The Newcastle weekend away is aimed at giving members an opportunity to explore and photograph the industrial and heritage character of Newcastle, and its vibrant waterfront cosmopolitan atmosphere will provide a little variety for the street photographers amongst us. The colour and spectacle of Ladies Day at the races should be fun for everyone, and photographing underground will provide a touch of challenge. Nature photographers will get their chance at the wetlands, and the charm of steam trains needs no introduction to most camera buffs anyway. The first organised event is at 10am, to give people time to get to Newcastle on Saturday morning. Nevertheless, note it's an early start from Sydney if you are coming up on the day.
The full program of activities can be found below. In summary:
There are two options to start Saturday morning. The principal activity is a club exclusive tour down into The Res, Newcastle’s historic underground water supply reservoir. This is a bit of an adventure that involves a few stairs which could get a little slippery after heavy rain. Anyone who is not confident about that has an alternative to indulge in their motoring fancies at the Gosford Classic Car Museum if they prefer.
Both groups will convene at the Newcastle Racecourse to grab the fun and colour of Newcastle's Spring Carnival on Ladies Day.
Later in the day we check in at the Ibis Hotel Newcastle and have a little free time to rest up or go for a stroll in the historical and cosmopolitan atmosphere of the nearby foreshore and downtown area.
Dinner is waterfront at the Honeysuckle Hotel in the same area, followed by a night walk back to the hotel to photograph the street life when the lights come on to provide yet another perspective for the historical buildings.
The Sunday program starts with a morning in the wetlands along the Hunter River at Hexham on our way to an afternoon riding the old steam trains at the Richmond Vale Railway and Mining Museum out near Kurri Kurri.
Our accommodation is at the Ibis Hotel, right in the middle of the waterfront action at Honeysuckle, within strolling distance of dinner and most of the local sights. Bookings are on a first-in basis. You can reserve your place either by email or in person not later than the club meeting on 30 August. You will need to indicate your choice of 'Option 1 - The Res' or 'Option 2 - Gosford Classic Car Museum'.
You can pay for any extra breakfasts, parking, entry to the car museum and the Richmond Vale museum yourself on the day. You can make your payment either by lodging an electronic payment for the full amount to the Dee Why RSL Camera Club quoting your name and membership number as reference or in person at the next club meeting.
Parties of more than two sharing a room should contact the club for confirmation of accommodation costs.
Saturday 7:30 Suggested latest start from Sydney Members make their own way to their choice of Option 1 or Option 2. It’s normally an easy 2 hour drive to Newcastle or one hour to Gosford.
Option 1, The Res, is the principal alternative unless members have particular difficulty with stairs, enclosed spaces or the dampness that can occur after heavy rain.
Option 2, The Gosford Classic Car Museum, is an alternative venue and is also the fallback alternative in the unlikely event that heavy rain makes The Res inaccessible.
OPTION 1 10:00 - 11:00 Newcastle Reservoir #1 (The Res) on Tyrell Street (cnr Brown St), The Hill, Newcastle, Refer Map 1 Meeting spot is at the reservoir entrance. There should be street parking in the vicinity, but you should allow a little extra time just in case. Entry FREE
One for photographers of the unusual. We have been able to arrange private access to The Res, Newcastle’s historic underground water reservoir and a great example of how things were done back to the 19th century. It is normally closed to the public except for limited numbers chosen by ballot once or twice a year. Lighting conditions are best classified as relatively ordinary with not much more than standard downlights, so a tripod is probably a good idea. We have the place to ourselves so members can bring their own portable light sources and even try a bit of light painting, bearing in mind the opportunities may be limited due to having a number of people in a restricted space for a relatively short time. Note that it can get damp after rain and there are some stairs involved so closed rubber-soled footwear is obligatory. We have an hour inside the reservoir. http://www.abc.net.au/local/photos/2014/07/02/4037821.htm http://themummyproject.com/a-tour-of-the-res/
Assignment: Capture the spirit and character of this historical monument.
OPTION 2 9:30 - 11:00 Gosford Classic Car Museum, 3-13 Stockyard Place, West Gosford Members will meet at the main entrance just before 9.30am. Parking is plentiful. Refer Map 2 Entry $20, Concession $12 for holders of Senior or Pension cards
One of the largest classic car museums in the world, with over 450 cars and motorcycles including some of the finest motoring machines ever made. Opens at 9am for keen motorheads. http://gosfordclassiccarmuseum.com.au/
Assignment: Photograph your personal favourite/s in a way that expresses to the viewer how and why you feel the way you do about it.
11:00 - 13:00 Members drive direct to Newcastle racecourse from either Gosford or The Res. Earlybirds might even have time to check in at the Ibis and spiff up for the races if they wish, although there’s plenty of time for that later as well. Refer Maps 3 and 4
13:00 - 16:00 Newcastle Racecourse Spring Carnival Ladies Day, Darling Street, Broadmeadow - just 3km outside of Newcastle's CBD. Members will meet up at the main entrance at 1pm. There are 300 complimentary parking spaces within the racecourse and on street parking is also available on Darling and Chatham streets. Entry $15 if prebooked by 14/9/2017, otherwise $30 on the day.
The serious racing will have already taken place on the previous day, so the Saturday is mostly devoted to the spectacle and colour of Ladies Day. It's a day of horses, fun, fashion as well as racing with so much to see and do, and it attracts the best dressed in Newcastle, so members should ensure they are suitably attired in smart casual. Lunch is available from multiple venues. Photography inside the course is ok but may not be used for commercial purposes. https://newcastleracecourse.com.au/functions-and-events/hit1069-ladies-day
Assignment: This is the ultimate mix of street and event photography. Photograph crowds, horses, fashions and colour in any combination to best convey the spectacle.
16:00 - 17:00 Return to Newcastle to check in at IBIS Hotel Newcastle, 700 Hunter St Newcastle, if you have not already done so. Refer Map 4
17:00 - 19:00 Honeysuckle and Foreshore Refer Map 5 for a range of suggested locations and walks.
Rest up or stroll the area which abounds with restaurants, waterfront cafes and pubs, as well as parks and beaches, a fort, a lighthouse, art deco baths, numerous historical buildings and a heritage residential area, all within walking distance. You can be as active or as lazy as you like. The cafes are excellent viewing points for the shipping traffic that uses the entrance to the largest port in Australia. Peak shipping traffic usually occurs around high tide which is at 5pm on the day. Sunset is around 5.45pm so the light should provide plenty of photographic opportunities. Note a few areas are fenced off as a result of the light rail construction and preparations for the November Supercars event.
Assignment: Catch the changing light and street atmosphere.
19:00 - late Dinner is booked at the Honeysuckle Hotel, absolute waterfront restaurant. Dining is a la carte at members own expense. with a wide variety of menu items to suit all tastes and price brackets. https://www.facebook.com/pg/honeysucklehotel/menu/ Many of the historic buildings are photographically interesting when lit up at night, an the harbour will provide some great vistas after dark on the walk back to the hotel after dinner.
Sunday 5:30 - 7:30 Sunrise is around 5:30am, so enthusiastic members can wander down to the Foreshore area for early morning sunrise over the beach or Knobby’s Headland before breakfast. Own breakfast. Note that one breakfast per room is included in hotel room rate.
9:00 - 11:30 Hunter Wetlands National Park, Pacific Highway Hexham. Drive north from hotel along the Pacific Highway towards Hexham. Just before Hexham McDonalds (on the left at the lights), turn right across the Ash Island Bridge. Refer Maps 6 and 7. Entry Free
11:30 - 16:00 Richmond Vale Railway and Mining Museum, Leggets Road, Kurri Kurri Note the museum is NOT actually at Richmond Vale, but much closer to Kurri Kurri. Refer Map 8. Entry fee $11
The museum has an excellent collection of historical steam locos and rolling stock and character-filled old buildings spread over a large area where visitors can wander. There is a basic lunch kiosk (pies, sausage rolls and sandwiches) or you can bring along a picnic lunch to enjoy in the gardens. We need to be done with lunch in time to catch the 1.30 pm steam train ride to Pelaw Main so that we have about an hour to make the most of the photographic opportunities there before the last train back to the museum. http://www.richmondvalerailwaymuseum.org/
Assignment: Capture the old-world textures and character of the historical trains and buildings.
16:00 Depart for Sydney Exit the museum and turn right on to Leggetts Drive. Follow it to join the M1 southbound near Freemans Waterhole. Flower lovers might like to take an optional sidetrack to the Wallis Creek Watergardens in Mulbring, which is open until 5 pm. It is a specialist nursery with beautifully landscaped gardens and numerous display ponds featuring lotus, waterlily and the other waterplant products they sell. http://www.walliscreekwatergarden.com.au (Refer Map 9)