Even after traveling around for a month in beautiful, adventure-filled Australia, we came away feeling there was so much more to experience and that we had hardly made a dent in this fantastic continent and country.
Australia was the 17th of the 23 countries we visited on our year-long journey around the world starting in June 2014.
Our adventure here began in Sydney, a big, clean, friendly, dynamic city with a harbor that is as picturesque as San Francisco Bay. I spent most of my time photographing the famous Opera House, Sydney Harbor Bridge and the awesome city skyline at sunset and sunrise.
Our next stop was Jervis Bay in south Queensland, a coastal region with dramatic seascapes, eucalyptus, paperbark birch and beech forests. Storms followed us to nearby Booderee National Park, providing an ominous but photogenic sky over the rugged coastline.
Then we drove into Australia’s Blue Mountains. Truth is, it is so named because of the dense canopy of blue gum eucalyptus found here, not because the mountains are blue. In fact, these are not mountains at all, but rather a plateau over a deep, deep canyon – deeper than the Grand Canyon, USA. It was here that I got to meet “The Three Sisters,” a famous rock formation that makes for interesting photography. My encounter occurred on a serene morning just as dawn light lit the formations.
Melbourne was a fun city to explore, especially during the Australian Open tennis tournament. The town has an intriguing historic district and art scene, including an alley known for its colorful graffiti wall art. From there, we drove the Great Ocean Road toward Adelaide. It is a beautiful coastal route on the order of places like Big Sur, California and the Garden Route in South Africa. It was in Port Campbell that I was introduced to the iconic 12 Apostles during a magical sunset and followed the next morning by an equally magical moonset.
Wild Tasmania was one of the highlights of our Australian journey. Here I got to see the endangered Tasmanian Devil, threatened with extinction by a highly contagious cancer. I also had the privilege of spending time in Freycinet National Park and photographing one of the most beautiful beaches on the planet at Wineglass Bay. The port city of Hobart also provided some great photography at its lively fishing port. Finally, remote Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park offered up some stunning sunset photo opportunities and abstracts of dense rainforest canopies.
Our Australian adventure ended with a stay on Hamilton Island and an exploration of the Whitsunday Islands, where clouds propelled by a nearby cyclone made for some of the best sunrises and sunsets of our month-long stay in Australia. Before we left Oceania, we visited the oldest rainforest in the world at Daintree and snorkeled the Great Barrier Reef from Port Douglas, all of which you’ll be seeing in this collection of images.
© Stuart L Gordon Photography