Archives for posts with tag: Sydney Harbour

Sydney Harbour is without a doubt beautiful. Us Sydneysiders are quite lucky to have at the heart of our city this maritime masterpiece. Multiple levels of government have been making quite a bit of effort over the last few years to make the harbour foreshore accessible to people. I think that there is also a master plan to connect a continuous stretch of foreshore from Woolloomooloo (East of the Opera House – and yes I spelt that suburb correctly) all the way through to Balmain. So when the plans to redevelop the Western maritime shoreline of the Sydney CBD began, the opportunity to redefine the shoreline and reconnect a previously inaccessible strip of land arose. This part of my city is named Barangaroo.

Barangaroo was the name of the wife of one of Australia’s most famous indigenous Australians – Bennelong. She was a powerful woman from the Aboriginal clan of Cammeraygal, being a key figure in the local community.

After decades of construction and harbour reclamation, the original shape of the shoreline had been lost to the square shape of concrete docks. The plan to introduce a public park on the Barangoo shoreline was opened up to a design competition, and the winning design was a beautiful landscape proposal that returns the shape of the original shoreline. The driving force for the introduction of this park was Australia’s greatest Prime Minister from the few decades – Paul Keating. And we can now enjoy the fruits of the labour of the architects, landscapers, and builders who gave us this new park – and cycleway too 🙂

C’mon, you knew that I would throw my two wheel endeavours into this.

So we took off on our bikes as a family, me riding alongside the Pok on his bike and my wife riding her bike with our Chariot trailer in tow shuttling Kiki. The distance from our place to the Barangaroo headland is just shy of 6km, a big distance for my little guy. But the reward was this:

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The shoreline has been recreated with large hewn sandstone blocks. The stone that submerges with the tide has already taken to the green aquatic colours. There are two tracks the follow the shoreline. One which is composed of compacted earth for walkers, and a second asphalted path for two wheel steeds and runners. The views out over the harbour are great, and uninterrupted out to the inner West and the ANZAC Bridge.

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The sandstone blocks are quite large, but not off-limits to walk on. Though the blocks do make you feel kinda small, but at the same time Balmain seems strangely within arms reach.

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At the Northern most point of the headline was the opportune time for a refuelling pit-stop.

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This gave me a chance to explore the park a bit more while the kids snacked. I rode up the hill to get a better view of the landscape of the park. The trees that have been planted have not matured yet, so hopefully in a few more years the shade will be more prominent.

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My little Kiki was asleep the whole way to the park until we stopped. She was pleasantly surprised when we she woke up.

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The view from the headland to the Sydney Harbour Bridge is pretty spectacular too, and the elevation provides a unique perspective. The short climb is fun to ride up.

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The old maritime control tower which directed shipping is still in place and presides over the entire park.

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Some of the sculpture pieces are pretty cool. This mini “stonehenge” from sandstone blocks was the site of a little game of hide and seek between The Pok, Kiki, and myself.

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And I can never get enough of taking photos of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, but it is the colours in the stone that are a highlight to me.

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We took the opportunity to have a few race sprints between The Pok and myself. My little man is turning into a bit of a speed demon on the wheels, hitting over 20kph in a burst of speed. Not bad for a five year old. But all that energy output lead to more refueling for the boy – a hot chocolate did the trick.

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All up a great family ride and what turned out to be the longest ride that my little man has done – 13km! He loved it as did my wife and little girl. And we are lucky to have a new addition to our harbour front.

Nothing to say, just the photo

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Nothing to say, just the photo.

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Nothing to say, just the photo from the mobile

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Summer in Sydney is awesome! Nipping off from work in the afternoon rushing to get to the beach while the sun sets. Give an Aussie a ball and bat anywhere and anytime they will work out how to make a game of it.

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This is why we won back The Ashes!

P.S. These aren’t even our top athletes…

Just a quick post to celebrate the New Year. Looking forward to more infant adventures, more travel and exploring, more riding, more photography, more blogging, and more time with my family. Enjoy the Sydney NYE Fireworks (apologies for the mobile phone quality video) …

Hello 2014 – you are going to be interesting!

With the city of Sydney shrouded in the smoke that was a by product of back burning, it was a strange warm day. But the Pok was itching to get out and go for a ride on his bike, so I decided to go for a walk with him and bring the camera in tow. Spring is very much in full bloom with Summer only one month away now. It is going to be a scorcher (hopefully) and the local fauna is putting on its annual show in the rev up for the beach months.

The urban landscape can’t hold back Mother Nature, this flower was definitely not planted.

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This bottle brush, while a native plant, was showing its wares at the park near the harbour. A tiny insect was playing the pollination dance.

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I don’t know the name of this one, but it looks a bit creepy with its blooming claw like petals.

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The eucalyptus tree bark was healthy and lush, a far cry from the dry tinderbox in the mountains and national parks surrounding the Sydney basin.

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Of course the Pok (AKA my son) wanted to pose for the camera while he was “mountain biking”.

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The Ocean Shield was docked again around our way, and it looked like it was taking on board specialist supplies.

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The Pok was pushing hard on the switchbacks to attain that KOM.

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One last flower for the road.

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Sydney is starting to kick for the best time of the year. Bring on the balmy beach weather I say.

A few days ago I blogged about a single photo of Sydney Harbour when the bushfires commenced in NSW. It looked like Armageddon had arrived in Sydney. Here it is again:

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I uploaded this shot to Flickr as I do with all my photos, for one main reason – I want to own the rights to my photos. So it was to my surprise that I received an email this morning around 10am that said:

“Hey Christopher Yardin, Yahoo Editorial has added your photo to their gallery.”

I started putting two and two together. Flickr is owned by Yahoo, and just recently they have revived interest in this photography based social platform by offering everybody up to 1TB of cloud storage for your photos. There are not many photographers who have 1TB of image files, so I think they are pretty safe when it comes to hitting their storage limits. But I have noticed a pretty big increase in photo views on my account as a result (I blogged about it previously – as it was pleasantly surprising to me). But through one very important user favouriting my photo and adding it to their gallery, my photo views and in particular this shot have gone through the roof. This is the graph after 4 hours of the favouriting action:

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This is now my most popular photo by a long shot and at the rate I am getting photo views today it will be in the multiple thousands of views by this time tomorrow. I am a bit shocked to be honest. I take photos for my own enjoyment and capturing visual memories, and then hope that other people enjoy viewing my photos as well. That is partly why I write I started this blog. But I never thought that I would take a photograph that would be viewed by thousands of people. It just goes to show you that being in the right place at the right time cannot be underestimated.

It also goes to show that my choice to pack a decent camera with me wherever I go (in this case my Canon Powershot G15) has borne fruit. This sparked public interest is giving me the impetus to get out and shoot more.

Regardless of my joy, there are firefighters doing it tough battling against Mother Nature in some pretty incendiary conditions. It looks like this Summer in Sydney could be one of bushfires and blazes.

A strange light descended over Sydney Harbour this afternoon as the sky was filled with smoke from distant bushfires and the sun was only peering through a small hole in the clouds to the West. The Golden Hour hadn’t yet arrived either. The buildings in North Sydney appear to be glowing, but they are not lit up.

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UPDATE: When I posted this photo I didn’t realise the extent of the threat unfolding in the West of the city. I was simply marvelling at the photo opportunity. There are a lot of people who are now displaced with the threat of losing their homes. A great number of Rural Firemen risking their lives to get the fires under control. Godspeed to all these people.

The International Fleet Review being hosted in Sydney, Australia, is being held to commemorate the centenary of the first entry of the Royal Australian Navy’s Fleet into Sydney. It is to come to an end tomorrow, but in that time we have been greeted to a host of naval festivities around Sydney Harbour including plenty of cool Navy ships playing and strutting their stuff. On the weekend there was a great aerial display followed up the Royal Australian Navy going for a bit of a sail. From my vantage point West of the Sydney Harbour Bridge here is what I was able to shoot, though I wish I had an extra 100mm of focal range on my camera lens. As usual, all the images link through to my larger photos on my Flickr account.

First through the bridge were a couple of the smaller ships in the RAN fleet, the patrol boat HMAS Broome:

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Followed by the minehunter HMAS Gascoyne:

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Then the birds flew over! My boy, The Pok, got quite excited particularly when the large flock of helicopters flew past. I must admit, this was the largest number of helicopters that I have ever seen in the sky at one time. First were the jets, Hornets and Hawks flying formation:

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Then the submarine hunters, the Orions:

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Then the whirly-birds, of all shapes and sizes. There were Seahawks, Squirrels, and MRH90s:

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The RAN’s big boys came through next, with the Guided Missile Frigates HMAS Sydney and HMAS Darwin. HMAS Darwin’s resident Seahawk chopper peeled off and landed on deck, but I was at the wrong vantage point to capture it landing.

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With all this heavy naval metal, maritime security on the harbour was tight. I reckon that this police man on the jet ski has one of the most fun jobs in the world:

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The ship that missed out on all the fun and games was the RAN ship – ADV Ocean Shield, got relegated to hiding in Blackwattle Bay. But with all of its capabilities, I reckon that this is the coolest ship of all of them.

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Two days after all these games we got to go onto the ships that were docked at Garden Island, which was real fun. But that is for a later post.

 

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