Thursday, December 31, 2009

Our new trams

This is one of Adelaide's new trams; a French-built Citadis. It made its first public run on Proclamation Day; a return trip from Glenelg to the City.

This tram is one of six recently purchased from the Mintra, the Spanish Rail Authority. They will supplement our existing fleet of eleven German built Flexcity Classic trams.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Proclamation Day at the beach

South Australian's enjoy a public holiday on Proclamation Day, December 28th, the day when in 1836 the Province of South Australia's government was constituted and a proclamation was read; a proclamation "requiring all to obey the laws, and declaring the Aborigines to have equal rights, and an equal claim upon the protection of the Government with the white colonists."

Read the full wording of the proclamation here.

So what do we do on the day? Some people go to the beach; this is Glenelg beach looking north from the jetty.

This is a view of the beach south of the jetty.

You can view other of my related blog entries; Proclamation Day, The Old Gum Tree and HMS Buffalo.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Bay Sheffield Carnival

The Bay Sheffield Carnival is an annual event in its 123rd year, featuring the state’s richest and most famous footrace; a 120 metre sprint. It is a free event, held at Colley Reserve in Glenelg.
This year a near record 714 athletes from all over Australia competed.

There are events for men and women, and even a series of sprints for under 14 year olds; sponsored by Mars, with a prize for each child that runs; you guessed it - a Mars Bar.

Sunday, December 27, 2009


This was the start of the South Australian Elite Aquathlon today at the Bay Sports Festival. The event consisted of a 1.7km run, 500m swim, 1.7km run, 500m swim and a final 1.7km run.

After the run .... shoes off and goggles on

Now for a swim

Out of the water after the last swim and sprint home to victory!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Ultimate Frisbee

There's lots of action and entertainment at Glenelg this weekend; the Bay Sports Festival is a three day event culminating on Monday with the Bay Sheffield final running race on Monday afternoon.

Today three exhibition games of ultimate frisbee showcased the sport. This is a fast moving game; teams of seven players move the disc the length of the 100 metre field - running and passing. A team loses possession of the disc if it touches the ground, and scores if one of their team members catches the disc across a line at the end of field.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas lights

I recently read an article on photographing Christmas lights, so tonight I went for drive to find some. Essentially take the photos before it gets really dark, use small aperture and of course a tripod as the exposure time is lengthy. In this shot; ISO 200, f8 and 1/3 second.

I wish all my blogger friends a Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

One Man Band

A couple of weeks back Dan Burt was entertaining at the Westlakes Carols. This photo was taken at the Oakbank Races earlier this year; Dan certainly gets around.

He has been performing for nearly 30 years; truly a colourful character!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Street Party

Tonight we had our annual Christmas Street Party. As you can see it not not held in the street, but in a neighbour's front yard. People bring meat to cook on the barby and a salad or sweet to share.

Among the attendees was a couple who only recently moved into a new house in the street. They have moved from a rural area and had misgivings about the community spirit in suburban Adelaide. They say they feel quite at home already; at home amongst friendly neighbours.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Green peafowl

Now who's the pretty boy? This a male of the species putting on a show.

I photographed this green peafowl at the Adelaide Zoo in the Asian aviary; an aviary which people can enter to see the birds close up.

The green peafowl is native to South East Asia; found in open grasslands near forests. They feed from the ground on a diet of seeds, insects and plants. At night they roost in the trees.

The male only displays his magnificent tail feathers during courtship.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Wang Wang at the Adelaide Zoo

These Pandas are addictive and so is photographing them; albeit through glass. In early January Wang Wang and Funi should be out of quarantine and be allowed into the outside enclosures.

When I visited this morning in a special session for Zoo members, Wang Wang was eating, as usual I thought. Then he walked to a spot at the back of his enclosure for a nap.

Feeding the pandas is a mammoth task; they chew though 50 kilograms a day. Until the zoo's locally grown bamboo is available, a truckload a week is transported from the Sunshine Coast in Queensland.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Dolphin off Henley Beach

It is always a delight when dolphins swim alongside my yacht. Unfortuantely not always, but last Tuesday they cooperated for my guest on board; Fabian, a German exchange student who plays in my concert band.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Macarena

The Lockleys Carols Night at Mellor Park is always a bit different to other carols nights that we play at. The compere, Richard Berry, always includes some crowd participation; it is a real fun family night.

It is hard to believe though that less than an hour after taking this photo we were playing in the rain.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tindo - Solar Electric Bus

After my visit to the Zoo yesterday I caught the Adelaide Connector, a free bus, to the railway station.

Tindo takes claim to being the World's first solar electric bus. It carries 40 passengers, 25 of whom are seated, and has a range of 200 km.

It is an electric bus run on batteries that are charged (indirectly) from solar cells on the roof of the Adelaide Central Bus Station. These are connected to the state's power grid which is actually used to charge Tindo's batteries overnight. 70,000 kilowatt hours of electricity is generated annually, sufficient to offset the requirements for charging the bus.

Tindo is the Kaurna Aboriginal name for sun.

Monday, December 14, 2009

P Day at the Zoo

The day has arrived; the first public viewing of the giant pandas at the Adelaide Zoo. This was the scene I was confronted with at 8:45am this morning; a line up at the new entrance to the zoo.

A special zoo members' viewing was held this morning to see the pandas; a pre-booked one hour session. Their new enclosure is certainly impressive. The area on the left is an outside area for Funi, one of the pandas. The building adjoining this area is a climate controlled enclosure where the pandas were on display this morning.

About 500 people at last got to see the pandas. All of us were able to see them close up; filing past the huge glass walls. Then you could jockey for a longer view from behind the barricade.

This is Funi. Photographing was difficult due to congestion and reflections; I will return yet another day better equipped in the hope of getting better photos of these special animals. In a few weeks the pandas will be let out into the outer areas; no glass to shoot through!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Artist at Work

One of the art displays at the Spirit Festival was by Christopher Burthurmarr Crebbin. Christopher has been painting since he was a child; inspired by his mother and grandmother. He paints under his Aboriginal name, Burthurmarr, meaning Brolga and native companion.

Born in 1969 in Sydney, he has travelled throughout Australia and tells stories and expresses his views of the world through his art. He now lives in the Adelaide Hills.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

2009 Spirit Festival

"Come and Expereience the Oldest Living Culture in the World" - the 2009 Spirit Festival is being held this weekend at Elder Park on the banks of the River Torrens. This is the second year the festival has been held; a free event due to sponsorships.

Besides the live musical entertainment on stage the festival includes visual arts, children's workshops, performing arts and sporting events.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Overpass progress

Last Monday the South Road overpass tram track was reconnected. There is still a lot to do, but commuters can once again travel between the City and Glenelg.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Maid of Auckland Hotel

Another of Adelaide's old pubs, The Maid of Auckland on South Road at Edwardstown was first licensed in 1851. The establishment was rebuilt in 1867 and in recent years it has been extensively refurbished inside.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Adjustable track

Adelaide's metropolitan trains run on rails that are 1600mm ( 5ft 3in) apart. This broad gauge was adopted by South Australia in 1856 when the first line was built between the City and Port Adelaide.

When our trains are changed to electric in a few years time, they will run on standard gauge track; 1435mm (4 ft 8+12 in)

The new track that is currently being laid on the suburban network is adjustable; notice the second set of mounts. The line will be moved across and clipped into place ready for the new rolling stock.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

No trains today

Last weekend there were no trains running between Adelaide and Brighton as a major upgrading of the track is being undertaken. This is just part of a major revitalisation of Adelaide's rail system. All tracks are being upgraded and the existing diesel-electric trains are to be replaced with electric ones.

This is just part of a ten year plan costing 2 billion dollars. Other projects being undertaken include the extension of our tram (light rail) system.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Carols at Sturt Cottage

I always know when Christmas is near when we start our carols season. This is a regular gig for the Henley and Grange Concert Band, the band I play in. Tonight we were joined by a choir from Grange Primary School.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Christmas lights

Many private houses in Adelaide's suburbs are lit up for Christmas.

Friday, December 4, 2009

South Road Tram Overpass

This is one of the last trams to use the temporary diversion track. Over the weekend the existing track will be connected to the new one.

The tram bridge has been built at a cost of $32 million; another part of a major upgrade to the South Road corridor. This will compliment the recently completed Gallipoli Underpass.

Trams will then use the overpass, but more work is yet to be done; the completion of tram stops on the top and access lifts from the street. A pedestrian/cycle path is also being built along its northern side.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Panda Countdown

Not long to go now; two pandas arrived from China last Saturday. For several months now, a daily countdown has been a focal point on the ETSA building at the beginning of Anzac Highway.

A purpose built climate controlled enclosure has been built at the Adelaide Zoo; home for the next ten years to Wang Wang and Funi. The general public will be able to see them for the first time on December 14th.

Click here to read and see more about Adelaide's pandas.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Time ball tower at Semaphore

Sitting on a small hill adjacent to Semaphore Road is this time ball tower; this was used by ships at anchor to rate their chronometers.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Semaphore Road

A bit of nostalgia for me. When I was a young lad, I regularly visited Semaphore to see my Grandparents who lived in a small upstairs apartment just along from where I took this photo.

In those days a train from Adelaide terminated here; where the median strip is now. Not only did the train service the seaside suburb, but so did electric trolley buses. My grandfather was a bus driver so I had a few free rides from time to time.

The train has gone and so have the buses; but now there is talk of running a tram to here from the City.