Improving Your Image Through Visual Communications

Journalist - Photographer - Writer

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:

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


Parliament House – Visitors
Phone: (02) 6277 5399
Free admission and parking

Australian War Memorial
Treloar Crescent Campbell ACT
Phone: 02 6243 4211
Free admission

Black Mountain Tower
Black Mountain Drive Acton ACT
Phone: 02 6219 6111
Freecall: 1800 806 718
Admission fees apply


Forrest Hotel and Apartments
30 National Circuit Forrest ACT
Phone: 02 6295 3433

Further information:

Visit Canberra

National Capital Authority

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.

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.

Omeo Post Office

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

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.

Rolling hills and landscape

Omeo Motel
43 Park Street Omeo VIC
Phone: 03 5159 1297

Oriental Claims Historic Area

Omeo Historic Park & Museum
Great Alpine Road Omeo VIC
Phone: 03 5159 1515

Hilltop Hotel
107 Day Street Omeo VIC
Phone: 03 5159 1303

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.

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.

Delany Avenue, Bright

Bright Autumn Festival

High Country Motor Inn
13-17 Great Alpine Road Bright VIC
Phone: 03 5755 1244

Alpine Hotel
7-9 Anderson Street Bright VIC
Phone: 03 5755 1366

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


Beechworth Visitor Information Centre
Town Hall
Ford Street Beechworth VIC
Phone: 03 5728 8065


Beechworth Bakery
27 Camp Street Beechworth VIC
Phone: 03 5728 1132

The Beechworth Sweet Company
7 Camp Street Beechworth VIC
Phone: 03 5728 2060


Beechworth Motor Inn
54 Sydney Road Beechworth VIC
Phone: 03 5728 1301
Proprietors: Robert and Jenelle Ransom


Tanswells Commercial Hotel – opened 1853
50 Ford Street Beechworth VIC
Phone: 03 5728 1480

Hibernian Hotel – established 1868
40 Camp Street Beechworth VIC
Phone: 03 5728 2028