Bird Lorikeet hand feeding

Patricia Newell-Dunkley – Photographs by Reginald J. Dunkley

Facebook:  Patricia Newell-Dunkley Artist/Writer

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Website:  Books available. “Letters of a Travelling Lady, Wallis the Woman I Love, The Complete Guide to Painting and Decorating Porcelain.”

Greetings from down under where the weather is warming up in readiness for a very hot Christmas.

How many places in the world can you swim with wild dolphins and seals? Not many, but Victoria’s Queenscliff is one of them. People travel from all over the world to experience this phenomenon of nature. It is the ultimate way to explore Port Phillip Bay, and swim alongside playful dolphins and seals. You can also take a cruise and watch as these frisky friendly mammals frolic alongside your craft.

Stand on the shore of the Bay and get a glimpse of dolphins that you will not see any where else, including bottlenose dolphins.  You will also get to spend time with the Bay’s colony of Australian fur seals, which loll around the location known as Chinaman’s Hat and are happy to share their watery world.

From September to May “The Bay” is home to over 120 resident bottlenose dolphins, plus 40 common dolphins that swim freely within our waters, together with fur seals. The underwater marine parks are filled with colourful fish and weedy sea dragons. It is a photographer’s paradise.

The seaside resort of Queenscliff is located just inside the entrance to Port Phillip, Victoria, on the Bellarine Peninsula. It is surrounded on three sides by water giving the town large stretches of coastline, sandy beaches, rocky outcrops, cliffs and historical peers.

water lily natures design

This beautiful location was first settled in the 1850s and many of the historic shop fronts and buildings from that era still stand, including the ornate “Vue Grand Hotel” and are well worth a visit.

There are many attractions in the state of Victoria, Australia, including the Penguin Parade which attracts more than half-a-million visitors annually to see the little penguins, the worlds smallest and probably cutest of their kind.

The main penguin complex includes amphitheatres that hold up to 3,800 spectators who come to see the little fellas just after sunset. As they waddle from the sea to their land-based nests.

Penguin numbers swell after breeding in summer, with as many as 32,000 arriving on a given night, but they are in residence year round. There is strictly no photography or videoing, but the visual is lasting and you will not forget it.

Perhaps the most iconic sight and enduring image for visitors to the state of Victoria, Australia, is the Great Ocean Road and the Twelve Apostles providing a fitting climax to the journey.

Jutting out from the ocean in spectacular fashion, these rocky stacks stand as if they have been abandoned to the ocean by the retreating headland. Today only seven “Apostles” can be seen from a network of viewing platforms connected around the cliff tops. There is a pedestrian access to the viewing platforms from the car park at the visitor centre – via a tunnel beneath The Great Ocean Road.

a splash of colour from the garden

The best time to visit is sunset, when with binoculars you can also see the little penguins returning ashore.

Here at Shelly Beach the garden is a riot of colour with, pink and white oleanders in full bloom, multi coloured hydrangeas, and exquisite blue plumbago, pure white November lilies, and random bright orange nasturtiums trailing around.  It is a flourishing time before the hot sun exhausts them.

Princess Pixie the Pomeranian is still looking for the frill neck lizard that usually appears at this time.  The Lorikeets are flying in earlier than usual and there is a pair of Kookaburras residing in the back tree.     The surf is high at Shelly Beach with the Christmas tides on the way, and the holiday makers are gearing up to arrive very soon.  The shops are very busy with people filling their baskets to overflow.

Tuggerah lakes Art Society to which I belong are having an exhibition of Fab Fakes reproductions of masterpieces that are over 70 years old and there is some magnificent work available. This will be our tenth exhibition and is always very popular.

Cheers.  Patricia.


a pretty hydrangea in the garden