Archives for posts with tag: Shellharbour

After the first day of camping at Shellharbour the weather had turned pretty ordinary for a few days. I was able to get some nice photos at dusk of Shellharbour on the first night, but was dying to get out onto the rocks and capture some of the water reflections and maybe a bit of seaside flora and fauna too – with some blue Summer sky. New Year’s Eve rewarded us with the perfect conditions, and late in the afternoon I trekked out onto the rocks to see what I could find. I love the myriad of shot opportunities that the rocky outcrops on the Australian coast offer. If you are patient and wait between waves you get to see all kinds of critters like crabs, anemones, and maybe even a bird or two. The other aspect about the rocks is that sometimes they appear to have been carved out by a giant hand with lines etched into the surface but what one would imagine is a large knife. I was the only one out on the rocks (along with a flock of seagulls), and after some exploring at low tide I came across a couple of decent photo opportunities. I wish I had a 70-200mm lens on me, as I only came armed with the 24-70mm. I also had fun with the circular polariser filter to achieve different effects – reflection or not. I was pleasantly surprised by the spread of colour, which at a distance only appeared to be a mass of reddish hued stone. I had to switch to manual focus for a few of the shots, the camera really struggled with the reflections of the water surface. BTW – all the links from the photos open up to the larger images uploaded to my Flickr account.

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I took the bike with us down to the campsite at Shellharbour on our recent trip, and was keen to get out and explore the trails around the area. Last time I spent any length of time in this area was when I was a child, and we always found ourselves skipping over this region and travelling further south to either Kiama, Gerringong, Shoalhaven Heads or Jervis Bay. With the trip to Shellharbour being well under two hours drive from Sydney, I don’t think this will be the last time we head down there.

Riding between Christmas and New Year means that there are not too many cars about in the mornings, and you can start a little bit later. My fear is that I was going to be spending a lot of time on the road, with no view of water. I was wrong! There is an awesome bike path that runs from Shellharbour to the Windang Bridge. What a great way to kick off your morning ride by riding next to the ocean and inlets that pepper the NSW South Coast. Below is the route that I marked out, and the link to the location on Google Maps.

Shellharbour - Windang Bike PathThis route also takes in Barack Point, which was an awesome spot to take my son for a swim (which we did on New Years Day). The water was only as deep as my waist at high tide, and the wide sandy shores were plenty of fun to splash around in. I stopped to take some pics along the way to the Windang Bridge. (All the images link through to the larger images on my Flickr site).

Riding - Barrack Point

Riding - Barrack Point

Riding - Windang

Riding - WindangGetting over the Windang Bridge brought me to a route that I have done a few times before – around Lake Illawarra. I had done it three times previously in the Ride Around the Lake, which is an organised 40km spin around the Lake Illawarra to raise funds for my|place Youth Housing in the Illawarra region. It is a great community ride that I have done with my Aunt who lives down that way (and who goes hard even above the age of 50). This time there were road closures or Police helping me out – in fact it was only me and the bike. So I rode the track from memory with all the turns and road crossings, and had to lift the bike a few times over barriers (cyclocross style) but it was the perfect morning for it.

Lake Illawarra is really beautiful with plenty of sea life, protected wetlands, and bird life. The bike path takes you around most of it, but is broken up by Koong-Burry Bay wetlands. The diversion is a short stretch on the freeway. One thing I was shocked at was how much glass from used bottles of alcohol littered the shoulder of the freeway, it was like dodging land mines. I took a few more photos before putting my head down to clock up the kilometers.

Riding - Tuggerah Bay

Riding - Koong-Burry Bay

Riding - Koong-Burry Bay

Riding - Koong-Burry Bay

There is one gem of a segment on this route, down hill bombing on Cormack Avenue in Dapto. Even on my MTB steed and not pushing it I clocked 59km/hr – too much fun! Just be careful of the little gutter lip at the bottom of the road.

This was my last ride for 2012. Like all sad cyclists who fester over their numbers (be it speed, kilometers / miles, weight – etc.) I clocked up 2,347km of measured riding for 2012. I only bought my Garmin Edge 800 in May last year, and I reckon there is probably another 1,000km of unmeasured km to add to that. So that would have taken me from Melbourne to Mackay in Queensland. Not bad – but time to do more.

Happy New Year everyone – I am looking forward to plenty of adventures in 2013.

 

 

The plan to stay at home for the Christmas break brought on a case of some very itchy feet. We were itching to travel somewhere. Not to some exotic overseas location (though that would have been nice), but to a place where we could relax and enjoy the Australian summer. About a month ago we planned to go camping, but a little thing called work got in the way. So with tent in hand, we searched for a place to pitch it. Luck was on our side as another family had cancelled a reservation that they had at Shellharbour Beachside Tourist Park – and it was a prime position too. Shellharbour is just over an hour and a half drive South of Sydney, very easy to get to. The spot we nabbed was right at the end of the camp site closest to the beach and rocky head. So far the weather hasn’t been on our side, but New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are looking quite promising. With grey skies dominating our first night, I decided to try some shots at dusk of the seaside pool and the rocky head. I love the way the ocean blurs on long exposure shots. The artificial light contrasting against the ill-defined clouds creates an interesting mood too. At first I was being lazy, shooting from a distance and holding the camera by hand. This didn’t really work, so I got down on the seaside rocks and pulled out my trusted Manfrotto. This was essential for this little shooting trek. Next time I will remember to bring a torch too so I can see what I am doing in the dim light. BTW – all the links from the photos open up to the larger images uploaded to my Flickr account.

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Hopefully the weather does clear up so my little man can get out of the tent and into the sun.

Camp Shellharbour

If anyone is interested in visiting this beautiful seaside spot on the NSW South Coast, below is the location on Google Maps of where we chose to stay.

Shellharbour - Google Maps

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