Walls of Jerusalem National Park

Even in inclement weather, nature has a way of showing us its exquisite beauty… if we take the time to look for it…

Walls of Jerusalem National ParkThe Walls of Jerusalem National Park in Tasmania is a place I’ve always wanted to go hiking – an alpine wilderness with dense forests, craggy mountains, tarns, lakes, and beautiful valleys just begging to be explored. I’ve twice made plans to do just that, but on both occasions had to cancel at the last moment due to late-season snowfall. The consolation on those occasions was getting to spend time in Mt Field and Freycinet national parks, hiking at lower altitude.

This weekend the forecast was for isolated showers, which I thought meant a bit of everything – sunshine, cloud and rain – but it actually turned out to be showers isolated to that part of Tasmania. It rained non-stop for 18 hours, varying in intensity between drizzle and complete downpour. The wind was also intense and bitterly cold.

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Victoria Falls

“On sights as beautiful as this, angels in their flight must have gazed.” David Livingstone

Victoria Falls, Zambia

Victoria Falls, Zambia

The local name for Victoria Falls is ‘Mosi-Oa-Tunya’, meaning ‘the smoke that thunders’. It’s a fitting description. The mist generated, from the impact of the Zambezi River plunging more than 100 metres into a chasm, can be seen for kilometres. When David Livingstone discovered the falls in 1855 he uttered, ‘On sights as beautiful as this, angels in their flight must have gazed.’

Victoria Falls is one of my favourite places in the world and I have to agree with David Livingstone; it is beautiful. It’s actually the most spectacular waterfall I’ve ever seen.

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African sunsets

Matopos Hills, Zimbabwe

Matopos Hills, Zimbabwe

As the sun drops lower in the sky, I gaze out the window of the overland truck, trying to commit everything to memory. It’s my second-last day in Africa and I really don’t want this moment to end. Nor do I want my travels in Africa to be over.

The landscape surrounding us is mostly rural; cornfields stretch to the horizon, there’s a spattering of acacia trees and a couple of ramshackle huts. It’s not a particularly remarkable sight…

…but, there’s this golden light slowly working its magic… transforming that mundane scene into something truly breathtaking… changing its hue, getting progressively darker. It’s another masterpiece by nature.

Of course, sunsets and sunrises are always beautiful, no matter where they occur. But, what can I say, photographers notice the light and, for me, Africa owns the world’s best sunsets!

Here are some of my favourite photographs.

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The Great Ocean Road

“Should you ever feel too lonely… listen for the roar of the sea – for in it are all those who’ve been and all those who are to come.” Simon Van Booy

The famous Twelve Apostles on Australia's Great Ocean Road

The Great Ocean Road is a 243-kilometre stretch of road along the south-eastern coast of Australia between the Victorian towns of Torquay and Warrnambool. It has an Australian National Heritage listing and is one of the world’s most scenic drives.

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Danube Cycleway

Standing atop the watchtower of the Aggstein Ruins in Austria I gaze down to the Danube River, as it snakes through the Wachau Valley. It’s an incredible vista of forested slopes dotted with tiny villages, castles, monasteries and terraced vineyards.

During the 15th century most of these vineyards were owned by the Church and trade in the region flourished. Paths built alongside the river allowed horses to tow barges loaded with cargo. Today, these same towpaths link the Danube Cycleway – one of Europe’s most popular bike rides.

Aggstein Ruins overlooking the Danube River

Aggstein Ruins overlooking the Danube River

The Danube River is Europe’s second-longest river, flowing 2780 kilometres from its source in the Black Forest of Germany through 10 countries to the Black Sea. It is possible to ride the entire length of the river but, with limited time and resources, my friend Stuart and I choose to ride the 330km section from Passau, Germany to Vienna, Austria.

Danube River in Passau, Germany

Danube River in Passau, Germany

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