Shane Baker | A big photo walk
Wind-blown grassesWind-blown grassesDry grass blowing in the wind near Canberra.

A big photo walk

December 05, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

I'm embarrassed (once again) to note that it's been a while since I blogged. Quite a while in fact: it was 1 October when I shared the risks of walking around Hobart's Mount Wellington in a high wind with a large Kata backpack!

For what it's worth, my wound has healed nicely - thanks to the team at the Royal Hobart Hospital's Emergency Department who stitched me up, and  a lovely nurse at Geelong Hospital who checked me out and removed my stitch. (I had thought my wife could do it, but I followed medical advice and got a pro to do it. It's just as well as it turned out to be tricky.)

Anyway ... we've arrived in Perth, Western Australia without further mishap, and are now doing the things one does to settle into a new place: housing, jobs - you know, the little things!

In the process of driving from Canberra to Perth, we did a bit of a trip. 6,600 kms to be precise, driving down the Hume Highway to Melbourne, then across the Bass Strait on the ferry to Devonport and Hobart in Tasmania. After crossing back to the mainland, we turned west and drove along the Great Ocean Road in Victoria to South Australia, spent a few days on Kangaroo Island, and then did the big leg across the Eyre Highway and parts of the Nullarbor Plain to Perth.

I didn't do a lot of photography. It was, after all a trip to move from one side of Australia to another. According to Lightroom I made 400 images on the D800 and 100 on the Fuji X100s. The Fuji's a fixed lens, of course, but I used all three of my f/2.8 lens on the Nikon - mostly the 24 - 70, as you would expect.

I thought I'd make a few suggestions about places to check out if you did the trip. Snow on Mount Wellington, Tasmania.Snow on Mount Wellington, Tasmania.Snow on Mount Wellington, Tasmania.

Firstly, there's a lot to see in Tasmania. It's only a little place, but like Britain, it packs a lot into a small space. Locations like Mount Wellington and the Walls of Jerusalem are spectacular, but the man-made environment in Hobart, Richmond, Port Arthur and the like have much to offer. I was very happy with my shots on Mount Wellington - which were cut short by my face plant.

The Great Ocean Road in Victoria is justifiably famous for its scenery, although it wasn't quite what I expected. We see images of spectacular sea cliffs - and they're there, alright. But at times, the road heads inland into quite beautiful temperate rainforest, while on other occasions, the road is almost on the beach, where small rivers come down from the hinterland to the sea. It's quite lovely.

If you're into lighthouses (as Linda and I seem to have become), then the Cape Otway lighthouse is worth a visit. It's on a spectacular bit of coast (as lighthouses tend to be), and has quite a good cafe. You can stay there as well, which would be fun.

Cape Otway Lighthouse fresnel lens.Cape Otway Lighthouse fresnel lens.Cape Otway Lighthouse fresnel lens.

Further along, there's the Twelve Apostles. The best way to see these is to dig deep and take the The Twelve Apostles, Great Ocean Road, Victoria from a helicopter.The Twelve Apostles, Great Ocean Road, Victoria.The Twelve Apostles, Great Ocean Road, Victoria. helicopter ride. Not cheap - an indulgence in fact, but we enjoyed it - and in riding in a chopper, we both ticked something on our bucket lists.

Kangaroo Island, off the coast of South Australia is an interesting place. Firstly, it's a lot bigger than you probably think: it's the third largest of Australia's islands after Tasmania and Melville Island. If you go there, take two or three days to give yourself a chance to see the sights.

It's a funny place. In two or three kms you can go from dry scrub to quite lush forest. The national park which comprises the western third of the island is definitely worth a visit, if only for the seals.We spent maybe two hours watching them, but could have spent all day. 

There aren't that many places where you can watch seals being wild seals just 100 metres from where you stand! We loved it.


After KI, we headed north west, through Port August and onto the Eyre Highway, which goes across Australia to Norseman in Western Australia. 

Some people find the drive boring - but we didn't find it so.

Nullarbor cliffs - and the Great Australian Bight.Nullarbor cliffs - and the Great Australian Bight.Nullarbor cliffs - and the Great Australian Bight.

Probably the highlight for us was standing at the Nullarbor cliffs - on the edge of the continent - and knowing that all that's out there is the Great Australian Bight, the Southern Ocean, and Antarctica. It's quite feeling.

And there are things to photograph. I'm quite pleased with this sunrise at Cocklebiddy, in WA:

The sun rises over the grasses growing at Cocklebiddy in Western Australia.Sunrise at Cocklebiddy.Sunrise at Cocklebiddy.















It would be an interesting drive to do purely as a photography trip. No doubt a challenge, but one which could result in some wonderful images.

Why don't you give it a try?







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