Quesadillas at Gooandra

Mid Winter Feast XVII

We tend to think of seasons as being external – after all, it only snows in winter, and it seems pretty safe to assume that the axis tilt of the earth is both real and beyond our control. Certainly, the earth does tilt, causing the changing lengths of light and dark hours and associated changes…

Stars over Nadgee Howe

Nadgee Howe Wilderness

Taking out a spot in Australian Geographic’s Top Australian Bushwalks, and widely considered one of the best coastal walks in the country, the Nadgee Howe Wilderness Walk was something that I had actually never heard of before it was suggested that I walk it. In fact, I barely even Googled the trip before embarking on…

Crowd above Emerald Lakes

Crowded House on the Tongariro Alpine Crossing

In the world of an arts PhD candidate, living on less than minimum wage, it is worth making the most out of the one extra source of candidature-related finance available: conference funding. Last year I managed to wring enough out of two funds to get to a Victorian Studies Conference and Steampunk festival in England,…

Sunset panorama

Constructing the Roof of Indochina

The roof of Indochina – the last foothill of the Himalayas before the ocean and the highest peak of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam – is a construction site. By the time you read these words, these images from Christmas Eve of 2014 will be almost irrelevant. The speed of change and the appetite for construction…

Surly Griffins raising the sun, 2015

Raising the Winter Sun: Reflections on the Antipodean May Day

A long time ago, in a hemisphere quite a reasonable distance away, winter was a time of hardship, and the return of warmth was celebrated with the waving of handkerchiefs, the shaking of bells and the clapping together of sticks. These Morris dancers raised the sun of the turning season, yet – incredibly – they…

Nick with yabbies

Mt Wilson Canyoning

“Geronimo!” So screamed Glen Robinson on the third abseil of this Wollangambe River canyon, as he sailed past in a single jump. Our own trip there had much lower water, so we all chose to forego this tradition,* but we appreciated the sentiment of enthusiasm. We’d actually been a party of five members, driving two…

Devil's Pinch, hopping into the water

Newnes Canyoning Extravaganza

In March 1913, the crowds waited anxiously for the Lady Denman to speak. The fate of the pronunciation of the new Capital of the Federation of Australia rested on her utterance, and so the Governor-General’s wife sealed its history with her two syllable word, Can-bra. Just over a century later, of course, almost nobody cares.…

Dawn ballooning

Balloon Sunrise Spectacular

Early mornings and I have a civil and mutually beneficial agreement wherein we politely avoid each other, or offer only the briefest nod of acknowledgement if we are akwardly forced to meet. However, Canberra’s aptly named Balloon Spectacular is (at its 29th year) one of the longest-running hot ballooning events in the world, and so…