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Laurence’s Birthday at Swansea

Heading away camping for our birthdays has quickly become a bit of a tradition, and this weekend it was time to celebrate Laurence’s birthday, at Swansea Lakeside Caravan Park. A quick weekend getaway that’s only 40 minutes from home, oh yeah how awesome is that !There really isn’t anything too much better than when we get to get away in the van for the weekend.

We’d never been to the park before, and boy is it big! The park is located on Lake Macquarie and you can walk to the lake from your campsite. It’s also a reasonable walk, or a quick ride/drive to the town centre if you needs supplies etc. The park has some of the best facilities that we’ve come across. Lots of little covered BBQ areas, an indoor camp kitchen with undercover seating, a putt putt golf course, tennis course, large pool, kids playground and even three RV dump points LOL.

We made a quick Friday afternoon getaway from work and with only a 40 minute drive we setup with a cold one in had before we knew it.

All set up, with the quick awning option.

We had a lovely dinner and cake to celebrate the birthday boy getting older, and even got a little bit of a lightning show to finish the night off.

We started the morning off with a swim before a hearty cooked breaky.

Breakfast time with the crew

By this time it was quite warm and time to head for the lake for a swim. You can tell i was quite relaxed and chilled out as i was filming but pretty much forgot to take any photos!

The afternoon included a game of putt putt golf with the kids and a sunset fly with the drone , where i found ‘sports’ mode! Lets just say this Maverick needs a few more lessons LOL

After our droning we talk a drive and wander around the point before heading back for a feed of chicken wings.

mmm chicken wings

I think its safe to say that we will be back … here’s a quick video of our weekend …..

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Drone over Water .. or not?

After a lovely family lunch we headed south to catch up with our good mate and mad photographer Mel from Left of the Middle Photography. Mel has recently joined the drone craze and has been a lot more adventurous then i have been game to be, so we figured we’d laugh about it together and try a few more things!

After a few location changes due to wind and airspace usage we settled on Blacksmiths Beach in Lake Macquarie.

I haven’t really messed around with many of the settings so today, i decided to see how i would go using the manual settings on the camera

First shot – not so good, the highlights on the waves are blown out badly.

The next batch are still a little blown out but not as much.

I’m flying with the DJI Spark, which is an awesome little piece of gear, and it was the size that drew me to this one, so i could pack with us when we hike and travel, however the downside is doesn’t RAW files for photos, which mean the photo files are less forgiving, so getting it right in camera is really important.

You can see with these two the sky is quite blown out which is a shame because the waves are awesome!

Looking north back towards Newcastle

I haven’t been real keen on getting my little Sparkie out over water, so Mel’s challenge for me today was to get it over water. This was about as close as it got so if over the high tide line counts i passed.

Nature’s own version of lace

Even got a bit fancy with a 3 image panorama.

The people help to give some perspective, and this was shot at probably the highest i’ve been about 75m.

Someone was digging for a very long time!

I definitely feel a little more confident with the drone so here’s hoping for some good weather, spare time and legal airspace to get it up in the air again soon.

Thanks for stopping by.


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Cubbyhouse Christening

Remember the crew from a few weeks back at Camp on Allyn? Well one of the tenters decided to upgrade and got themselves a little Avan Camper, so we decided to stay close to home and christen the “cubbyhouse”.

We made a quick getaway after finishing work, getting to the park – Blacksmiths Beachside Holiday Park – just before the office closed to pick up our gate codes and keys.

We hadn’t long pulled in before the others arrived and we got everyone set up.

Our set up in the unpowered area

The Cubbyhouse

Before settling in for the night.

Beer, Wine, Cheese – yep we’re settled in okay.

We awoke the next morning to a beautiful day and after an easy cookup for breaky under the awesome covered BBQ area before hitching up the pups and heading to the beach to cool off. The water was magic!

Blacksmiths Beach

Incoming Skydiver


It took us a little bit of walking and scouting but we found a spot for the pups to get onto the beach and into the water – they loved it.


Flo being Flo!

Mr Brian.


Playing around with the camera on the phone – not too bad


There were quite a few of these guys on the edge of the beach thankfully didnt see any in the water.

We had a lovely weekend relaxing so much so i don’t think we took any other pictures LOL.

If you’re looking for a park around the Newcastle/Lake Macquarie area this is a fabulous little park, facilities are great and obviously there is a doggy option – just bring the aeroguard the sand-flies were pretty ferocious on the Saturday night.



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Coastal Wanderings

We started the morning off early with a sunrise at Catherine Hill Bay as part of an instagram meet organiser by Catherine (@treesandsea) and Dan (@hikeandsea)

Catherine Hill Bay

We arrived just as light was breaking i could see the rocks were covered in moss, and I cannot resist rocky moss shots.


There wasn’t a lot of cloud but there was some nice pastels and the sun was behind the clouds to the south making shooting conditions a little bit easier.


The tide was really low and there rocks that I hadn’t seen there previously – it’s always nice to find new things or perspectives at a place you have shot a few times before.




After sunrise we headed back towards Newcastle grabbed a hot drink (and maybe some hash browns) from Macca D’s before heading out towards Swansea heads for a wander around a little beach.

Swansea Heads

With the tide still low we were all able to wander around the rock pools trying to spot starfish and sea Anemones.


After wandering around for a while I realised that we were on headland I had shot many times previously with Sundancers, but we would always come in from the south due to the tides. Today we were able to walk all the way around.




After fishing around in the rock pools we headed south again back to Catherine Hill Bay but not to the jetty. Moonee beach was our stopping point and Ghosties cave was our destination.

Moonee Beach

The walk along and around the beach was just gorgeous, it was like a warm spring day not winter.


We arrived at the cave and it was pretty awesome. The tide was starting to come in and oh boy the water was super fresh! We headed through the little slot and then the cave opens up some more and you get this view.


It’s pretty amazing to think this is on our doorstep and we’ve never been to it!


We hung out in the cave and sunshine for a little bit longer before making our way back to the cars.


The clouds were pretty awesome on the walk back to the cars.



With the early start, and having clocked 10,000 steps on the fitbit on the walk to the cave we were all starving so next stop on our wandering was Murray’s Beach.

The group had lunch at the cafe, but not knowing the gluten free options we had come prepared with our own lunch. We sat by the lake with the kookaburras watching over us enjoying the beautiful sunshine.

From lunch we headed further south this time to Munmorah State Reserve for some more cave hunting.

Munmorah State Reserve

The first cave was huge but it also came with a difficult edge of the cliff scramble that I’m not sure I’d do again particularly given that you can’t get inside the cave.





After scrabbling down and then obviously back up again we headed to another part of the park in search of our final stop (the others were shooting sunset at Long Jetty.

We made the trek down to this beautiful little cove where there were a number of caves but due to the tides, the temperature of the water (and a little afternoon fatigue setting in) we didn’t venture into the caves – another time.

Having made it back up to top and cracked over 20,000 on the Fitbit it was time to drive home and sit in the couch for a little bit!

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International Children's Games 2014 – Lake Macquarie

Last night I was very fortunate to part of the official media contingent photographing the opening ceremony of the International Children’s Games (ICG) being held right here in Lake Macquarie Newcastle NSW, along with many of my awesome Sundance mates – we are getting quite a reputation πŸ™‚

The ICG is the largest multi ‐ sport youth games in the world and a member of the International Olympic Committee. Approximately 1500 athletes between 12 and 15 years of age, and their coaches are participating in this prestigious event. It is the first time the games have been held “down under” and presented an poor for 13 new Australian cities to participate.

Before the official proceedings began, my great mate Leigh and I headed back stage to capture the athletes and teams, you certainly didn’t have to work to hard to get these guys lined up for a photo, they were loving it!

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Even the local boys in blue couldn’t get away without a few photos

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The opening ceremony featured an Olympic style athletes welcome parade and the teams had a ball parading their way down the stage and to their seats. You might think that they would be nervous about walking out on a stage in front of thousands of people – definitely not they were in their element!

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All the athletes were having a ball watching the other athletes parade out.

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Even as the rain started to come down as the athletes parade was finishing up it didn’t stop them enjoying the ceremony – ponchos at the ready and everyone was good again.

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The performances included a beautiful welcome to country by local indigenous students, the national anthem, raising of the national flag and games flag and some great singing and dancing.

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There was a whole host of other performers that had been practicing their little behinds off for a very long time, so it was really sad to have the heavens open up before the ceremony was finished meaning that some of them didn’t get to perform – absolutely devastating for them.

I completely respect the decision made by the organisers because let me tell you it was absolutely bucketing down with lightning all around us and the safety of the athletes, performers, crew and volunteers had to be put first. That said, the spirit and determination of the athletes and performers to keep pushing through in torrential conditions until the organisers really had no choice but to halt proceedings, was totally first class!

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With the rain cutting the performances short it was time to light the games cauldron.

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I also have to give kudos to the special surprise guest performers Sheppard who waited out the worst of the rain and still blew the roof off (if there was a roof to have blown off!), much to absolute delight of the screaming fans jammed up around the stage just hoping to get close, a few got closer then they could have imagined πŸ™‚

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Copyrighted. All images and rights are reserved by Emma White / The Whiteview Photography. You are welcome to post via a direct link. Please do not crop, copy, reproduce or distribute in anyway without permission. If you would like to use any of my pictures – for personal, blogging or commercial usage – please contact me so that we can discuss whatΒ  options may best suit your needs. If you have any other questions, please drop me an email.