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Author Topic: Need some advice from Aussie CR Members  (Read 8859 times)

Rienzphotoz

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Re: Need some advice from Aussie CR Members
« Reply #30 on: December 03, 2013, 02:15:23 AM »
Sorry I didn't see this sooner Rien.  I'm in Melbourne and can help you out a bit. 

If you are worried about getting shots of penguins at Phillip Island you can always ge some at St Kilda.  There is a small colony there and you can get quite close.  Photography is permitted so long as you don't use flash.

I have to go out now but I'll write more later
AWESOME! ... thanks a ton, especially for the St Kilda info ... look forward to your suggestions/recommendations ... I still have another week or so before I travel to Melbourne. Cheers.
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Re: Need some advice from Aussie CR Members
« Reply #30 on: December 03, 2013, 02:15:23 AM »

Synkka

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Re: Need some advice from Aussie CR Members
« Reply #31 on: December 03, 2013, 05:11:52 AM »
Some good advice so far. I was going to make mention of a couple of Australian things to look out for. The country is expensive particularly food and alcohol at restaurants. You don't need to tip anywhere. People are pretty friendly especially if you are friendly. I know it may seem silly but the right attitude goes a long way here ( and in life in general)
The comment about driving is correct I think most people in aus are trying to race.

In Sydney I love circular quay the area around the opera house, it's a beautiful spot in the evening watching the lights come on.

I am sure you will have a good trip if you do need to visit any camera shops in aus don't be afraid to ask if that is the best price they can do, at worst is they will say yes :)


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Re: Need some advice from Aussie CR Members
« Reply #32 on: December 03, 2013, 05:57:11 AM »
DAY 1 - Melbourne Zoo
DAY 2 & 3 - Lorne , Great Ocean Road, Apollo Bay & Twelve Apostles
DAY 4 - Aquarium
DAY 5 - Dandenongs Ranges & Puffing Billy.
DAY 6 - City, Museum & a 1 hour sightseeing trip of the city on Harley Davidson
DAY 7 - 
DAY 8 -
Springvale & Chadstone - Shopping Centre
DAY 9 - Werribee Zoo - open range zoo
DAY 10 - San Remos & Nobies (philip Island)
DAY 11 -
DAY 12 -
Healesville Wildlife Sanctuary
DAY 13 -
DAY 14 -
DAY 15 -

Hi Rienzphotoz,

I am from Melbourne, and I have to say, you have a packed itinerary :)

One more question: 
I have the CamRanger which is capable of Intervelometer capability, but I want a cheap back-up timer remote, just in case the battery in CamRanger runs out of juice ... Does anyone know a good camera store in Melbourne where they sell cheap remote timers for 5D MK III?
There is a congregation of camera stores in Elizabeth Street in the Melbourne CBD, between Bourke and Lonsdale Streets. Compare prices and then make them do you a deal, they are reasonably competitive. Always helps if you are purchasing more than one item. Ted's is probably the cheapest overall. Enjoy your trip.
There's one up Little Bourke with good prices (Camera Lane). The bigger ones in Elizabeth St can be a little more expensive, as they have the better locations. Worth checking out.

For night pic's either the Mornington Peninsula or Bellarine Peninsula (down near Geelong). Either way, it's about 1.5hrs drive, mostly on freeways. Just bear in mind that it's summer holiday season, and those 2 locations are jam packed. Ocean Grove or Barwon Heads would probably be the pick for me. As it is, I'm about an hours drive NE of Melbourne and I get pretty clear skies. From my backyard....


Trams are handy, if you are staying in the City. Just be aware of the ticketing system, Myki, which almost works ;)

Lygon Street (Carlton), is a good place to eat. Lots of choice in many different styles of food. Easy to get to by tram from the City.

I'll try to think of other things, as they pop into my head. Have a great time :)

Cheers,

Nick
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Re: Need some advice from Aussie CR Members
« Reply #33 on: December 03, 2013, 08:16:41 AM »
Sorry I didn't see this sooner Rien.  I'm in Melbourne and can help you out a bit. 

If you are worried about getting shots of penguins at Phillip Island you can always ge some at St Kilda.  There is a small colony there and you can get quite close.  Photography is permitted so long as you don't use flash.

I have to go out now but I'll write more later
AWESOME! ... thanks a ton, especially for the St Kilda info ... look forward to your suggestions/recommendations ... I still have another week or so before I travel to Melbourne. Cheers.

I should have added that seeing the penguins is free at St Kilda too :D Actually you could make a pretty good time of it there.  Have some of the local favourite fish and chips while you wait for the penguins to arrive dusk - we call the fish flake but it's really from gummy shark.  Your trip falls into the 2 months of the year when the sun hits Eureka tower at the right angle to reflect light like in the image attached.  I took it while I was waiting for the penguins a couple of years ago.  Luna Park is also nearby and has the oldest continuously operating wooden roller coaster in the world. 

I see you are planning to go to all 3 zoos here.  Have you considered a zoo membership?  It would work out to be $173 for the family.  Otherwise its $30 per adult at each place plus $13 for each child 4-15 on weekdays (children get free entry on public/school holidays and weekends here).  Check zoos.org.au.  Make sure you take in the flight arena show at Healesville - they have a wedgetail eagle that flies low around the arena.

I'm sure your kids will love to see the Myer Christmas windows in Bourke St Mall but beware there can be long queues during the day  - better off seeing them around 5.30-6pm when most people are preparing to eat at home.

As others have mentioned most of the camera shops are on Elizabeth Street.  Michael's is the largest and of course has the largest range but it also has a camera museum with some interesting items to see.  Ted's is smaller but ok.  They will both price match but only with other Australian stores.  Digital Camera Warehouse usually has the best prices here but they are about 10km out of the city. Check their website for prices to use for a price match if you do really need to buy something;)

Hosier Lane off Flinders St is the main place for Graffiti.  Also check out Degraves St and Hardware Lane for some   street eating scenes.  The Block Arcade and Royal Arcade are historic shopping arcades that offer great architectural shots.
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Re: Need some advice from Aussie CR Members
« Reply #34 on: December 03, 2013, 08:23:24 AM »
Sorry I didn't see this sooner Rien.  I'm in Melbourne and can help you out a bit. 

If you are worried about getting shots of penguins at Phillip Island you can always ge some at St Kilda.  There is a small colony there and you can get quite close.  Photography is permitted so long as you don't use flash.

I have to go out now but I'll write more later
AWESOME! ... thanks a ton, especially for the St Kilda info ... look forward to your suggestions/recommendations ... I still have another week or so before I travel to Melbourne. Cheers.

I should have added that seeing the penguins is free at St Kilda too :D Actually you could make a pretty good time of it there.  Have some of the local favourite fish and chips while you wait for the penguins to arrive dusk - we call the fish flake but it's really from gummy shark.  Your trip falls into the 2 months of the year when the sun hits Eureka tower at the right angle to reflect light like in the image attached.  I took it while I was waiting for the penguins a couple of years ago.  Luna Park is also nearby and has the oldest continuously operating wooden roller coaster in the world. 

I see you are planning to go to all 3 zoos here.  Have you considered a zoo membership?  It would work out to be $173 for the family.  Otherwise its $30 per adult at each place plus $13 for each child 4-15 on weekdays (children get free entry on public/school holidays and weekends here).  Check zoos.org.au.  Make sure you take in the flight arena show at Healesville - they have a wedgetail eagle that flies low around the arena.

I'm sure your kids will love to see the Myer Christmas windows in Bourke St Mall but beware there can be long queues during the day  - better off seeing them around 5.30-6pm when most people are preparing to eat at home.

As others have mentioned most of the camera shops are on Elizabeth Street.  Michael's is the largest and of course has the largest range but it also has a camera museum with some interesting items to see.  Ted's is smaller but ok.  They will both price match but only with other Australian stores.  Digital Camera Warehouse usually has the best prices here but they are about 10km out of the city. Check their website for prices to use for a price match if you do really need to buy something;)

Hosier Lane off Flinders St is the main place for Graffiti.  Also check out Degraves St and Hardware Lane for some   street eating scenes.  The Block Arcade and Royal Arcade are historic shopping arcades that offer great architectural shots.
Stellar image ... I'll try to copy what you've done (sorry for stealing the idea), it looks brilliant ... by the way what lens/settings did you use? and what time is dusk in mid and late December? so can be there at the perfect time. You got me all worked up with that image ... now I cannot come back without getting an image like that, I don't know if it'll be as good as yours but I sure as hell try.

Thank you very much for the awesome tips, I'll make sure to make good use of your useful tips, especially the zoo membership tip.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2013, 08:26:36 AM by Rienzphotoz »
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Rienzphotoz

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Re: Need some advice from Aussie CR Members
« Reply #35 on: December 03, 2013, 08:37:25 AM »
DAY 1 - Melbourne Zoo
DAY 2 & 3 - Lorne , Great Ocean Road, Apollo Bay & Twelve Apostles
DAY 4 - Aquarium
DAY 5 - Dandenongs Ranges & Puffing Billy.
DAY 6 - City, Museum & a 1 hour sightseeing trip of the city on Harley Davidson
DAY 7 - 
DAY 8 -
Springvale & Chadstone - Shopping Centre
DAY 9 - Werribee Zoo - open range zoo
DAY 10 - San Remos & Nobies (philip Island)
DAY 11 -
DAY 12 -
Healesville Wildlife Sanctuary
DAY 13 -
DAY 14 -
DAY 15 -

Hi Rienzphotoz,

I am from Melbourne, and I have to say, you have a packed itinerary :)

One more question: 
I have the CamRanger which is capable of Intervelometer capability, but I want a cheap back-up timer remote, just in case the battery in CamRanger runs out of juice ... Does anyone know a good camera store in Melbourne where they sell cheap remote timers for 5D MK III?
There is a congregation of camera stores in Elizabeth Street in the Melbourne CBD, between Bourke and Lonsdale Streets. Compare prices and then make them do you a deal, they are reasonably competitive. Always helps if you are purchasing more than one item. Ted's is probably the cheapest overall. Enjoy your trip.
There's one up Little Bourke with good prices (Camera Lane). The bigger ones in Elizabeth St can be a little more expensive, as they have the better locations. Worth checking out.

For night pic's either the Mornington Peninsula or Bellarine Peninsula (down near Geelong). Either way, it's about 1.5hrs drive, mostly on freeways. Just bear in mind that it's summer holiday season, and those 2 locations are jam packed. Ocean Grove or Barwon Heads would probably be the pick for me. As it is, I'm about an hours drive NE of Melbourne and I get pretty clear skies. From my backyard....


Trams are handy, if you are staying in the City. Just be aware of the ticketing system, Myki, which almost works ;)

Lygon Street (Carlton), is a good place to eat. Lots of choice in many different styles of food. Easy to get to by tram from the City.

I'll try to think of other things, as they pop into my head. Have a great time :)

Cheers,

Nick
Nick, thank you very much.
I'll be staying in Clarinda (so its not exactly in Melbourne, I'm told) ... how far would it be to Mornington Peninsula or Bellarine Peninsula?
AWESOME image and you didn't have to go further than your backyard ... me, jealous! ;D
Thanks once again for the very useful info and appreciate any other info you can provide ... I still have more than a week to get there, so I'll soak in as much info as possible.
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Re: Need some advice from Aussie CR Members
« Reply #36 on: December 03, 2013, 08:48:55 AM »
The country is expensive particularly food and alcohol at restaurants. You don't need to tip anywhere.
Really? where I come from if you don't tip, you can be pretty sure that the next time you go that restaurant, there will be spit in the food (I've heard other bodily fluids being served as well) ... sick, but its true.

In Sydney I love circular quay the area around the opera house, it's a beautiful spot in the evening watching the lights come on.
Thanks ... I know one day is short for any big city, but realistically, what do you think I should see in Sydney in one day ... I'm prepared to slog it out the whole day (reach Sydney before 9.00am and leave around 11.00 pm) ... my current plan is to get on the hop-on hop-off bus tour and go through the entire city (I'm assuming, that'll take 2 to 3 hours) during that ride, I can mark the places I want to visit for the rest of the day/evening. I learned this tip in Edinburgh (Scotland) several years ago.


don't be afraid to ask if that is the best price they can do, at worst is they will say yes :)
I think I can do that , with a little effort ;D
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Re: Need some advice from Aussie CR Members
« Reply #36 on: December 03, 2013, 08:48:55 AM »

Rienzphotoz

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Re: Need some advice from Aussie CR Members
« Reply #37 on: December 03, 2013, 09:33:10 AM »
I'll put in a plug for someone who helped my camera club out recently, Pele Leung - http://peleleung.com.  He does photo tours around Melbourne and surrounding regions.  Even if you're not a photo tour person, his website and itineries might give you a few ideas.

Otherwise, you're schedule looks fine.  Being a Queenslander who only travels to Melbourne for Melbourne Cup Day, I'm not the best person to say where you must go.  And chances are the places I find interesting from an Australian historical perspective - eg Melbourne Gaol, Ballarat and Bendigo are probably of little interest to international tourists.   But I'll add that Warnambool is a nice place to base yourself for one or two nights if travelling along the Great Ocean Road.  They also have an interesting shipwreck / laser show.

Thank you very much ... I'm interested on Pele's One Day Workshops, especially the "Night Photography Exploration - Cape Schanck, Mornington Peninsula" but can't seem to find any dates in mide to late December :'(
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Eli

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Re: Need some advice from Aussie CR Members
« Reply #38 on: December 03, 2013, 03:54:35 PM »
Quote
Thanks ... I know one day is short for any big city, but realistically, what do you think I should see in Sydney in one day ... I'm prepared to slog it out the whole day (reach Sydney before 9.00am and leave around 11.00 pm) ... my current plan is to get on the hop-on hop-off bus tour and go through the entire city (I'm assuming, that'll take 2 to 3 hours) during that ride, I can mark the places I want to visit for the rest of the day/evening. I learned this tip in Edinburgh (Scotland) several years ago.

In the morning if you're keen for a walk I'd suggest heading out to do the Bondi to Coogee walk, that'll take a couple of hours, have a bite then off you go again.
Do your city sight seeing for a couple of hours, then head to circular quay, catch the ferry to Manly, and have some lunch there.
And in the evening head down to Darling Harbor for dinner, try to go to Sydney on a Saturday, as sometimes at Darling Harbor they have little events on, fireworks, giant balloon things, street performers, etc.
Don't bother going to check out the Casino, not great imo.

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Re: Need some advice from Aussie CR Members
« Reply #39 on: December 03, 2013, 04:17:28 PM »
Oh and definitely St Mary's Cathedral, Hyde Park and the fountain there, though I'm sure you'll get to that during your hop on hop off bus trip.

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Re: Need some advice from Aussie CR Members
« Reply #40 on: December 03, 2013, 04:32:50 PM »
Nick, thank you very much.
I'll be staying in Clarinda (so its not exactly in Melbourne, I'm told) ... how far would it be to Mornington Peninsula or Bellarine Peninsula?
Re: Night shots.
Clarinda is SE of Melbourne, so, from there I'd head to the Mornington Peninsula (the Monash freeway is nearby). You could make an afternoon or a day of it. Head down (with the family) to the Portsea area. You can visit Point Nepean (a National Park at the head of Port Phillip bay). Have dinner at the Portsea pub as the sun sets over the bay (some beaut sunset pic's perhaps?), then when dark, head over to the back beaches for some night shots (they are only 15min away). But, mid December means its light until 9:30 or so, and night shots won't happen until after 10pm. But, something to think about :)

Oh, and its probably 1.25-1.5hrs drive from Clarinda.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2013, 04:34:25 PM by Mr Bean »
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Re: Need some advice from Aussie CR Members
« Reply #41 on: December 03, 2013, 10:24:24 PM »
Quote
Thanks ... I know one day is short for any big city, but realistically, what do you think I should see in Sydney in one day ... I'm prepared to slog it out the whole day (reach Sydney before 9.00am and leave around 11.00 pm) ... my current plan is to get on the hop-on hop-off bus tour and go through the entire city (I'm assuming, that'll take 2 to 3 hours) during that ride, I can mark the places I want to visit for the rest of the day/evening. I learned this tip in Edinburgh (Scotland) several years ago.

In the morning if you're keen for a walk I'd suggest heading out to do the Bondi to Coogee walk, that'll take a couple of hours, have a bite then off you go again.
Do your city sight seeing for a couple of hours, then head to circular quay, catch the ferry to Manly, and have some lunch there.
And in the evening head down to Darling Harbor for dinner, try to go to Sydney on a Saturday, as sometimes at Darling Harbor they have little events on, fireworks, giant balloon things, street performers, etc.
Don't bother going to check out the Casino, not great imo.

Thank you ... fire works and giant balloon sounds exciting. Saturday sounds good.
I don't like casinos anyway, as we have lots of them in my home town and it has ruined many a good people.
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Re: Need some advice from Aussie CR Members
« Reply #42 on: December 03, 2013, 10:27:41 PM »
Nick, thank you very much.
I'll be staying in Clarinda (so its not exactly in Melbourne, I'm told) ... how far would it be to Mornington Peninsula or Bellarine Peninsula?
Re: Night shots.
Clarinda is SE of Melbourne, so, from there I'd head to the Mornington Peninsula (the Monash freeway is nearby). You could make an afternoon or a day of it. Head down (with the family) to the Portsea area. You can visit Point Nepean (a National Park at the head of Port Phillip bay). Have dinner at the Portsea pub as the sun sets over the bay (some beaut sunset pic's perhaps?), then when dark, head over to the back beaches for some night shots (they are only 15min away). But, mid December means its light until 9:30 or so, and night shots won't happen until after 10pm. But, something to think about :)

Oh, and its probably 1.25-1.5hrs drive from Clarinda.
Brilliant ... thank you for the very useful info ... 1.5 hrs sounds good ...  Thanks once again.
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Re: Need some advice from Aussie CR Members
« Reply #42 on: December 03, 2013, 10:27:41 PM »

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Re: Need some advice from Aussie CR Members
« Reply #43 on: December 04, 2013, 12:06:40 AM »
I live in Melbourne but have spent most of my time overseas for photography. Some of my suggestions may be interesting? Google the suggestions.
Some photos on my website www.davidcampbellphotography.com.au

Melbourne
- Princess Pier in Port Melbourne. Old Pier that has been half restored and half left with all the boards pulled up. Many pylons sticking out of the water. Good at Dawn
- Brighton Beach Houses. Colourful wooden sheds for people to store beach gear in and use to get changed. It will be busy at that time of year but if you go behind the sheds, stand on the top of the fence, you can get a wide shot with the water in the background with no people. If you dont mind people, just shoot from the front.
- Southern Cross Station Roof. Nice wavy roof line. No Tripods allowed here.
- Under the Bolte Bridge at night.
- Flinders Street Station. Dusk
- Princess Bridge near Flinders street station. Views of the Southbank river complex.
- Shrine of Remembrance on St Kilda Road. Dawn

Out of Melbourne
Dandenong Ranges
Alfred Nichols Gardens – nice in the morning. Small boat shed on a small lake gives nice shots (better during Autumn)
Puffing Billy – Nice old steam train ride through temperate rain forrest.
Monbulk Rd – Along this road, there are spots to get photos of Mountain Ash and Tree Ferns.
Olinda Falls – Not that great, you can skip these.
Pie in the Sky – Great place for lunch to eat some gourmet Aussie meat pies.

Phillip Island
- Do not go to Phillip Island without going to the Pinnacles at Cape Woolamai (google it). 45min walk from the surf lifesaving club to the point. Steep walk down to the rock covered beach. Best at Sunset. Sunrise is also good but the nearby land mass can create shadows. Check the sun position with a smart phone app. If you for Sunset, you will also get to experience thousands of Mutton Birds coming into land. Stick to the paths as the burrows are often hiden and you may twist your ankle. Snakes are also in the area feeding on chicks, so watch where you walk.
-Cat Bay Old pier, old pier ruins. Best at Dawn or Dusk. You wont be able to park really close as they close the road so penguins walking across the road dont get run over. Make sure you park on the right side of the gate.

Wilsons Promontory
Large National Park about 4 hours from Melbourne (further than Phillip Island). Has nice beaches with Lichen Covered Rocks. My favourite beach is Whisky Bay (that is accessible without a day hike), Picni Bay is also nice.

Great Ocean Road there is a free great ocean road tourism app. Download that.
12 Apostles – Sunrise, main look out near the visitor center. Straight after sunrise, drive away from port campbell for about 1km to the Gibson steps. These steps are cut into the cliff face and will allow you to access the beach in front of one of the stacks. Keep an eye on the tide coming in if you walk along the beach past the stack, you could get caught and have wet feet on the return.
 12 Apostles – Sunset. The best location is not at the main lookout. It is at the other end of the apostles on a cliff face looking back towards the lookout. There is a yellow kangaroo warning sign about 1km towards Port Campbell from the visitor center. This is where you want to walk out to the cliff. If you have someone that can drop you off and pick you up, this will be more inconspicuous. This view will have the apostles lit up by the sun’s rays and is less photographed than the main lookout. Be aware that this is national park and you will not be sticking to the made paths.
London Bridge – Best at Dawn or Dusk. Not great during the day past say 10am due to shadows.
Island Archway (now collapsed) – Provides a nice foreground for astrophotography. I have seen photos of the milky way casting shadows with the stacks in the small bay. If the Aurora Australis is doing its thing, you might be lucky and see it along this coast. There is an Aurora alert app you can get for your smart phone.
Loch Ard Gorge – Good In the morning before the crowds of people arrive. You will need a wide lens to get the whole beach in.
Apollo Bay Area
Mariners Falls – Closed due to an incident of someone nearly drowning after climbing around on the logs hanging over the falls and then getting pinned under them.
Marengo Rocks. There are rocks that have some tessellated patterns in them and hold water at low tide. If you get a good sunrise, you will get good reflections. These wet rocks are extremely slippery. Be very careful.
Hopetoun Falls – Arguably the best waterfall in Victoria. View from the board walk is the most classic view. You can get shots up close at the base of the falls with larger rocks in the stream but you need to climb the hand rail. You want to be here before the sun gets up too high, 2 hours after sunrise max.
Redwood Grove. On the same road as Hopetoun falls, there is a small plantation of California Sequoia Redwoods. They are only 70-80years old but there are shots to be had in there.
Beauchamp falls – Nearby Hopetoun falls. Quite a nice water fall. Track recently closed due to trees about to fall down after heavy rains. Maybe open, do a google search.
Triplet Falls – Nice walk through the forrest, falls are difficult to get a good shot of due to the foreground undergrowth.
Turtons Rd (Skenes Creek to Hopetoun falls route) has 1 or 2 spots where you can get nice shots of Mountain Ash trees and Tree ferns.
Otway Fly – Canopy tree walk on suspended walkways. Some good photos of mountain ash here. Little bit expensive though.
Maits Rest forrest walk – Nice stroll through the forest. Worth stopping at, even during the day as the canopy is quite thick and filters harsher light
Cape Otway Lighthouse – On the drive down to the light house, you have good chances of seeing wild Koalas in the trees. The lighthouse is set up as a small museum with explanations in each building. Think the lighthouse is better photographed from one of the nearby beaches with the lighthouse in the distance.
Moonlight Head/Wreck Beach – Steep walk down wooden stair case to the beach. At low (or low’ish) tide you can walk out onto the rocks where 2 shipwreck anchors are trapped in the sand stone. Makes for good photos at Sunset if the tide is right.

That is all for now

Tez

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Re: Need some advice from Aussie CR Members
« Reply #44 on: December 04, 2013, 01:11:37 AM »
Just a few things.  Sydney airport has a curfew from 10pm so flights finish then as it is close to the city centre and next to residential areas.  Darling Harbour fireworks start at 9pm so timing will be an issue unless you stay overnight but here is the link  http://www.darlingharbour.com/whats-on/harbourside-fireworks-in-december.aspx

Taxi's don't require tips either (unless you want to round it up to the next dollar for convenience but there is no minimum).  Tipping is not big here unless you are in top end restaurants where it is more usual for good service but not mandatory.  In a cafe, just pay the bill, no problem.

There is a free shuttle bus through the city from the main railway station down the main street to the Quay and back  http://www.sydneybuses.info/free-shuttles
Here is the tourist bus link http://www.city-sightseeing.com/tours/australia/sydney.htm?set-currency=EUR

After a slow start you are awash with good advice so have a great trip and please share some photo's on your return home.

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Re: Need some advice from Aussie CR Members
« Reply #44 on: December 04, 2013, 01:11:37 AM »