Come on a journey of inspiration & adventure while renovate & restore a beautiful Victorian home 'St Elmo' in the picturesque Hunter Valley, Australia & laugh at a few of our family adventures along the way.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Camping on Fraser Island

We have just returned home from a week long camping trip to the beautiful world heritage listed  Fraser Island in Queensland, Australia.
I grabbed a small snippet of the technical description off the Fraser Island website but I like to refer to it as a "magical wonderland"

"Fraser Island stretches over 123 kilometres in length and 22 kilometres at its widest point. With an area of 184 000 hectares it is the largest sand island in the world."

We couldn't have picked a better time to be there as whilst we were enjoying the sunshine the Hunter Valley was being battered with a category 2 cyclone.
 It was a terrible time for the area, lives lost, homes destroyed, no power or phones & entire suburbs cut off by flood waters. It was a devastating site to come home to a week later. Fortunately we had no damage to our home.

You do need a 4wd to get around the island, but the tracks aren't to bad.

I found it rather amusing to see Stop signs & Give way signs on these dirt tracks.
 All of the same road rules apply as if you were on normal roads. You can do 80kph on the beach & 30kph on the inland tracks.

We did do an occasional creek crossing

Driving along the beach was heaps of fun.

Our transport & home for the week.
You can stay in a resort & go on guided tours if you don't like camping.

We spent the first two nights camping in the rain forest at Central Station camp ground.
It was really pretty but fairly chilly on this part of Fraser Island.
This one was a great spot to camp being fully dingo fenced with clean toilets & showers.
The showers are coin operated, only taking $1 coins, which $1 buys you a 4
minute shower.

We did a beautiful walk through Central station & Wanggoolba creek which had lots of information on the islands logging history & the tree's growing on the island

Wanggoolba creek was incredible, the water was so clear that you didn't realise it was there, as you can see in my photo it just looks like a sand pathway, but it is actually a running creek.

Next it was off to Lake McKenzie, a fresh water inland lake

My photo's really don't do it justice, the sand was pristine & white & the water a beautiful turquoise fading into a deep dark blue.

We had a little family photo while we were there.

We then headed to the coast to do some beach camping, stopping in on some beautiful spots along the way, like Eli Creek.

Once again the water was completely unspoiled so it was crystal clear.
It was a great spot to ride a tube down the creek when the tide was going out but we only had a quick stop here as we passed through. 

One week really isn't enough time to explore the island as there is just so many things to see.

Then it was on to the Maheno wreck for a bit of photography fun & a spot of fishing

We quickly ran out of time & had to head up the beach to the Waddy Point camp ground on Orchid beach

We had booked to camp on the beach here but all of the spots were taken meaning we had to go into the dingo fenced camp ground instead, we didn't mind as it had lots of shade keeping our tents cooler.

We sat on top of a huge sand dune to take these sunset photo's and discussed how we really wanted to see a dingo & take some photo's of them. There are warning signs everywhere telling you not to approach the dingoes & not to let your children be more than an arms reach away from you.We didn't see a single dingo all week, but when we came down from the sand dune there were dingo prints all around the bottom of the dune. They had obviously seen us....Eeeek!!!!

We took a day trip to a wonderful hidden spot called Platypus Bay, it was beautiful.

We also got to experience the dawn service on Anzac day at Orchid Beach. It was so nice to be a part of the 100 year commemorative service whilst watching a beautiful sunrise. My kids however really didn't enjoy the 4.30am get up

Sadly it was time to leave the island, but we made a few stops on our way back down to the barge.
The Champagne pools were pretty magnificent.

I took this photo looking through the water, its that clear. You can jump in this rock pool & the fish swim all around you.

This is the Pinnacles or coloured sands. We had no time to stop & explore here unfortunately so I got the dream guy to stop just long enough for me to take a photo.

Onto the barge for the 10 minute trip across to Inskip point & home to reality we go.

Thank you Fraser Island for putting on the sunshine & warm weather, it was a fantastic holiday.

Trish xx

Monday, April 6, 2015

Improving on my photography skills

There is nothing I admire more than the ability to capture beautiful photos.Whether it be a family snap, landscape, pet photography , macro shot or a stunning sunset, I really do dream of being able to capture beautiful photos of the people & things around me.
I recently got a new lens for my camera, it is a Tamron 16-300mm, so very versatile , in fact I haven't taken it off my camera since I got it for my birthday 3 weeks ago.

I really shopped around on price & with delivery it cost around $700 which for me is a huge investment at the moment. 

If you want to know more about this lens you can read all about it here
As an entry level photographer with a small budget for gear I highly recommend this one. I am more than happy with the quality of the photos I am getting.

I have challenged myself to be able to perfect using my camera in manual mode, to use it to its full potential rather than cruising by on auto. I try to take a few photos each day,of different things or in different lighting situations, adjusting all of my settings to suit & hopefully it will all become second nature before I know it.

This old guy is always willing to pose for me.

The moon had this odd halo around it the other night & go figure it showed up well in my photo.

A little experimenting with my vintage typewriter

I am super happy with these beautiful frangipani photos, they have such stunning colour.

Now I used the full zoom capability to capture these spiders & it still felt creepy.

My gorgeous little nephew is learning to crawl, he tries ever so hard but doesn't get anywhere just yet.

and I saved my favourite for last. My baby turned 8 this weekend, my how time flies!!

So that's my current obsession & creative pursuit at the moment. If you have any tips, tutorials, or constructive criticism I would love to hear it. Maybe one day I will put some energy into learning how to use photo shop & do some fancy editing. In the meantime I will practice practice practice!!!

Trish xx

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