Archive | January 2014

Cape Nelson lighthouse

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Cape Nelson lighthouse is near Portland in western Victoria. It overlooks and protects ships sailing the Southern Ocean. It’s also one of the stops on the Great South West Walk and is a popular spot for whale watching. Some of the cottages in the complex are being let as holiday accommodation, a trend that I’ve noticed at most of the lighthouses I’ve visited.

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Lighthouses on Kangaroo Island

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Continuing the theme on lighthouses I have visited, here are two of the three on Kangaroo Island that I went to on a road-trip that included Kangaroo Island.

The first two photos are of the lighthouse at Cape Willoughby on the north-eastern side of the island. It’s quite a long drive to this part of the island. As we approached we could see the sky darkening due to an impending storm. Luckily it was slow-moving though. We had enough time to walk around, stop at the cellar door in the foreground of the top photo and head back to town. You can see how gray the sky was getting as we left.

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This photo was taken at Cape du Couedic lighthouse on the south-west side of the island. There are lots of spectacular natural and man-made features on this part of the island.

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Cape Schank Lighthouse

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Cape Schank is at the southernmost point of the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria. It overlooks Bass Strait which separates Victoria and Tasmania. The lighthouse was built in 1859 and is 21 metres tall.

The air felt so fresh and clear when I parked my car, gathered my camera bag and took off for a walk. There are two paths and I first took the one that lead away from the lighthouse but towards the cliffs. I wanted to be able to get some photos of how the lighthouse sits in its surrounding. There is a boardwalk that takes you out to the cliffs so you are looking back on to the lighthouse. I didn’t walk all the way out there because I did have some time restrictions so went to the first lookout and took some photos from there. I was really lucky to have a lot of blue sky. In Melbourne it was a very dull day but on the coastline it was beautiful and sunny with just a light breeze.

I retraced my steps to the carpark and kiosk where I bought a ticket to be able to go into the lighthouse compound. There’s not a lot to the compound; just the lighthouse, the keeper’s cottage and some other cottages which are let as self-catering accommodation. It is a great place to get away from everything and relax for a few days. The lighthouse keeper’s cottage also holds a museum. As well as the history of this lighthouse, it also details the history of lighthouses around the world. Although only a small museum, it’s really interesting.

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The below transcript is on the wall of the museum. I’ve read this before but still find it funny.

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The Stokehouse: Iconic Melbourne restaurant burns down.

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Yesterday I was one of many people that were very sad to hear that this beautiful, iconic restaurant in the beachside suburb of St Kilda had burned down on Friday night. So many people have celebrated special occasions in this fine-dining restaurant. I celebrated my 40th birthday there. It was very memorable because of the food, service and the view of Port Phillip Bay on a hot, Summer day. The building itself was a 110 year old weatherboard building that looked like a beach house. I believe the owners are going to rebuild and I look forward to going again when it reopens.

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Melting Melbourne

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Today is roughly the middle of Summer in the southern hemisphere. And boy, don’t we know it. While much of the northern hemisphere has to cope with record low temperatures, we are going through a heatwave this week. Today was our third day in a row of 40 deg plus and we will have one more tomorrow before a cool change comes through and cools us down for the following week. Todays photo was taken after 9pm and even as I type this (at 10.40pm) it is 32.1 degrees. Unfortunately there are lots of bushfires blazing around both Victoria and South Australia. In the last 24 hours, more than 1,000 bushfires have been reported.

There has been some debate about how many days of hot weather constitutes a heatwave. Sections of the media like to call one hot day day a heatwave. I’ve always thought of a heatwave as being four days or more of 40 degrees C (104 degrees F). Yesterday the Bureau of Meteorology defined heatwave as “being three or more days of unusually high maximum and minimum temperatures in any area. ABC weather guru Graham Creed says there are three grades of heatwave, with severe and extreme posing the most serious risk.”

Some people have been posting photos on social media showing ice cream melting in 8.5 seconds when it is spilt on the hot concrete. Others have shown how quick it is to fry eggs in a frying pan. This hasn’t stopped sports-mad Melburnians from going to the numerous sporting events in the city. On Tuesday (the first day of this heatwave), more than 60,000 people attended the Australian Tennis Open, an A-League soccer game and a T20 cricket game in the CBD (including me).

Cee’s Which Way Challenge post: #1 2014

Cee’s Which Way Challenge post: Tuesday 14th January

This is my first time posting in Cee’s Which Way Challenge. I hope this photo is suitable.

It was taken at The Spit on the Gold Coast, Australia. I love the way the path leads to the lookout. The path was rough and uneven and leads your eye to the lookout then up to the beautiful blue sky.

http://ceenphotography.com/2014/01/08/cees-which-way-challenge-2014-1/

Weekly Photo Challenge: Window

Weekly Photo Challenge: Window

I took this photo from my bed in a Queenstown, New Zealand, hotel.

After a long day of walking and sightseeing I went up to my room and almost collapsed on the bed. After a few minutes of resting I looked out of the window and saw this amazing and gorgeous view. The hotel is on a cliff overlooking Lake Wakatipu and the surrounding mountains. I’m really happy with how the light coming in has provided a wide, dark frame for the photo.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/01/10/photo-challenge-window/

Myer Christmas Windows 2013: Gingerbread Friends

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‘Gingerbread Friends’ by the renowned American children’s author, Jan Brett, tells the charming tale of Gingerbread Baby as he sets out on an adventure to find a friend of his own. Gingerbread Baby heads to the local bakery in search of a kindred spirit, only to be chased away by a hungry mama mouse, and a long line of creatures, to take refuge back at home. To his great surprise Gingerbread Baby finds that he already has a whole host of friends at home. (taken from http://www.penguin.com.au/content/362347/gingerbread-friends-2013-myer-christmas-animated-windows)

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Here is a link to the video on the making of the windows in 2013. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRf98ywbgL4. It only runs for 4 1/2 mins and is well worth a look at the fascinating process of creating the windows.

Word a Week Photo Challenge: Yellow

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Yellow is one of the colours that make up the uniform of Aussie surf lifesavers. These are some of the bollards in Geelong on the bollards walk.

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I love the soft shade of yellow in this rose.

http://suellewellyn2011.wordpress.com/2014/01/07/a-word-a-week-photograph-challenge-yellow/

Christmas in the City Square, Melbourne

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I felt the celebrations in the CBD were quite subdued compared to the previous Christmas. It was easier to see the tree though because they hadn’t allowed people to walk around it. They sectioned off a whole area so you had to see it from afar. That made it easier to get some good photos though. I don’t think there were as many lights on the tree either.

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There was a show projected on the exterior of the Town Hall. We got to the hall at around 10.40pm only to find we had missed the last show. We later found a sign saying it was meant to finish at 11pm. We were really disappointed not to be able to see it.

The Story of Philomena Lee

Philomena

The Story of Philomena Lee

Yesterday my Mum and I went to see Philomena, a movie we’d been looking forward to seeing since we saw the trailer at another movie.

It’s the seemingly very accurate story of Philomena Lee, a Catholic girl who gave birth to a son born out of wedlock in 1952.  Her family disowned her, forcing her to live with nuns who delivered her baby and looked after her.  However when he was 3 the nuns adopted him out to an American family.  He became a very successful lawyer in the Reagan administration but died of AIDS at the age of 43 so there was no fairytale reunion between mother and son.

The movie itself is brilliantly written and cast.  It tells the story of Philomena searching for her son.  Judi Dench was brilliant (as always) but the surprise for me was Steve Coogan.  I’ve always liked him but thought some of his movies were stupid.  I hope he does more serious roles in future because he was outstanding.  Judi Dench has been nominated for Golden Globes and there is talk of an Academy Award nomination ow two.  I would love to see the movie itself nominated as well. 

Yarra Valley lunch at Domaine Chandon

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Potato and leek tart with Yarra Valley Persian Feta, roasted tomatoes and roquette.

For our annual Christmas lunch, my friend and I went back to Domaine Chandon. We were going to have lunch at another winery then dessert at Chandon but they had a set menu so we decided to have both courses at Chandon.

Melbourne’s weather in the lead up to Summer has been very average to say the least. We were really surprised to have a beautiful, warm day. It was perfect for sitting out in the sun, enjoying the excellent food and wine. We were there for two hours and were never made to feel uncomfortable for being there that long.

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Tempura Zucchini flowers filled with goats cheese and lemon

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Pumpkin salad with pancetta and roquette My friend was really surprised to see such a large piece of butternut pumpkin

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The view from where I sat. I couldn’t decide which wine to drink with my meal because there are so many beautiful choices. I decided to try the Blanc de blanc selection and wasn’t disappointed.

Afterwards we decided to take a walk around the property. The original homestead is still standing and is used as the Administration wing of the company. We were a little too late for the guided tour so couldn’t go inside but there is a self-guided tour allowing us to view something of the wine-making.

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Green Point Brasserie at Domaine Chandon on Urbanspoon