World Heritage listed in Blackheath
I’m a nomad in Australia right now, of no fixed abode. The places that draw me to them, where I go to spend time hanging with friends and photographing, are those that speak to me of natural beauty and of a world of outdoor adventure. The UNESCO World Heritage-listed Greater Blue Mountains, just west of Sydney, Australia, do just that. These images were taken while staying recently in a lovely little space at the back of a friend’s bush property near the small town of Blackheath. The area was already well known to me…or so I thought. With time to explore on foot and bike with my wife I found new vistas to photograph.
Adventure travel photographer…oh yeah, and a medical doctor.
Trying to combine the two occupations and get paid while traveling to far flung corners of the globe.
Often cold and wet even on days when the Sydney metropolis is warm and sunny, the Blue Mountains are actually a deeply incised area of sandstone plateaux with escarpments and gorges dominated by temperate eucalyptus forest. Rock climbers, hikers, canyoneers, BASE jumpers and paragliders come in seek of adventure and to sooth whatever ails them. It’s romantic, exciting and breathtaking and yes, it’s also wild and dangerous. Canyons fill with rushing water, rocks fall from ledges and people fall from the sky.
Waking to sunrise above a cloud inversion layer in the Megalong valley below, then jumping on the mountain bike for a fun ride out to Hanging Rock followed by an iced coffee at Anonymous, a super friendly cafe in Blackheath. After that, back to my mate’s house for some photo editing. When conditions allow we’re up for a tandem paragliding flight in the afternoon. In the evening, babysit my mate’s cute little kids so he and his gal can get some alone time at dinner. This was a real day and it was just about perfect!
The range of adventure, from wading through icy water deep in a claustrophobic canyon, to climbing a huge cliff face.
The ocean is too far away. I love to swim and paddle in the glorious Pacific Ocean at Bondi Beach, and negotiating Sydney’s notorious traffic to get there is often a bridge too far.
That there are no real mountains in the Blue Mountains! Oh, and they are called blue because of the prominent colored haze in the valleys between the sandstone cliffs above the eucalyptus forests.