Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Warri Reserve

About 13km out of Braidwood, on the road back to Canberra (the Kings Highway), you'll see a sign pointing left to Warri Reserve. It's a great little place to stop off for a picnic, a swim, or to camp for a couple of days. That's the road up there on the bridge, and the camping area is at about that level on the right. But down here, on the Shoalhaven River, you barely notice the traffic, and they certainly don't notice you.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Peeking through the window

If you sneak down the narrow alley between the weatherboard lolly shop and ice-cream parlour and the corrugated iron National Theatre in Braidwood, you can peek through one of the dusty windows near the back of the theatre ...

Monday, February 27, 2012

National Theatre, Braidwood

The National Theatre, in Wallace Street, is now the Tourist Information Centre and Community Centre for Braidwood. It was originally built as a picture theatre and roller skating rink.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

St Bede's, Braidwood

We headed out to Braidwood for the day yesterday, so I have a few new photos of the town to show.

This is St Bede's Catholic Church, built of local granite between 1856 and 1862 (around the time of the local gold rush) by Richard Hannaford. The slate roof was added in the late 19th century, replacing the original timber shingles.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Friday, February 24, 2012

Salvation Jane

This is Echium plantagineum, better known (depending on where in Australia you come from) as either Salvation Jane or Paterson's Curse, and it originally hails from the Mediterranean region. The seeds were first brought to Australia from Europe in the 1880s, to be added to the garden of Jane Paterson, who lived near Albury.  From there it started spreading, and it is now a common weed in New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, the Australian Capital Territory, parts of South Australia, southern Queensland and south western Western Australia. And it's still spreading.

It's very pretty, with masses of purplish-blue flowers forming carpets across entire paddocks after rain. But it can also be deadly. Horses and pigs are particularly vulnerable to the toxic effects it has on the liver. Cattle and sheep are more resistant, and in fact it has carried stock through bad periods of drought in South Australia (and that's where the name Salvation Jane is most widely used), but too much of it in their diet can make even these animals very sick.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Just a dirt track

It may just look like a muddy track around the fringes of the suburbs, but this particular dirt track is a little more significant than most. This is part of the Bicentennial National Trail. The trail is actually 5330 km long, from far north Queensland down to Victoria, and it even has its own website! The trail began with an idea of a horse trail linking the stock routes along the Great Dividing Range, and developed into a $300 000 Bicentennial project, opened in 1988.

The trail is used by all sorts of people - for short walks or long treks on foot or horse, by cyclists and by people accessing bush camping areas, fishing spots and more. There are easy stretches like this one between the houses on the edge of Spence, Fraser and Dunlop, and rugged parts through national parks. What you can't take on the trail is your dog (parts of the trail go through farmland where there may be baits for wild dogs and foxes) or any sort of motorised vehicle - so leave your 4WD and trailbike at home.

The website has lots of information about the trail, its history, and how you can help maintain it, as well as maps and details of the guidebooks available if you wanted to follow all or part of the trail.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


I took this photo for the clouds, but I really like the limited colour palette. Westfield Belconnen, rooftop carpark.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

See It All

Canberra doesn't have advertising billboards ... unless you're a developer, and then the rules don't seem to apply.

This is advertising what's apparently going to be a 20 storey apartment block. Just a tiny bit out of character with the rest of Belconnen (about 15 or 16 stories worth of out of character ...).

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Summer fog

We've had a bit of rain lately, and I'm assuming that's why we had such a foggy morning today. This was taken just before 7am on Mount Rogers.

Friday, February 17, 2012

North by north west

One more from the top of Black Mountain (still from April 2009). The large body of water looking in this direction is Lake Ginninderra. The cluster of slightly taller buildings to the left of the lake is the Belconnen Town Centre. The multi-story building on the far right of the photo (in the centre) is Calvary Hospital, and above that and slightly left is the University of Canberra. Most of the suburbs - and there are quite a few of them in this image - are well hidden by trees. It's pretty clear why Canberra is called The Bush Capital!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Woden in the distance

If you turn 90 degrees clockwise from yesterday's view, this is what you'll see (roughly - remember these are photos from April 2009).

The promontory on the left is Black Mountain Peninsula, which is mainly a recreation area with barbecues, a playground and other facilities. The one on the right, coming from the far bank of Lake Burley Griffin, is Weston Park, another large recreation area. Yarralumla is the first suburb beyond the park, and the white tower in the distance marks the Woden Town Centre. The Tuggeranong Valley and all its suburbs extends further back towards the mountains.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

From up here

This is part of the view from Black Mountain Tower. Civic in the middle, Mt Ainslie behind and to the left, Lake Burley Griffin to the right. The Australian National University is in between Black Mountain and Civic, with the brighter green patches. Commonwealth Bridge is on the right in the middle, and if you go across the bridge you'll practically run into Parliament House. The lighter coloured flat patch beyond Civic is the airport.

This series of photos is from April 2009. I'll have to head up the tower again soon to get some more current ones to compare.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Plenty of parking at the top of the mountain

This is another photo from April 2009, this time looking down on the carpark at the base of the Black Mountain Tower. Don't know what it is about looking down like this that's so fascinating for me, although I love maps too ...

Sunday, February 12, 2012

It's a long way to the top

Looking up from one of the open viewing levels of Black Mountain Tower.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Towering above

I was looking through some photos from a few years ago, and came across some of Black Mountain Tower. The section with the windows is the enclosed viewing galleries, with the open galleries above. It's very exposed up there (about 60 metres up from the base of the tower), and can be quite cold and windy even when it's mild at ground level.

The tower is primarily a telecommunications tower, and has a whole list of antennas and transmitters, as well as a small museum area at the bottom, and a restaurant and cafe in the viewing galleries.

Friday, February 10, 2012

The man with the donkey

This bronze sculpture, by Peter Corlett, stands to the west of the Australian War Memorial. It is Simpson and his donkey, 1915. Private John Simpson (born John Simpson Kirkpatrick in Britain) enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force in August 1914. He landed at Gallipoli on that fateful day - April 25, 1915 - and worked as a stretcher bearer, using a donkey brought in to carry water to instead carry wounded men back to ANZAC Cove. On May 19, less than a month later, and while carrying two injured men, he was killed by machine gun fire.

You can read more about Simpson's story in the Australian Dictionary of Biography.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Politicians framed

If you turn around from yesterday's viewpoint, this is what you see. Anzac Parade, Lake Burley Griffin, Reconciliation Place, Old Parliament House, and new Parliament House with the huge flagpole. This photo was taken about two years ago, but the view hasn't changed much. Compare it with the view from Old Parliament House back to the War Memorial, which I took last September.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

War Memorial - Hall of Memory

The Commemorative Courtyard in the Australian War Memorial. The copper-domed structure is the Hall of Memory, containing the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The Pool of Reflection is in the centre of the courtyard, and the Eternal Flame is immediately in front of the low wall at the end of the pool.

Australian War Memorial
Treloar Crescent (top of ANZAC Parade)
Campbell ACT 2612 

Phone: (02) 6243 4211
Open 10am-5pm daily, except Christmas Day
Free admission

Friday, February 3, 2012

Chalk declaration

Shhhh ... don't tell anyone, but I think Mano and Jamie like each other ...

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Kicking around in Macgregor

This sculpture is on the corner of Southern Cross Drive/Parkwood Road and MacFarlane Burnett Avenue in a new section of Macgregor that's still under development. No idea who the artist is or anything else about it, although I did hear that last week someone had added an old television, a lounge and a stuffed dog, but they've now been removed.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Steel vines

Vines decorating a metal column in Margaret Timpson Park, Belconnen.