Crescent Dawn

“What brings you to Crescent Head today?” asked the receptionist when checking me in at the motel.

“Nostalgia, mostly”.

Looking back towards the beach and the surf club Looking back towards the beach and the surf club

Crescent Head was the location of Carney family holidays for most of my teenage years. We would often share a rental house with the Briggs Family (Matt’s now a beauty and editorial photographer) – 4 parents, 5 boys, a girl, and a revolving cast of friends and guests. Surfing, playing cricket, free rounds of golf after the green-keeper had gone home for the day, bingo at the club, what still may be my worst ever hangover. OK, some memories are best forgotten.

Once upon a time, I would have been up this early to go surfing. Now, the camera calls. Although I will admit, when I saw the waves off the point, a part of me did wish I had my old bodyboard in the car.

The Point The Point Pebbly Beach Pebbly Beach

Crash

The sea was angry that day, my friends. Like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli.

Blue Serenity

Paragliding strikes me as one of those sports that could either be very exciting and nerve-wracking, or really serene and relaxing. These gliders were over the Carlo Sandblow at Rainbow Beach.

Noosa National Park

The internal alarm clock went off and woke me just before the 4am alarm on my iPad, and I was up and away. Walking a couple of kilometres through the Noosa National Park in the dark towards Granite Bay. This place really shines at high tide, with the smaller boulders creating a colourful polished look when wet. Timing meant that I was there at low tide, so concentrated on the moving water amongst the larger boulders on the shoreline, before backtracking through the National Park and photographing some of the vegetation in the morning light.

Granite Bay Granite Bay Pandanus Pandanus Melaleuca Melaleuca

New Zealand – On The Road

In New Zealand, naturally, we had some specific destinations in mind, and you’ve already seen photos from those places in earlier posts. But between those destinations was a lot of driving, and a lot of stops along the way.

Here’s a gallery of shots from along the road.

Stress

Since learning I would be losing my day job, stress has been an infrequent visitor in my life. Sure, there’s the ever-present uncertainty about the future, but nothing of the “things could go really wrong really soon” type stress that occasionally comes with corporate life.

Kylie and I drove from Queenstown to Glenorchy one morning, and out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a ruined pier jutting out into Lake Wakatipu. I made a mental note to stop and photograph it on the way back, but by then the rain had come so I just continued on back to Queenstown.

So, later in the afternoon, when the weather had cleared, I decided to head back out and try again. While it may look like a pretty serene photo, it was responsible for one of the most stressful afternoons in my recent life.

When I jumped in the car, noticed that the fuel gauge was a little low, but figured it would be enough to get me there and back.

Turns out the location was a little further along the road than I remembered. And just as I finished up and got back in the car, the fuel light came on. So here I was, on a winding, narrow road with no real shoulder, with no phone, and at least 30km between me and the nearest service station.

I had no idea of the fuel range in the unfamiliar 2006 Toyota Corolla rental car, so I’ve never driven so conservatively in my life – smooth around the corners, coasting down the hills, gentle acceleration up the hills. At the 10km out of town mark, my thoughts turned to “well, it’s not too far to walk now, but Kylie will start wondering where I am.”

I made it to Queenstown, but of course, the nearest fuel is a few kilometres on the other site of the town centre. So, I gingerly drove through town keeping an eye on potential places to pull over. I made it in the end, pulling into the service station just as Queen’s “You’re My Best Friend” came on the radio. I think I was down to the final 2 litres.

Totally worth it.

Milford Sound

In 24 hours at Milford Sound, we experienced just about every mood that this magical place offers.

After the long drive from Queenstown, we arrived to a blue-sky, t-shirt weather afternoon, but within a few hours, the clouds had come down the valley and winds picked up, giving us a taste of the moody, primordial Milford Sound.

The rain settled in for the evening, but then we awoke to more blue sky, and Milford shone like a jewel for our cruise around the fiord.

Glacier Valleys

It was cold, it was raining, it was misty.

But you kind of feel like you should see as many glaciers as you can while you still can, you know?

Queenstown

Wow.

I’ve been in New Zealand for the last two weeks, touring from Auckland in the north, down to Milford Sound, staying in a different place just about every night. We spent two nights in Queenstown, and are now back for one more night before flying home.

What an amazing, spectacular, awe-inspiring landscape.

Walter Peak reaching into the clouds Walter Peak reaching into the clouds Afternoon light falling across Cecil Peak Afternoon light falling across Cecil Peak More afternoon light making Cecil Peak glow More afternoon light making Cecil Peak glow Dawn twilight over the Bayonet Peaks Dawn twilight over the Bayonet Peaks Dawn over the Bayonet Peaks, with the Jacks Point Clubhouse in the foreground Dawn over the Bayonet Peaks, with the Jacks Point Clubhouse in the foreground Mount Creighton, along the Glenorchy-Queenstown Road Mount Creighton, along the Glenorchy-Queenstown Road An old pier on Lake Wakatipu An old pier on Lake Wakatipu

Misty Morning

(or, when options come in handy)

Photographers often say “the best camera is the one you have with you”, meaning any camera, even if it’s just your phone, is better than no camera. While that’s true, yesterday’s outing demonstrated the benefits of sometimes overpacking and giving yourself a few options to choose from.

I had planned to make a trip to Mount Tamborine, to walk and photograph the Palm Grove and Jenyns Circuit bushwalks. Since this loop is around 5km, I initially decided to just bring my light camera. But at the last minute I thought that, with the recent warmer weather, I might see some snakes beginning to emerge after winter. So, I left the big, heavy camera with the 70-200mm lens in the bag as well.

Good choice. As I drove through the fogged-in valley before heading up the mountain, I noticed some horses off in a misty paddock to the right. I checked for oncoming traffic, u-turned and parked beside the road. The horses were a little way off in the field, so the 18-55mm lens on the little camera really wouldn’t have been useful. So, out with the 70-200mm for a few photographs before continuing up the mountain.

The photos from the bush walk were nothing worth sharing, so present-Heath is pretty pleased with past-Heath for his incredible foresight. Didn’t see any snakes, either.