Raising the Warragamba Dam wall is a developer-driven proposal that will make it easier to build on flood-prone land in western Sydney – against the wishes of local communities.
Raising the dam wall would also destroy 65 kilometres of wilderness rivers and inundate 4,700 hectares of the world heritage listed Blue Mountains National Park.
GIVE A DAM is the grassroots community campaign to stop the destruction of the Blue Mountains national park and the over development in western Sydney from the raising of Warragamba Dam wall. The campaign is run by the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
The Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area is at risk of losing its World Heritage status. The raising of the Dam, the development of Western Sydney Airport and a potential commercial Katoomba Airfield which will see helicopter and fixed wing aircraft taking off and landing from inside the World Heritage Area all are helping to define the reason this status is at risk.
What does not make sense is that the World Heritage status is managed by the Federal government yet they do not seem to have a voice.
Give a Dam is the campaign seeking to drive change and stop the onslaught of irresponsible development through the raising of the Dam once and for all. You can learn more at https://www.giveadam.org.au/
Photos are from the Give a Dam rally on June 9th, 2019.
Cradle Mountain located in the Central Highlands of Tasmania is so named for its similarity in appearance to a gold mining cradle. A wander through this vast untainted landscape will explain why it is dubbed an iconic Australian experience.
When we arrived, we were unable to take our vehicle into the park due to road works. The only way in was via buses provided by the park. In principle this is a great idea and the buses were efficient and warm. Not always being the most patient and having a few cameras with big lenses in tow made the buses less than convenient as they were full.
After relaxing at the base lodge and taking in the crisp fresh autumn air we decided on a two-pronged approach… one by air and two by land.
So off I went to the flight office to discuss a helicopter ride over the park. I explained that we are professional photographers who wanted to take photos during the flight. The gentleman at the desk did not miss a beat and immediately responded “Oh so you would like us to take the door off the helicopter” … to which I immediately responded on behalf of my partner who was not in the room, absolutely! So off I went tell my partner our flight was booked and he (not me) would be enjoying his ride without a door.
For the second part of our trip we succumbed to the bus trip to Dove lake. We lightened our load a bit taking only one camera and swapped lenses for something a little more compact. Once off the bus we explored the beauty of this remote location on foot, it was a brisk day void of sun making it quite pleasant for walking. Before leaving we grabbed a photo of the iconic Cradle Mountain and its reflection in Dove Lake.
“The Portraits” is about the in between moments. Caught somewhere between players getting ready and natural breaks. A single frame no more, captured in a fraction of a second … a moment frozen in time.
Each photo speaks for itself bound by a single love “Hockey”.
If you find a day when the rain is a threat having a bag full of tricks is rather handy. On this day not only was the rain a threat the wind was roaring so hard it could lift you off the ground.
Today the destination started with Beauty Point, Tasmania. Or first stop was to visit the Platypus and Echidnas. The animals located here were rescued and the monies collected support the study of their behaviour and protection of their environment and well-being. Here we watched one of the most informative documentaries I have ever seen. We then explored the living environments of the animals and learned more about their breeding and lifestyles.
All in all, the tour took around ninety minutes, it was both knowledgeable and enjoyable for young and old alike.
Having had a great morning out we decided to take a detour for lunch. We found our way to Bay of Fires Wines which we had heard was renowned for both its bubbly and still wines. They also serve a great light lunch offering a selection of pizza’s and tasting plates featuring local fresh ingredients. Rain or shine the views were easy on the eyes, relaxing and a great way to pass the time.
With or tummies full and our minds engaged we returned to our accommodation to relax.
For those staying in or around Launceston Liffey Falls an idyllic daytrip. The falls are in the Western Tier of Tasmania, amidst a beautiful expanse of pastures and rolling hills. The drive to the falls is equally as beautiful.
Our journey began from the upper car park. From the carpark there is a track that traverses down the side of the hillside for about a kilometre. The track is well maintained a provides gentle sloping walk through a dense rainforest filled with tree ferns, lichens and a magical canopy.
On the day we chose to go there was a bit of rain about. Amazingly the forest canopy provided protection while we wandered down from the upper car park to the falls. Once at the falls we sat back, enjoyed the view and listened to the song of the rushing water.
After enjoying our stroll, we took advantage of the sites facilities. The picnic area is one of the best we have seen and has both open air and undercover table. We decided to advantage of the cover to enjoy a bit of local cheese and wine all the while being entertained by the wind in the trees and the chirp of the birds…The rest of the world was a million miles away.
It was a great way to spend a day out, for those wishing to extend their walk the lower car park provides a two-kilometre walk. Either way it pays to not be in a rush.
When you need a break from connecting with nature and are looking for a bit of fun and fine food, Penny Royal in Launceston is just the treat.
Built on the site of an old quarry the venue attempts to share a bit of history for those interested. We had a giggle on the boat ride that goes under the site, the animation was excellent, and the information provided insight into the lifestyles of the not so rich and famous.
For those with kids they can run off to do a zip line, bungee drop or rock climbing while you taste the “quaffing “range of wines from Relbia Estate. These reasonably priced Tasmanian wines were delightful, and the tasting was generous and unhurried.
With something for young and old alike it is a lovely day out.
It is not often one finds such a dramatic bit of nature so close to a bustling city.
Interestingly the development of Cataract Gorge as a town park began in 1899. Not without controversy eight years later access to the other side of the gorge was achieved. Later a bandstand was erected, and live music entertained the visitors. Like many places in Tasmania so many elements of England can be seen, in this case both flora and fauna has been intermixed with natives reminding the visitor of lands far away and the journey these people made so many years ago.
Today visitors can wander in on foot from the city or via the grounds car park where they can continue afoot or ride the chairlift across the gorge expanse. No matter how you get there the rewards are worth the trip. We were amazed by the amount of rock that had settled at the bottom of the gorge, the sound of the water rushing across them and the tranquillity of the location allowing us to forget the bump and grind of the day to day.
While there we stopped to have a snack in the Gorge Restaurant where an array of locally sourced produce and wine was on offer. Some say you can see the Gorge in an hour. While this may be the case it is far to beautiful and peaceful a place to rush.
The Tamar Valley located in the heart of northern Tasmania is the states principal wine producing region. The trip into the valley meanders along the North and South Esk rivers which feed the landscape creating lush and bountiful views. Views surpassed only by the quality of the wine making.
For those that favour the reds Pinot Noir is king, top on our list was from Goaty Hill Wines, Markus’s Limited Release Pinot Noir was not only good value it set the bar for the trip. Be sure to plan your visit around lunchtime to enjoy one of their beautiful platters of local cheese and produce whilst tasting and enjoying the fine views.
The most delightful surprise was a trip to Marion’s Vineyard where “an indefatigable Cypriot and a Californian dreamer” began a family tradition. Their daughter is now the principle winemaker. It is their One Barrell Wonders range that make the trip to their vineyard special, particularly quaffable was the Mavrodaphne a grape of Greek origins that was magic on the palette.
Another gorgeous find was Tamar Ridge, owned by Brown Brothers and producing lovely wines the real treat here was the local tasting plates. Visitors can select from a Cheese, Fresh Salmon or Meat platter, each is delectable, just be sure to go with plenty of friends so you can have them all.
When travelling to the valley be warned there is no shortage of wineries to visit, having a plan is essential.
Fifteen kilometres south of Launceston, Tasmania is the historic Georgian village of Evandale. The village is a delightful step back in time. A walk around town will reward the visitor with an array of historic homes and establishments lining the beautifully maintained streets.
Evandale is also home to the Evandale Markets open every Sunday from 8:00am to 2:00pm. After arriving in Tasmania, we headed straight to the markets to pick up some local produce and have a wander. On the top of or list was to shop for fresh produce and baked goods for our stay in Tasmania. What we found was so much more. From the home-made jams such as melon and ginger made from an obscure type of melon to the crafts and bric-a-brac there was much to explore, share and purchase.
If you get a chance to stop by the bakery there they make a lovely croissant packed with spinach and ricotta. We absolutely fell in love with one of the produce stands whose bunch of carrots were multi-coloured with red, orange and yellow varieties. We are big fans of red carrots for their sweet dense texture, however had never tried yellow… it goes without say that we are now fans of yellow as well. They also had golden beetroots another rare find which we turned into a beetroot and goats cheese salad later that night.
It was a rewarding day and with or shopping done we set off to explore town before checking into our accommodation.