A Few Days North

A Few Days North

19.4.17

Leaving Sydney late the night before we pulled into Seal Rocks in darkness. After briefly looking for a spot to set up camp we called it a night and woke up to first light in a new spot of coast. Sugarloaf light house is a quick 5 minute walk through the bush and offers views back towards Seal Rocks, South to Lighthouse beach and North up to Blueys/Boomerang Beach and Forster. Waiting for the sun to rise it was a clear morning and we had it all to ourselves.

To the light house.

To the light house.

First light // Sugarloaf Point light house.

First light // Sugarloaf Point light house.

Looking South // Lighthouse Beach

Looking South // Lighthouse Beach

Sunrise // 6:00am

Sunrise // 6:00am

Looking North // Sugarloaf from the air.

Looking North // Sugarloaf from the air.

After checking out the Light House, we grabbed a coffee from ‘Single Fin’ a local bloke and his wife who run a coffee shop out of their van. And it was some bloody good coffee. We sat on the hill and took in the morning’s rays.

Seal Rock’s has some of the clearest waters I’ve seen so I was keen to get back in the water and do some shooting. 

 

 The water was as calm as it gets and there were a few little shoreys breaking along the beach, ideal conditions for some underwater work. These are toroidal rings, they form inside a barreling wave when the conditions are right and I am always so amazed to see photos of them, I have an obsession with how a wave looks underwater as it breaks. (Underwater Vortex // available in ‘Ocean’ collection)

 The water was as calm as it gets and there were a few little shoreys breaking along the beach, ideal conditions for some underwater work. These are toroidal rings, they form inside a barreling wave when the conditions are right and I am always so amazed to see photos of them, I have an obsession with how a wave looks underwater as it breaks. (Underwater Vortex // available in ‘Ocean’ collection)

One very crisp, refreshing Autumn morning.

One very crisp, refreshing Autumn morning.

I was busy chasing the fish around the point and this local showed up to see what I was up to. I couldn't be more stoked with my encounter with the sea turtle, definitely one of my bucket list animals to photograph underwater.

I was busy chasing the fish around the point and this local showed up to see what I was up to. I couldn't be more stoked with my encounter with the sea turtle, definitely one of my bucket list animals to photograph underwater.

After a fair while swimming around with this guy, I hadn't realised how far he had led me out to sea. It was a long swim back in to the beach but it was worth it. 

After a fair while swimming around with this guy, I hadn't realised how far he had led me out to sea. It was a long swim back in to the beach but it was worth it. 

After the swim it was back to the local shop for a pie for breakkie then exploring more of this magical place.

Seal Rocks from the hill.

Seal Rocks from the hill.

The reef all to herself.

The reef all to herself.

Seal Rocks main beach.

Seal Rocks main beach.

The point from above.

The point from above.

We drove South that arvo to Hawks Nest. Looking for a place to stay the night and refusing to pay for a camp site, we followed a sandy path into the dunes at sunset and found a little slice of beach all to ourselves for the night.

Home for the night // camping under the milky way.

Home for the night // camping under the milky way.


20.4.17

This is what we woke up to…

We were exploring a few of the bigger dunes and had noticed dingo tracks in the sand. Little did we know we were being followed by this dingo. It followed us all the way back to the car. Little survival tip, fly a drone at a dingo to scare it off..

We were exploring a few of the bigger dunes and had noticed dingo tracks in the sand. Little did we know we were being followed by this dingo. It followed us all the way back to the car. Little survival tip, fly a drone at a dingo to scare it off..

Mt. Yacaaba lies at the end of the Hawks Nest peninsula. The steep walk to the top takes around 1.5 hours but the views up there are something else.

Mt. Yacaaba // Hawks Nest.

Mt. Yacaaba // Hawks Nest.

View South to Fingal Bay.

View South to Fingal Bay.

View back to Hawks Nest / Tea Gardens.

View back to Hawks Nest / Tea Gardens.


21.4.17

The next morning we explored more of Fingal Bay, the peninsula reaches out to Fingal Island which is only accessible at low tide.

Fingal Bay peninsula.

Fingal Bay peninsula.

The intricate patterns and emerald colours the rising tide creates over the sand bar.

The intricate patterns and emerald colours the rising tide creates over the sand bar.

Finally we headed for Stockton Beach. We had done a bit of research but no photos can prepare you for what you see. We drove in the North entrance and spent the rest of the day driving the whole 20km length of beach to the South end. On the way we explored the biggest dunes we could find. 

Beach driving // Stockton

Beach driving // Stockton

Exploring the dunes.

Exploring the dunes.

View from the top.

View from the top.

The mind blowing scale of the Stockton sand dunes. I had no idea we had such massive dunes so close to Sydney prior to this adventure.

The mind blowing scale of the Stockton sand dunes. I had no idea we had such massive dunes so close to Sydney prior to this adventure.


Gold Coast // Australia

Gold Coast // Australia

6.4.17

3am alarm, 6am flight to the Gold Coast, and in the water shooting before 8am on a clean 3ft morning at D-Bah // Tweed Heads on the NSW/QLD border.

There is no better way to wake yourself up than jumping in the ocean and watching waves break overhead and surfers squeezing in a few fun ones before work.

After a solid few hours, we treated ourselves to a coffee and an egg & bacon roll and watched the entertainment from the hill. 

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7.4.17

The next morning I went to check out a spot called The Spit I came across from the previous arvo. This sand pumping pier had a cool structural influence on the otherwise typical beach scape, and getting lucky with the sun is always a bonus. Running along side the jetty was the sea way which looked interesting from above.

Under the pier // 5:45am

Under the pier // 5:45am

Sunrise // The Spit 6:00am

Sunrise // The Spit 6:00am

The sea way from above // 6:15am

The sea way from above // 6:15am

The rest of the day consisted of exploring Surfers Paradise, both inland and beach side.

Behind the bustling city on Main Beach, the local houses are built on and around the rivers and man made canals. These waterways are used just as much as roads connecting inner suburbia to the rest of the coast. 

Main Beach was unlike any other beach I had seen. To have a whole city, including sky scrapers, built into the dunes of this coast and endless beaches stretching in each direction creates some unique beach scenes.

The busy morning was followed by a shoot at Straddie (Stradbroke Island) in some average surf conditions. As a photographer it is definitely possible to come up short and not capture the quality photos you're after. Although, getting out there regardless and shooting what the ocean throws at you is always fun and sometimes makes for some unique creative opportunities.

Shark Bait // Straddie - Despite the murky water and long lulls, composing this shot with clouds forming far out to sea and sea gulls fishing just past the breakers kept me entertained, and kept the mind off the sharks.

Shark Bait // Straddie - Despite the murky water and long lulls, composing this shot with clouds forming far out to sea and sea gulls fishing just past the breakers kept me entertained, and kept the mind off the sharks.


8.4.17

This morning's mission was to check out Burleigh Heads. Pandanus trees look out to waves breaking along the rocky point and the whole place has a very cruisy, laid-back feel. Unfortunately the clouds had rolled in and there was no more than a thin slither of orange at 6am while the sun rose.

Not overly stoked with the clouds blocking the sun or surf conditions, it was back to bed and a cruisy day to catch up on editing.


9.4.17

On a mission to find waterfalls and views, we drove out to Mount Tamborine national park just 30mins inland from the Gold Coast. After walking through some thick bushland and navigating down a stretch of river we came across Cedar Creek falls. Later, we parked up back on top of the mountain and looked out over the valley as the sun set behind the hills.


10.4.17

Oooo baby it was working!! 

Actually getting over to the surf spot is a bit of an effort. A lengthy paddle over the sea way on a surfboard is sketchy enough (as sharks love to hang out at these river mouths) so being loaded up with camera gear was a different story. To avoid being completely vulnerable to what swam below, I borrowed a bodyboard to paddle over and then it was just about getting to the other side as fast as possible. 

After a long session it was another long paddle back to civilisation and then a couple hours to cruise and sort out some editing. Still stoked on the high from the morning we went searching for a late arvo wave at Main Beach. This long stretch of beach is where the city literally meets the surf. With not a breath of wind we had small but very clean waves which were so much fun to be out in.

Where the city meets the surf.

Where the city meets the surf.

Lone cloud.

Lone cloud.

Sunset behind the city.

Sunset behind the city.

Glassy curls.

Glassy curls.

After many hours and long sessions in the water, you have a very salty, very burnt but very stoked photographer.

After many hours and long sessions in the water, you have a very salty, very burnt but very stoked photographer.

Dusk over Surfers Paradise // Miami Headland

Dusk over Surfers Paradise // Miami Headland


11.4.17

The final day was spent checking out Coolangatta. There were some unreal beach scenes at Snapper Rocks especially. Perfect 2 footers ideal for those out with a mal, the floating city on the horizon and locals loving life in the sun. If I didn’t have a flight to catch I thought I could have spent all afternoon cruising in this magical place. 

 

The floating city of Surfers on the horizon.

The floating city of Surfers on the horizon.

Perfect arvo for a mal.

Perfect arvo for a mal.

Not a bad spot to be on duty.

Not a bad spot to be on duty.

The lineup // Snapper Rocks.

The lineup // Snapper Rocks.

Cheers Gold Coast, you were unreal.