Penguin 2AM-004780

Yellow-eyed Penguin 2AM-004780. ©Andrew McInnes

 

Thanks for visiting – I hope you enjoyed these images.
Cheers 🙂

Thunder and lightning – Wombarra and Austinmer, NSW.

Last week (early December, 2015) we witnessed a wonderful series of lightning storms in the northern Illawarra area of New South Wales, Australia. Surrounded, but not underneath any particular cell, the light and drama at Austinmer and Wombarra was spectacular!

Here is a panorama of one of the lightning storm cells bathing Austinmer Beach in amazing light.

Austinmer 2AM 9850-9852 Panorama

Austinmer 2AM 9850-9852 Panorama © Andrew McInnes

 

Stormy light over the Pacific, incorporating a little of Keswick House.

Keswick House 2AM 9854-9856 HDR © Andrew McInnes

 

Just a little further north is the village of Wombarra, from where the following three images were captured.

Wombarra Headland 2AM 9864-9866 Panorama

Wombarra Headland 2AM 9864-9866 Panorama © Andrew McInnes

Wombarra Headland 2AM 9867-9869 Panorama

Wombarra Headland 2AM 9867-9869 Panorama © Andrew McInnes

Wombarra Headland 2AM 9887-9888

Wombarra Headland 2AM 9887-9888 stack © Andrew McInnes

 

The final two images include the Wombarra rock pool.

Wombarra Rock Pool 2AM 9900_9903 stack

Wombarra Rock Pool 2AM 9900_9903 stack © Andrew McInnes

Wombarra Rock Pool 2AM 9913-9914

Wombarra Rock Pool 2AM 9913-9914 © Andrew McInnes

 

’twas a wonderfully dramatic sky, with quite the lightning show that was ongoing for quite some time. I hope you enjoyed these images.

 

Cheers 🙂

Autumn colour, toadstools, and a train station in the Blue Mountains, NSW.

This past weekend I spent a brief couple of hours photographing near Mount Wilson and Katoomba in the Blue Mountains area of New South Wales, Australia.

Although it is the end of the season, remnant autumn colour abounds at Breenhold Gardens. I went looking for colour and fanciful toadstools on a brisk and breezy dusk and was fortunate to find both.

Autumn-Leaves-2AM-008205

Autumn Leaves 2AM-008205 © Andrew McInnes

 

This quintessential toadstool, Amanita muscaria, is commonly known as the fly agaric or fly amanita. I looked hard but unfortunately I failed to find any gnomes or fairies 😉

Amanita muscaria - Toadstool 2AM-001323

Amanita muscaria – Toadstool 2AM-001323 © Andrew McInnes

 

A bit more colour…

Autumn Colour 2AM 8175-7 HDR

Autumn Colour 2AM 8175-8177 HDR © Andrew McInnes

Autumn Leaves 2AM-008172

Autumn Leaves 2AM-008172 © Andrew McInnes

Pink Spider Lily 2AM-001341

Pink Spider Lily 2AM-001341 © Andrew McInnes

 

More fungi – clumps of mushrooms.

Mushrooms 2AM-001314

Mushrooms 2AM-001314 © Andrew McInnes

 

On the way home after dark I stopped in Katoomba as the train station caught my eye. The first two images were on the way to the platform…

Katoomba Railway Station 2AM-008226

Katoomba Railway Station 2AM-008226 © Andrew McInnes

Katoomba Railway Station 2AM-008229

Katoomba Railway Station 2AM-008229 © Andrew McInnes

 

This is the view of the Katoomba train station that enticed me to stop and photograph on what was fast becoming a bloody cold evening.

Katoomba Railway Station 2AM-008223

I hope you enjoyed this very limited discovery of a portion of the Blue Mountains.

Cheers 🙂

“OMG – Mine Your Food Bowl?” Open-cut coal mines on the Liverpool Plains?

I recently conducted a 36 hour reconnaissance drive up to Breeza and Caroona on the Liverpool Plains area of NSW to examine the area where several open-cut coal mines have been proposed – at least one of which, the Shenhua Watermark mine, is foreign-owned. The Liverpool Plains a highly productive region of Australia with vast acres in production of barley, chickpeas, faba beans, sorghum, sunflowers, soybeans, maize, wheat and cotton, plus grazing of beef cattle and sheep. I concur with the protesters slogan of “Wrong mine, wrong place.”

On the drive up I hoped to photograph the extensive raping and scarring of the land through the Hunter Valley but opportunities are not prevalent from the roadside due to significant concealing of operations and the resultant ramifications. I am not against mining, per se, however I do have issues with “the commons” being over-extracted for the profits of a few whilst the landholder has little recompense for the invasion, and the people of this nation see very little direct financial benefits.

The following two signs are in close proximity, located alongside the Kamilaroi Hwy, near Breeza.

Anti Mining Sign 2AM-007978

Anti-Mining Sign 2AM-007978 © Andrew McInnes. All Rights Reserved.

Anti Mining Sign 2AM-007974

Anti-Mining Sign 2AM-007974 © Andrew McInnes. All Rights Reserved.

 

Should they be able to mine this…

Liverpool Plains

Liverpool Plains 2AM 1217-1221 pano © Andrew McInnes. All Rights Reserved.

and turn it into this?

Coal Mine 2AM-001179

Coal Mine 2AM-001179 © Andrew McInnes. All Rights Reserved.

Coal Train 2AM-007879

Coal Train 2AM-007879 © Andrew McInnes. All Rights Reserved.

 

Here is a warning sign to the public (the same public who paid for the road) that as a result of mining activity in the Hunter Valley the public infrastructure is likely compromised…

Road Subsidence Sign 2AM-007875

Road Subsidence Sign 2AM-007875 © Andrew McInnes. All Rights Reserved.

Road Subsidence Sign 2AM-007876

Road Subsidence Sign 2AM-007876 © Andrew McInnes. All Rights Reserved.

 

Let’s Lock the Gate “to protect our common heritage – our land, water and communities – from unsafe or inappropriate mining for coal seam gas and other fossil fuels.”

Lock the Gate 2AM-007873

Lock the Gate 2AM-007873 © Andrew McInnes. All Rights Reserved.

Anti Mining Sign 2AM-001222

Anti-Mining Sign 2AM-001222 © Andrew McInnes. All Rights Reserved.

Anti Mining Sign 2AM-001223

Anti-Mining Sign 2AM-001223 © Andrew McInnes. All Rights Reserved.

Anti Mining Sign 2AM-001224

Anti-Mining Sign 2AM-001224 © Andrew McInnes. All Rights Reserved.

 

To wrap this blog-post up here are several images capturing a very small portion of the scenery, productivity, and lifestyle of this magnificent agricultural region. I am very grateful to the property owners for their time and the access to their properties.

These first four images were captured as I arrived just prior to dusk at “Rossmar Park” near Caroona.

Sunflowers 2AM-007901

Sunflowers 2AM-007901 © Andrew McInnes. All Rights Reserved.

Galah 2AM-001190

Galah 2AM-001190 © Andrew McInnes. All Rights Reserved.

Galah 2AM-001191

Galah 2AM-001191 © Andrew McInnes. All Rights Reserved.

Farm Gate 2AM-007885

Farm Gate 2AM-007885 © Andrew McInnes. All Rights Reserved.

 

The next morning, along Coonabarabran Rd, near Caroona.

Sign and Stars 2AM-7888-7889 stack

Sign and Stars 2AM-7888-7889 stack © Andrew McInnes. All Rights Reserved.

Silos and Trees 2AM-007898

Silos and Trees 2AM-007898 © Andrew McInnes. All Rights Reserved.


“Breeza Station”
– Breeza.

Breeza Station 2AM-007937

Breeza Station 2AM-007937 © Andrew McInnes. All Rights Reserved.

Australian Pelican 2AM-001241

Australian Pelican 2AM-001241 © Andrew McInnes. All Rights Reserved.

Corn 2AM-001229

Corn 2AM-001229 © Andrew McInnes. All Rights Reserved.

Corn 2AM-001253

Corn 2AM-001253 © Andrew McInnes. All Rights Reserved.

Irrigation Ditch 2AM-007991

Irrigation Ditch 2AM-007991 © Andrew McInnes. All Rights Reserved.

Irrigation Ditch 2AM-007993

Irrigation Ditch 2AM-007993 © Andrew McInnes. All Rights Reserved.

Irrigation Ditch 2AM-008005

Irrigation Ditch 2AM-008005 © Andrew McInnes. All Rights Reserved.

Sorghum Harvest 2AM-001265

Sorghum Harvest 2AM-001265 © Andrew McInnes. All Rights Reserved.

Sorghum Harvest 2AM-008002

Sorghum Harvest 2AM-008002 © Andrew McInnes. All Rights Reserved.

Sorghum Harvest 2AM-001267

Sorghum Harvest 2AM-001267 © Andrew McInnes. All Rights Reserved.

Sorghum Harvest 2AM-007999

Sorghum Harvest 2AM-007999 © Andrew McInnes. All Rights Reserved.

Sorghum Harvest 2AM-008001

Sorghum Harvest 2AM-008001 © Andrew McInnes. All Rights Reserved.

Breeza Station 2AM-007944

Breeza Station 2AM-007944 © Andrew McInnes. All Rights Reserved.

Woolshed 2AM-007946

Woolshed 2AM-007946 © Andrew McInnes. All Rights Reserved.

Woolshed 2AM-007950

Woolshed 2AM-007950 © Andrew McInnes. All Rights Reserved.

Woolshed 2AM 7961-7962 HDR

Woolshed 2AM 7961-7962 HDR © Andrew McInnes. All Rights Reserved.

Silos at Dusk 2AM 8019-8021 HDR

Silos at Dusk 2AM 8019-8021 HDR © Andrew McInnes. All Rights Reserved.

 

“Drayton” – Breeza

Dam at Dawn 2AM 8045-8050 Panorama_crop

Dam at Dawn 2AM 8045-8050 Panorama © Andrew McInnes. All Rights Reserved.

Clouds 2AM-001311

Clouds 2AM-001311 © Andrew McInnes. All Rights Reserved.

Sunflowers 2AM-001297

Sunflowers 2AM-001297 © Andrew McInnes. All Rights Reserved.

Sunflowers 2AM-008059

Sunflowers 2AM-008059 © Andrew McInnes. All Rights Reserved.

Irrigation Ditch 2AM-001276

Irrigation Ditch 2AM-001276 © Andrew McInnes. All Rights Reserved.

Black-shouldered Kite 2AM-001305

Black-shouldered Kite 2AM-001305 © Andrew McInnes. All Rights Reserved.

 

Cheers 🙂