May 11th, 2013 Posted 2:45 pm
The walkway through the tunnel is rugged with small pockets of flowing water weaving its way along the curvature, and without a torch you’d reach pitch blackness within a matter of a few dozen metres. To see the glow worms they say you should find a spot about half-way through, turn your torch off and allow your eyes to adjust to the darkness for a few minutes. Sure enough, before too long I started to notice the walls flicker with the faint radiance of the so-called “fungus gnat”. It was truly a sight to behold.
After walking the whole 400m through to the other side, I spent a fair amount of time on my return journey in the darkness (albeit the occasional flash of a passing couple’s torch) just taking in the brilliance of the glow worms. The longer I spent hidden away in the shadows the more I noticed the insects all around – on the walls next to me, the ceiling above me, behind me and in front of me, akin to the shimmering constellational paradise of an outback twilight.
December 9th, 2012 Posted 4:42 pm
In the early afternoon of November 1st 2012, at an altitude of 1,258m, I stood by the crater of an active volcano, watching the sulphuric steam rise from its core with everlasting fury. The landscape was dry and barren, barely a living organism to be seen aside from the few tourists who gathered around two of the four viewing zones that were currently open. A deep turquoise lake made up the acidic centre of the crater, adding some vibrance to the otherwise monochrome panorama. The fragrance in the air was reminiscent of rotten eggs; every now and then a strong gust of wind would waft the noxious gases a little too close for comfort. A few times I had to mask my mouth with my shirt in order to filter out the pungent vapour and get a breath in. It’s completely understandable how they don’t recommend people suffering from asthma or bronchitis to visit the crater.
I spent around 45 minutes exploring zones C and D, taking in as much of this eerie atmosphere as I possibly could. I stepped inside the concrete emergency shelters dotted around the complex, wondering if they really would offer any form of safety should an eruption occur. I made friends with some locals who struck a convincing pose against the bubbling lake in the background. I pondered the mountaintop shrine, presumably installed as spiritual protection from impending disaster. I laughed at the No Smoking sign that was ignored by the crater with all manner of blatancy. And I pinched myself at the realisation that a lifelong dream had been fulfilled.
July 26th, 2012 Posted 9:17 pm
Last week I paid my first ever visit to New Zealand and spent some time in Auckland, the country’s largest urban area. On the Saturday morning I decided to explore the town by foot with no particular destination in mind – just a stroll through the city streets, occasionally turning a corner wherever I noticed something of interest. I began at Viaduct Wharf and made my way to Victoria Park before deviating towards Ponsonby and continuing all the way across the motorway through Newton and south to Mt Eden.
To my great delight, what I saw was unexpectedly cultural and beautiful
I couldn’t help but pay particular interest to the incredible artwork sprawled around the back alleyways… the local Auckland street artists possess some true talent, that’s for sure. Here are some pics I took of the sheer vibrance, depth, humour and passion I was lucky enough to encounter along my promenade.
June 21st, 2011 Posted 9:27 pm
I love the Blue Mountains!
On a previous visit quite some time ago, I noticed a sign not far from the bottom of the world’s steepest railway that pointed toward a mysterious location known as the “Ruined Castle.”
I decided that I had to return one day to visit this seemingly dilapidated fortress. After some investigation, I found that it was not a castle as such, but a rock formation at the top of a hill which, if climbed, offers stunning 360° views from the cliffs of Katoomba all the way to Mt Solitary.
After a failed attempt two weeks ago due to poor weather, I headed back once again last weekend and successfully embarked upon the nearly-7km trek to the Ruined Castle summit. It was, quite frankly, a freakin’ incredible hike. I tried by best to capture some of this Blue Mountains beauty on camera:
February 14th, 2011 Posted 11:46 pm
I travelled to Brussels, the Belgian capital, on the first weekend of January in 2009. I was living in London at the time and was fairly down in the dumps and heartbroken after a bad end to 2008, so I thought that a trip on the Eurostar across to the continent would be a great way to bring in the new year with a fresh start. I sure wasn’t left disappointed
My first impression of Brussels, after checking into my hotel, was one of grandeur and majesty. After a short stroll through some inner-city residential rue’s (excuse my terrible French), my first destination was the very impressive Grand Place in the centre of town. The architecture was second-to-none, and I was especially blown away by the nearly 100 metre tall spire of the nearly 600 year old Town Hall on the south-western end of the square.
January 30th, 2011 Posted 4:33 pm
Well, here I am in Cairo. Months of anticipation have finally culminated with me stepping foot off British soil, onto a plane, and then onto the grounds of Africa five hours later, making this the third continent I have now visited. The plane ride was straightforward and not too long. I sat next to a girl from Lismore who was also on a two week tour of Egypt, but with a different travel company. I watched a very interesting documentary thanks to the in-flight entertainment about Britain as seen from the air. I read through my Egyptian guidebook and made note of some interesting places I wouldn’t mind visiting, and for our meal we had a beef sausage breakfast with egg, tomato and potato, fruit salad, blueberry flapjack, a loaf of bread, and pineapple juice. I specifically shared the details of my meal because it seems people often have a strange fascination with airplane food.
I was sitting in the middle seats of the plane, so I didn’t have much of a view of the outside, but the plane turned sharply about 10 minutes before we landed and I caught a glimpse of the landscape. Barren, plain, dusty, hazy desert was all I could see. I commented to my Lismore friend about how foreign it looked, which she completely agreed with, and we marvelled at the scenery until the plane levelled out again and continued with its descent.
November 28th, 2010 Posted 11:30 pm
As the hot and bothersome summer months approach us in the southern hemisphere, I find my friends in the northern speak of the joys of their upcoming winter and their already-falling snow. How I long for the winter to return; how I long to once more bask in the romance of the whitened streets and the puff of those pearly petals precipitating from the heavens above.
My first experience with snow-filled landscapes was here in my own home country, on our grade 12 camp to the Snowy Mountains in the year 2001. A group of about 25 of us ventured 2,500 km down to the township of Jindabyne at the base of Kosciuszko National Park, where we stayed for just under a week, commuting to and from the Perisher ski resort every day. For many of us, including myself, our first journey along the winding, mountainous road between Jindabyne and Perisher gave us our first taste of that cold, white fluff we’d all been dreaming of, beginning in little pockets by the side of the road, and by the end of the commute, culminating in entire mountain ranges blanketed in it.
November 10th, 2010 Posted 11:06 pm
Last weekend, the day before I was due to leave Brisbane for the drive home to Sydney, I went on the XXXX Brewery Tour at the famous Castlemaine Perkins brewery in Milton. I’m not too much of a beer drinker to be honest, but I am fascinated by large industrial workplaces. It’s one of the many touristy things I’ve always wanted to do while I actually lived locally, but never got around to doing.
I chose the “Brewery, Beer and BBQ” tour. After we’d finished the walkthrough of the premises we were all treated to four beers at the bar and a freshly cooked barbecue.
I’d gone on the tour alone, and out of the group of about 20, there was another guy who had also come along by himself. He ended up sitting with me for the barbecue and we got talking. You know when you meet someone who inspires you and makes you think to yourself, wow, what an awesome person this is?! He fell into that category.
June 14th, 2010 Posted 8:36 pm
For the past few weeks I’ve been up visiting my home territory of north Queensland, holidaying around the place and showing the sights to my dear friend, Jess from London. My lovely mother bestowed a gift upon me in the form of a digital SLR camera, so I thought that throughout our travels – just for something different – I’d keep a photo journal of all the interesting toilet-related paraphernalia that we came across. This idea was inspired by another one of my London friends, Rhiannon, who appreciates a good dunny when she sees one!
And so I begin my journal in the small township of Tully, about half way between my home in Bluewater and the tropical city of Cairns, where I would meet up with Jess. Tully is known for being one of the wettest towns in Australia, and an eight metre statue of a gumboot was erected at the entrance to the town to signify their highest annual rainfall. It’s also the UFO capital of Australia, with more sightings occurring here than anywhere else.
I stopped at the public toilets located just behind some picturesque gardens on the main street of town, Butler St. I was particularly impressed with the art deco tiling and the dislodged floor tile by the wall:
April 26th, 2010 Posted 9:55 pm
This morning, for the second morning in a row, I rose from my slumber unusually early. Yesterday it was 2:45am for the ANZAC day dawn service, but today’s wake-up alarm was a slightly more reasonable 5:45am. Laugh at me all you will, my friends, but I had all intentions of heading on down to Circular Quay along with 5,000 screaming teenage girls in order to catch the Justin Bieber gig that Sunrise was putting on.
Just before I was due to leave home though, I heeded to the fact that the riot police had cancelled the event due to the overly raucous crowd refusing to abide by safety announcements, resulting in a number of tween girls getting crushed. I was quite disappointed – not at the ironic hilarity that fans had flown across the country for this moment only to screw it up for themselves – but because I genuinely did want to see him perform. I’d heard so much about him via Twitter and wanted to see for myself what the hype was about.
Which left me in a debacle as to what to do with my day seeing as it was so early and I was already wide awake. So I randomly decided to hop on the next train to Newcastle!