New South Wales

weekly photo challenge: early bird

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We’ve been a little quiet on the blog the past fortnight as we have been on a family road trip to Victoria (and back), internet was not very stable at some stops.

But we are back and luckily, we were able to catch an “early bird” moment to share. For the first time ever, we witnessed a beach sunrise.

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This was taken at Pambula Beach, down the South Coast of NSW, Australia.

Are you more of a sunrise or sunset person?

Share your thoughts with us.

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weekend walks: thirlmere lakes national park

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Thirlmere Lakes National Park is approximately 80 km southwest of Sydney. It is part of the Greater Blue Mountains area which is listed on the UNESCO Heritage List. The National Park is open from sunrise to sunset.

It was overcast and wet – the walking conditions were very different from last week. It was a 6 km loop walk around the lakes and we were the only visitors in the National Park (or at least it seemed).

The walk was easy but because some of the track was overgrown in places, we need to push past shrubs and ferns, climbed over logs and walked under fallen trees. The vegetation was quite varied throughout the walk and it was quite clear that bushfires had ripped through at some point. See if you can spot the evidence of it. There was one section where it was like a tree cemetery.

Like any National Parks, there is also wildlife. As we walked through, we could hear so many different types of birds singing above us competing with the cicadas. There were birds of all shapes and sizes flying across the lake and colourful butterflies dancing past us as we walked. At one point, as we stopped to take some photos, we heard branches snapping and a grey fluffy animal bouncing away (we figured it was wallaby). Unfortunately, we were not quick enough to capture any of the wildlife on camera BUT we did capture a few burrows that we found along the way 🙂

As we walked, it was so peaceful to just hear the sounds of nature and nothing else except maybe the occasional plane flying overhead.

Hope you enjoy our photos this week!!

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third oldest church in australia

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We have just returned from a long weekend to Port Macquarie. Port Macquarie is about a 4-hour drive north along the coast from Sydney. We had unusual weather – from rain, winds to sunny days. It was a good 3 days away.

We visited St Thomas’ Anglican Church, it was across the road from where we were staying. It is a beautiful church and intriguing as well. The day we were there, a wedding was due to start, so our visit was very brief. Partly a good day because it was also decorated with beautiful flowers especially on the pew doors.

Looking up out the front
Looking up out the front
View from the side
View from the side

St Thomas’ Anglican Church is the third oldest church in Australia. It was built by convicts in 1824 and the first service held 4 years later in 1828.

The most fascinating thing about this church were the raised family boxes (see photo).

Down the aisle, note the family boxes on either side
Down the aisle, note the family boxes on either side
Family boxes with wedding decoration on the door
Family boxes with wedding decoration on the door
Looking back to the gallery at the organ.
Looking back to the gallery at the organ.

The church goers once included convicts as well as the “free” people. The family boxes were rented to parishioners to protect them from the convict onlookers. Inside the boxes are standard pew seating as well as knee rests for kneeling. Towards the back of the church were the usual seating one would be familiar with in a church.

According to the brief history leaflet that is provided inside the church, the 1856 Walker Pipe Organ, in the gallery, is the only one of its kind in the southern hemisphere.

The organ at the back of the church. And the normal church pews we are use to seeing
The organ at the back of the church. And the normal church pews we are use to seeing

The winding stairwell up to the Muniments room was closed off when we visited. Within the Muniments room, there are historic documents, photographs, records, old Bibles and Prayer Books. However, we did get to see some of these things at the entrance of the church. Lots of interesting artefacts were housed in the cabinet.

Closed off stairwell to Muniments room
Closed off stairwell to Muniments room
Historical documents: layout of church
Historical documents: layout of church

St Thomas’ Anglican Church is open Monday to Fridays between 9.30 am to noon and 2 pm to 4 pm. Admission is a gold coin donation (i.e. $1-$2 Australian dollars).