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Author Topic: Need some advice from Aussie CR Members  (Read 9877 times)

Rienzphotoz

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Re: Need some advice from Aussie CR Members
« Reply #45 on: December 04, 2013, 08:16:27 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
FANTASTIC!!! ... checked out your website, very beautiful images ... it gives me a lot of ideas, no wonder they say "a picture speaks a thousand words" ... thank you very much for the AWESOME tips ... I'll be sure to follow them and will post some pics after I return from Australia. Once again than you very much for the incredibly detailed explanation, much appreciated.
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Re: Need some advice from Aussie CR Members
« Reply #45 on: December 04, 2013, 08:16:27 AM »

Rienzphotoz

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Re: Need some advice from Aussie CR Members
« Reply #46 on: December 04, 2013, 08:26:12 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. 

I see ... too bad, I'll have to rethink/rearrange my visit to Sydney.

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

Thanks you very much for the very helpful tips.

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.
Yeah! ... I was worried at first, that I wasn't getting any replies ... but now its just incredible amount of information ... all of you have given great advice, tips, suggestions and recommendations ... I am more confident now. Is it appropriate for me to chant "AUSSIE! AUSSIE! AUSSIE!" now? (I saw/heard that during cricket matches, sounds pretty cool when you guys say it) ... you guys are great ... can't wait to see your great county ... not sure if I'll be able to do justice to the beauty of your great country, but I'll try my best and hope to come back with some really good images.
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Re: Need some advice from Aussie CR Members
« Reply #47 on: December 04, 2013, 11:01:32 AM »
"AUSSIE! AUSSIE! AUSSIE!"
OI! OI! OI!

Looking forward to hearing about your adventures, :)

Rienzphotoz

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Re: Need some advice from Aussie CR Members
« Reply #48 on: December 04, 2013, 12:16:16 PM »
"AUSSIE! AUSSIE! AUSSIE!"
OI! OI! OI!

Looking forward to hearing about your adventures, :)
Absolutely! ... I'll definitely post lots of pics, that would be my thank you for the very useful advice, all of you have given me. My 3 teenage kids are eagerly reading all the stuff you guys are posting and can't wait to get to Australia.
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Re: Need some advice from Aussie CR Members
« Reply #49 on: December 06, 2013, 02:54:07 AM »
One more query:
We recently bought an apartment in India and the wife wants to know where to get good shopping done in Melbourne, for:
1. Home deco (e.g. lamp shades)
2. Kitchen utensils (apparently she likes the Horwood make)
3. Christmas deco (reusable stuff)
OK, that's 3 queries  ;D
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Re: Need some advice from Aussie CR Members
« Reply #50 on: December 07, 2013, 01:06:26 AM »
Hi Reinz someone from Melbourne can probably answer about 1 and 2, but Australia has yow big department store chains, David Jones and Myer. I really like all the Christmas stuff from Myer, you will find them in Melbourne City.

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Re: Need some advice from Aussie CR Members
« Reply #51 on: December 07, 2013, 04:03:17 AM »
Hi Reinz someone from Melbourne can probably answer about 1 and 2, but Australia has yow big department store chains, David Jones and Myer. I really like all the Christmas stuff from Myer, you will find them in Melbourne City.
Thanks Synkka ... my wife will be happy to hear that.
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Re: Need some advice from Aussie CR Members
« Reply #51 on: December 07, 2013, 04:03:17 AM »

Mr Bean

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Re: Need some advice from Aussie CR Members
« Reply #52 on: December 07, 2013, 04:39:33 PM »
One more query:
We recently bought an apartment in India and the wife wants to know where to get good shopping done in Melbourne, for:
1. Home deco (e.g. lamp shades)
2. Kitchen utensils (apparently she likes the Horwood make)
3. Christmas deco (reusable stuff)
OK, that's 3 queries  ;D
Regarding #2, there's a catering equipment supply company called "Chefs Hat", in South Melbourne (its opposite the South Melbourne Market). I'm not sure if they have the Horwood brand, but you could contact them.... http://shop.chefshat.com.au/index.php

Regarding #1, I'm not sure. I've been told I spend too much on camera gear and not on house deco ;)
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EF 12mm and 25mm II Extension tubes

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Re: Need some advice from Aussie CR Members
« Reply #53 on: December 08, 2013, 04:56:15 AM »
One more query:
We recently bought an apartment in India and the wife wants to know where to get good shopping done in Melbourne, for:
1. Home deco (e.g. lamp shades)
2. Kitchen utensils (apparently she likes the Horwood make)
3. Christmas deco (reusable stuff)
OK, that's 3 queries  ;D
Regarding #2, there's a catering equipment supply company called "Chefs Hat", in South Melbourne (its opposite the South Melbourne Market). I'm not sure if they have the Horwood brand, but you could contact them.... http://shop.chefshat.com.au/index.php

Thank you!

Regarding #1, I'm not sure. I've been told I spend too much on camera gear and not on house deco ;)
... and your wife lets you live?  ;D ;D ;D
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Re: Need some advice from Aussie CR Members
« Reply #54 on: December 08, 2013, 05:56:34 PM »
Regarding #1, I'm not sure. I've been told I spend too much on camera gear and not on house deco ;)
... and your wife lets you live?  ;D ;D ;D
"If a new sofa doesn't take an EOS mount, what's the point of having it...?" is my argument ;)
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Re: Need some advice from Aussie CR Members
« Reply #55 on: December 11, 2013, 05:46:16 AM »
One more query:
We recently bought an apartment in India and the wife wants to know where to get good shopping done in Melbourne, for:
1. Home deco (e.g. lamp shades)
2. Kitchen utensils (apparently she likes the Horwood make)
3. Christmas deco (reusable stuff)
OK, that's 3 queries  ;D
Regarding #2, there's a catering equipment supply company called "Chefs Hat", in South Melbourne (its opposite the South Melbourne Market). I'm not sure if they have the Horwood brand, but you could contact them.... http://shop.chefshat.com.au/index.php

Regarding #1, I'm not sure. I've been told I spend too much on camera gear and not on house deco ;)

Here are some Christmas decoration specialists that should be not far from the area you're staying
www.christmaskingdom.com.au
http://www.christmas4you.com.au/ecms/default.asp

As for home decor you won't be far from Southland or Chadstone shopping centres.  Most of the larger shopping centres have homemaker areas

If you do go to the Chefs Hat make sure you take a drive around the Grand Prix track at Albert Park :D

Parking in central Melbourne can be very expensive so look for 'early bird' rates (in before 10am and out after 3pm) or book online for some specials eg https://www.wilsonparking.com.au/go/book-a-bay.

Also if you are driving in central Melbourne we do have odd right hand turns due to the tram tracks running down the middle of the road.  They're called 'hook turns' and basically you pull to the left and wait for the traffic lights to change and continue in the direction you want to travel.  It's designed keeps the intersection clear for trams to pass through.
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Rienzphotoz

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Re: Need some advice from Aussie CR Members
« Reply #56 on: December 11, 2013, 09:27:15 AM »
One more query:
We recently bought an apartment in India and the wife wants to know where to get good shopping done in Melbourne, for:
1. Home deco (e.g. lamp shades)
2. Kitchen utensils (apparently she likes the Horwood make)
3. Christmas deco (reusable stuff)
OK, that's 3 queries  ;D
Regarding #2, there's a catering equipment supply company called "Chefs Hat", in South Melbourne (its opposite the South Melbourne Market). I'm not sure if they have the Horwood brand, but you could contact them.... http://shop.chefshat.com.au/index.php

Regarding #1, I'm not sure. I've been told I spend too much on camera gear and not on house deco ;)

Here are some Christmas decoration specialists that should be not far from the area you're staying
www.christmaskingdom.com.au
http://www.christmas4you.com.au/ecms/default.asp

As for home decor you won't be far from Southland or Chadstone shopping centres.  Most of the larger shopping centres have homemaker areas

If you do go to the Chefs Hat make sure you take a drive around the Grand Prix track at Albert Park :D

Parking in central Melbourne can be very expensive so look for 'early bird' rates (in before 10am and out after 3pm) or book online for some specials eg https://www.wilsonparking.com.au/go/book-a-bay.

Also if you are driving in central Melbourne we do have odd right hand turns due to the tram tracks running down the middle of the road.  They're called 'hook turns' and basically you pull to the left and wait for the traffic lights to change and continue in the direction you want to travel.  It's designed keeps the intersection clear for trams to pass through.
Thank you very much for the tips ... just one question, why you say "in before 10am and out after 3pm", you mean I get parking at a less expensive rate if I park before 10 am and also after 3pm? and anything in between is expensive?
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Re: Need some advice from Aussie CR Members
« Reply #57 on: December 11, 2013, 02:22:12 PM »
If you park anytime before 10am and leave anytime after 3pm the maximum cost is about $15.  Otherwise the rate is about $12 per hour.  If you park at Melbourne Central shopping centre at 10am but left at 2 pm the cost would be $48, so staying that extra hour or more will save a lot of money :) 
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Re: Need some advice from Aussie CR Members
« Reply #57 on: December 11, 2013, 02:22:12 PM »

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Re: Need some advice from Aussie CR Members
« Reply #58 on: December 11, 2013, 10:38:29 PM »
If you park anytime before 10am and leave anytime after 3pm the maximum cost is about $15.  Otherwise the rate is about $12 per hour.  If you park at Melbourne Central shopping centre at 10am but left at 2 pm the cost would be $48, so staying that extra hour or more will save a lot of money :)
I see ... thanks a ton ... that is very useful information. This info gives me a great idea: I will tell my wife that I would like to take her for shopping from 9.30 am to 3.30 pm ... she will be very happy and I'm pretty sure I'll get credit for this "good, thoughtful and considerate" deed ;D

Thanks once again.
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Re: Need some advice from Aussie CR Members
« Reply #59 on: January 07, 2014, 05:51:43 AM »
Back from an AWESOME vacation in Australia, what a beautiful country! ... got to see "heaps" of places  :) (I noticed that the Australians I interacted with, used the word "heaps" a lot).
"Wanker" is another word that seems to be quite popular in Australia :)
I'll be posting some photos and some memorable experiences shortly, meanwhile I wanted to share a little about my shopping experience in Melbourne.
I visited Digital Direct, Ted's & Michael's and bought:
GoPro Black 3+ and DJI Quad copter from Digital Direct (Elizabeth Street)
Two Extra Batteries for Quad Copter and BoPro Hero Black 3+ from Michael's (Elizabeth Street)
Sony BCQM1 Charger (for my Sony a7), LowePro Toploader Zoom 10 Rezo & GoPro Tripod Adaptor from Ted's (Chadstone)
What I learned shopping at these places was that EVERY SINGLE one of those stores tried to rip me off by charging anywhere between 20% to 100% more than the prices I eventually bought for. Michael's tried to charge me AU$ 1500 for GoPro Black 3+ & Quadcopter, Ted's tried to charge me AU$ 1589 ... so I took the Aussie CR member's advice and told the sales rep at Digital Direct that I was getting it for AU$1200 (DD's original quote was AU$1400) ... the sales rep consults with his manager and comes back willing to sell (DJI Quadcopter and Go Pro Black 3+) for AU$ 1200 and also throws in 2 additional (Watson) batteries for the GoPro 3+ and a Rode Smartlav Lapel Mic for free. Since I am a tourist, I also got the GST amount of AU$ 110 refunded from the Melbourne airport under TRS (Tourist Refund Scheme). So I got all of the above for AU$ 1090 (which I think is a very good deal) ... me VERY HAPPY 8)
But when I tried to buy 2 additional phantom flight batteries for the DJI Phantom Quadcopter, Digital Direct tried to charge me AU$ 50 for each of the batteries ... so I went to Michael's and got those 2 batteries for AU$25 each (half of what DD was trying to charge me).
A few days later I went to Ted's Camera Store at Chadstone Mall, as I couldn't find a battery charger for my Sony a7 anywhere else. Ted's quote was AU$100 ... so I went to Myer who gave me a quote of AU$80 ... so I go back to Ted's and told them about Myer's quote ... Ted's immediately drops their price to AU$ 70 ... so I bought the charger and a LowePro Top Loader Zoom 10 Rezo (which fits perfectly for Sonay a7 with 28-70 with room for 2 additional batteries in the front comportment) ... but when I asked for a GoPro vehicle mount suction cup, Ted's wanted to charge AU$80 ... so I went to Myer and got the same thing for AU$ 40

I could not believe the difference in prices from store to store ... it felt as if I was haggling at an Indian fish market. But thanks to the excellent tips and advice from the Aussie CR members here, I'm very happy to have got some good deals ... best of all I'm also getting the GST refunded.
From my limited experience I found Digital Direct to have the best customer service as they were very patient and friendly ... they allowed me to try over a dozen different lenses.
Sales reps at Michael's were very friendly but their prices were quite a bit higher than Digital Direct. Ted's was the least friendly, they did not seem to be interested in a customer (me) asking them questions about the gear ... I would have preferred not to buy from Ted's but they were the only ones who had the Sony charger and it was difficult to that charger anywhere else in Melbourne.
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Re: Need some advice from Aussie CR Members
« Reply #59 on: January 07, 2014, 05:51:43 AM »