Friday, 27 March 2009

So, what are the 100 Best Towns in Australia?

By Darren Stones

Recently I wrote about Beechworth in Victoria's north-east, and the town has just been acknowledged by a panel of 12 judges as a place worth recommending to your mates.

Beechworth has been ranked No. 6 in Australian Traveller magazine's 100 Best Towns in Australia.

Of course those who have visited Beechworth know it’s a treasure, and to see it ranked highly confirms my belief that its bakery is a trap for donut lovers and its historic buildings are photogenic.

AT's Top 100 can be viewed here: 100 Best Towns in Australia

Darren Stones gallery of Beechworth photos for sale.

Beechworth, Victoria, Australia, bank IMG_9968_Beechworth
Former State Bank of Victoria, Beechworth
Photo: Darren Stones
Image featured in Australian Traveller's 100 Best Towns in Australia





Slideshow of Beechworth photographs
By Darren Stones

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Darren Stones Newsletter - Apr 1, 2009

By Darren Stones

The Darren Stones Newsletter Apr 1, 2009 has been compiled and it's available for viewing online in PDF format.

Included in the newsletter:

  • Victorian bushfire coverage 2009
  • Travel article on Beechworth, Victoria, Australia
  • Professional Freelance Journalism course
  • Information about the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance
  • Darren Stones Stock Photography and Gallery Sales

Click here to view the newsletter

Canberra, ACT, Australia, National Carillon IMG_8485_Canberra
Sunset at the National Carillon, Canberra by Darren Stones



Lake Burley Griffin, Canberra, ACT, Australia IMG_8415_Canberra
Lake Burley Griffin, Canberra by Darren Stones



Slideshow of Canberra photographs. Images available for licensing.


Saturday, 21 March 2009

The Murray River

By Darren Stones


During the last two years, I've been fortunate to photograph sections, towns and attractions of the Murray River from Victoria, New South Wales and from a paddleboat at Echuca.

As a youngster, our family journeyed to towns along the Murray River on numurous occasions, and at one time we had a caravan on-site at Corowa, New South Wales - the birthplace of federation in Australia.

One thing has stuck in my mind about the Murray River in recent years. The fact that it's such an important part of Australia's travel and tourism industry.

Sure, its many twists and bends add to the grandeur and mystique, but it's a river which continues to attract people from far and wide. Not surprising really given its history and beauty.

Please enjoy this slideshow of images of the Murray River.

The slideshow can also be seen in larger format here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/photojour/sets/72157606659251100/show/


Khancoban, New South Wales, Australia, Murray River IMG_8059_Khancoban
The Murray River near Khancoban, New South Wales, Australia

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Canberra gets a well-deserved vote

By Darren Stones

Most Australians think of Canberra as a place where well-groomed and conscientious politicians go to serve their constituents to improve the people’s standard of living. All jokes aside, Canberra is a beaut place to visit for the rank and file during the year. And, many of the attractions are free!

Parliament House, Canberra, ACT, Australia IMG_8596_Parliament_House
Parliament House, Canberra



Parliament House is an imposing building with its impressive architecture and flagpole dominating Capitol Hill. It’s a building which displays fine art, craft and is melded into the landscape. The main foyer features 48 marble columns which resemble the trunks of eucalypts. If you’re keen to witness Australia’s elected representatives getting into a bunfight over policy differences, feel free to contact Parliament House to arrange your prime viewing seat.

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia IMG_8372_Canberra
Canberra from Mount Ainslie



The view from the Mount Ainslie lookout offers a panoramic vista, with the most popular view looking south over the War Memorial, down Anzac Parade, Lake Burley Griffin, Old Parliament House and New Parliament House. To the west, the Black Mountain tower rises 195 metres from the summit of Black Mountain.

Canberra, Black Mountain Tower IMG_8328_Black_Mountain_Tower_Canberra
Black Mountain Tower, Canberra



Canberra’s spectacular autumn colours are a delight, with deciduous trees displaying tones which provide picture-perfect scenery.

Canberra, Lake Burley Griffin IMG_8346_Canberra
Canberra's autumn display



Lake Burley Griffin is a magnet for those seeking a leisurely stroll, and its southern shore features the Australians of the Year Walk.

Canberra, Lake Burley Griffin, Australians of the Year Walk IMG_8400_Australians_Of_The_Year_Walk
Australians of the Year Walk, Lake Burley Griffin, Canberra



The eye-catching Captain Cook Memorial Jet is situated on Lake Burley Griffin, and it sends a powerful stream of water to a maximum of 147 metres. The jet automatically switches off during high winds, and operates daily between 2-4pm.

Captain Cook Memorial Water Jet, Canberra, ACT, Australia IMG_8382_Canberra
Captain Cook Memorial Water Jet, Canberra



The National Carillon, rising to 50 metres, is located across the footbridge to Aspen Island. The British Government gave the carillon to Australia as a gift to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Canberra as the nation’s capital. It was officially opened by Elizabeth II in April 1970. A 45-minute tour of the carillon is conducted on Saturdays commencing 11.30am. Bookings essential.

Canberra, National Carillon IMG_8742_National_Carillon
National Carillon, Canberra



Attractions:

Parliament House – Visitors
Phone: (02) 6277 5399
Free admission and parking
http://www.aph.gov.au/visitors/visiting.htm

Australian War Memorial
Treloar Crescent Campbell ACT
Phone: 02 6243 4211
Free admission
http://www.awm.gov.au/

Black Mountain Tower
Black Mountain Drive Acton ACT
Phone: 02 6219 6111
Freecall: 1800 806 718
Admission fees apply
http://www.blackmountaintower.com.au/

Accommodation:

Forrest Hotel and Apartments
30 National Circuit Forrest ACT
Phone: 02 6295 3433
http://www.forresthotel.com/

Further information:

Visit Canberra
http://www.visitcanberra.com.au/

National Capital Authority
http://www.nationalcapital.gov.au/

Monday, 9 March 2009

Wherefore art thou Omeo?

By Darren Stones

Located on the Great Alpine Road in Victoria, Omeo is a town where fresh mountain air and picture-perfect scenery are just two of the town’s attractions.

IMG_2219_Omeo
Omeo countryside



The Oriental Claims Historic Area is ideal for those who like to fossick, discover small particles of gold and stretch their legs. With walking tracks and a picnic area, it’s ideal for a short trip from Omeo.

IMG_2192-01_Omeo_Post_Office
Omeo Post Office



The Historic Museum encapsulates Omeo’s past. Browse through the artefacts, the courthouse and outbuildings of a bygone era.

IMG_2203_Omeo
Omeo village



For a meal, and a beverage or three, try the Hilltop Hotel adjacent to the Omeo Motel. It’s a short staggering distance between the two establishments and therefore perfectly located. The locals in the pub might look rough round the edges, but they are friendly and they’ll say “G’day” with a smile.

IMG_2206_Omeo
Rolling hills and landscape



Accommodation:
Omeo Motel
43 Park Street Omeo VIC
Phone: 03 5159 1297
http://www.omeomotel.com.au/

Attractions:
Oriental Claims Historic Area
http://www.parkweb.vic.gov.au/1park_display.cfm?park=168

Omeo Historic Park & Museum
Great Alpine Road Omeo VIC
Phone: 03 5159 1515
http://www.omeo.org.au/park/

Hotel:
Hilltop Hotel
107 Day Street Omeo VIC
Phone: 03 5159 1303
http://www.aussiepubs.com.au/pubs/omeo/index.htm

Bright Autumn Festival - a festival that leaves you wanting more

By Darren Stones

Crisp morning air, the rising mist and the falling of autumn leaves await you in Bright, Victoria this autumn.

IMG_9845_Bright
Centenary Park, Bright



Find time between Saturday April 25 and Wednesday May 6, 2009 to attend the Bright Autumn Festival. The Gala Day is the biggest and brightest day during the festival with a street parade featuring brass bands, vintage cars and street entertainment.

IMG_9825_Bright
Delany Avenue, Bright



Information:
Bright Autumn Festival
http://www.brightautumnfestival.org.au/

Accommodation:
High Country Motor Inn
13-17 Great Alpine Road Bright VIC
Phone: 03 5755 1244
http://highcountry.bestwestern.com.au/

Dining:
Alpine Hotel
7-9 Anderson Street Bright VIC
Phone: 03 5755 1366
http://www.aussiepubs.com.au/pubs/albright/index.htm

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Beechworth – worth its weight in gold

By Darren Stones

In the foothills of the Victorian Alps, Beechworth is a sight to behold in autumn. With tree lined streets ablaze with colour and a lolly shop to satisfy the choosiest of sweet tooth’s, pack up the car and spend a few days exploring its history.

Beechworth, Victoria, Australia, Loch Street, autumn IMG_9945_Beechworth_Loch_Street
Loch Street, Beechworth



Beechworth was the town where Ned Kelly won a bare knuckled boxing match which lasted 20 rounds. Today, visitors can experience the one hour Ned Kelly Guided Walking tour that departs from the Beechworth Visitor Information Centre in Ford Street.

Beechworth, Victoria, Australia, Ford Street, autumn IMG_9901_Beechworth
Ford Street, Beechworth



Fancy a pie or a coffee and cake? The Beechworth Bakery is a magnet for those with the munchies. The original single storey bakery was erected in 1857, and since then it’s been added to and undergone numerous renovations.

Beechworth, Victoria, australia, bakery, Camp Street IMG_9997_Beechworth
Beechworth Bakery, Beechworth



With fancy street lights and architecture of a bygone gold-mining era, Beechworth is a town that has retained its charm. The Post Office and former Bank of Victoria are two fine buildings which attract the eye at the intersection of Ford and Camp Streets.

Beechworth, Victoria, Australia, bank IMG_9968_Beechworth
Former State Bank of Victoria, Beechworth



Beechworth, Victoria, Australia, Post Office IMG_9910_Beechworth_Post_Office
Post Office, Beechworth



Beechworth, Victoria, Australia, Corner Ford and Camp Street, autumn IMG_9981_Beechworth
Intersection of Ford and Camp Streets, Beechworth



The historic and cultural precinct features buildings such as the Gold Warden’s Office and Bush Telegraph Station. Most buildings in the precinct are open for inspection. Check for opening hours.

Beechworth, Victoria, Australia, Gold Warden's Office IMG_9969_Beechworth_Gold_Warden's_Office
Gold Warden's Office, Beechworth



A late afternoon stroll can be taken along the shore of Lake Sambell and a picnic area with gas BBQs is located by the lake in the Rotary Park.

Beechworth, Victoria, Australia, Lake Sambell IMG_0119_Beechworth_Lake_Sambell
Lake Sambell, Beechworth



Spring Creek and the Gorge Scenic Drive are a must. Within a short distance from the town centre, there are waterfalls and rugged granite outcrops.

Beechworth, Victoria, Australia, waterfall IMG_0078_Beechworth_Spring_Creek
Spring Creek, Beechworth



Beechworth images for sale here

Attractions:

Beechworth Visitor Information Centre
Town Hall
Ford Street Beechworth VIC
Phone: 03 5728 8065
http://www.beechworthonline.com.au/

Munchies:

Beechworth Bakery
27 Camp Street Beechworth VIC
Phone: 03 5728 1132
http://www.beechworthbakery.com.au/

The Beechworth Sweet Company
7 Camp Street Beechworth VIC
Phone: 03 5728 2060
http://www.beechworthsweetco.com.au/

Accommodation:

Beechworth Motor Inn
54 Sydney Road Beechworth VIC
Phone: 03 5728 1301
http://www.beechworthmotorinn.com.au/
Proprietors: Robert and Jenelle Ransom

Dining:

Tanswells Commercial Hotel – opened 1853
50 Ford Street Beechworth VIC
Phone: 03 5728 1480
www.beechworthonline.com.au/accom_result1/tanswells-commercial-hotel

Hibernian Hotel – established 1868
40 Camp Street Beechworth VIC
Phone: 03 5728 2028
http://www.hibernianhotel.com.au/