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The sculpture by the Sea

A very open air Gallery

Every year the coastal walk between Bondi and Bronte is transformed for three weeks in to a seaside art gallery. This exhibition of sculpture has been running since 1997. This is one of Sydney’s most popular cultural events only being out shined by the Vivid Festival in July. Every year it grows and becomes more and more interesting, attracting artist from all over the globe. This exhibition attracts more than 500,000 visitors every year over the three weeks it is on.

The steady flow of people makes the experience never seem to crowded or busy. Good weather is forecast so start early and you won’t be disappointed.

The new addition to the exhibition is a housed gallery of smaller works that has never been present in the past. This allows for more ambient and intricate work to be displayed along side the gigantic pieces. One of the most amazing things about this walk / gallery is the variety of works. The scale and variety of ideas has always been the talking point. The crowd pleasers and abstract its all here. If you don’t like one of the works of art just keep walking you will surely find a work that will intrigue and interest you.

Its a great place to meet with friends for lunch or a picnic.

Mixed amongst the surfers and the sunbathers are the works of art. Some sit in precarious places, hanging or sitting beyond the reach of any of the passers by. The idea of much of the exhibition is to make the art work available to everyone, the creator David Handley’s wish was to have a major free public arts event for Sydney after experiencing events like opera in the park. The original event was put together in the span of 10 weeks after David couldn’t get a movie idea off the ground.

If you would like to dig a bit deeper than just eyeballing the art work there are catalogues available from the information marquees for $10 each. Also educational talks by the artists and an education program schools. For people with disabilities there are free Tactile tours. So why not give the coastal walk a try. Areas of the beach streets have been closed off to the public to preserve the parking for the local residents. So you may have to park a few streets back and watch your timing as the parking attendants are out in force. However most of the street parking in the area is free for two hours. Enjoy! 

Sure, the full-wide image can be pretty big. But sometimes the image is worth it.


Santa Monica for Fun

Who doesn’t like fun, Sun and Surf?

California is like a day off. Everyone seems as they are on a constant long weekend. Bike hire sure, why not.

Sun screen, hat and a smile, yes that will do nicely.

In the daytime in Santa Monica is busy but not bustling. A lot of locals call this place home, so its a real balance between tourism and lifestyle, which is what makes it so unique. Its only half an hour drive from the airport. This short drive really makes you feel like you have connected with California. Even though LA is known for its movie makers this area is like a dream. The warm summer sun can be cooled by a incoming sea breeze with stops the temperatures from climbing to high. Which takes all the humidity out of the air. The sea air is clean an refreshing. Finding a spot on the beach is easy as the beach stretches South  to Venice beach and North to Pacific Palisades.

The sunset at Santa Monica is amazing, it looks like a still from a movie. The colours are saturated and alive.So if you are just blowing into California and need a stop over I would recommend a stay at Santa Monica beach.

Big Mountain Dreaming

On a road trip to Wellington this is as close as we got to M0unt Taranaki.

It is massive, over whelming and a rush to your senses the first time you see this volcanic mountain.

We were heading South to Wellington. I was keeping a friend company as he had just picked up a second hand car in Auckland and was driving it back to Wellington.  A second hand Porsche Cayenne. A demo model but still a steal of a deal. The car handeled beautifully. The long roads empty of traffic and the sports mode made the road handling a breeze. Not to mention the ex rally car driver behind the wheel, and thats another story.

As we reached the beggining of the desert road  about three hours out side of Wellington, a large stretching plain opens up with forested sides, ringed with bright yellow flowers, a beautiful thing to behold. This road is notoriously dangerous for driving and spills in bad weather.  It is the main highway that runs from North to South.

It was late spring and the summer months were beconing us on. As we cut our way along a narrow piece of the road, there she was. Standing behind us. I must say I was more than surprised. It was like being chased down by a giant. Your senses open up to a feeling of ore. Where did this thing come from! Surprisingly we were still miles away from it, but what they never tell you in the guide books is how this incredible force of nature makes you feel. Now I know why so many of the Lord of the rings movies were made in New Zealand. It has a feeling not of this earth.Its a striking feeling like no other. The raw sensation of being so close to something so massive that has come not from the human hand but from the hand of mother nature. Its really impressive and frightening in equal measure. So if you feel like a mind blowing experience head to Wellington for the weekend. Amazing.

Beautiful Blue Hawaii

Who doesn’t love easy when you are on holiday?
Hawaii is a no brainer if you would like a vacation with out any hassels.
If you have kids Waikiki is a pleasure. Its as if this whole island is centred around making the stay for families an easy experience.
This island paradise is located just of the West coast of America.
So if you are heading to LA or returning either way is a great place for a stop over.
A mild tropical climate lends itself to a balmy life style. The Hawaiian style is beautifully low key. The mix of American, Asian and Pacifica life styles creates a blend of cultures like no other. This image was taken at the Hilton Hawaiian village. Its just a snap really, taken on my iPhone, however it  captures it all. Sometimes you just don’t need a great camera to capture the best of times. This for me was like a Cartier Bresson moment. All the elements fell together at the time to create a perfect memory. Thank you Hawaii, your memories are always beautiful.

Escape to New York City

New York can surprise you in ways that you can’t imagine.
Its the mount Everest of cities.
The tallest buildings frequently disappear in the morning mists from the Hudson River.
When a winter snow storm blows in, this city with a population of eight and a half million people can have a stillness like an empty forrest. This is why it why locals say “it works as a village if you just don’t look up”.
New York seems to collect all the small ambitions and dreams of the people that inhabit its streets and tie them together in a way that seems to make something larger and more worthwhile. This city is bigger than just its streets. Like a dinosaur made from wire coat hangers.
New York has everything if you go looking for it. My Lonely planet guide book is testament to this. Its more like a small bible than a city guide. Every street and every corner is busy with life. Cafes, resteraunts and shops. There are happenings everywhere. These happenings are the thing that make the city tick and propel the city forward.
So where do you start in a city this large?
The centre of the universe of course. This is how it feels to be in Times Square.
Its not really a square as such, more a confluence of intersecting roads.
However all roads in New York seem to lead to Time square. Every visitor gravitates here.
Time square billboards light up the night as its day. There is so much light energy in this place it can clearly be seen from the international space station at night.
The advertising on the plasma screens changes at such a pace its hard to keep up, you feel like you have fallen into the world of Willie Wonka or the rabbit hole with Alice.
Everything is big and you now are small as super human giants prowl the surrounding plasma landscape. Beers the size of rockets and images beyond the imagination.
Everywhere you look something new and constantly changing. If you are feeling bogged down and want to a place to loose your self and need an adventure not a Safari, escape to a city that has it all.

Yesterday I found myself in the future…Singapore.

Why is this place so easy? I ask myself this question every time I arrive in Singapore. Its a sophisticated place, but nobody seems to be paying attention to the worlds most up to date airport. Everyone just simply and easily collect thier bags that have arrived on time, move to the taxi stand where there is always an abundance of available taxis and no one hassling you to “Porter” your bags or hawkers trying to sell you stuff you dont want, and certainly no pick pockets in this place. Some people say its highly sterile and controlled, for me however I would certainly take controlled over getting ripped off, especially when you are travelling with small children and a head full of jet lag. So stay easy Singapore, we love you.

Summer snoozing’ in Auckland

Just a little snap, to remind us all how good a snooze on a summer afternoon really can relax and rejuvinate us all.

Happy summer snoozing.


California Dreaming

Few things are strange and seldom do you see something that can captivate you and stop you in your tracks.

When we do travel, life unravels and leaves us more open. Far away from the everyday.

So the mundane gets pushed to the side and we become more available to nature.

When we go skiing you really feel the crunch of the snow, and when sailing the openness of the ocean sea leaves us in ore.

When climbing a mountain the light seems more abundant, the exposure to the sun itself seems to uplift in a way that just takes your breath away.


Sometimes that shift in normal is what we hope for.

This I believe is what all adventurers persuit, a connection to the unknown.

When we are immersed in nature we are somehow more connected and in touch with our feelings. A reflective ability to feel more.


In the middle of the day the cool afternoon mist arrived to the shore line at Santa Monica beach, the bright sun was dissolved into a momentary haze.

The type of cool mist you see rising from an ice cube that has just been plucked from the freezer on a summer afternoon.

It was all enveloping, a yearning mist that wants to escape from itself in such a way it runs everywhere.

The locals at the beach know this mist well and and sit through its arrival as nothing happened. A moment in time that will pass.

To the uniformed eye its the unknown.

As the lady at the waters edge is greeting the cooling mist, as the tourists look on in amazement.

The surfers appear the hover in the mist.

The mist not really cold, just cooling. Not really a weather change, just an instance.

Its like the cousin of a rainbow. A similar personality, but different looks.

This is why we travel, to experience the unexpected.

The hottest and Coolest bar in the world.

Having worked in the hospitality industry while at college I am always curious when people gush about a certain restaurant, bar or location. What is so special, why would you go all the way there just to have a drink or a special meal? The answer is that usually its a combination of things, maybe the food is good and the location is amazing. Well not all places are created equally.

Bali seems to have a very special way of making ordinary things amazing, and there fantastic things outstanding. Bail is like stepping into a worm hole into a parallel universe. Nothing compares. This place is a world of its own. Its as if Bali is a rock and the rest of the world is the sea. The world just washes up on its shores, tries very hard to be an influence. However no matter how much the Sea tries, the rock seems to remain the same.

Crubling, folding, and slightly decaying, but like all things that are alive, they seem to rejuvenate themselves. This is what is happening in Bali. It is being reborn before your eyes. However it is a being reborn in a Balinese way. With one eye looking to the past and one eye on the future.

This strange mix of time and place is what makes Bali so fluid. The air is Balmy, the streets are filled with mopeds, people and cars, but few are Chaotic. A calm is upon the place. As the country strides towards its future, it is tempered by its religious overtones that tie everything to nature and not to man and his ambitions. Unlike so many other places in the world, Bali feels like it hasn’t left the ground. You feel encapsulated in the moment. The air is heavy with moments to savour.

Every taxi driver knows where it is, just say ‘Rockbar please” and you are on your way.

Being from Australia we were used to the late afternoon sun being strong and penetrating. However the sunset is slow and the shade of the large parasol table umbrellas were a welcome retreat from the intensity of the afternoon glow. As the sun moved towards the horizon, the cocktails arrived and the umbrellas were folded as everyone there took in the late afternoon sunset.

We see sunsets everyday. Some just slip into the night with hardly a transition. Bali however seems to have a special quality. Its unlike other places, it wakes in the morning and slowly rises in a civilised way to greet the day ahead. The days are filled with life and movement, and pleasant relaxation. When it comes to the sunset its as if the sun is struggling to stay afloat and it resists the downward pressure of change. The sun hovers over the horizon filling the sky with colour and radiance until it give its last gasp, before falling under the horizon. A moment of beauty to behold. A silence befalls all that are watching its last moments. Strangely a cheer and applause arouse from the on viewing crowd as the sun folded into the night sky.

The DJ kicked in with ambient tunes and the bar bar found itself flushed with nighttime reverie. Beautiful Bali.

The Man from Matakana – this years submission to the “Head-on Photo competition”

Matakana is a place to escape to. It sits about an hour North of Auckland. It’s a place where people retreat from the hustle and bustle of Auckland. A place where people retreat into themselves.

The local market is a dog free space. At the entrance of the markets you are greeted by local children, who “babysit” your dog for a gold coin donation that goes to a local charity.

The markets are well known for their produce. Fresh eggs, vegetables,wine from nearby vineyards and good coffee. Fine food for the weary soul.

A cheerful chatter rises from the small but well organised stalls. As the Saturday morning sun warms the parents and children who collect together to watch the ducks feed on the passing river at the rear of the markets. An aroma of cooking bacon and eggs fill you with a feeling of being reconnected to life. A glad to be alive feeling.

Hidden by the melodic tunes of the local musicians performing from their market nook, somewhere tucked away in the corner of the market with a whir and a grind of machinery was the knife sharpener.

Greeting the passers by with a wry smile, he is happy to show off his collection of Japanese knives. Like the knives everything in the market was beautifully hand made and inexpensive.

The knife man and the markets seem to have a greater purpose that seem to have escaped our times.

This image has recently been submitted to the “Head on” Photo festival in Sydney.

I hope I pass the audition this time. Let me know what you think.

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