Welcome to Life Images by Jill

Welcome to Life Images by Jill.........Stepping into the light and bringing together the images and stories of our world.
Through my blog I am
seeking to preserve images and memories of the beautiful world in which we live and the people in it.
I am a Freelance Journalist and Photographer based in Bunbury, Western Australia. My published work specialises in Western Australian travel articles and stories about inspiring everyday people. My passion is photography, writing, travel, wildflower and food photography.
I hope you enjoy scrolling through my blog. To visit other pages, please click on the tabs above, or go to my Blog Archive on the side bar. Please feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of any of my posts. I value your messages and look forward to hearing from you.If you like my work, and would like to buy a print, or commission me for some work, please go to my "contact me" tab.
Thank you for visiting my blog and helping me "step into the light".

Welcome!

Welcome!
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Sunday, 21 December 2014

A little bit of Christmas baking

It's nearly Christmas. Do you go all out and do a lot of Christmas baking? Or only a little?

In truth Christmas in the Australian summer is not the best time for baking, so I usually target a cooler day to cook.





Looking for a simple Christmas cookie recipe? Try these Ginger Stars.


To find the recipe, please click on "read more" to read more!

Monday, 15 December 2014

The Ghosts of Christmas Past


And so it is only just over a week and a bit to Christmas. Our last "homework" for our writer's group was to write a memory from Christmas.  And this is what came to me..... I thought I would share it with you.

Christmas comes but once a year
It brings with it joys and tears

As I go through the motions of gift buying, decorations and planning menus..... 
 
Please click on "read more" to read "The Ghosts Of Christmas Past" ....

Monday, 8 December 2014

Belonging and choosing happiness

Sol-y-Sombra Spanish Dance Company
It's December and things are winding down towards the end of year and Christmas, or is it winding up as we plan our Christmas festivities?

For us in Australia at least, this time of year brings with it the end of the school year, summer holidays and the closing of groups we belong to for the year. I belong to three groups: a writing group (once a month), photography group (once a month) and a dance group (once a week). I will miss these people, my friends through shared interests, over the break till we meet again in January or February next year. 

To read more please click on "read more" !

Monday, 1 December 2014

A walk through Ambergate Reserve, Busselton, Western Australia

pea flower growing over grass tree
In late October we visited with new friends who we had met at Mt Augustus in the Pilbara during our July tripThey only live about 45 minutes south of us. 

I had been wanting to visited Ambergate Reserve at Busselton and they were happy to come along for the bush walk. It was spring time and the area was ablaze with wildflowers along the four kilometre bush trail. I wonder if they realised what they were putting themselves in for  - it was spring, the wildflowers were fantastic,and I had my camera with me!

Only 9km from Busselton, Ambergate Reserve is a 75 hectare remnant of the southern Swan coastal plain woodland, much of which is now cleared.  The Reserve contains a wide variety of vegetation types and includes both natural and artificial wetland area.
 
To read more please click on "read more"!

Monday, 24 November 2014

Hello sunshine yellow and lemony delights

Yellow is such a happy colour don't you think?  I love it when the yellow daisies start to flower in my front garden.


 To me yellow is also the colour that says summer. In Australia spring is on the wane and summer is moving in. My front garden is starting to put on its brilliant summer display -  red Coral Bush, purple/blue Agapanthus, yellow daisies, green kangaroo paws, pink hydrangers, roses, and sprawling nasturtiums. Someone called Agapanthus "Aggie's Pants" the other day - I love that.

To read more please click on "read more"!

Monday, 17 November 2014

Walking down memory lane

This is not what I was originally going to blog about today. But it was my birthday on Saturday and my sister sent me the most amazing gift, hand made by her. She makes beautiful greeting cards - they are works of art. Her gift came in a hand made and decorated box, a piece of art itself. Inside was the most beautiful book, which folded out as it opened, with pages decorated around photos of us as children, and adults with our Mum and Dad.  I will treasure this very special gift.

Can you see the message: "Time has a wonderful way of showing us what really matters".

To read more please click on "read more"

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Cook it, plate it, take a photo, and pack it for a picnic

Prawns in Penang
It has been a little while since I have done much food photography as life seems to have gotten in the way over the last few months.  Any food photography was at best just a snapshot before I ate it! 
This is a pic of a delicious food-hall dish we ate in Penang in October.


So last Monday, my day off work, I rectified this and had a day in the kichen cooking and taking pics.  I have just bought a long cable so I can attach my camera to my laptop while I am shooting. This is called "tethered" shooting. You work through "Lightroom".

To read more please click on "read more"

Monday, 3 November 2014

Continuing my Project 365

Hi everyone! Welcome back.  I am now into the last two months of my Project 365! I can hardly believe that the end is in sight and that I have managed throughout everything that has happened this year to keep going faithfully taking a photo every day. It is a habit now, though sometimes it is a quickly snapped shot at the end of the day.


 
To read more please click on "read more"!

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Exploring the Kennedy Ranges, Western Australia

Hi everyone, as promised I am back with my Pilbara trip account. This time from the Kennedy Ranges in the southern Pilbara region of Western Australia.

Last post you may remember we camped at Mount Augustus. If you missed it, you can catch up here - Mount Augustus walk trails

We left Mount Augustus just before 9am in the morning. It was another beautiful blue sky day. We had about 260 kilometres to cover over gravel roads to get to the Kennedy Ranges, although we found the road was in pretty food condition, varying between sandy flood plain country to rocky through the mountains - watch out for the sharp dips, and drive to the conditions.


To read more please click on "read more" and continue on our trip to the Kennedy Ranges

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Penang travel tips for first timer

I don’t profess to be a Penang travel authority. Far from it.

The last time we visited was in 1995. We were there as part of a Western Australian team competing at the Penang International Dragon Boat Festival along Gurney Drive.  We didn’t do a lot of touristy things, mainly went for long sweaty runs along the roads and beaches, and paddled madly at the regatta, although we did have a few days after the regatta finished to have a look around.

Please click on "read more" to keeping reading!


Monday, 13 October 2014

Penang in bloom

We have just returned from a lovely week of R&R in Penang. After the emotions of the last couple of months the timing couldn't have been better for us. We must have known something when we booked in February!

I have always loved tropical gardens and the gardens of the Park Royal Hotel where we stayed were amazing. 
 Our first view - welcome -


I could easily have just laid by the pool and done very little. Nice? Wouldn't you just love to have just a little bit of this garden at home?








Please click on read more to read & see more!

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Mount Augustus walk trails, Pilbara, Western Australia

Have you ever been to Mount Augustus in Western Australia’s Pilbara region?  We hadn’t before this last July. I wondered why we had never been there before! If you missed my first blog post about it you can catch up by clicking here – Wildflowers that bloom in the red rock of Mt Augustus

Mount Augustus, or Burringurrah, as it is known by the local Wajarri indigenous people, is the largest rock in the world. 430 kilometres from Carnarvon via Gascoyne Junction or 360 kilometres from Meekatharra, via gravel roads either way, it is easy to explore Mount Augustus from the Mount Augustus Outback Tourist Park, located only a short drive from Mt Augustus National Park. If you stay a few days you can enjoy the numerous walk trails through Mt Augustus.

Please click on "read more" to keeping reading and seeing more!

Monday, 29 September 2014

Flowers that bloom in the red rock of Mount Augustus, Western Australia

Regular readers of my blog will know that life has changed for me over the last couple of months in a way that was totally unexpected, and my blogging has been a little erratic.

In July we set off on a camping holiday into the Pilbara region of Western Australia. If you missed the last post back in August you can catch up by clicking here - Pilbara-camping-part-3

For those of you who have been waiting patiently out there in blogland for me to continue writing about our trip, thank you so much for being patient. As promised I'm back!

Please click on read more to keeping reading and seeing more!

Monday, 22 September 2014

Welcoming new beginnings



It has been an emotional six weeks. A time of great change with the passing of my darling father. I never imagined that this is where we would be when we went off travelling and exploring through the Pilbara in early July.  I keep going back over the last few weeks and trying to fathom how we got from there to here. I have felt that someone else has been in control of my life...it certainly wasn't me.  As John Lennon wisely said....."life is what happens while you are making other plans".

During this time my camera has been my solace and I have kept up my 365 Project as I work my way through what life has thrown my way.  Amazingly those wintery images are around the time of my Dad's passing.

Please click on "read more" to keeping reading and seeing more!

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Life in pictures - June-July-August

 I would have never imagined at the beginning of June how life has changed in only a few months. It certainly has had highs and lows. As my 365 Project reflects - one photo a day every day.  The project has sometimes been a challenge to take a photo every day.

Sometimes it is easy, sometimes my shots are planned, but often they are just a quick snapshot or a random shot on my way home from work!  But my friend has just wisely said to me -
Random shots of a moment in your life where every minute is as special as any other - nothing wrong with that!

Please click on read more to keep reading and seeing more!

Monday, 18 August 2014

Blooming Art 2014 - Bunbury Regional Art Gallery, Western Australia

I was thrilled recently to be invited to be a Blooming Art Special Guest exhibitor at the floral art exhibition run annually by the Flower Designers Club of Bunbury in the beautiful Chapel Gallery at the Bunbury Regional Art Gallery.   I was invited by Blooming Art Coordinator, Eileen Wenn, who is a friend of mine from Spanish dance class, and who is also a world class floral art designer.

Special invited guest exhibitors select a painting from the City of Bunbury Art Collection, and then represent it through a floral display.  I have no floral art background or formal arts training, so felt very priviledged to be invited, as well as a little apprehensive and excited. 

The painting I chose which you can see below, is a painting by Alisa Small, called Up The Gorge to Tallering Peak.  I was attracted to this painting because we had just past through this area on our way south from the Pilbara.  I love the rich colours, textures and ruggedness of this ancient landscape and how the colours change with the light. Alisa has captured with her painting what I try to capture with my camera. 

 To keep reading and see more pics, please click on "read more" .....

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Pilbara camping - Part 3 - Western Australia

Hi everyone, I hope you have enjoyed my last two posts about camping in Karijini National Park in Western Australia's Pilbara region. If you ever come to Western Australia, and have time, you should visit, particularly if you are here around July-August.
If you missed the posts you can catch up here -  Karijini Camping - Part 1
 and here - Karijini camping - Part 2


Today we are back on the road again, heading out of Karijini and heading towards Mount Augustus - the world's largest monocline.
But first the town of Tom Price - 108km from the Karijini's Dales Gorge campground.
We need to fuel up and buy some fresh supplies for the next leg of our trip, plus a quick email catch up and mail some post cards.

Situated on the edge of the Hamersley Ranges, Tom Price is Western Australia's highest town, 747metres above sea level. Tom Price's economy is dependent on the iron ore industry. The area was only appraised for mining in the early 1960's, so Tom Price is a very young town.  

 To keep reading and see more pics, please click on "read more" .....

Monday, 4 August 2014

Karijini camping - part 2 - Pilbara, Western Australia

Last week I brought you the first part of our recent Pilbara trip, visiting Karijini National Park. If you missed it you can catch up by clicking here - Pilbara camping in Karijini Naitonal Park

Today we travel across the park to Joffre, Knox, Hancock, Weano and Hamersley Gorges and to Mount Bruce. 


The Joffre Falls and the Weano Gorge area is about 30 kilometres west of the Karijini Visitor Centre.  As we had stayed such a long time at Kalamina Gorge (see last week's post), and, I must admit, the fact that I don't feel so confident about clambering down gorge walls these days, we decided for this trip we would just go to the lookouts of the gorges on the western side of the park.  You can't help but be impressed by this awe inspiring landscape. The gorges dramatically show the forces of nature that carved these gorges into the landscape millions of years ago. 

 To keep reading and see more pics, please click on "read more" .....

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Pilbara camping in Karijini National Park, Western Australia

Getting ready for a camping holiday always involves a bit (or a lot) of planning. 

There is the camper trailer to check over and make sure everything is in it that needs to be. There are lists to be made and ticked off, a rough plan of where we are going drawn up, meals to plan and cooking, dehydrating and food shopping to to be done, our vehicle to be checked over and the extra spare tyre to be hauled onto the roof, washing done and clothes packed, organise someone to collect the mail and put out the rubbish bins.

 Ooooo....there seems to be a lot of chocolate in there! Oh well you have to have some little luxuries when you are camping in the bush.

But finally we are on our way and as the sun comes up over the road ahead we sigh a sigh of contentment. 


 To keep reading and see more pics, please click on "read more" .....

Monday, 21 July 2014

Everlasting magic - midwest Western Australia

We have been away for the last 2 weeks travelling and camping in our Pilbara and Mid-West region through Karijini National Park, Mt Augustus, Kennedy Ranges and Coalseam. The wildflowers particularly on our way south between Murchison and Mullewa in the Mid-West region were starting to come into bloom. The everlasting wildflowers were opening their white, pink and yellow faces, and spreading across the red dust like a carpet through the trees as far as you could see. It is hard to show you how magnificent there were.


 Those of you who have stopped by my blog from time to time will have seen my white everlastings images that have gone through several transformations the last couple of years.  Everlastings have papery petals and if you pick them and dry them upside down they can last for years.



 To keep reading and see more pics, please click on "read more" .....

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Winter soup warmers in my winter garden

It is winter here in Western Australia. I went around my garden this morning and snapped some pics to show you. It is actually looking very green at the moment... 

In my front garden the last few roses are blooming, the hydrangeas are shooting, the lavender is pushing up a few flower heads, some winter bulbs are coming up, and the gorgeous Strelitzia (Bird of Paradise) growing by my neighbour's front driveway is really spectacular. The yellow flower you see in the top row is Hibbertia - a Western Australian native. 



In the back garden, 

 To keep reading and see more pics, please click on "read more" .....

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Lyndendale in the winter

Today I am sharing some images from around the grounds of beautiful Lyndendale Gallery along Crooked Brook Road near Dardanup where I have been running a basics photography workshop. Last Saturday was mostly theory, and yesterday afternoon was practical - taking pics around the garden.

Lyndendale is such a wonderful creative, peaceful and supportive environment. Thank you Denise for the opportunity to run my photography workshops at Lyndendale.


How about a sit on the porch?


To keep reading and see more pics, please click on "read more" .....

Monday, 9 June 2014

Making Anzac biscuits & my week in pictures

Last Anzac Day, 25 April, I realised that I hadn't made Anzac biscuits for years.  I mentioned it on my blog post on Anzac Day - you can see it here - 25 April-Anzac Day-We will remember them

So a couple of weekends ago when my grandson came for a sleep over I decided to make Anzacs with him. He loves cooking.


Anzacs are a traditional Australian family favourite biscuit. Everyone has their own ideas as to whether they should be crunchy or soft. I remember great trays of crunchy Anzacs coming out of the oven of my Aunt's wood stove. They waft out a delicious smell through the kitchen.

Here is my Aunt's recipe - she called them "John Bulls" - maybe from the brand of oats she used. 
Mix together 1 cup rolled oats, 1 cup dessicated coconut, 1 cup plain flour, 1/2 cup sugar.  
Melt 125gm butter or margarine. Stir in 2 heaped tablespoons of Golden Syrup. Dissolve  1 1/2 teaspoons bi-carb soda in 2-3 tablespoons boiling water. Mix into the butter mixture. Pour into the dry ingredients and mix in well. 
Place flattened balls of mixture onto you baking tray. Baking paper works well. Leave room for spreading. 

Now here is the tricky part. My aunt cooked in a wood stove, so I really have no idea what temperature. It was amazing the sponges and cooking she pulled out of that oven. 
A recent recipe book says: Cook in a slow oven (150-170C) for about 20 minutes. So I suggest try that.
Cool on a wire rack. 


According to the Australian War Memorial website it is unknown how Anzac biscuits got their name or how they came to be a traditional biscuit to make on Anzac Day. 

To keep reading and see more pics, please click on "read more" .....

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Autumn days of May in Western Australia

 May was a hectic month, especially the last few weeks. Some aspects have been purely creative pursuits, and this last week has been elderly parent concerns.

Those of you who stop by my blog regularly might know that I have been doing a 365 project this year - one photo a day for a year. Sometimes this is easy for me, sometimes I take time over taking images, other times not so easy and I just snap a pic on my way home from work, just to get a pic. 

 I thought for today's post I will show you the autumn days of May - and looking at all the yellow and orange it certainly does look like autumn - although we don't get the autumn leaf fall that is common in the northern hemisphere. In Australia our trees are "evergreen", that is, green all year.   If we see any autumn leaf colour we know it is an introduced tree.

Lets start with Flamenco! and our beautiful teacher Nicole from Sol y Sombra Spanish Dance Company when the company danced for an art group in Busselton - Sol-y-Sombra on Facebook  I love the movement and swirl in this image



The on-line web based collage program - Picmonkey - crops the images a bit, but you will get the idea I hope.

 To keep reading and see more pics, please click on "read more" .....

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Photographing Food in the Ferguson Valley, Western Australia

I have had a great weekend being immersed in Photography.

On Friday I attended a "Lightroom" photo processing workshop. It was part of a 3 day weekend of events organised by the Photography Group of Bunbury and the WA Photographic Federation at Evedon Park Bush Resort in the beautiful Ferguson Valley only about 30 minutes from Bunbury in the south west corner of Western Australia.  Evedon Park has cottages which would be lovely for a weekend getaway.You can see some pis from around Evedon here -


We have had quite a bit of rain the last few weeks so the rolling hills of the Ferguson Valley have put on their best green dresses. It's beautiful driving up around here this time of year. There are wineries and galleries and walks.  In the bottom pic you can see some cows and calves being moved along the road from one paddock to another on my way home this afternoon.

 To keep reading and see more pics, please click on "read more" .....

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Weekends of art and dance

I have had two lovely weekends of art and dance and another one on the way next weekend.

A couple of weekends ago I was involved with Sol y Sombra Spanish Dance Company & School of Dance (of who I am a member) when they performed flamenco dancing and held portrait poses for a life drawing afternoon at Jacksons Drawing Supplies in Busselton on Sunday as part of the Margaret River Regional Open Studios arts program. 
We were made very welcome - it was a wonderful event - and everyone, dancers, artists and photographers thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon.
Many of the artists took photos during the performance so they can draw or paint pictures later.

I am updating Sol-y-Sombra's facebook page, so I took lots of photos, and then joined in for the last two dances.  Here is their Facebook link if you would like to take a look - Sol-y-Sombra on Facebook

This is our beautiful principal dancer and teacher Nicole performing an amazing dance with castanets.  



  To keep reading and see more pics, please click on "read more" .....

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Mother's Day love



On the second Sunday in May we celebrate Mother's Day in Australia, and I spent a lovely afternoon with my family at a late lunch/afternoon tea at a brewery restaurant, the Moody Cow, in the Ferguson Valley. But it felt strange not to be planning and cooking a meal for my mother today. I missed her.


 To keep reading and see more pics, please click on "read more" .....

Monday, 5 May 2014

Part 9 - South Australia trip - Quorn and Hawker in the lower Flinders Ranges

Today I am back with the next part of our trip through South Australia late last year.  If you missed the last post, Flinders Ranges, you can click here - Part 8 - Exploring Wilpena Pound, Flinders Ranges

Quorn and Hawker are two towns in the southern Flinders Ranges that are well worth a visit either by travelling north from Port Augusta - or south from Wilpena Pound. 

The town of Quorn, 50kms north of Port Augusta, was proclaimed on 16 May 1878. With the building of the Great Northern Railway it became an important railway centre, and the main railway junction for the east-west rail to Perth and north-south to Alice Springs. The last Ghan train passed through Quorn in 1956.  This major railway link has now closed but you can travel up to Quorn on the Pichi Richi steam train from Port Augusta.  The railway line passes through Pichi Richi Pass which was a major route used by the Aboriginals for thousands of yeas, it's name derived from the Pitjuri bush which was used by the Aboriginals as a medicine.

Whether you visit Quorn via rail or road it is a lovely scenic route up through the lower Flinders Ranges. We travelled to Quorn from Port Augusta in the afternoon and it indeed a beautiful scenic drive. I wish we had gone up in the morning, or taken the Pichi Richi train and allowed more time to explore - but alas we only had the afternoon spare.



If you have an interest in history, your will love Quorn's historic streetscapes which have been the setting for a number of movies incuding Bitter Springs (1940), Walk About (1952) Robbery Under Arms (1957), The Sundowners (1960), Sunday Too Far Away (1974), Gallipoli (1980), The Last Frontier (1985) and the Shirlee (1987). 

 To keep reading and see more pics, please click on "read more" .....

Friday, 25 April 2014

25 April - Anzac Day - we will remember them - 2014

25th April - is Anzac Day in Australia and New Zealand - and this Anzac day is the 99th anniversary of the landing in Gallipoli.

"ANZAC Day goes beyond the anniversary of the landing on Gallipoli in 1915. It is the day we remember all Australians and New Zealanders who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations. The spirit of ANZAC, with its human qualities of courage, mateship, and sacrifice, continues to have meaning and relevance for our sense of national identity".

 To read more please for to the Australian War Memorial web site - click here - www.awm.gov.au/commemoration/anzac/

This image is from the Shrine of Rememberance in Melbourne....
 

 All across Australia and New Zealand in cities and towns, overseas where servicemen are still serving, where Australians and New Zealanders gather, at memorials in France, and on the shores of Gallipoli  where thousands go every Anzac Day to honour and remember, even at the Australian base in Antarctica, there are Dawn Services, parades and ceremonies to remember those that gave the supreme sacrifice.

 To keep reading and see more pics, please click on "read more" .....

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Peace in a country church - Mourambine, Western Australia

There is a peace and calm that seems to surround small country churches. They are a place of sanctuary. A place to sit in quiet contemplation.

Over the Easter weekend we visited the St Patricks Anglican church in Mourambine during our return drive home from a few days staying with our family in the central Western Australian wheatbelt.

This church holds a place in our family history.

It sits on a small rise overlooking undulating grain fields which are drying golden in summer and sprouting green and fresh in winter.


The town of Mourambine developed around 1860 and the townsite gazetted in 1884, but it has disappeared over the years - it's fate sealed when the railway line came to nearby Pingelly in 1889. All that remains of Mourambine now is the church and its small cemetery, the rectory (now a farmer's home), the old inn (also now a home) and the house where my father lived between 1939 and 1942. He has told us many stories of his life there. 

 To keep reading and see more pics, please click on "read more" .....


Monday, 14 April 2014

Secret Garden Affairs and photographing cupcakes!

I am late blogging this Monday. We have had a busy few days starting with my Saturday morning when I went to photograph cup cakes for a lady who is starting up a new home based business making cupcakes. Her son is producing her brochure and starting up a Facebook-blog. 

Visitors to my blog will know that I have been playing around with food photography for a couple of years. I did some childrens' recipe pics a couple of years ago for a friend who had a blog for young mums. 

But these cupcakes were my first official paid food photography work! Very exciting. I would be interested to know what you think of the result....the brief was to photograph the different sample varieties she had made with packaging.  The room wasn't particularly well lit, so I was glad I brought along my lightbox to photograph the cup cakes in.  Minor post-processing in Lighroom for exposure, sharpening and straightening.



 To keep reading and see more pics, please click on "read more" .....

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Playing with food - a food photography journey

I have been playing around with food photography for a couple of years now, practising at home, scrolling through foodie blogs and Flickr pages, and reading books. My husband says he always knows when I have been playing around with food photography on my day off because I cook him something a bit different for dinner.  I don’t exactly know how it all started….I think I can blame the Digital Photography School - Digital Photography School - and my Flickr friend “Lindyannajones” for her “still life” series where she invited people to post still life images for critique. 

One of my early attempts - 

 A couple of weeks ago I made these two dishes…………A Mediterranean pastry and a Pumpkin and Caramalised Onion Quiche - delicious.


 To keep reading and see more pics, please click on "read more" .....

Monday, 31 March 2014

Have camera - will take LOTS of travel pics

We love to travel and I take lots of photos – LOTS-of-photos…. I only have to look back at my photos to be transported back there to that time and place to relive those experiences.  

 You only have to look at my latest touring blog posts about our trip to South Australia last year to see what I mean - On the road through South Australia

Photo albums or photo books are a great way to have a permanent record of your trip. They can become coffee table books to be picked up and thumbed through and shared. Have you ever made a photo book? Yes they can be expensive, but infinitely rewarding. (hmm…note to self – start making photo book of our South Australia trip last year!). There are quite a few on-line services where you can make photo books.

But what good are photos sitting on a computer hard-drive? And worse still maybe be lost in a computer crash. A good reason to back up your hard drive. Do you back up? How often do you back up? I should do it every month, but in reality it might be 2 or 6 months or even 12 months – not good enough! We are often reminded that “it is not if a hard drive will crash, it is when”. (another note to self – time to back up again!) 


 To keep reading and see more pics, please click on "read more" .....

Sunday, 23 March 2014

South Australia trip - Part 8 - Exploring Wilpena Pound, Flinders Ranges National Park

Last week I continued our South Australian trip and blogged about our overnight camp in Brachina Gorge in the Flinders Ranges. If you missed it, you can click here – South Australia trip Part 7 - Brachina Gorge
 
Re-fuelled by that enormous burger in Hawker, and after replenishing our supplies, we climbed back into our 4WD and headed north again into the Flinders Ranges National Park to Wilpena Pound. 


Wilpena is very popular with people visiting the Flinders Ranges and as we arrived latish in the day we couldn’t get a powered site, but we were not really worried as we have solar panels that charge up our camper batteries.  We could select our own site, which were not so crammed together as the powered sites (another bonus) and chose one sheltered by some trees and overlooking a rehabilitation area. Nice. We could see kangaroos grazing amongst the trees only about 30 metres from our camper. We put up our full annex as we booked in for 3 nights – it gives us a bit more private space and the wind had come up strong during the afternoon. 
 

 We woke up next day to a fine clear morning, and put a load of washing into the washing machine before breakfast, and got organised to go for a bush walk. We had studied our guide the night before and worked out what we wanted to do while we were here.
 
There are 18 walk and hiking trails in the Flinders Ranges, some of which are easily accessed from the Wilpena Pound camp ground. Once the washing was on the line we drove to the Arkaroo Rock Hike about 17km south of Wilpena. Here there is a 3km return walk to see some Adnyamathanha aboriginal rock paintings under a rock overhang which are best seen in morning light. These ochre and charcoal drawings depict aspects of Ura Muda (dreaming) for Ikara (Wilpena). They have been enclosed in a wire enclosure to protect them from graffiti. Sad that this has had to be done, but at least they are now being protected and preserved. The Adnyamathanha people are the traditional custodians of the Flinders Ranges. 
Hubbie likes taking photos of lizards - you can see one in the collage below...



After lunch, we followed a 116km scenic loop drive through the Ranges which brought us to some lookouts with magnificent views and we checked out a few of the bush camping sites. 

 We also visited Aroona Hut built in 1925 from typical pine and pug construction. The Australian landscape artist, Sir Hans Heysen’s used to often come to paint. You can see his inspiration in the magnificent river gums and the Flinders Ranges.

Parts of the long distance Heysen walk trail meanders through the Flinders Ranges. 

On the way back from camp we saw lots of emus with chicks in the grasslands by the roadside.
Our second night was very cold and the wind was up so we put on our thermals and were in bed by 8.30pm. A bit different to the heat we’d had on the Oodnadatta Track! 


 Next morning we rose early and were on the 7.8km return Wangara Lookout Hike by 8am. This trail starts near the Wilpena camp ground. It was a lovely cool morning for walking. The first part is easy going and it was very pleasant walking on the flat trail beside the creek under the Red River Gums and I was delighted to be able to take some wildflower photos. 



The trail takes you to the old stone-built Hills Homestead built in the early 1900s by early settlers, the Hill's family. As well as the history of farming in the area you can learn about the creation of the Flinders through aboriginal dream-time stories.


From here there is a rocky path to the lookout. There is a lower lookout 300 metres from the homestead, and an upper lookout 300 metres further up. Both lookouts give you magnificent views over the Wilpena Pound, known as Ikara by the Adnyamathanha people.  The Pound itself is a huge natural amphitheatre 11km long and 5km wide. Surrounded by ranges, the highest point is St Mary Peak, 1170 metres high and the highest peak in South Australia. 
My photos certainly don't come close to portraying the grandeur of Wilpena Pound. 




A shuttle bus can take you the first 2km along the trail if you wish, but it is an easy walk. We decided that we didn’t need to do the more strenuous St Mary Peak walk to see the Pound and views of the Flinders Ranges. 22km and 9 hours, you would need a reasonable level of fitness to do this hike. 


After lunch we drove out to Stokes Hill lookout about 20km north east of Wilpena where you have magnificent 360 views over the rolling green hillsides at the base of the Flinders Ranges. We took quite a few photos in the changing light.  Surprisingly I thought it looked a little like an English countryside postcard.  Here there is a base relief sculpture which gives you a good perspective of the Ranges. 


Along the way we stopped at Cazneaux Tree. This magnificent River Red Gum was first made famous by photographer Harold Cazneaux, who won first prize at an International Photographic Exhibition in 1937 with his photograph of the tree, which he entitled “The Spirit of Endurance”. You can see my pic below! 



 On the way back we viewed the Artists of the Flinders Art Exhibition at the old Wipena Woolshed. (Sadly all the paintings I would have bought had already been purchased – not that I would have known how we were going to transport a painting for the rest of our trip!)

I hope you have enjoyed this brief look at Wilpena Pound. You could spend months exploring the Flinders Ranges. Unfortunately we only had time to scratch the surface.  However we really enjoyed our short stay and could have easily stayed longer to do more of the walks. From here we will head south to Burra via Hawker, Quorn, Cradock and Carrieton, and then to Clare wine region, and the next part of our trip through South Australia. 

 Some info: ………..

  • The Flinders Ranges National Park is one of South Australia’s iconic destinations. It covers 95,000 hectares of the central Flinders Ranges, approximately 450km north of Adelaide. 
  • Camp sites at Wilpena Pound are suitable for tents, camper trailers, motorhomes and caravans.  You can buy basic supplies, drinks, snacks, and souvenirs from the shop adjacent to the Visitor Information Centre.
  • You can enjoy a meal at the Wilpena Pound Resort restuarant.
  •  Walks and hikes range from 500 metres to 31km, including guided walks and challenging overnight treks. Please refer to brochures and information boards regarding distances, level of fitness required and degree of difficulty.
  • The long distant Heysen walking trail stretches 1200km from the tip of the Fleurieu Peninsular in the south to Parachilna Gorge in the Flinders Ranges. The 900km Mawson mountain bike trail runs from Adelaide through the Flinders to Blinman. 
  • Best time to visit: April to October 
  • Park pass and camping fees apply. 
  • Pets not permitted. 
  • Another caravan and camping park close by to Wipena is Rawnsley Park Station - www.rawnsleypark.com.au 
  •  
  • For more information about the Flinders Ranges please click here www.parks.sa.gov.au 
  • www.wilpenapound.com.au 
  • Flinders Ranges - An Adventurer’s Guide by Ron and Viv Moon is an excellent guide book - www.guidebooks.com.au 
This is one of our wattles - truly the most recognizable of all Australian flowers. 

 If you missed any of my previous posts about our South Australia trip you can catch up by clicking on the links below -

Thanks for stopping by. I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. Have a wonderful week.
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