Tag Archives: Landscapes

Headin’ for the Hills (this time behind the Gold Coast)

A few weeks back I granted myself an extra long weekend, taking a few days annual leave to fly to Queensland’s Gold Coast to visit a friend. On the Sunday morning, we walked down to the beach to catch the day’s sunrise (see Gold Coast Dawn).

The following day was a work day for my friend, and he kindly lent me his car so I could head up into the hills behind the Gold Coast and spend the day exploring beautiful Springbrook National Park. The park is in the Great Dividing Range that extends along the entire east coast of Australia from tropical Cape York down to the Victorian snow country, and is classified as part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area.

Springbrook Canyon

Let’s start with something of a positioning shot atop the Springbrook plateau looking down the canyon. Broadwater and the Surfers Paradise highrises are visible in the distance.

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Second Valley – Painted by Light

After finally finishing the Malaysia holiday series of posts, I’ve taken the opportunity this week to catch up on visits to some of the WordPress blogs I follow.

One of these is High Street Photos X100 authored by another Adelaide photographer Andy Kidd. Andy takes most of his photos with a Fuji X100 camera, hence the X100 in his blog title. He has recently published several posts of photos taken in the area around Rapid Bay and Second Valley. Looking at his posts has prompted me to revisit some photos I took at Second Valley about 18 months ago.

Second Valley is 80 kilometres (50 miles) or so south of Adelaide on the coast of Gulf St Vincent. Size-wise, there’s not much there except a handful of holiday houses, a caravan park and a small jetty. The surrounding area is quite attractive: the coastline is backed by steep hills and Second Valley is located where a small creek flows out of the hills into the sea.

I drove down there in the autumn of 2013 to take photos of some geological formations for use in my son’s Year 12 geology assignment. He’d been down that way some time earlier on a school tour but had apparently missed photographing certain formations he now wanted to reference. So dad to the rescue. He chose to stay home to do some maths home work, so armed with my camera and a quick briefing of what I was looking for, off I went.

The day was drizzly rainy with leaden skies, so I wasn’t expecting too much in the way of interesting photos. But I just happened upon some quite dramatic lighting as you will shortly see.

Yankalilla Bay, Fleurieu Peninsula

Second Valley is on the road that leads down to Cape Jervois. After passing through Yankalilla and Normanville, the road runs along the coast for a few miles before turning back inland. This is the view looking south at the point where the road turns left to head back into the hills. Second Valley is one of the little coves in the distance while Rapid Bay is just this side of the far headland. Dreary drizzly conditions and the hazy look at top left is the rain falling on the nearby hill tops.

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Greetings from Lucerne

Interrupting my efforts to complete the Malaysia travel series of posts, I find myself overseas again, this time for work. Right now I’m in London drying off after viewing the Lord Major’s annual fireworks show. The rain arrived right on cue, just as the fireworks started. Who would have though such a thing would have happened in England.

But for now, I’ll post a couple of images from the one nice day seen since arriving a week ago. To do that, I must jump countries and go back to Switzerland where the prior weekend was spent.

Lake Lucerne from Mt Pilatus

Fabulous views from the peak of Mt Pilatus looking down on Lake Lucerne. Pilatus is 7,000 feet high, the peak seen on the other side of the lake is Rigi, itself 6,000 feet high.

Lucerne at night

Lucerne at night. The old town area of Lucerne must be one of the more photogenic places anywhere.

Dayang Bunting Marble Geoforest

Photo Morsels goes jet skiing to bring you this post featuring Langkawi’s Dayang Bunting Marble Geoforest.

Prior posts have introduced Langkawi and visited the Machinchang Cambrian Geoforest and Kilim Karst Geoforest Parks. These parks along with Dayang Bunting Marble Geoforest make up the three three major geopark sites on Langkawi.

Dayang Bunting Marble Geoforest is a collection of islands on the southern side of Langkawi and a popular day-tripping location by long boat. For the more adventurous, the area can also visited by guided jet ski tours which is what my family elected to do. We shared two jet skis between the four of us and set off with four other riders (also sharing two jet skis) plus our guide, a young Thai lad who, we discovered, had spent several years living in Melbourne, Australia before returning to Asia.

First up, I’ll quickly recycle a photos from the Gunung Machinchang post which shows off the general Dayang Bunting area.

Gunung Machinchang, Langkawi

This view from Gunung Machinchang’s summit overlooks the island of Dayang Bunting together with surrounding smaller islands. Dayang Bunting is the largest of the islands on the horizon slightly to the right of centre.

Departure point for the jet ski tour is Langkawi’s most popular beach, Pantai Cenang. I wasn’t ready for my near new dSLR to disappear into the Andaman Sea, so for this trip, the Pentax gear was left back at the hotel and my smaller Samsung NX 1000 camera with its 30mm F2 prime lens was pressed into service.

Ready for action, Datang Bunting jet ski Tour

On Pantai Cenang, kitted out and ready for action. No need to run the gauntlet of a naval blockage to head out to sea as the ‘U-boat’ on the horizon is a low rocky island that delivers a surprisingly realistic impression of a lurking submarine.

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Kilim Karst Geoforest

Photo Morsels continues its exploration of Langkawi with a visit to the Kilim Karst Geoforest.

Prior posts have introduced Langkawi and noted its declaration as a UNESCO Geopark in recognition of the island’s relatively unspoilt environment and unique geological features.

Langkawi contains three major geopark areas and a number of smaller sites. The previous post visited the Machinchang Cambrian Geoforest Park. This post turns its attention to the Kilim Karst Geoforest at the opposite end of Langkawi Island to Machinchang.

To quickly summarise the Kilim Karst Geoforest, it is a network of mangrove waterways that takes its name from the Kilim River, one of three rivers in the area and from the geological term ‘karst’ which is used to describe landscapes formed from the dissolution of soluble rocks such as limestone, dolomite or gypsum. It is this karst topography that makes the area quite special. Words can’t really do the beauty of this area justice, so let’s just get on with the photos.

Kilim River Cruise, Langkawi

Our boat trip started at Tanjung Rhu where there’s quite a flotilla of long boats waiting to service the tourist trade.

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Gunung Machinchang

    Gunung Machinchang? What’s that you say?

Well, to cut straight through the suspense, Gunung Machinchang is a mountain peak and the dominant feature of the western end of Langkawi island. It is also the subject of this second post in a photo series featuring images from a recent holiday to Malaysia.

Destination for the first week away was Langkawi which is located on Malaysia’s west coast just inside the border with Thailand. Langkawi’s tourism has been developed around its largely unspoilt natural beauty and the island has declared itself as a UNESCO Geopark, ensuring it’s development is guided by consideration for the environment and its unique geological features.

Within Langkawi, there are three major geopark areas and a number of smaller sites. One of the major parks is the Machinchang Cambrian Geoforest Park. The park protects a geologically significant area, with the sandstone rocks that form Gunung Machinchang and the adjacent peaks representing some of the earliest land to form in the region we now know as South East Asia. The sandstones date back to the Cambrian period some 500 million years ago and were originally part of the margins of the Gondwanaland super-continent.

Langkawi folklore however ascribes the presence of Gunung Machinchang to a fight between two giants. Mid-fight, both were struck by lightning and turned into stone. One of the giants became Gunung Machinchang and the other Gunung Raya, the other significant peak on the island. Gunung, by the way, means mountain in Malay.

Park visitors can access Gunung Machinchang’s peak via a cable car that rises from near sea level all the way up to Gunung Machinchang’s 708 metre (2323 feet) peak. Built around the cable car’s base station is a tourist village area called Oriental Village which incorporates a cluster of buildings incorporating Malaysian and Oriental architecture styles. I’ll save images of that for a later post.

Langkawi Cable Car, Gunung Machinchang So, onto the cable car ride up to Gunung Machinchang.

For my first photo, I conveniently found a car coming around the base station’s turning wheel decorated with quite a pretty advertisement for Langkawi rather than one of the not so interesting ones for a local bank.

Readers of my previous post should recognise the bird featured on the front of the cable car. Quick memory test: what was it called again?

The cable cars look to be exactly the same models as used on Mt Titlus in Switzerland. I found this somewhat reassuring having previously undertaken a cable car ride up and down Mt Titlus!

If you happen to visit Langkawi and plan to use the cable car, please note that it is closed on certain days for scheduled maintenance. These days are advertised on the cable car’s website. Continue reading

Dawn Patrol

It’s not often that I get up at dawn, but my current enthusiasm for photography is encouraging me to try to see in the start of the day at least once anytime I am away on holidays . Continuing with the visit to the River Murray that has been the subject of other recent posts, this post captures the area at first light. Fortunately for me, the final day of the October long weekend was the second day of daylight saving for summer 2013-14, giving me an extra hour of sleep before the pre-dawn light started to appear 🙂

Dawn breaks over River Murray lagoon

The view from the front door of the tent a little before 6am.

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