Improving Your Image Through Visual Communications

Journalist - Photographer - Writer

Monday 17 December 2007

Melbourne's Maribyrnong River - there she flows!

By Darren Stones

Meandering through Melbourne’s north-western suburbs, the scenic Maribyrnong River region affords visitors with various recreational opportunities. It’s a river rich in history and worthy of exploration; whether you’re a local or a visitor to Melbourne.

Crossing point: The Afton Street footbridge in Essendon is a crossing point over the Maribyrnong River for walkers, joggers and cyclists. Palm trees lining the river in this section are a feature.

Activities to be enjoyed are;

Bird watching

Wetting a line: Recreational fishing is pursued along the Maribyrnong River and catches of bream are common. Popular fishing spots include Footscray Park, Brimbank Park and Edgewater Estate.

Pipemakers Park, Footscray Park and Brimbank Park are riverside locations where visitors can enjoy a picnic lunch and utilise barbecue facilities provided by local councils. For family groups, modern playground equipment is located in the expansive Brimbank Park.

Overlooking the river, the Anglers Tavern in Maribyrnong provides generous bistro-style meals and relaxed outdoor dining.

Spectacular views of the Melbourne city skyline can be seen from various vantage points, with Footscray Park and the lookout in Lily Street, West Essendon being highlights.

High-rise splendour: Melbourne city skyline at sunset from the bank of the Maribyrnong River at Footscray Park.

Within Brimbank Park at Keilor, stately River Red Gums line the river. The Leaping Lizard Café situated in the Visitors Centre is a top spot for breakfast, lunch and coffee. Brimbank Park has kilometres of shared walking and cycling paths, and birdlife photography opportunities abound.

The Arundel Road Historic Bridge in Keilor is 100 years old in 2007. It’s a rustic one-lane timber structure and it serviced the market gardeners during the years it was open to traffic.


Anglers Tavern – 2 Raleigh Street, Maribyrnong.
Melway Ref: Map 28 D8.Open 7 days.
Lunch 12noon – 2.30pm and Dinner 6.00pm – 9.00pm.
Phone: (03) 9318 2811
Footscray Park – Ballarat Road, Footscray. Melway Ref: Map 42 D2.

Scenic Lookout – Lily Street, Essendon West. Melway Ref: Map 27 J4.

Brimbank Park, Leaping Lizard Café – Keilor Park Drive, Keilor East.
Melway Ref: Map 15 B10.
Open seven days from 8:30 am – 4:00 pm.
Serving breakfast, lunch, light meals, and catering for picnics and functions.
Phone: (03) 9336 3909.

Fishnet – For fishing hotspots and suitable bait information, check the Fishnet web site forums.

Arundel Road Historic Bridge – Arundel Road, Keilor. Melway Ref: Map 14 H2

© Darren Stones 2007
All Rights Reserved

Saturday 15 December 2007

Professional Freelance Journalism - the journey has begun.

By Darren Stones.
Hi friends.

Some of you may be aware I recently enrolled in the Thomson Education Direct Professional Freelance Journalism correspondence course under the tutelage of, Simon Townsend.

I’ve completed the first of 16 assignments for the course and received my grading for it. I achieved an A Grade, and that surpasses my expectations.

Simon has provided me with an enormous amount of information and advice in his first correspondence, and he goes on to state “email me 10 times a day if you wish (I’m not kidding).”

One of the reasons I enrolled in this course was to tap into the knowledge and experience of Simon. He’s been there – done that, in Australia, and done it successfully for over four decades. He comes across as a passionate man and one who is willing to share his vast knowledge.

To those who have assisted me in recent times – a big thanks.

I’ll continue to do my best to promote as time permits, due to my new and exciting direction.

Also, a special mention to my sponsors for the course. Thank you for your support.

Cheers and happy days folks.

Cattle Drive: The Henry Lawson Way, New South Wales, Australia.

Picture: Darren Stones

Monday 3 December 2007

POTD Members Choice Award

A big thrill to win the Australian Digital Photo Of The Day Members Choice Award for October 2007 with Dog Rocks.

Dog Rocks
The award is a generous $100.00 gift voucher courtesy of Momento.

Thanks to all the members at POTD who voted, Russell Stewart, owner of POTD, and to Momento for your valued sponsorship.

Friday 23 November 2007

Humpback Whale Calendar 2008

With 2008 upon us, now is an opportune time to purchase a premium quality calendar.

This calendar features the magnificent creatures of the deep - humpback whales.

All these images were taken by Darren from onboard the 'Spirit' of Hervey Bay in Queensland, Australia.

Darren was invited by his sales agent, RedBubble, to write a comprehensive review of the calendar for the RedBubble community.

Calendar review - with photographs is here.

Please browse each page of the calendar and see below for purchasing details and pricing.














The calendar is available for direct purchase from Darren Stones and you're invited to contact him by email or telephone to arrange your purchase. Contact details are here.

Cost per calendar is AUD$35.00 + postage. Payment via PayPal is preferred.

The calendar is a premium product like you would expect to find in a quality store and gallery.

Some more of my work has been included in the RedBubble Video Montage courtesy of MuscularTeeth at YouTube.

Sunday 18 November 2007

Good reason to go bananas

By Darren Stones

There are plenty of ‘Big Things’ to see in Australia, and they’re not all hidden in pyjamas.

The Big Banana in Coffs Harbour, New South Wales is the first and best known ‘Big Thing’ in Australia.

Icon built in 1964: The Big Banana measures 13m long, 5m high and 2.4m wide.

Picture: Darren Stones

At The Big Banana complex, the World Of Bananas Experience is displayed in two specially designed theatres. The attraction incorporates a state-of-the-art presentation detailing the discovery of bananas and advancing through to the present day. Upon completion of the show, patrons are guided through an informative plantation tour and into the Packing Shed to view a short video presentation.

There’s a huge gift and souvenir shop, and the Going Bananas Café provides light meals and delicious treats. It’s a whole bunch of fun and located at 351 Pacific Highway, Coffs Harbour. Phone: 02 6652 4355.

Parkside Motor Inn: Property features include a licensed restaurant and swimming pool.

Picture: Darren Stones

For accommodation, the 3.5 star Best Western Parkside Motor Inn is situated at 14-16 Elizabeth Street, Coffs Harbour. It’s popular amongst corporate and tourist travellers. Phone: 02 6652 4655.

Saturday 10 November 2007

Red Poppy Appeal

Volunteer collects big time

By Darren Stones

NOVEMBER 11 is Remembrance Day, and each year the Victorian Branch of the Returned & Services League of Australia conducts its annual Red Poppy Appeal.

Collecting for a cause: R.S.L. volunteer Bronwyn Galofaro rattling the tin.

Picture: Darren Stones

Voluntary helper, Bronwyn Galofaro has single-handedly raised AU$588.65 in donations from the public due to selling red poppies outside the Safeway supermarket in Hadfield, Victoria, Australia.

In combining her employment as a carer with Migrant Resources in Preston, Bronwyn is a respected member of the Pascoe Vale R.S.L. Ladies Auxiliary and assists in co-ordinating bingo at the Pascoe Vale R.S.L. Sub-Branch in Pascoe Vale each Wednesday and Saturday.

Public donations to the Red Poppy Appeal continue to provide welfare support for Ex-Service Men and Women, and their dependants who are in need.

Money raised from the appeal assists the R.S.L. in relieving hardship of Ex-Service Men and Women, and their families through a wide range of activities including;

  • Food vouchers
  • Hospital and home visits
  • Household utilities accounts
  • Wheelchairs
  • Walking frames
  • Scooters
  • Providing transport
  • Pension and entitlement advice
  • Home maintenance
  • Aged care advice and facilitation

Lest we forget.

Friday 2 November 2007

Capturing the bark at Dog Rocks

Would a dog even bother to cock its leg against THAT tree? It’s a crappy old specimen with a few rocks around it. Who gives a rat’s orifice about a place called Dog Rocks at Batesford?

For those in the know, Dog Rocks is an icon. Yes, a photographic icon of Victoria, Australia. Don’t tell anyone though – this is a secret between you and me.

Numerous camera-toting tourists depart each day on buses from Melbourne to visit the world-famous Twelve Apostles. They seek to capture treasured memories in a day. Guess what? The bus drivers don’t deviate off the Princes Highway to show you one of Victoria’s photographic icons. Remember - it’s only a crappy old tree with a few rocks around it. Huh!

Oh, you’re from overseas and you want to photograph THAT tree. What for? You can head for The Great Ocean Road and grab 100’s of quick snapshots in middle-of-the-day lighting. Sounds promising eh?

Go on, buy your daily ticket and head for the remaining apostles that will eventually collapse into the sea. You’ll snap a few keepers and fondly remember your trip. I don’t blame you for coughing up your hard-earned cash.

Hey, what about THAT tree! It’s on a bit of a lean don’t you think? Is it going to be standing forever? You want to take a photo of it, too? Don’t bother asking the bus driver to take a detour – he probably doesn’t know where it is.

So what’s the solution if you’re departing from Melbourne? I suggest you hire a car, grab a Melway street directory, and lookup Map 440 A1. It’s as simple as that. But, do it before the termites send THAT tree to god.

Remember to keep it a secret, okay? I don’t want to arrive at Dog Rocks one day and see four busloads of tourists taking photos at sunset!

© Darren Stones 2007.

Wednesday 24 October 2007

T-Shirt design - now available

Looking for a unique T-Shirt design? Through my sales agent, RedBubble, T-Shirts are now available to purchase by the general public, shop owners and purchasing personnel.

The online purchasing process via RedBubble is easy with a credit card and can be completed in a few clicks. Sales enquiries are welcome. Click here for my T-Shirt range at RedBubble. Thank you for shopping.

Tuesday 16 October 2007

Gift ideas for the 2007 festive season

With us looking forward to the pleasures of the 2007 festive season, now is the opportune time to purchase quality greeting cards, and framed and mounted prints for those close to your heart.

Evening Glow

Purchasing a selection of greeting cards and professional photographs via RedBubble is easy from the comfort of your home or workplace computer. Items can be delivered to your door or your nominated address.


Time spent in shopping centres can be lessened by purchasing online in a few easy steps. Spend your valuable time celebrating the festive season with family and friends by giving them a gift to decorate their home.

Dog Rocks

Framed and mounted prints are always an excellent gift choice and can enhance the walls of those who are close to you.

Humpback Whale

You're cordially invited to view this preview card selection, and click on any of the images for purchasing details. You may also click here to view my gallery of work at RedBubble.

Twelve Apostles

Wishing you, and yours, the best for the 2007 festive season.


Darren Stones.

Iceland Poppy


Australia Rock

Beaumaris Bay

Dangar Falls

Thursday 4 October 2007

Along the Henry Lawson Way

by Darren Stones

Of course there's a story to hear and it's one which conveys the plight of the farmer. On a sunny afternoon in rural New South Wales, Australia, I see before me a sight.

750 head of cattle being driven along the Henry Lawson Way between Young and Grenfell is a mighty feat for a bloke and his three kelpies – especially given they’ve been on the road continuously for 14 months.

Some cattle had died and some had even joined the herd. The dedication to make a dollar is incentive for farmers to keep pressing on in such trying times. Drought is taking its toll on stock and on lives. Wives leave their men and families are ripped apart. Blokes are killing themselves because they see no hope. The statistics are shocking.

Spare a moment to think about a bloke who travels hundreds of miles guiding cattle along a road. Spare a moment to think of those farmers and their families who know nothing but struggle when their paddocks turn to dust. Spare a moment to think how lucky you are to be living comfortably in the city, while those out in the field are doing the hard yakka to grow the tasty tucker for your plate.

Many people in rural Australia are killing themselves because they've lost hope. It's rare to hear about the heart-wrenching stories here in the big smoke.
Author's note:
Thank you to Rebecca Ingram from Cobar, New South Wales, Australia for relating some shocking stories to me during my recent journey into rural and outback New South Wales.

Wednesday 1 August 2007

The stunning Sapphire Coast

By Darren Stones - Freelance Photojournalist

Australia is blessed with pristine beaches and coastal scenery that is to die for.

Sapphire Coast - by Darren Stones
The Sapphire Coast, located south of Sydney in New South Wales, Australia remains virtually untouched from development.

Bermagui - Horseshoe Bay

If you enjoy investigating national parks, love to wet a line, want to improve your suntan, sip a coffee by the sea, or catch a wave, then the Sapphire Coast is for you.

Tathra Wharf


Tathra Wharf


Tathra Wharf

Witness the unloading of the catch-of-the-day, visit a winery, taste award-winning cheeses, grab a bargain at a market, attend a festival, indulge in delectable oysters, go whale watching and take in some of the local history.

Merimbula - Long Point

The towns of Bermagui, Tathra, Bega, Merimbula, Pambula and Eden all have that bit of sapphire magic.

Eden - Seaside Pool

If you are looking for that get-away-from-it-all experience then let yourself go.

Merimbula Wharf

For more information log on to;

My portfolio of Sapphire Coast photographs can be viewed and purchased at

Thursday 26 July 2007

'48 Hours In ... Hervey Bay'

By Darren Stones – Freelance Photojournalist

Humpback Whale Photographs For Sale

Scenes Of Hervey Bay For Sale

Endless sandy beaches, a pier from here to forever and its very own whale festival; Qld’s Hervey Bay is a resort town growing faster than you can say “tail slap”.

Humpback Whale Breach - Photograph For Sale


Great Sandy Straits Marina Resort - A popular resort with a 25 metre pool, two tennis courts and one, two and three bedroom apartments. Each has a private balcony for keeping watch as boats come and go while you sip on a glass.

Peppers Pier Resort – The new kid on the block offers luxurious lodgings for couples, groups and families. Five stars, with unrestricted views of the glorious bay, pier and World Heritage-Listed Fraser Island.

Delfinos Resort – Opposite the main swimming beach, Delfinos is family friendly and offers motel rooms through to spacious three bedroom apartments. A little easier on the purse strings and an excellent booking service provided.

Delfinos Resort


Hervey Bay Boat Club – Superbly appointed and overlooking the marina, it’s a top spot to spend a few hours. Built in a nautical theme, the club provides a beaut dining and entertainment experience. Excellent gourmet coffee shop.

Torquay Hotel – An inviting pub right on the Esplanade, this place is abuzz each evening with outdoor dining a specialty. Laidback and welcoming. Nice outdoor heaters, too. Ph: 07 4125 2266

Torquay Hotel - Hervey Bay

Hoolihans Irish Restaurant & Bar – With traditional Irish fare and a mix of Aussie tucker thrown in for good measure, this place prides itself on being open 11am till late 8 days a week. Live music Friday & Saturday nights. Ph: 07 4194 0099


Whale Watching – The yellow catamaran Spirit of Hervey Bay is the ideal platform to eyeball migrating humpback whales as they frolic in the protected waters of Hervey Bay. An entertaining half-day adventure cruise will leave you mesmerised and euphoric. Highly recommended.

Spirit of Hervey Bay

Celebrate The Whales – The Hervey Bay Whale Festival marks the return of the whales with the flavours, sights and sounds of the Food, Wine and Jazz Fiesta and Hot August Night Fire Event being major highlights. Kicks off in August.

Hervey Bay Whale Festival - Illuminated Street Parade

720 Metre Stroll – A hand-in-hand stroll with your mate along the Urangan Pier at sunset is bound to soothe the soul. Have your camera at the ready and snap a few memorable shots as the sky lights up. Great spot to wet a line.

Urangan Pier - 720 metres - Photograph For Sale

Humpback Whale Photographs For Sale