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Risen From the Ashes

Square Perspectives Photo Challenge ~ Australian Landscapes #16

Destination: Mount Stromlo Observatory, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory

On 18th January 2003 a firestorm raged through Canberra’s outer suburbs, destroying 470 homes and more than 70% of the ACT’s parks and farmland. One of the greatest losses occurred on Mount Stromlo where the Observatory, home of the Australian National University’s Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, was located. Five historic telescopes were destroyed along with several buildings including the research facilities. Only the visitors’ centre and cafe were left untouched.

Today little remains of the damage caused by the fire’s fury. The original dome still stands although it is no longer used.

The lost buildings have been replaced and the astronomers and scientists continue their valuable work, which is explained in displays at the visitors’ centre. Looking out over the city and its surrounds from the deck at the cafe, it’s hard to imagine the devastation caused by the fires on that January day.

 

 

While our travel plans are on hold I’m joining in every day with Becky’s July Square Perspectives Photo Challenge over at The Life of B. The rules are simple: photos must be square and fit the theme of perspective. My posts represent the definition of perspective as a vista – seeing something over distance or time.

Celebrating Tulips

Square Perspectives Photo Challenge ~ Australian Landscapes #15

Destination: Canberra, Australian Capital Territory

Where we live the climate is warm and temperate and, although our city is renowned for its beautiful gardens, tulips aren’t easy to grow here. In Canberra, one thousand kilometres further south, winters are colder and more rain falls, allowing tulips to flourish.

For 30 days from mid-September tulips take centre stage at Floriade, the largest annual garden festival in the southern hemisphere. Commonwealth Park resembles an ocean of colour, with displays of more than one million springtime flowers complemented by sculptures and art works.

It’s worth the journey to see tulips in all their glory.

 

 

While our travel plans are on hold I’m joining in every day with Becky’s July Square Perspectives Photo Challenge over at The Life of B. The rules are simple: photos must be square and fit the theme of perspective. My posts represent the definition of perspective as a vista – seeing something over distance or time.

Reflections

Square Perspectives Photo Challenge ~ Australian Landscapes #14

Destination: Canberra, Australian Capital Territory

Reflections on Lake Burley Griffin

 

 

While our travel plans are on hold I’m joining in every day with Becky’s July Square Perspectives Photo Challenge over at The Life of B. The rules are simple: photos must be square and fit the theme of perspective. My posts represent the definition of perspective as a vista – seeing something over distance or time.

Solitude

Square Perspectives Photo Challenge ~ Australian Landscapes #10

Destination: Port Stephens Region, New South Wales

Shoal Bay

Salamander Bay

Salamander Bay

While our travel plans are on hold I’m joining in every day with Becky’s July Square Perspectives Photo Challenge over at The Life of B. The rules are simple: photos must be square and fit the theme of perspective. My posts represent the definition of perspective as a vista – seeing something over distance or time.

Up, Down, Up

Square Perspectives Photo Challenge ~ Australian Landscapes #9

Destination: Tomaree Head, Shoal Bay, New South Wales

The sign said it was only a two kilometre walk, but it looked a long way up to the summit of Tomaree Head.

At first the track was easy going,

but soon the gentle incline was replaced by steps up to a cantilevered walkway leading through the trees and around the edge of the hill.

At the top our efforts were rewarded with expansive coastal views to the north and south.

Heading back downhill, we left the summit walk and turned onto another path. It led us up again to the Fort Tomaree gun emplacements, part of Australia’s coastal defences during the Second World War.

The guns were removed a long time ago, but the structures which housed them have been left behind.

It was easy to see why Tomaree Head was chosen as a strategic site. The views were spectacular.

 

While our travel plans are on hold I’m joining in every day with Becky’s July Square Perspectives Photo Challenge over at The Life of B. The rules are simple: photos must be square and fit the theme of perspective. My posts represent the definition of perspective as a vista – seeing something over distance or time. Also joining Jo’s Monday Walks.

The Best Way to Ride

Square Perspectives Photo Challenge ~ Australian Landscapes #7

Destination: Stockton Sand Dunes, Port Stephens, New South Wales

When you first arrive at Stockton Sand Dunes, you could be forgiven for thinking you’d suddenly arrived in Egypt. The coastal vegetation is replaced by vast hills of pure white sand and a camel caravan passes a line of small pyramids bordering the dunes.

Covering 32 kilometres and reaching a height of more than 30 metres, the Stockton Sand Dunes are the largest in the southern hemisphere. The pyramids are relics of World War Two, part of a line of tank traps installed to protect Australia’s eastern coast from potential invaders. And the camels are one of the area’s most popular tourist attractions.

If camels don’t appeal there are other ways to enjoy the sand dunes. Four wheel drive vehicles and quad bikes are permitted on the dunes. Or just take a big piece of cardboard and make your own toboggan.

Cheap, easy and the most fun of all!

 

While our travel plans are on hold I’m joining in every day with Becky’s July Square Perspectives Photo Challenge over at The Life of B. The rules are simple: photos must be square and fit the theme of perspective. My posts represent the definition of perspective as a vista – seeing something over distance or time.

Nature on Display

Square Perspectives Photo Challenge ~ Australian Landscapes #6

Destination: Gan Gan Hill, New South Wales

From Gan Gan Lookout the views are spectacular. At an elevation of 160 metres, the vista extends past Soldiers Point, over to Tomaree Head and northwards across the water to Hawks Nest and Tea Gardens. The Karuah River estuary, larger in size but much shallower than Sydney Harbour, meets the Pacific Ocean between Tomaree Head and Yacaaba Head.

In spring the scenery is even better up at Gan Gan Lookout. Gymea lilies, native to the coastal regions around Sydney, grow in abundance on the slopes of Gan Gan Hill and as winter ends they begin to bloom. Spikes reaching up to 6 metres long are topped by clusters of delicate red flowers.

The lilies almost surpass the views!

 

While our travel plans are on hold I’m joining in every day with Becky’s July Square Perspectives Photo Challenge over at The Life of B. The rules are simple: photos must be square and fit the theme of perspective. My posts represent the definition of perspective as a vista – seeing something over distance or time.

The Golden Hour

Square Perspectives Photo Challenge ~ Australian Landscapes #8

Destination: Shoal Bay, New South Wales

Sunset over the water isn’t a common sight on the east coast of Australia. When we’re in the right place at the right time, we always stop to enjoy the spectacle of this special golden hour.

While our travel plans are on hold I’m joining in every day with Becky’s July Square Perspectives Photo Challenge over at The Life of B. The rules are simple: photos must be square and fit the theme of perspective. My posts represent the definition of perspective as a vista – seeing something over distance or time.

Somewhere Out There

Square Perspectives Photo Challenge ~ Australian Landscapes #5

Destination: Shoal Bay, New South Wales

Whale watching is a risky business. There’s never a guarantee you’ll see any, and in Australia there are maritime regulations protecting marine animals. Boats are not permitted to approach whales, so you have to wait for the whales to come to you.

At first you spend a lot of time scanning the ocean, looking for signs of life. Every whitecap catches your eye.

Suddenly there’s a telltale spray and you know there’s a whale beneath the surface.

There might just be one,

but often a pod passes by, usually a female with a couple of male escorts.

Sometimes it feels like the whales are putting on a show just for you.

You and all the other excited whale watchers!

 

 

While our travel plans are on hold I’m joining in every day with Becky’s July Square Perspectives Photo Challenge over at The Life of B. The rules are simple: photos must be square and fit the theme of perspective. My posts represent the definition of perspective as a vista – seeing something over distance or time.

Just Around the Corner

Square Perspectives Photo Challenge ~ Australian Landscapes #2

Destination: Yamba, New South Wales

From Convent Beach a narrow sandy track winds across the top of Yamba Point. The windblown coastal vegetation grows high on each side of the track, keeping the view a secret until the last minute.

Around the last corner all is revealed – Pippi Beach and the beautiful blue water of Wooli Bay.

You just need to get past the panadus palms.

 

While our travel plans are on hold I’m joining in every day with Becky’s July Square Perspectives Photo Challenge over at The Life of B. The rules are simple: photos must be square and fit the theme of perspective. My posts represent the definition of perspective as a vista – seeing something over distance or time.