This Christmas, like many others before, we loaded up the car and made the long road trip from Sydney to spend time with family back home at Inverell in northern New South Wales.
As usual I packed the camera bag. And as usual, I knew it would be difficult (and yes, a wee bit anti-social!) to drag myself away from fun family activities at this festive time of year – just to get my photography fix.
This time I was determined to make good my escape whenever I could. My sights were set on the Goonoowigall State Conservation Area, as it’s very handy to town (only 2-3 kilometres as the crow flies from the Inverell CBD!), and offers many photographic options. In the end I managed to make three visits to Goonoowigall (pronounced Gunny-wiggle) in as many days.
A strong flow in Middle Creek after summer rain
The main car park for this peaceful pocket of bushland is a 5 minute drive from the centre of town on the Tingha Road. There are several walks on offer, catering for a variety of interests, including native flora, fauna & birdlife, geology, local indigenous culture & history, mining history, etc.
Early morning along the Middle Creek Track
After some good summer rainfall the vegetation was greener, and creeks were running higher and faster than average for this time of year. I found the early mornings best suited my photography due to the pleasant temperatures, still conditions, and the softness of the light.
I concentrated my efforts on the Middle Creek Track, and the picturesque Goonoowigall Falls, a gradual downhill walk of 30 minutes walk from the main car park.
Middle Creek carves its way through the granite at the Goonoowigall Falls
The smooth, curving shapes and textures in the granite, combined with flowing water at the falls make this a great spot to shoot artistic monochrome images.
Up close – trees of Goonoowigall
I found myself constantly stopping to photograph the colourful patterns in the trunks of the trees, including the wonderful Orange Gums. The damp conditions really seemed to accentuate the colours in the bark.
Thick bushland on the Middle Creek Track near ‘The Junction’ – junction of Middle and Sheep Station Creeks
(L) A giant granite rabbit on the Middle Creek Track. (R) The granite landscape of Goonoowigall Falls
The area features scattered granite boulders of many shapes and sizes, and wide flat granite slabs.
Early morning at Goonoowigall Falls
I really enjoyed my few short visits to the Goonoowigall State Conservation Area over the Christmas/New Year break, but I feel as though I’ve hardly scratched the surface. I’ve visited the area many times before, but not often with a camera. It’s incredible how, when armed with a camera and serious photographic intent, you tend to notice so much more than you might otherwise do.
And, aside from gathering a nice collection of photos, and soaking up the fresh air and serenity, it was a great way to walk off the excesses of Christmas pudding, etc!
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