Thursday, December 04, 2008

The end of MOvember

I think everyone is glad that Movember is finally over and my dirty moustache is finally gone. In the end I managed to raise $545.40 which made the embarrassment worth it. I would like to thank everyone who donated and everyone else who didnt make fun of me.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


This year I decided to throw away the small amount of dignity that I had left and grow a Mo, for a good cause of course. While the initial progress had me having second thoughts, the second week gave better results and its now becoming a passable Mo. I have been pleasently surprised by the number of donations that I have received with my total already over $200. To check out the Mo progress see the link. If you would like to sponsor the Mo and support a great cause then please follow this link. Remember you can only make fun of the Mo if you sponsor me.

Goodbye Hulk

Well all good things must come to an end. With us heading to NZ for almost a month over Christmas and then off to Canada soon after it was time to goodbye to the Hulk (our car). Unfortunately we picked a poor time to sell with petrol prices coming back to earth and the economy hitting the shitter meaning the selling price wasn't great. But to be honest the Hulk wasn't without its faults (climbing too many mountains and fording too many streams) and I doubt we will be buying a Hyundai again anytime soon.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Newnes and the Wolgan Valley

As we had been to the Capertee Valley three times in the last month we figured it could be time to check out some where new. So last weekend Aleisha and I headed out to Newnes in the Wolgan Valley for some car camping. The camping site was a little more popular than we would have liked but the local wildlife (glow worms, wombats, microbats and Gang-gang Cockatoos) and walks made up for it.

Star Trails - approximately 60 min exposure

Wombat! - After almost 5 years Aleisha finally saw her first wombat, well actually there were half a dozen of them.

The Wolgan Valley

Rainforest gully

Aleisha in front of an old train tunnel. It was ~400m long and apparently curves through almost 180 degrees. It was also inhabited with bats and glow worms.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The In-laws are in town

Last weekend Sylvia and Tony popped into Sydney for a long weekend. As they had seen much of the city before, Aleisha and I decided to take them on a car camping road trip. First stop was the Jenolan caves where Tony spotted a Platypus (I would have placed a large sum of money on there being no Platypus in the area so we were all quite pleasantly surprised). That night we camped at Kanangra-Boyd National park, we were later awoken by torrential rain and a wee stream running under our tent. The next day wasn't much better and our hot lap around Mt Panorama in Bathurst might have been faster on a jetski. Luckily the weather cleared as we arrived in the Capertee Valley and the last day was pretty nice. All and all a great trip, apart from a crappy Toyota Camry that drove like a Holden Commodore.

The Kanangra Walls

Camp and Camry in the Capertee

A spot of bird watching

Monday, September 08, 2008

Back to the Capertee

This weekend Aleisha and I headed back to the Capertee Valley, although this time it was for a spot of car tramping. The camp site was just a couple of km's walk which allowed a few extras to be taken without too much hassle.

Premium Reserve Extras

Unfortunately a large amount of condensation on the camera stopped this star trail shot going for as long as I intended, I guess I will have to go back when its warmer .

Another trip and another attempt to be artistic...

A complete 360 degree panorama of the camp site.

The recent rain added a little more fun to the short walk in.

Thursday, September 04, 2008


Well it is now official eh, we are off to Canada eh early next year. I just got the official letter eh of offer from George Shimizu at the University of Calgary with a project that will be focused on CO2/H2 separation eh. The start date is still under negotiation eh but it looks like it should be aboot (that's about in Canadian) Feb/March eh.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Dharug National Park

Another weekend gone by and another weekend spent attempting to escape the madness of Sydney. This time it was a car camping trip to Mill Creek in Dharug National Park. It was only a 2hr drive from Sydney, well a 2hr drive from our house, making it a 30min drive from the edge of the suburban sprawl. This proximity to Sydney meant it was a little busier than we would have liked but Jarrod managed to fined a relatively quiet spot which even had its own fire pit.

Aleisha at the camp site

Brush Turkey (good eatin)

It wouldnt be a camping trip without a nice fire.

Tawny Frogmouth

With spring approaching all the wild flowers were out

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Capertree Valley

This weekend Aleisha and I headed to the Capertee Valley for a bit of car camping. The place turned out to be truly spectacular with cliffs on all sides. I think we will be heading back to this area again.

The Capertree Valley, apparently it is the 2nd widest in the world.


More cliffs

Cliffs as far as the eye could see

Nankeen Kestrel

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Back home

With the snow falling thick and fast back home (and both our Dads Birthdays) Aleisha and I decided to head back to NZ for a wee holiday.

We were welcomed home by a light dusting of snow.

Mountains, real ones not like those flat crappy ones in Oz.

The weather cleared for just enough time to allow a nice days skiing. Much to my relief I didn't forget how to ski, unfortunately my knee also didn't forget to give me gyp.

Always time for a lame artistic effort

We even managed to squeeze in a spot of fishing, although we didnt have much luck.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Mt Solitary

After been stuck in Sydney for far too long I finally managed to get out into the Blue Mts last weekend. Unfortunately Aleisha was still recovering from the flu so the team was J'rod, Adelle and myself. The walk was an over night trip to Mt Solitary and was a nice mix of vegetation but a not so nice mix of up and down.


Not so nice

Looking back at Mt Solitary

Thursday, July 24, 2008

New Toy

Well after trying out Marty's Canon 10-22mm lens while I was down in Melbourne I decided to give in to temptation and buy the lens.

Monday, July 14, 2008


Last week the inaugural Australasian Crystallography School was held in the Yarra Valley just out of Melbourne. I also spent a couple of days before the school started catching up with Marty and Suz and seeing the sights of Melbourne. Marty was kind enough to lend me his Canon 10-22 mm lens and I am now quite tempted to get one myself. The crystallography school was also pretty good although I must admit that was helped by the excellent venue and amazing food.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Car Camping

This weekend we headed out of Sydney for a bit of lazy car camping, the destination was Mogo Creek in Yengo National Park. The place was packed with birds including a couple of friendly Eastern Yellow Robins.

Sunday, June 15, 2008


Much to my relief the PhD is finally completely over and I am officially no longer a student.

Budawang National Park

Alesiha and I decided to make the most of the long weekend and headed out for a bit of tramping. The location was the Budawang National park which is known for its spectacular views and rugged terrain. The weather forecast was less than perfect but we figured it would be character building. The first day was pretty nice but the terrain got the better of us and after only going at ~1km/hr for a while we revaluated our plans for the following days. This was probably a good idea as the weather packed in on the second day and the track turned into a bog making the going even tougher. Thankfully the weather cleared on the third day making the trip back a little nicer.

The view after the first days effort.

A nice spot for lunch and the last photo from the trip as I dont have a waterproof case for my camera!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Weekend Tramp

The perfect (well near perfect) weather continued over the weekend so Aleisha and I headed out to Wollemi National Park(click here for a map). We camped by the car on the first night before the short but steep walk down to the Colo River. The water was a little colder than we expected meaning we couldnt explore much of the river, but it was still a relaxing weekend.

Looking down to the Colo River

Even the plants in Australia are out to get you!

The campsite

Monday, May 19, 2008

Weekend Snorkelling

The weather this weekend was perfect for a bit of snorkelling so we headed out to North Bondi to check out the local wildlife. By far the highlight of the trip was spotting a gigantic Black Stingray which was ~2 m across and about the same in length.

The Black Stingray (Photo thanks to Allan)

Monday, May 12, 2008

Off to the Wollangambe crater again

As the weather has started to cool and the dog sized spiders have started to die, it is time to start a bit of tramping. This trip was to an old favourite, the Wollangambe Crater but this time with a few new faces to make the trip a bit more interesting.

Camp day 2

After bashing our way up the canyon we finally managed to locate the mythical cave and some spectacular views.

A Greater Glider

Adding to Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions.

The sweaty crew after the walk, from left to right: Sneaky Pete, Allan, Sarah with unnamed -3 month old), Arnold and some other random punter.