Category Archives: rocks

19 for 2019: update for week 4

19 for 2019: Week of 21 January 2019

My photo library collapsed last Sunday and this caused me a heap of chaos.

20190125 fire sunset edit edit

Friday sunset after a horrendous bushfire day in Tasmania. Puts things into perspective.

I was able to restore the library from a week-old backup and the photos were archived as well, so I didn’t lose them, which was an enormous relief.

The old software is obsolete and unsupported and I had only stuck with it because it worked for the way I structured my workflow. But it being so old, there will come an operating system upgrade that will no longer support that software and I won’t be able to use it. So I need an alternative. I’d been planning on keeping my old system in place and moving gradually over to Lightroom with just a few sets of photos so I could learn as I went. However, with the library collapse, I had a rethink of what I was going to do. I’ve decided that everything that I haven’t catalogued in the old system plus all my new photos will go into Lightroom. My learning curve has very quickly gotten steeper because I’m having to use it every day and do a lot more things than I thought I was going to have to at this time.

I guess it’s good in a way because it’s forcing me to use it and learn it right now. If I didn’t have to do that, chances are I would have put it off and stuck with the old system until the day I couldn’t use it anymore and would have had to make a move to a new system I had no idea how to use. So, thing 19 is well underway. I spent a lot of time getting familiar with Lightroom this week, and I discarded the folio I had set up earlier and made a new one that I think will be easier to manage (thing 12). I printed two photocollages from 2018 and one from this year and made the week 35 photocollage. 35 down, 17 weeks to go (thing 11).

I changed thing 6. I had a 12-week fitness program that I signed up to, started and never completed a couple of years ago and I wanted to attempt that again this year. But I’ve had a bit of time to think and decided it’s not the approach I want, need or am comfortable with right now so instead, I’m going to follow a year-long wellbeing program that introduces small, manageable, lifestyle changes each week that I will do my best to embed into my daily life. My aim is to work through the program and not do everything suggested, but to take one small change each week and really focus on implementing that.

This week it was to increase my water intake because it’s summer, it’s hot and I’m not drinking enough water. Strategy one is to fill my water bottle at night and put it right next to my walking shoes so I can have a drink before I go out for my walk without having to find my way to the kitchen and locate a glass. Like I said, small steps. Baby steps, even.

20190126 shoes & water bottle edit edit

Baby steps

My morning routine includes a walk, some quiet minutes meditating with Insight Timer (go check this out if you want a nice, free tool for establishing a meditation practice) and, as of last month, reading at least 20 pages. This is an idea I got from James Clear and it’s so simple I can’t believe I hadn’t figured it out for myself every time I glanced guiltily at my unread books piles (yes, piles plural).  I am currently onto book four for 2019 (thing 5). It is a fiction book

I completed the online writing course I was doing for work (thing 8). Now to start to use the tools in my own writing and try to improve it.

I went to the beach one morning to experiment with long exposure photographs before the sunrise made it too light. I completed that assignment for the photo course (thing 1) and started to do some research into ND filters (thing 7) so I can make these photos during the day, not just at 5.30 am.

20190123 assignment 7 15 edit

Long exposure, Wednesday morning

It’s been a frustrating week, but I think I’ve done a reasonable amount of groundwork to build on.

Status for week 4

  • Things completed: 2 (1 this week)
  • Things I progressed: 7
  • Things started but not progressed this week: 1
  • Things not started: 9

Things completed

  • Thing 9 (9 January)
  • Thing 8 (21 January)

Southwest Tasmania Day 1 (part 2)

In the first week of the school holidays, we took a few days off and travelled to Strathgordon on Lake Pedder in the southwest Tasmanian wilderness.

You can read about our first stop on the way, at The Needles, here. Or if you just want to look at some photos, they are also here.

Not much further down the road towards Lake Pedder is another spectacular range called The Sentinels. It’s a quartzite range about five km long and one km high.

It would seem the most common reaction of people seeing it for the first time as they drive round the bend is, “Wow!”

That was certainly my reaction, and I insisted we stop immediately so I could take some photos.

20180711-057 The Sentinals copy


20180711-062 The Sentinals copy

The Sentinels Day 1

That had to be the most jaw-dropping thing I’d seen all day and I certainly got my huge rock fix!

This was one of several photo stops here over the next couple of days. You can find the complete series of photos on my photoblog Straighlinesgirlimages. Or stay tuned for more posts here.

Our accommodation was the Pedder Wilderness Lodge at Strathgordon. Strathgordon was constructed in 1969 to accommodate the workers on the hydroelectric scheme (more on that in the next post). Apparently, it accommodated about 2000 people when the scheme was under construction but the population now is about 70.

We’d booked one of the self-contained units at the very reasonable rate of two nights for the price of one. Winter travel has its benefits. Our plan was to self-cater for breakfast and lunch then splash out at night and have dinner at the restaurant. It was a good plan. Because who wants to cook on holidays? Not me.

20180711-068 Lake Pedder at the lodge

Lake Pedder behind the lodge


The helipad. No unauthorised landing.

I managed to capture some images of the lake in the afternoon sun as well as seeing the beautiful light on the hillside as the sun was setting.

20180711-092 Hills near the lodge

Beautiful afternoon light on the hills

20180711-084 Hills near the lodge

More giant rocks

The lodge has become popular with the local ravens, who seem to have no fear of people and are quite happy to pose for photos. And steal food, we were informed.

20180711-109 Raven at the lodge

Raven shows no fear

We ended the day with dinner at the lodge and were all looking forward to the next day’s adventures.



The Needles—Southwest Tasmania Day 1

This week we had a three-day break at Lake Pedder in Tasmania’s southwest. None of us had been before so we were all looking forward to it and had several short walks planned.

From Hobart, we headed to New Norfolk and turned onto the Gordon River Road at Bushy Park.  After a coffee stop at Russell Falls, we resumed our journey. The Gordon River Road takes you past the Florentine, an area I am very keen to go and explore more, and into the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.  The area was listed on the World Heritage List in 1982 and covers approximately one-fifth of the area of Tasmania (1.584 million hectares). It incorporates eight of Tasmania’s National Parks, including the Southwest National Park, where we were going.

Our first stop, about 16 km from the town of Maydena, was the walk to The Needles. This is described as 2-3 hour return medium grade walk. According to the information we got from the motel, “this steep and muddy track takes you to a series of jagged rocks at the top of a beautiful ridgeline known as The Needles. It is one of the most rewarding, and seemingly unknown, short walks in the Southwest National Park.”

It sounds pretty cool, right? The description goes on to say “this steep 3 km return walk offers uninterrupted panoramic views from rugged mountainous terrain”.

Do you get the feeling it’s steep?

I’d read the description and thought the views sounded spectacular so was very keen to do this walk. The word “steep” obviously hadn’t registered in my mind, and when we got there I had to look a long way up to see the top of the hill. The walk starts at the highest point on the Gordon River Road, 651 metres, and the summit point is 1020 metres. That’s a 400-metre climb spread out of about 1.5 km. It looked fairly imposing for a non-hiker.

View from the road

The Needles from the road


We’re going up there

As we set off it was nice and muddy underfoot. (So far, the description was spot-on.) I was grateful for having bought some new walking boots a couple of weeks ago rather than wear my old non-waterproof shoes that had holes in them when it became apparent the track was more of a watercourse than a track. The tracks I’m used to in my city-girl bushwalks come from the 60 Great Short Walks book. There were no formed paths, no duckboard over the muddy bits and no steps here. Thank you, past me, for the new boots.

It was very heavy going and I was regretting the multiple layers I’d put on in the morning to prepare for the cold. It was a sunny day and climbing was hot work once we got out of the bush and into the sunlight.

The view got progressively better as we climbed.


Excuse the blown-out cloud there


Getting to the top


A  bit closer

Getting to the top was amazing and totally worth the slog. I’m a big fan of huge jagged rocks and here they were in abundance, everywhere I looked.


Started to climb this. Didn’t finish.


One of my favourite photos from the walk

The views off into the distance were stunning.


Seeing for miles




It was a perfect day for this walk

The sky was gorgeous and I felt a sense of having come somewhere special. The other thing was that it was absolutely silent up there. I don’t know if I can remember the last time I experienced such total silence and I didn’t want to leave. Giant rocks, blue sky, fabulous clouds and the complete absence of noise. I dragged it out as long as I could to soak in as much of this feeling as possible but we had to leave eventually.


Stunning rocks everywhere

Going down was equally challenging because it was very easy to lose your footing and fall over into the mud. A girl we’d passed on our way up had done exactly that. I had no desire to do the same and managed to retain my footing the entire way down.

This was a fantastic way to start our trip and I couldn’t wait for the next experience.

You can find more about The Needles here.

Walk In Her Shoes Challenge: Day 2

Day 2 of the Walk In Her Shoes challenge and the weather forecast wasn’t looking promising for getting out and walking a lot.

20150317 Not a good outlook

It was still fine in the morning though, so I wanted to do as much as I could before the rain arrived. On this morning’s walk I achieved something I set myself to achieve this week, which was to walk 6 km in under an hour. I’ve been managing to do 3.5 km in under 35 minutes, but I didn’t know if I could keep the pace up for 6 km. It seems I can.

20150317 6 km 1

This was about 8,000 steps.

Today’s leggings.

20150317 Leggings

This is one of my favourite pairs. I love the pattern and the colours. They’re thicker than most of my other pairs and I was going to change them later in the day when the weather got a bit warmer. It didn’t, so I didn’t. (The sticker has been on there for months. Probably years. Courtesy of Juniordwarf.)

By lunch time I’d only reached about 11,000 steps, so I went for a long walk after lunch. It still hadn’t rained, though it was trying to. I checked out the new coffee van on The Esplanade (it’s good) and walked around to Tynwald Park up the steps.

This part of the walk always reminds me of Picnic at Hanging Rock.

20150317 Hanging rock-esque IG

After dinner it was time for another walk to get me up to my 25,000 step goal. It was raining by this time and my walking buddy Zoe doesn’t have a rain coat, so she had to share mine.

20150317 Zoe doesn't have a rain coat

Goal achieved. All going well.

Trip Day 3 (Part 2): Dove Lake

So we made it to Dove Lake, along with every other tourist in the park and, even though it was windy, we decided we’d attempt the Dove Lake Circuit.

Juniordwarf near Dove Lake

Juniordwarf near Dove Lake

It’s recommended that you do the circuit clockwise. Unlike other walks we’ve done recently, we saw this sign so decided to do it as recommended. I’m not really sure why they recommend this, but that’s the way we went.

Cradle Mountain & Dove Lake from the car park

Cradle Mountain & Dove Lake from the car park

Off we go!

Off we go!

The first stop on the way round is called Glacier Rock, to the east.

Apparently it is evidence of glacier action in the region during the last Ice Age. It’s a big rock above Dove Lake that you can step up and out onto to get a nice view of Cradle Mountain. If you dare.

Glacier Rock - if you dare

Glacier Rock – if you dare

It’s not a pleasant place to be in gusty winds and I was terrified. I went as far onto the rock as I dared (not very far), took my photo and sat down because I was terrified of being blown off. I wasn’t prepared to die for a better angle. (Did I mention I’m not good with heights?) Then I gradually edged my way off the rock and left it to the people who were less worried and stayed on there for ages taking selfies.

From the top of Glacier Rock

From the top of Glacier Rock

We were glad to be off it (I can’t speak for the others. I was mighty relieved to be off it) and back on the walking track. Even though it was windy, we were protected from that for most of the walk, so it wasn’t as unpleasant as it seemed like it might have been. It was a lovely walk.

The outward leg of the walk was mostly boardwalk. It wasn’t a particularly challenging walk, so Juniordwarf had no trouble on the walk, and we saw kids even younger than him out there too.

Me and Juniordwarf

Me and Juniordwarf

I loved watching our view of Cradle Mountain change as we approached it. It dipped in and out of cloud, and as we got closer some of its features became more obvious.

Cradle Mountain

Cradle Mountain

Cradle Mountain

Cradle Mountain

As we were walking we saw some white streaks on the rocks on the mountain on the other side of the lake. I thought they might be waterfalls, but they were too far away to be sure. As we got closer we started to hear the water and could see it moving, so I knew I’d been right. From a distance they could have just been streaky white rocks!

Waterfalls or white rock streaks?

Waterfalls or white rock streaks?

Correct. Waterfall.

Correct. Waterfall.

Rounding the top end of the lake you get as close as you’re going to get to Cradle Mountain on this particular track. It looks quite different from this angle.

Nearing Cradle Mountain

Nearing Cradle Mountain

Looking back at Dove Lake

Looking back at Dove Lake

Looking back at the board walk

Looking back at the board walk

At the top of the circuit

At the top of the circuit

Stunning rock formations

Stunning rock formations

A different perspective of Cradle Mountain

A different perspective of Cradle Mountain

The return track is less consistent than the outgoing track and is a bit more hilly. A lot of the track is gravel, and because of the amount of water on the ground, Slabs remarked that it felt a bit like walking in a creek bed. It was a bit tricky to negotiate in places.

We passed through the beautiful Ballroom Forest, which is a cool-temperate rainforest with predominantly Myrtle Beech trees.

Ballroom Forest

Ballroom Forest

We could see Horrible Glacier Rock over on the other side of the lake.

Glacier Rock from a distance

Glacier Rock from a distance

Glacier Rock

Glacier Rock

The views from this side of Dove Lake are possibly the most commonly photographed.

Photobombing bird

Photobombing bird

Towards the end of the track you get to the Boat Shed, which was built in 1940. It’s no longer used, but it’s a particularly popular photo spot. In fact it’s compulsory to take a photo of Cradle Mountain and Dove Lake with the Boat Shed in the foreground. They check your camera on the way out, and if you haven’t taken a photo of that scene, you have to go back and do it*.

Boat House and obscured mountain

Boat House and obscured mountain

And that was the end of the walk. We arrived back in the car park, signed off our walk (you’re supposed to register every walk you do before you go) and waited for the bus to take us back to the Visitor Centre. We worked out that the whole circuit had taken about 2 hours 15 minutes, which we thought was good going with a little person who hasn’t done a lot of this type of walking.

We enjoyed a well-deserved refreshment at the bar before dinner, and Juniordwarf played (and won) his first 8-Ball game.

And with that, our holiday was over. We headed back home the next day, which (of course) was the most beautiful warm and sunny day.

*Might not actually be true.

Lake Dobson

I’m linking up to Kim’s Sunday Selections at Frogpondsrock today.

Last time we went to Mt Field National Park we drove the 16 km road to Lake Dobson but we didn’t have a good look around.

Monday was a public holiday, so we decided it might be nice to go back up there and do the circuit around the lake. The official title of the walk is the Pandani Grove Nature Walk, and it skirts around one side of the lake, passing through the Pandani Grove, and ending up on the 4WD track that goes higher up the mountain (or back to the car park in our case).

This is the area that gets snow in winter, and it has several long day walks that we aren’t quite ready to tackle just yet. The drive up to the lake takes you from the beautiful lush rainforest at the bottom of the park through changing vegetation to the completely different sub-alpine landscape higher up the mountain. The change over such a short space is remarkable.

I took my old SLR camera with me – I don’t remember the last time I used it. When Juniordwarf was about a year old, I think. I haven’t had those photos developed yet, so here are some that I took with my phone and uploaded to Instagram.

P365 – Day 43 fossicking and other stories (12/2/2011)

We thought it would be nice to have a weekend away before Juniordwarf starts school and swimming lessons next week. 
We decided on Dover, south of Huonville this time, because neither Slabs nor I had been there, and there were public fossicking areas near Lune River, a few km south of Dover.
Juniordwarf is quite interested in rocks at the moment, so we though picking up rocks would be something he’d enjoy. He has a large bag full of rocks that he collected over the Xmas break and every time we go into the local rock shop, he usually comes out with a new tumbled stone to add to his collection.
After having lunch in Dover, we travelled down to Lune River, which is the furthest south I’ve ever been, to start our rock adventure at Lunaris Gemstones, which has a showroom of rocks, fossils, crystals and tumbled stones. Some of the crystals were quite stunning and I suspect Lil Sis and Mr Tall would have had a lovely, (and expensive) time there.
We were pointed in the right direction to the public fossicking areas, and drove around a bit looking for a good place to stop. We had absolutely no idea what to look for – other than rocks that we liked the look of – apparently the main finds in the area are agate and petrified wood. We hadn’t even thought to take any tools with us, so we were restricted to what was lying around.
Juniordwarf loved it. He was on a special mission to find a pretty rock for his favourite coffee shop lady, so that was his first task. But once he’d found a rock for Coffee Lady, he wanted to take every rock home that he picked up. We had to call a halt when the bag started to get too heavy.
I ended up being more interested in this little chap than in the rocks . . .
After our rock excursion, we headed back to Dover and had coffee. Juniordwarf was very impressed with the size of his babycino.
But I don’t think Coffee Lady has anything to fear about this type of competition. She’s still his favourite, because she ties her hair up.