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Tuesday 31 October 2006

Hervey Bay - Humpback whale slideshow

By Darren Stones - PhotoJour

Have you ever seen the slap of a humpback whale's pectoral fin? What about a stunning humpback tail slap? How about a dramatic breach from these massive mammals?
Well if you haven't, then get up close and personal for an experience you will cherish forever.

If you book a half-day whale watching trip with the Spirit of Hervey Bay you'll be amazed at what transpires right before your eyes. The manouvres these creatures from the deep perform are to be experienced at least once in your lifetime.

I've prepared a humpback whale slideshow, as a result of my journey, which encapsulates a half-day trip of whale watching on the glorious waters of Hervey Bay in Queensland, Australia.

Please bear in mind this is a low resolution version for web viewing. It may well be enough to tempt you to take the plunge and book a trip.

Your comments regarding my slideshow will be most appreciated.

For more information regarding the Spirit of Hervey Bay and the various packages they offer, you can contact their friendly staff on:
1800 642 544.

Spirit of Hervey Bay website

Sunday 15 October 2006

Gibson's Beach - Great Ocean Road

By Darren Stones

Most visitors to the Twelve Apostles in Victoria, Australia, will look down towards Gibson’s Beach and probably think it’s a spectacular looking spot without even contemplating a walk along it. Rest assured it’s worthy of traversing the narrow steps to gain access to the beach for a close encounter with the fierceness of the Southern Ocean.

Located within the Port Campbell National Park, Gibson’s Beach is not a good spot for a swim or even a good place to wet a line. In fact, on many occasions it’s a downright uncomfortable place to visit due to the howling wind and sea spray. When the conditions are friendlier then a walk from Gibson Steps to the far westerly cliff face is an invigorating experience which is sure to refresh the mind.

Upon arriving at the car park at Gibson’s Steps, you’ll notice a magnificent vista before your eyes – the waters of the Southern Ocean. A quick look from the top is always a good place to start and then head on down the steps to the beach below. The steps were originally carved into the rock by Hugh Gibson, original owner of the nearby Glenample Homestead. Once at the bottom you’ll be mesmerised by the sheer cliffs and the sounds of the ocean reverberating off them.

It can be a dangerous place at high tide and when the ocean is rough, it’s best to exercise caution before wandering too close to the waters edge due to freak waves that reach all the way up to the base of the cliff in many sections of this beach.

Flotsam and jetsam are frequently washed ashore on this stretch so keep a keen eye out for something a little different from the norm as many ships pass just to the south of here quite regularly.

From a photographic viewpoint, this location is one of the best around the area. Sure most people go home with their customary quick grab images of the Twelve Apostles, but if you’re patient and have time on your side then you’ll be able to capture some gorgeous photographs of this spot.

A wide-angle lens is probably going to be used more often than not and I’d highly recommend that a UV filter be attached to the front of it, as this is a renowned location for having to continually clean the front of the lens. Polarisers, neutral density and graduated filters are also very handy to have as you’ll be able to get creative and produce a myriad of different shots.

All times of the year present a different lighting scenario and I’ve found that the late spring to late summer months to be the best as the sun is at its southern most point. The cliff face is lit by the late afternoon sun and this presents the scene at its best in my opinion.

Accommodation options in the region are numerous; however I’d suggest Port Campbell as the place to base yourself. There are motels, a hotel, apartments, B&Bs, a caravan park with onsite cabins and backpackers all within close proximity to the facilities you’ll require.



Loch Ard Motor Inn
Motel & Apartment Accommodation
Lord Street
Port Campbell VIC 3269
Phone: 03 5598 6328

Loch Ard Motor Inn website


Port Campbell Hotel
Lord St
Port Campbell VIC 3269
Phone: 03 5598 6320

Visit Victoria website - Port Campbell