Improving Your Image Through Visual Communications

Journalist - Photographer - Writer

Saturday 27 June 2009

Kiama makes a splash

By Darren Stones

With its blowhole and photogenic beacon within a stone’s throw of each other, Kiama’s touristy aspect is assured. Head for the aptly named Blowhole Point and witness the powerful gush of sea water and inspect the historic lighthouse. With a little patience, good timing, and favourable weather, both attractions can be photographed within a frame.

Kiama Lighthouse and Blowhole, New South Wales, Australia IMG_4161_Kiama
Kiama Blowhole and Lighthouse at Blowhole Point

Due to Mother Nature’s fickle manner, the blowhole is often a fizzer. But when the water is gushing skywards, and the wind is gusty, the gathering of unsuspecting tourists is drenched in the blink of an eye. It’s amusing to say the least.

Kiama Lighthouse, New South Wales, Australia IMG_3977_Kiama
Kiama Lighthouse

The scenic north-facing rock pool is ideal for a swim. It’s generally a safe place for a few laps, but at times waves crash over the rocks and create a whole new experience.

The harbour foreshore is an idyllic spot to roll out a picnic blanket and savour a cheese platter and bottle of white. For those inclined to sip a latte` and sample a muffin, try one of the cafés along Terralong Street.

Kiama, New South Wales, Australia, Memorial Arch IMG_4364_Kiama
Kiama Memorial Arch

Adjacent the Kiama Leagues Club, the Memorial Arch is the main street’s feature. On Anzac Day each year, the parade finishes here and a ceremony is conducted. Thousands come out to show their support for what is arguably the nation’s most patriotic day.

Kiama Dry Stone Wall, New South Wales, Australia IMG_4404_Kiama
Dry stone wall

Take a drive up Saddleback Mountain and branch off onto the narrow back roads to inspect the historic stone walls – they’re worth investigating. And whilst you’re in the area, pull over and say g’day to some of the local bovines.

Kiama, New South Wales, Australia, dairy farm IMG_4383_Kiama
Some of the friendly local bovines

Accommodation options are plentiful in Kiama. From caravan parks, to luxurious apartments, you’re bound to find what you’re looking for. Dining options include: cafés, clubs and restaurants. Live entertainment is provided at the Kiama Leagues Club Friday-Saturday.


Kiama Ocean View Motor Inn – 3.5 stars
9 Bong Bong Street
Kiama NSW 2533 Australia
Phone: (02) 4332 1966

Dining and entertainment:

Kiama Leagues Club
109 Terralong Street
Kiama NSW Australia
Phone: (02) 4232 1777

Visitor Information:

Kiama Visitor Information Centre
Blowhole Point Road
Kiama NSW 2533
Toll Free: 1300 654 262
Phone: (02) 4232 3322

Tuesday 23 June 2009

Aftermath of the Beechworth bushfire, Victoria, Australia 2009

By Darren Stones

The Beechworth bushfire commenced on Saturday February 7 2009 in Victoria, Australia. That day was later labelled Black Saturday.

The fire started about 6 pm on 7 February, 3 kilometres south of Beechworth, and was driven in a southerly direction through pine plantations by hot northerly winds.

The fire burnt over 300 km² 30,000 ha and threatened nearby towns including: Stanley, Yackadandah, Bruarong, Dederang, Kancoona, Kancoona South, Coralbank, Glen Creek and Running Creek.

These photos were taken on Wednesday April 29 2009 along the C534 road in Victoria, Australia.

Beechworth bushfire, Victoria, Australia - 2009 IMG_4900_Beechworth_Bushfire_2009

Beechworth bushfire, Victoria, Australia IMG_4901_Beechworth_Fire_2009

Beechworth bushfire, Victoria, Australia IMG_4903_Beechworth_Fire_2009

Beechworth bushfire, Victoria, Australia IMG_4904_Beechworth_Fire_2009

Beechworth bushfire, Victoria, Australia IMG_4906_Beechworth_Fire_2009

Beechworth bushfire, Victoria, Australia IMG_4908_Beechworth_Fire_2009

Beechworth bushfire, Victoria, Australia IMG_4910_Beechworth_Fire_2009

Monday 22 June 2009

Australian Travel Photography video

By Darren Stones

As a result of my travels over the last four years, I’ve had the chance to visit a few places and meet a few folks. Here’s my new Australian Travel Photography video featuring the people, places, animals, events and festivals of Australia.

Tuesday 16 June 2009

Merimbula RSL bistro – budget meals and rich view

By Darren Stones

Holidays – what a great time to kick back and relax without having to cook and wash the dishes. RSLs by nature serve meals similar to what middle-class suburbanites eat at home, and it’s for this reason budget conscious travellers with a penchant for home-cooked meals dine at club bistros.

The Merimbula RSL has a laid-back, welcoming feel and its open-plan building provides views towards the scenic Merimbula Lake. The dining room is spacious with good space separating tables – ideal for those wanting a reasonably private chat.

Bronwyn and I were cheerfully greeted by a host and were swiftly guided with accompanying menus to our table by the window. We were politely asked if we’d dined here before (which we had) and were informed of the soup, roast and fish offerings of the day.

We admired the vista out the window, took a sip on our respective beverages and then it was down to a careful study of the menu. The entrees are of the usual fare; soup, garlic bread and prawns. But it’s the locally-grown oysters as an appetiser which seems to get top billing.

As usual, we bypass the starters and entrees – which ranged between $5.50 to $15.50 – and cast our eyes over the mains list.

The orders are taken at a dedicated counter area where the register is kept busy. It’s a hive of activity behind the servery with the chefs moving in sync. The service is smart, quick and professional. Runs like clockwork and meals keep getting churned out for the hungry patrons.

Looking down the menu, the following headings consisted of a variety of culinary options; fresh Pambula rock oysters (the usual kilpatrick gets a mention), pasta and risotto, pizzas, mains (which consisted of the ubiquitous roast of the day and chicken dishes), seafood, from the char-grill, and on and on it went until Sam’s chinese appeared. Oh, and the children’s menu was available for those 12 and under – that made me contemplate whether a 13-year-old is a child or not.

Being on a tight budget, we chose the roast of the day. It was lamb with roast vegetables. I chose the large size for $14.90 and Bronwyn ordered the small size for $9.90. Let’s be frank here, I’m glad I consumed a schooner of ale before feasting on the lukewarm plate of meat and veg because my appetite didn’t give way to wanting the dish warmer.

Nevertheless, it was the type of super-saver meal we were seeking and it satisfied the tummy grumbles. The bread rolls provided good filling and we enjoyed a good night out.
My advice: book a window table and enjoy the view, food and company.

Further information:
Merimbula RSL
52-54 Main Street
Merimbula NSW 3548
Phone: 02 6495 1502

Sunday 14 June 2009

Christmas before July - Special Offer

By Darren Stones

Until June 30 2009, you have the opportunity to save AU$222.80 on this special offer.

Purchase three Darren Stones RedBubble medium-sized framed prints via RedBubble in one transaction, and you’ll receive one Darren Stones RedBubble medium-sized framed print and 10 Darren Stones RedBubble cards for FREE.

That’s right – you’ll get four medium-sized framed prints and 10 gift cards for the price of three medium-sized framed prints.

The cost to you is only AU$495.00. The current retail value of this package is AU$717.80. That is a saving to you of AU$222.80.

See my gallery of unique Australian travel photography and browse the sets here:

Medium-sized framed print


Consider this. With the end of the Australian financial year looming, this opportunity is perfect for those businesses who wish to decorate their premises. If you’re a savvy pre-Christmas shopper who is always looking to save money, take advantage of this deal and store the goodies away until later in the year. Then give the items as gifts to your family or friends.

To take advantage of this special offer, you first need to make your purchase of three Darren Stones RedBubble medium-sized framed prints via RedBubble in one transaction. Then, contact me direct by email to place your order of one Darren Stones medium-sized framed print and 10 Darren Stones RedBubble gift cards which you will receive FREE delivered to your postal address.

Remember, this special offer finishes on June 30 2009. If you require assistance, please contact me by email.

See my gallery of unique Australian travel photography and browse the sets here:

Product Information:

About Framed Prints

Finely-crafted custom frames create stunning art pieces from RedBubble prints. Frames are crafted from quality timbers in a range of finishes. A white, off-white or black matte surrounds the print to emphasize the artist’s work and bring the piece to life. Premium ultra-clear perspex in front provides a superior finish and means the piece is lighter and easier for you to move without breaking.

About Greeting Cards

Greeting Cards, Birthday Cards, Thank-you Cards. Whatever the occasion send beautiful images, hand-picked from RedBubble. Printed just for the occasion, these cards will impress.

Greeting Cards are printed on our Durst Theta, bonded to high quality 200 gsm card for the best internal writing surface, creased and packed with an envelope ready to write on, give away or just admire. The card size is C6 folded (114mm by 162mm).

See my gallery of unique Australian travel photography and browse the sets here:

Saturday 13 June 2009

Member of the Year Award 2009 - Australian Travel Photography and Writing group

By Darren Stones

The Australian Travel Photography and Writing group is pleased to announce it will be honouring one of its members with the Member of the Year Award 2009.

In judging the award winner, the member will have been actively participating in all or part of the group’s activities which include:

  • Submitting quality Australian travel photographs
  • Submitting quality Australian travel journals
  • Submitting quality Australian travel writing
  • Adhering to group rules and guidelines
  • Participating in group challenges
  • Participating in the group’s forums
  • Providing encouragement and advice to members in the group’s forums

The Member of the Year Award 2009 winner will receive:

  • One Darren Stones RedBubble medium size framed print
  • One 2010 Australian Travel Photography calendar by Darren Stones
  • One award certificate printed on parchment

The Member of the Year Award 2009 will be judged by Australian Travel Photography and Writing group originator and host Darren Stones, and announced late November or early December 2009. Exact date to be advised.

Since the Australian Travel Photography and Writing group was launched at RedBubble in December 2008, the group has:

  • Grown to 352 members
  • Appointed Greg Barton, Editor, Australian Traveller magazine as group Patron
  • Secured generous support from an ever-increasing list of sponsors
  • Promoted group members and their works, and group sponsors via RedBubble and Twitter
  • Conducted successful group challenges
  • Sent members’ works to the founders of the Aussie Helpers charity
  • Sent members’ works to Martin Ferguson – Federal Tourism Minister
  • Had group images featured on the RedBubble home page
  • Created an informative, educational and interactive group forum
  • Seen group members honour fellow members by selecting works for feature
  • Conducted entertaining interviews with group members
  • Seen members published in newspapers, magazines and online
  • Seen members achieve local, state and national competition success
  • Seen members recognised by national institutions
  • Seen members involved in gallery exhibitions
  • Seen members make sales nationally and internationally
  • Seen members license their images to various businesses
  • Seen members embark on and complete relevant industry qualifications

With the ongoing support of RedBubble, sponsors, and group members, the Australian Travel Photography and Writing group is destined to grow and achieve more success. If you’re not a member of the group, join today.

Monday 1 June 2009

Darren Stones Newsletter - Jun 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:

  • Australian travel group grows
  • Journalism course completed
  • Photography recognition and sales
  • Interviews with Joe Mortelliti and Bev Woodman
  • Lakes Entrance - a foodies delight, but forget about the sex

The newsletter can be viewed by clicking the following link:
The Darren Stones Newsletter Jun 1, 2009 PDF 89.7KB - opens in new window

Lakes, Entrance, Victoria, Australia, leisure craft IMG_3374_Lakes_Entrance
Lakes Entrance by Darren Stones

Canberra, ACT, Australia, National Carillon IMG_8483_National_Carillon
National Carillon by Darren Stones
Featured on Picture Australia