A Semi -Regular Photo Blog about Life in Northern New South Wales, Australia.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Bush Thick-knee (Curlew)

The Bush Thick-knee (Burhinus grallarius) is a large ground dwelling nocturnal bird. When you find them during the day they freeze into a statue like pose. If the female is sitting on eggs, the male will run at you and hiss.
Most Australians know them from the eerie scream like call they make at night. Click here to hear a recording.
Aboriginal stories often associate them with death or malevolence.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

A Melbourne Tram in Glenreagh???

The Glenreagh Mountain Railway is located on a long disused branch line to Dorrigo. They have had their ups and downs over the years. In 2008, the Rail Safety Act meant that they had to stop running their 1919 steam locomotive. The good news is that they recently received accreditation and hopefully will be able to run their trains again soon.

The Melbourne Tram is actually about to go the Sydney Tramways Museum at Loftus. The departure of the tram will allow space in their shed to be used on restoring other carriages in their collection. It will be a great day when the steam trains are running again in Glenreagh. To visit the Glenreragh Mountain Rail Museum click here.

This is my contribution to Lesley's Signs meme.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Glenreagh Rail

I am unsure when the Glenreagh Railway Station closed. It has become very derelict and sad.

A few memories of the old days of steam with the impressive water tower. However for rail buffs Glenreagh is an important destination. Tomorrow the good news.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Bush Graves

It's not remote, the busy Pacific Highway is close by, but the Corindi Cemetery feels isolated and lonely. The track is rough and site very overgrown. The light rain gave it an eerie feel. All in all it's a classic spooky cemetery that I would not want to visit at night.

The 1911 grave of John Eaves JP has a lovely wooden fence with some simple yet striking design features. Surely the fence is not 99 years old. In the very damp coastal climate of Corindi most wooden fences would only last 30 years but it feels much older. The decorative post tops are irregular and handmade. The gravestone is a beautiful marble that is now heavily stained

The most interesting aspect is the 56 year gap between burials at the cemetery. On the right is the grave of Colin Wall in 1938 and Edmond (Ted) Power in 1994. Ted Power was 92 when he died so he possibly owned the plot for a long time.
One other note: did anyone notice that the sign is  misspelt, however, there are many roads and streets that use this spelling of cemetery! Anyone got any answers on this?

This is my contribution to the Taphophile Tragics meme

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Golden Dog @ Glenreagh

Glenreagh is a village located in the beautiful Orara River Valley halfway between Grafton and Coffs Harbour. It has a friendly pub, The Golden Dog, that has now become famous for its uber yellow canine effigy.
It is kitsch but I like it, and if it brings more patrons from Grafton and Coffs for Sunday lunch then that can only be a good thing for a village that has struggled since the timber industry has virtually vanished. I was sad to see the bakery had closed down since last time I passed through.

Surely another entrant in my North Coast Hall of Fame or Shame! Click on the label to see more entries.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Lismore's Best Lentil Burger

Another entrant has emerged in my quest to find the world's best Lentil Burger. This is a Red Curry version from Lismore's wonderful Mecca Cafe.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Imagining the Mekong

Sometimes a photo can take you to another time, another place. I guess that is the very basis of the art, the photo does lie, but it also reveals a truth about the photographer as well.
As I traveled along Ashby Island Rd it reminded me of the Mekong River, the brown water, the thick mangroves, the dense and rank riparian weeds. I took the shot and then created this scenario in my head:
the gunboat lay waiting, hiding, unsure if contact was just minutes away......
Then you get home and realise the brick veneer house is in-congruent with the memory and story. What does every photographer do... they crop.
In the end I prefer the uncropped image anyway but would never give up the imagining.

This is my contribution to James's Weekend Reflections meme.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Summer Still Lingers

It has been an oppressively humid few days as the Northern Monsoon has dipped down into Southern Queensland and Northern New South Wales. In Victoria they predict snow on the higher peaks this weekend!
Out on the river a local Surf Club has rowing practice, their season is fast drawing to a close.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Austral Cafe - Murwillumbah

Since 1919 the Austral Cafe has been providing the good citizens of Murwillumbah with good food. The traditional pie,sauce and malted milkshake lunch is a real winner.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Bellinger River - Gumboots Required

Like a thread of silver, the Bellinger River flows across the rich river flats towards the Pacific Ocean. On the bottom left in the bend of the river is the small hamlet of Fairymount. The town of Bellingen at the top is partially obscured by cloud.
The river rises in the Great Dividing Range and is prone to extreme rainfalls that can lead to floods within a few hours. Over the last few years, due to the ongoing La Nina weather pattern, the river has had innumerable rises and a dozen moderate to major floods. You need to own a really good pair of gumboots to live around here lately.
This is my contribution to the Watery Wednesday meme.
This is my contribution to Southern Daydreamer's Outdoors Wednesday meme.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Circus is in Town

The Circus      C.J. Dennis
Hey, there!  Hoop-la! the circus is in town!
Have you seen the elephant?  Have you seen the clown?
Have you seen the dappled horse gallop round the ring?
Have you seen the acrobats on the dizzy swing?
Have you seen the tumbling men tumble up and down?
Hoop-la!  Hoop-la! the circus is in town!

Hey, there!  Hoop-la!  Here's the circus troupe!
Here's the educated, dog jumping through the hoop.
See the lady Blondin with the parasol and fan,
The lad upon the ladder and the india-rubber man.
See the joyful juggler and the boy who loops the loop.
Hey!  Hey!  Hey!  Hey!  Here's the circus troupe! 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Give My Regards To Broadway(& Grace Bros)

For many decades shopping in the inner west of Sydney was dominated by Grace Bros on Broadway. The matching pair of buildings with their clocks and enormous globes were/are as much a Sydney landmark as the Opera House and Harbour Bridge. It closed in 1992 and now houses a rather mundane shopping centre and student accommodation for nearby Universities.
It has been great fun to visit the Big Smoke and shake off the smell of the gum leaves for a few days.
Farewell Sydney until next time.

For more shots of the old Grace Brothers building check out J Bar's terrific Sydney - City & Suburbs Blog.

This is my contribution to the Shadow Shot Sunday2 meme.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Once We Were Factories

Newtown has changed dramatically over the last 50 years. Today it is one of Sydney's most desirable suburbs to reside in, once it was part of the manufacturing heartland of Sydney. Many famous names including Bonds (clothing), Metters (stoves) and Fowlers (Ceramics) had their factories here. Accordingly the surrounding houses were filled with blue collar workers.
Today there is little evidence of the industry that once called the suburb home. The Bonds Factory building still exists and it's famous and iconic advertising emblem 'Chesty Bond' still looms over Camperdown Park. The building is now part of Sydney University and all Bonds products are made in China.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Old School Enmore

Compared to Newtown, Enmore is the 'down at heel' sister, but I prefer it. Whereas Newtown is endless restaurants, Enmore is still a proper High St with lots of small and varied businesses. I was taken by this shop with its lurid Art Deco facade.

In front of the tawdry window curtains there was a collection stuffed toys amongst tinsel and ribbon. It was closed when I walked past so sadly I didn't get to see the snippers and permers at work.  

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Kurnell and Botany Bay - A Quick History

The Eora Nation, The Gweagal Clan, Captain James Cook, Joseph Banks, Daniel Solander, Forby Sutherland, Stingray Harbour, Botanists Bay, New Wales, The First Fleet, Captain Arthur Phillip, Jean- Francois de La Perouse, Lime Burning, Fishing, Happy Valley, Mascot Aerodrome, Sand Mining, Oil Refining, ICI, Industrial Pollution, Kingsford Smith(Sydney) Airport, Port Botany Container Port, Desalination Plant!
What's next for this place that is so intrinsically connected to so many facets of Australian History? 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Going Out With a Bang

Cremation is an ancient practice that has become increasingly popular in Western Society since the Industrial Revolution. Post-cremation, the ashes are usually kept in a cinerary urn and/or kept in a columbarium or scattered at a location that was significant to the deceased.
There is a new way, however, to spectacularly dispose of the ashes. A Sydney company ( I'm sure the service would be available in other cities) offers a new type of service where the ashes are mixed with gunpowder and then fashioned into fireworks. The website states it's mission is to "help find closure by way of scattering their cremated ashes high into the sky as part of a spectacular and memorable fireworks display." They also offer a cheaper pet service as well.
I wonder if this is the 21st centuries version of the the ostentatious cemetery statue, but fittingly for our times it will only last for a few minutes rather than a few centuries.

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Sydney Fantasy

Paul Keating once said, "If you're not living in Sydney, you're camping out!" The maths would therefore suggest that that makes about 16 million Australians who are living in tents! I would further suggest that a high proportion of those 16 million are quite happy and grateful to be in their own 'campgrounds' and not residing in the precious real estate of the Emerald City.
The quote does say something about the place: it's showy, ostentatious, brash, supercilious, arrogant, and dazzling but just like the fabled capital of Oz, it is also wonderful!
There is nothing like a visit to excite and stimulate all of the senses. You walk out your door and within seconds there is something to experience that you will either love or hate. Nothing is done in half measures here.
I walked out of my rented door in Newtown and ran smack bang in this terrific mural just off Wilson St. Ah Sydney, you have got it all - but maybe deep down you really want to live in a tent like the rest of us.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Dry Stone Walls

A feature of the rolling hills around Lismore are the stone fences built by Scottish pioneers. They are heritage listed and it must've been an incredible effort to clear the land, collect the stone and build the walls. 
They also serve as a reminder of the destruction of the Big Scrub Rainforest and dispossession of the Bundjalung People of their traditional lands. 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Repentance Creek

There some wonderful and evocative names around the Richmond Valley. Lismore and Bexhill were named after locations in Britain, even though as a child I thought Bexhill it had something to do with the famous powders I blogged about a few weeks ago. Mullumbimby and Whian Whian are both words from the Bundjalung language, the indigenous inhabitants of the area. Rosebank conjures a lovely image.
One of my favourites is the hamlet of Repentance Creek, does anyone know how it got it's name?

Linking to Lesley's Signs meme.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

High (Tide) Anxiety

It looks so perfect but the Belongil Creek district of Byron Bay has a very interesting past and a somewhat doubtful future. For many decades it was dominated by the meat industry with the a whale slaughtering station on the beach and the F. J. Walker Meatworks behind the dunes.
Then it became famous for it's multi-million dollar beach houses, with Aussie superstar Paul Hogan having a vast ocean front compound.
Correction: It was John 'Strop' Cornell, Paul Hogan's comedic sidekick and business partner, that owned the large estate at Belongil. Thanks Figmince for noticing the error.
For many Belongil is about the swampy fields which once held world famous music festivals like 'Splendour in the Grass' and 'Homebake'.

Over the last few years the Belongil Spit has experienced severe erosion and many properties are for sale with owners taking a bath on their million dollar beach houses. Many landowners have also been in conflict with the Byron Shire over protecting their properties.
Still it is a nice place for a swim but you have to be open minded as it is also an unofficial nudist beach.
In July 'Splendour in the Grass' is also returning to the Belongil Fields after a few years in Queensland and the realisation from the local council that Byron is doing it tough and needs the business.

Linking to the Watery Wednesday meme.
Linking to the Outdoor Wednesday meme.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Forest Idol

You find some strange things when you are out in the bush on a quiet and isolated dirt road. Who made it? What does it mean? Does it mean anything? I like it but find it unsettling in such a lonely location.

Linking to the Our World Tuesday meme.
Linking to the Ruby Tuesday meme.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Patriotic Cafe

This cafe in Woodburn does a brisk trade due to it's frontage on the Pacific Highway. You really can't miss it!

Linking to the Mellow Yellow Monday meme
Linking to the Blue Monday meme

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Very Rickety Bridge

I like ricketty bridges but the final one before reaching The Gorge always makes me just a little nervous.
My family hate rickety bridges and the anxiety of crossing this one is palpable as we approach. This is then  followed by sheer relief when we get to the other side.

Linking to Louis's San Francisco based bridges meme.
Linking to the Scenic Sunday meme.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Harwood Sugar Mill

The Harwood Sugar Mill is Australia's oldest continuously operating sugar mill. It began operations in 1874 and is owned by a growers co-operative who bought it off the Colonial Sugar Refining Co (CSR) in 1978. In 1989 a sugar refinery opened.
The sugar is mostly for the Australian market and sold under the Sunshine Sugar label. 

Friday, March 2, 2012

Bangalow: Now & Then

Bangalow's main street has undergone huge changes, especially over the last twenty years. This is typified by the 1908 row of 4 shops known as 'The Strand'. Today it is real estate and coffee, coffee and more coffee.

It 1908 it was hessian bags of produce, the delightfully named C.A Wulff & Co's Boot Palace and a barber shop.

Linking to the Friday Skywatch meme.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Theme Day: Electricity

Grafton is a bit of a backwater these days but in the 1924 it was at the forefront of clean power. This is the heritage listed and very much still operating Nymbodia Hydro Electric Power Station, the second oldest in mainland Australia. Built by the local ratepayers it provided electricity to Grafton, Coffs Harbour and Lismore and was the basis for the formation of the County Council which served the area for many decades until it was stolen corporatised by the NSW Government in the 1990's.

The Heritage Council notes that the turbines and switches are still in original condition. This makes it an outstanding example of industrial heritage.

On the first day of every month the City Daily Photo Community come together and post to a common theme. For March it is Electricity. Click here to view thumbnails for all participants
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