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An ode to Basho

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The onset of spring. Solitude and peace in a Japanese garden. Cherry blossoms waiting patiently for a sensuous rampage. While the magnolias and chaenomeles can no longer wait. They have burst forth like the vanguards of the season. Water – some stagnant, some speeding, lulling, yet not putting one to sleep. Trees – some empty, some flowering, others evergreen as if reflecting the circle of life. So many scurrying thoughts, yet so much peace. Zen. Yes, such were my vagrant thoughts on an empty weekday at the Auburn Japanese Gardens. When I look back and reflect, there were too many […]

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Panorama at the Pylon

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If you have not heard of the Pylon Lookout, then believe me, you are unaware of Sydney’s best kept secret. For it is the greatest vantage point in the city (move aside Cremorne, move aside Vaucluse). I mean, it would be hard to beat the panoramic landscapes of the Opera House and the Sydney Harbour, seen from one of the highest points of the Harbour Bridge itself. While most Sydneysiders and tourists alike are aware of the bridge climb, there is a less expensive option of reaching the same dizzy heights. Almost. That’s your Pylon Lookout (AUD 15 entry ticket). […]

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Vivid Sydney 2018: Let there be light!

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‘Let there be light!’ the city said. And light there was. It was winter, the days were grayed in hazy shades. So it was time to invoke the lights at night. Welcome to Vivid Sydney, version 10 – the world’s largest festival of lights and the country – and the southern hemisphere’s – largest festival, with over 2 million visitors making the annual pilgrimage. While the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House take away first prize, no prizes for guessing – other locations, increasing over the years, and vying for strong attention include the Rocks, the Royal Botanic Gardens, Darling […]

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Snorkeling @ Bushrangers Bay

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For snorkelling Sydney-siders, the city’s crenellated shoreline has brilliant spots – Gordon’s Bay, Colin’s flat and Shelly beach to name a few. However, if you desire to get far from the madding crowd, without driving to exhaustion, the Illawarra region has a sparkling option – Bushranger’s Bay. Roughly 120 km from the city, it takes about 2 hours to drive to Bushranger’s Bay via Wollongong and Port Kembla. Called ‘Allowrie’  (apparently translating to ‘pleasant place by the sea’) by the once local Tharawal indigenous tribes, Lake Illawarra was named Tom Thumb’s lagoon by Matthew Flinders after his boat, Tom Thumb. I […]

The blue tree - trying to raising awareness to preserve dead trees that are invaluable as birding sites

Mt. Annan Botanical Gardens – A photo essay

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If you have ever wandered about in Sydney, the Royal Botanical Gardens in the heart of the city must have been on your tick list. As it should be. While quite popular among locals and tourists alike, what is less known and even lesser frequented are its affiliate cousins far from Sydney. There’s one at the Blue Mountains (the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Mount Tomah) and then there’s one at the threshold of Sydney at its south-western  frontier – the Australian Botanic Garden at Mount Annan. Claimed to be the largest botanic gardens in the country, Mt. Annan aims to […]

View of Collin's beach from one of its flanking clifftops

Sydney’s hidden gems: Collins flat beach

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If you have ever explored the squillions of squiggly shorelines of Sydney, you will know by now that ‘enough’ is never enough. A few more steps and there comes another hidden beach or a lost lagoon or even a cascade in the city. Sydney is all that, and to a poetic mind, maybe even beyond. And all this is definitely worth exploring – if not for the delectable cafes and kodak moment vantage points, then at least for the millions of years that went into the formation of this spectacular shoreline. About 250 million years ago in the Triassic Period, […]

The flowers of fall

A walk in the Park – Hyde Park: A photo essay

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Named after its cousin in London, the Sydney Hyde Park is am emerald wrapped bounty in the heart of the city. Gushing in green all around, the shaded boulevards make for an amazing walk anytime of the day. Having visited the Australian Museum and St. Mary’s cathedral, I wrapped off my day in this oasis of peacefulness that is Hyde Park. Once devoid of trees, today the park is a picturesque postcard wrapped in greenery and peppered with many a fountain and statue (including the famous Archibald Fountain). Take a walk through the Park in this photo essay:  

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The colors of Cronulla

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It was a Saturday evening, and I was eager to catch some sunset colors. While the northern beaches of Sydney get a lot of attention and fanfare, the southern beaches put up no less a fight. As I found out on visiting one of the southernmost beaches in Sydney – Cronulla. The waterside beaches – particularly the North Cronulla and Cronulla beaches are stacked with swanky stores, while the trees and beautifully maintained parks and walkways are quite reminiscent of its northern cousins such as Manly. Rock pools, long stretches of sands, large rolling waves being conquered by countless surfers […]

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The Archibald Fountain @ Hyde Park

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Of all the elements in nature, ask a photographer, which is his favorite, and the answer in all likelihood would be ‘Water’. Fire, can be a crackling muse, but would be ephemeral. It is water that is transcendental. The crash of a blue barrel wave on a yellow sandstone promontory, or the long exposure shot of a rippling waterfall – or as in my case, the many trajectories of a fountain – are sure to keep a photographer engaged for hours. Well, that’s precisely how I ended up spending the larger part of a Sunday evening, in the setting rays […]

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Blushing Bowral : A photo essay

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Last weekend I was at the little town of Bowral in the Southern Highlands to visit the Bradman Museum. However, beyond cricket fanaticism, it was also a case of  being lucky : to be at the right place at the right time. For the trees in the town were all touched by the palette of Autumn, blushing in shades of yellow, orange and red. Except for a few evergreens defying the tide of time beyond the equinox. Yes, Autumn is here, and one can already feel the nip in the air.   The colors were not yet rioting – give […]