The delights of Kuringai Chase

Today we are showing you a different side of cruising: coming ashore at Coasters’ Retreat, for a bush walk in the Kuringai Chase National Park, with our friend Sue.

This gave me the opportunity to test my Tamron 18-400 lens for macro photography. It has proved a great replacement to my old Tamron 18-270 which had given up. On a boat you want a versatile tool that can take you from wide angle seascapes, to powerful zoom for wildlife, and with the ability to get really close to things for macro photography without needing to change lens. I am very happy with the lens. It performs really well.

So let us show you what we we saw. Spring in the bush is a great time for beautiful wildflowers.

We walked up to the Guringai aboriginal engraving site, at the top of the escarpment overlooking Pittwater and Broken Bay. It was a steep climb, but well worth the effort. The Guringai tribe gave the national park is anglicised name.


Tesselated Hawkesbury Sandstone

The engravings were etched in tesselated Howkesbury sandstone which is soft. They are pecked petroplyphs – made by striking the rock surface with a pointed stone to form a groove of 5 to 10 mm depth and width of about 20mm. They depict men and women, animals such as wallabies, fish, and materials like spears and boomerangs.



Back to the dinghy – Sue & Wade

We were a bit ‘bushed’ when we came back to the dinghy, but happy with our day! On the program for the next couple of days are a wander up the Hawkesbury and a dash out of Broken Bay for a tour offshore to hopefully give a chance to Sue to see some whales.

16 thoughts on “The delights of Kuringai Chase

  1. Beautiful photographs. Cool the way your photography seems to have really opened doors to botany and zoology as well. Good to see the flowers in bloom. Were there many signs of wild bees or other insects doing their pollination work? I know bees have been doing very poorly in the Northern Hemisphere, do you know how they are doing down there?

    • Hi Craig, thanks for the nice feedback. I think the virus that is affecting the bees in the northern hemisphere has not got to Australia yet. Although the bush bees were about, I didn’t capture one on a flower!

    • Hi Trish – yes they get maintained by the Guringai people to preserve them. Without it they would erode and disappear within a thousand years!

      • I find it rather interesting the difference in policies between different areas. There are some on the walk to Manly from Middle Harbour that were quite hard to see at the time – perhaps the local policy is now to maintain them.

      • I think it is dependent on the local aboriginals. These were particularly nice because there were no fences, just a border of logs to mark the perimeter. You can stand on the log to get more height and it can discourage people from walking in the rock, although some idiots probably would. Ease of access probably has an impact too.

      • Hi Chris – the carvings up from Jerusalem Bay have degraded significantly over the last 30 years. I don’t think they will be there in another 30 so the erosion of the sandstone may be quite high in Kuringai. Cheers Phil

  2. Quite interesting aboriginal petroglyphs. Have they investigated how old they are? Your photos are looking more sophisticated now with your new lens. Have fun! 🙂

    • Hi HJ – they are not sure of the age of the petroglyphs but at least 1000 years old.
      I am pleased with the lens which I have been using ever since we started from Melbourne. It is a brand new model from Tamron – it arrived the day before we set sails! Very happy with it for wildlife, seascapes and now macro. For birds it is good, but not as sharp as my Canon 100-400mm. But it is all a compromise and not having to change lens for different subjects is a real plus in the marine environment.

  3. Thanks for more great photographs always pleased to get takeiteasy’s updates . Is that a air cooled Honda on your tender , how have you found it ? Keep up the sailing life .
    Cheers John

    • Hi John Good to hear you enjoy our posts. Yes it is an air cooled Honda. It is good because it is light and so easy to take on and off as we don’t leave it on while underway. But it is not very powerful although we have always been able to get places. 7 year warranty… can’t complain!

    • Hi Lindy, we are having a lovely time – exploring ashore at The Basin and America Bay while the crowds are at work and the wind is mainly southerly! Sue is going back to Sydney on Friday afternoon, but it looks like we will stay in Broken Bay till Sunday, so if you fancy a catch up on Saturday, let us know. Big pat to Ella 😺

  4. Wonderful images and I am thrilled to learn that you are pleased with the new lens. They are still in pretty short supply where I live, but I have read a number of reviews on in that are mostly very positive and am considering getting one. I am particularly impressed with the macro-like capability that you demonstrated in the flower photos.

    • Hi Mike, thanks for the feedback. It is always nice to get your impressions. Yes this was the first time I tested the Tamron 18-400 for macro although that’s the lens I have mainly used for all my photography since starting this trip. It replaces my Tamron 18 to 270 which started losing its definition and playing up. I was amazed at how close I could get to the flowers on 300 or 400mm and able to focus – 20 cm or less. You will see on the next post how much detail you can get. I tried something with the Mountain Devil flower which you might be interested in. The lens perform well.
      I think it is not as sharp as my L series pro lenses at either end of its range – at 18mm and 400mm – but as I get to know the lens I am learning where the sweet spot is. I think if you go on opportunistic shoots, the Tamron is great and versatile. It saves carrying a lot of gear and swapping lenses in the field. But I would use the pro lens for specific shoots – the Canon 100 macro or the Canon 100-400 for birds in my case. The Tamron is a winner for me on the boat. I am very happy with how it is performing. I hope this helps and you don’t have to wait too long if you decide to purchase might have to put your name on a waiting list, I had to!

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