Sunday, 1 September 2013

A week in Tasmania

A few weeks ago I flew to Tasmania to spend some time with friends who moved there from Adelaide about 10 years ago.  They live about half an hour out of Launceston, so we stayed in the top half of the state for the 5 days I was there.

Tassie, like South Australia has had a really wet winter this year, and there was water everywhere.  I didn't get any photo's of the flooded paddocks flying in to Launceston, but one of our first stops after I landed was to Cataract Gorge.  There was so much water coming down from hills, that the swimming pool had disappeared.

This is what it normally looks like.

The weather was predicted to be awful for most of the weekend I was there, and my friend and I debated about going to Cradle Mountain for a night.  My friends live a couple hours away from the Mountain, so we figured we could easily drive home the same day if the weather was too dodgy.

We managed to experience just about all seasons in one day on our way there as we drove through Devonport and Sheffield.  Unfortunately it was raining in both towns so I didn't take my camera out to get any photo's of Sheffield's murals.

The drive upto Cradle Mountain is very winding, and takes you over a number of peaks and valleys - all beautiful country.  But it didn't compare to the actual park when we got up there.  The weather cleared, and the sun was even out - a little bit.  We managed to get some photo's before the clouds came over.

As we headed back away from Dove Lake we stopped at a spot that has a number of walks/hikes starting from it.  As it was getting late in the day, we only stopped for a little bit, and we planned to come back the next day to have a proper look around.

This is one of the huts managed by the Park that hikers can stay in overnight.  All the path's leading to it were flooded, so I'm guessing no one is staying there at the moment.

Overnight the weather came in again, and we were hoping for some snow the next day.  Unfortunately it just rained - a lot.  Fortunately though, it had stopped enough by the time we left our cabin at about 9.30 the next morning and whilst it meant doing any of the longer walks was not really an option, we were able to do a couple of the shorter walks that took us to some falls and past fast flowing creeks.

These photo's are of the Pencil Pine Falls


These ones are of the Enchanted Walk

On the Monday, we headed out to Liffey Falls which is on the northern ridge of the Great Western Tiers.  It was a beautiful morning, with the sun out as we headed towards the snow capped mountains of the Tiers.

Again, the water was flowing extremely fast over the falls, as the photo's show.  I've been told that in the summer months, you can walk across the ledges of the falls.  There was no way we were attempting that today!

This is some of the rainforest we walked through to get to the falls.

The Big Tree.  A 50m tall Stringybark with an original name.

While we were at the Falls, we ran into a Forestry Ranger who suggested we go for a drive up to the Pine Lake for something else to have a look at.  He suggested that the road might be closed due to snowfall, but noticed we were in a 4WD, so we should be right.  If only we had known!  What started as a fun drive up the hill with a bit of snow on the side of the road, and a smattering in the trees, turned into a fully covered road that we didn't really want to continue on with.  Unfortunately we couldn't turn around anywhere, and after having a car come up behind us, we continued on in 4WD (following advice by the driver in the car).

Once my friend got the hang of driving in the snow, and I had relaxed after thinking the only way we were getting out was by driving all the way to Strahan, we actually enjoyed it and made the most of it before finding somewhere to turn around and come back down.  Luckily, snow ploughs were working their way up and down the road, so in some places, the road was completely cleared for us.

Out there in the middle of the photo is Pine Lake.  Not much to see in this weather!

This is the Great Lake - known for it's fishing.  Along the road, we passed numerous groups of shacks used in the warmer months presumably by fishermen.

Finally we made it home just in time for my friend to pick her kids up from school.  This was the view that greeted us that afternoon from her balcony.

I headed back to Adelaide the next morning after a fantastic few days away.  I'm already planning the next trip over, hopefully with friends for a couple weeks in the first half of the year.  I'm looking forward to seeing the contrast in the seasons.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

A wander through Belair National Park

This afternoon I found myself without anything to do, so with the nice weather I went for a walk into the Belair National Park, with the view to try and take some half decent wildlife shots that I could submit to a photography competition.  

The national park is only 100m from my house, and it's great to have somewhere to walk through where you can see kangaroos, cockatoos, koalas, parrots, lorikeets, ducks, water hens and emus to name a few just going about their daily business.

Here's a few of the animals and birds I found today.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Visit to Cleland Wildlife Park

So after spending our hard earned money on the photography course, Mel and I decided we needed to practice what we've been taught.  We decided to head upto Cleland Wildlife Park in the Adelaide Hills to take some photo's of the animals up there on Easter Monday.

We left reasonably early in the morning so that we could make the most of the best light.  Not that it really mattered since it was overcast all day.  Luckily at 10am, there weren't that many people around, so we were able to get in lots of photo's before the crowds rolled in.

The first exhibit we came across was the the Tasmanian Devil.  This poor guy seemed to be the only one in his enclosure, and he spent the entire time running around in a great big circle only stopping once in a while to check out his "cave" before starting on his loop again.  We felt really sorry for him.

Following this we started to come across the many kangaroos that live in the park.  Most let us get up real close to them before wandering away.  Obviously looking for a feed from us.

This old guy what sitting by a tree.  Not moving.  Just sitting there.  Who knew kangaroos go grey when they get old!!

Here's my attempt to catch a wren that was definitely not intending on sitting still for me!

The dingoes were next.  As with the kangaroos, they weren't doing much for the day.

The koala's make an easy target for shooting when they are fast asleep!

Once there was a sign of food arriving, a couple of them came to life.  One young one, according to the handler tends to get a bit over eager during meal time, jumping from heights a koala really shouldn't jump and as a result now has arthritis - and he's only three!

The pond was next - full of ducks, geese, swans and waterhens.

As a diversion from all the animals, I also took a couple photo's of the plants.

Some roos in the next kanagroo enclosure were hoping to get into the Euro enclosure.

An emu drinking from a leaking water tap.

 These little guys wouldn't sit still for us.

But these guys were happy to oblige.

And seeing as it was Easter, I had to get a photo of a bilby.

Some not so friendly snakes.

And finally, a kookaburra that only minutes before had stolen bread off a table at the cafe.