15 September 2014

Google Trekker

Google Trekker (photo from Google Trekker webpage)
Google is continuing to map the world - now in hard to reach places.  The Google Trekker will be carried by NSW Parks and Wildlife staff in Bouddi National Park.  The street view camera system captures 360 degree views of some amazing walks and landscapes.
Coastal Walk in Bouddi National Park, NSW

The Coastal Walk in Bouddi National Park will be mapped.  The World Heritage listed Old Great North Road will be mapped with the trekker as well.
Read the full article from the Express Advocate, Wednesday 10 September 2014.  School Holidays are just around the corner (next week).  Since it's spring, I think I'll take the kids for one or both of these walks - and add some more photos for a sneak peak of what the Google Trekker will display.
The Old Great North Walk trail sign

07 September 2014

Wet & Wild August; End of Soccer

This August has been extremely wet and cold.  Meterologists confirmed Sydney had it's wettest and cloudiest August since 1998.  The last 30 days have been the wettest in a long time.  Usually winter is dry and sunny, so this weather is extreme.

The ocean has been very rough and stormy, making for dramatic views.   On the day I took these photos, Dave and I were on our walk on the beach in the sun.  The rain clouds moved inland and we were drenched before we arrived home.

Rain falling over the ocean 
Dramatic rain clouds over rough sea
Blue skies with cloud cover overhead
Because of the big storms, the tidal lines along the beach have been especially heavy with washed up sea life, including these bluebottle (Portuguese Man of War) jellyfish.  

Neo's team with Coach at Soccer Gala day

 Zoe and Neo's soccer season ran for several months prior to this streak of wet weather.  Fortunately, they were able to complete most of their games.  Zoe's team did remarkably well this season - they made it into the Grand Final.  It was an exciting season.
Zoe played goalie in one of the final games of the season (a first for her)
Zoe's soccer team took 2nd place in the Grand Finals for U11s

05 August 2014

Flowers in Winter

It's winter in Australia.  Record breaking snowfalls have been recorded in Victoria's Alpine Resorts. Canberra, just a few hours inland, recently recorded it's lowest temperatures in 20 years.  And it's been really at night here by the temperature moderating ocean.  Even still, the blooms have been really beautiful. Enjoy.

15 July 2014

Little Tallow Beach - the "Secret Beach"

On Friday, I took the kids to see if we could find the "secret beach". It's located in the Bouddi National Park, next to Tallow Beach, but the trail is not easy to find.  The beach is very small.  There is a small waterfall flowing down to the beach.  The peace of the place was only interrupted by the whirring blades of a helicopter searching for the missing 5 year old boy, who was swept off Pearl Beach the day before.

Little Tallow Beach from above

Tristan near small waterfall

Waterfall on "secret beach"

View of Little Tallow Beach

View towards Pearl Beach where
5 year old boy was swept away on Thursday

07 July 2014

Taronga Zoo on a Winter's Day July 2014

It's the NSW school holidays, so I took the younger children to the Taronga Zoo.  My plans to go last week were put on hold do to illness in the household.  First Zoe, then Tristan and finally Neo were each sick. Zoe required antibiotics and missed 3 days of school.  Everyone has returned to health, thankfully.

We endeavored to see different displays, and we were successful.  The highlight of the day was the QBE Free Flight Bird Show.  The California Condor, with a wingspan of 3 metres, flew directly over our heads (and quite low).  We also sat along the side where the white doves landed in the nearby tree.  Lovely.
Tasmanian Devil


Victoria Crowned Pigeon.
This bird is both beautiful, and large.

Sydney Opera House
as seen from the Taronga Zoo Ferry

Sydney Harbour Bridge
as viewed from Taronga Zoo

25 June 2014

Minke Whales migrating past Captain Cook Lookout

Minke Whales in close
Minke whales close to shore in Copacabana bay motivated Dave and I to go up to Captain Cook Lookout with the binoculars this morning to get a better look. We saw 6-8 whales. Some were further out and more difficult to see/identify. They were traveling north swiftly on this brisk winter morning. The ones closest to the Lookout were Minke whales. They seemed to be traveling in pairs. I managed to get a couple of snaps with my Iphone camera.

The Rip Bridge over Brisbane Water

This picture shows the "blow" -  which is what we look for

22 June 2014

Five Lands Walk 2014 - Photography Contest

5 Lands Walk Photography Contest
Secondary Student Winner
Clara Smith
Please allow me my bragging rights as I announce to the world that my daughter, Clara won the 5 Lands Walk photography competition in the Secondary School category.  This year's theme was "Dreaming" which Clara's photo captured according to the judges.

Clara with Federal Senator Deborah O'Neill
& her photo
It was a stunner of a day for the annual Five Lands Walk on Saturday 21 June.  Sunny winter day, perfect temperature.   The walkers were energized and moving well from MacMasters Beach to Copcabana when Neo and I walked with them.

Neo with his Chinese fish
Copacabana Primary School students performing
at 5 Lands Walk
Neo found his art work on display along the way.  Artwork created by students from Copacabana PS and Kincumber PS lined the beach walk.
There were 2 dance performances by students from Copacabana Primary School, and Neo took part in both.  Zoe was at her soccer game so could not join in.

In addition to the photograph at MacMasters Beach surf club, Clara had artwork on display at both Copacabana Surf club and North Avoca surf club.  Clara and her friends walked to North Avoca Beach (and back) to see her art.  Along the way they enjoyed the beach art on display in Avoca Beach and the kites flying over North Avoca.

Breaching whale
In the water, moving along with the walkers, were numerous whales - at the height of their annual migration to warmer waters.  

Kites over North Avoca