Tag Archives: Sydney

Nature Out & About Sydney Sights and Streets Wildlife

Malabar Headland Coastal Walk

This walk is a relative newcomer to the Sydney Coastal Walk network, with the 2 sections forming the loop opening in 2017-2018 through collaboration between local Council and NSW National Parks.

Following the coastline is a section approximately 3km in length, featuring views back to Maroubra Beach and Coogee in the distance, before reaching Magic Point and Boora Point. The problem though, the ANZAC Rifle Range sees this section close when the range is in action. Details from NSW National Parks

Malabar Headland Coastal Walk
Freedivers enter the water from the rocks, and views to Maroubra Beach

Thanks to the more recently opened trail on the western side though, permanent access is available between South Maroubra and Malabar beaches, if missing some of the stunning clifftop views.

Malabar Headland Coastal Walk
On the return to South Maroubra along the western path.

Today, our highlights included smaller creatures along with some beautiful flowers and stunning cliffs, if you’re there in the right seasons and get lucky, you may spot some migrating whales or resting seals.

Malabar Headland Coastal Walk
Lots of legged reptiles scurrying around. We think this is a Bearded Dragon
Malabar Headland Coastal Walk
One of the Banksia variants seen
Malabar Headland Coastal Walk
Sydney’s well known sandstone presents layered wonders, contrasted with sheer cliffs dropping to vivid blue water

Malabar Headland has had many uses over the years, with military operations included for a large part of its European history. Remnants of fortification from World War II including gun emplacements remain, while others have been demolished over the years.

Malabar Headland Coastal Walk

After exploring the exposed trails along the sandstone cliffs, Malabar Beach can form a delightful rest-stop mid walk, or as a destination of its own. All the usual conveniences of a beach are present including public bathrooms and showers, a shaded kids’ playground and grassy knoll. It can be a great place to relax especially is Maroubra is a little busy or has too many waves for you.

Malabar Headland Coastal Walk
Malabar Beach is much smaller than nearby Maroubra, however offers a large sheltered bay
Malabar Headland Coastal Walk
A grassy knoll welcomes visitors. Stand-up paddlers can be seen enjoying the calm water.

WHAT TO KNOW:

Avoid days when the ANZAC Rifle Range is operating as this will limit you to the shorter western track

Access points are South Maroubra Beach carpark, or from either Pioneers Park or Malabar Beach. From South Maroubra you can start along the beach, or follow the large trail next to the large fenceline immediately behind the beach for the Coastal section; or follow the same fence away from the beach to find the stairs at the start of the western section. At the other end, the coastal section meets the end of Fishermans Road, next to the Malabar Boat Ramp and carpark, while the Western section starts at Pioneers Park. Between the 2 trails is some parkland that is an easy walk, and parking adjacent to both trailheads.

Bathrooms are available at either end, as are typical beach and parkland facilities. There is a cafe next to Malabar Beach, while Maroubra Beach has many options, an easy walk from South Maroubra. Continuing past Maroubra can link you with more Coastal Walk options towards Coogee and Bondi.

Nature Weather

Sydney Lightning Show

Late Spring and Early Summer in Sydney is traditionally the time we see a lot of unstable storms move through. This week, we’ve been subject to them with consistency each afternoon and evening. Wednesday’s systems were quite severe and caused traffic dramas with flash flooding, caused electrical transformers to catch alight in Pyrmont and reportedly started at least one house fire.

Thursday’s systems came into Sydney later in the evening and put on a spectacular light show around the city around 10pm-midnight. As the night sky came alive, I setup my camera on the balcony and started to capture some great nearby strikes. As the storm rolled on they only became more spectacular.

You’ll find about a dozen images in this gallery

Here is an image of 6 stacked photos.

And a couple of individual frame.
Lightning strikes inner Sydney as a storm moves through the city late on December 4, 2014

Lightning strikes inner Sydney as a storm moves through the city late on December 4, 2014

Enjoy

Fire & Rescue Incidents Fire Rescue

Firefighters Continue Hazard Reduction Burning in Sydney’s North

NSW Rural Fire Service firefighters last weekend around Sydney put a big effort into hazard reduction burning with forecast rain ahead looking to close the window for these burns in the foreseeable future. There is a fine balance of weather that allows the fuel to be dry enough to burn cleanly, without temperatures and winds being too high to maintain adequate control.

Hazard Reduction burning conducted by the NSW Rural Fire Service in the Matthews St area of Davidson

In the Warringah district in Sydney’s north, a number of large scale burns took place with assistance of strike teams from around Sydney and helicopters assisting with observation, fire ignition and water bombing. On Sunday, the Warringah Catering Brigade provided over 300 meals to crews for breakfast and again for lunch. Local SES members were utilised in a logistics role to assist delivery of meals and other supplies as required. Firefighters from National Parks and Wildlife, as well as Fire & Rescue NSW also attended the various burns.

I attended a burn in the vicinity of Matthews St, Davidson where local crews were assisted by a strike team from the Macarthur Zone which included tankers and crews from Narellan, Hoxton Park, Catherine Field, Lynwood Park and Minto Heights. They were later also assisted by 3 stations from FRNSW and a helicopter as needed which also worked other burns in the District. This burn was a very strategic burn providing a buffer between a large area of National Park and the edge of the suburb, which included many houses backing directly onto bushland.

Hazard Reduction burning conducted by the NSW Rural Fire Service in the Matthews St area of Davidson

Crews faced some tough conditions with local winds causing them to work in heavy smoke conditions and hampering planned lighting patterns.

Hazard Reduction burning conducted by the NSW Rural Fire Service in the Matthews St area of Davidson

Hazard Reduction burning conducted by the NSW Rural Fire Service in the Matthews St area of Davidson

Ground crews were assisted from the air, with the NSW RFS owned ‘Firebird 200’ conducting observation runs to keep the Incident Management Team informed of progress and conditions. They also conducting aerial ignition, deploying small incendiary devices to areas of the fire difficult or unsafe to access on foot to assist with progression of the burn.

Hazard Reduction burning conducted by the NSW Rural Fire Service in the Matthews St area of Davidson

Hazard Reduction burning conducted by the NSW Rural Fire Service in the Matthews St area of Davidson

Sector Commander and Safety Officer liaising during ignition of the burn.
Hazard Reduction burning conducted by the NSW Rural Fire Service in the Matthews St area of Davidson

While this burn in Davidson was occurring, the local district was also conducting other burns in Elvina Bay/West Head, Allambie Heights, Manly Vale and Ingleside. Several additional aircraft operating across these burns resulted in the establishment of a local airbase for refuelling and staging of the aircraft.

Terrey Hills Pumper provides fire protection during refuelling of Helitack 273

Firebird 249 returns to airbase

Helitack 272 departs for water bombing at Elvina Bay

Coal and Candle 1B patrols the fire edge at Elvina Bay while water bombing occurs in the distance

A full gallery with many more photos is available here: Photo Gallery

Nature SCUBA Diving Sports & Adventure

Grey Nurse Shark Dive!

I’ve been diving for quite a few years now and have been eyeing this dive off for most of that time, but always seem to be busy or find it already booked out when I try. Well this time I was lucky enough to get on! What better way to end a 4-day long weekend.

Magic Point Dive with Grey Nurse Sharks

Magic Point is located off the south of Maroubra beach in Sydney. You can get on a boat dive with some of the major dive operators in Sydney leaving from Manly, Rose Bay or as we did, the beach at Long Bay. I’ve been doing most of my Sydney diving with Abyss(.com.au) for the last few years. They always have great crew and today we had Klaus as our DM with 6 of us along for the dive. We tag teamed with another group who had done their first dive before us, then we did our first dive while they had a surface interval. When we returned, they went for their second dive while we stopped for our SI, before it was our turn for the second dive.

From the beach landing at Long Bay, it’s a 5-10 minute boat trip around some of the iconic Sydney cliffs. We’re able to pull up to a buoy attached to the anchor dropped on the first dive and a few minutes later we’re in the water. We descend to about 12m along the anchor line and take a short 10m dive along rock face and we are at the shark cave. A few key rules to stick by such as not blocking or getting too close to the cave entrance and not trying to follow the sharks have been explained before the dive. Our group is a calm, switched on bunch and we’re spread around the cave about 5m out and settled on the sea floor calmly.

Almost immediately one shark does a weird acrobatic move and I wonder what else we’ll be treated to.

Magic Point Dive with Grey Nurse Sharks

After later surfacing the DM is as amused as I am. As we sit and watch about half a dozen sharks move around calmly it’s quite amazing how comfortable I feel. The sharks are quite majestic with the larger, older sharks keeping a greater distance and the smaller, younger sharks more inquisitive. It’s on 2 of these younger sharks that we can see large fishing hooks, a disappointing sight for all of us. Unfortunately I don’t think they’d understand if we tried to help by removing them.

Magic Point Dive with Grey Nurse Sharks

At times the sharks are close enough for us to reach out and touch, but we stay still and let them be – wanting to impose on them in the least way possible. I focus on trying to get the best shots I can with my new underwater strobe (the term for an underwater flash unit).

Magic Point Dive with Grey Nurse Sharks

Our first dive is quite long, with our whole group conservative with their air consumption and after a short dive around the area we ascend after 50 minutes. We return to the beach for a surface interval and the traditional Abyss snacks including tomato soup with Tabasco sauce and peanut butter rolls. A second dive follows, much the same as the first although visibility is a little poorer with particles stirred up. Another 45 minute dive and we are done for the day. This would have to be the best combination of easy diving and amazing scenes that I’ve done. I’d definitely recommend it to anyone who has any interest in these majestic creatures, even if you’re a little nervous.

You can view more photos HERE
Magic Point Dive with Grey Nurse Sharks

Nature Sydney Sights and Streets Weather

Sydney Summer Storms

Every summer Sydney is treated to some fantastic demonstrations of nature as summer storms roll through. A weak system rolled through this evening and I managed to capture a little bit of the lightning. Here’s hoping for some more opportunities soon.

More photos HERE

Lightning over Sydney, Australia on the evening of December 20th 2013

Lightning over Sydney, Australia on the evening of December 20th 2013

Fire & Rescue Incidents Fire Rescue

2 people rescued from Unit Fire in Homebush

Fire & Rescue NSW firefighters have rescued 2 people from the balcony of a unit complex where a fire broke out this morning. The 2 story brick & tile construction unit complex is in Homebush, in Sydney’s west.

Firefighters received reports that people were missing in the fire. On arrival they found two people with severe injuries. Injuries are believed to include burns and smoke inhalation.

Fire has caused extensive damage to the unit of origin, as well as affecting adjoining units.

RAW PHOTOS & VIDEO HERE


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