Red Koi Reviews

See what I've seen, hear what I've heard

Archive for the ‘Other’ Category

New Years Eve mountain bike riding the Oaks firetrial

Posted by redkoireviews on 01/01/2011

The same friend who too me rock climbing in the blue mountains before Christmas mentioned she and some friends where planning on riding the Oaks fire trail and I put my hand up to come along. The ride starts at Woodford and ends at Glenbrook in the Blue Mountains of NSW, so I could get my bike on the train – no cars required :-). It’s a 30km ride and there is a lot of downhill – just of 1000m vertically. However there’s also around 500m in the other direction – up – so hills where not unfamiliar.

Most of the track is easy to ride fire trail, some of which is steep but not insanely so. At the end there is about 7km of single track -which is mountain bike lingo for narrow bush track you can ride on. This has a lot more in it for the adrenalin glands – you can see why so many riders prefer it. Most of it was ridable for a newbie like me, but some I took at look at and decided to just walk over. I was probably more cautious than usual, because starting a new year in hospital is not a good way to start. It took us about 3 hours to ride with some decent rest tops but most people could do it in 2.5 hour with no real worries.

You do need a mountain bike with nice knobby tires on and front suspension helps a lot, but all 6 of us where on hard tails, so no fancy rear suspension required. If you are some kind of fitness freak you can ride up and then come back down. Not my cup of tea!

My Rating: 4 stars

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Rock climbing Mt York in the Blue Mountains

Posted by redkoireviews on 27/12/2010

Rockclimbing Mt YorkAbout a week before Christmas I went rock climbing with a couple of friends of mine. I’ve done a little rock climbing before indoors at a gym, but not on real rock. It was a blast! so much better with than hanging onto bits of plastic! My friend Amy led the climbs (she’s done this a lot so I was happy to trust her with my life!) while Simon and I took turns to belay. For climbers out there who know the area, we did mezzaluna, noodle and another un-named climb in sector 7 of Mt York. I have to admit – I only made it to the top on the un-named grade 14 first climb that we did. But that didn’t really matter – it was great just making it past every difficult patch. All where ‘sport’ climbs which means some committed bunch of climbers have glued steel bolts into the rock face every 5 metres or so. It is hard work for the beginner – I was sore for a few days after – but soooo worth it.

As an aside, I also recommend the brown rice and vegie pastry turnovers at the bakery at Blackheath – almost as good as the climb! Hopefully I’ll get back out into it with some more climbing with Amy soon.

Posted in 5 Stars, Other, Reviews | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

Wombeyan Caves

Posted by redkoireviews on 22/06/2007

Wombeyan CavesStill on our holidays in the Southern Highlands, we traveled from Moss Vale down to Wombeyan Caves. In hindsight, the middle of winter may not have been the best time of year to go – we where advised to fill our kettle before going to bed in case the pipes froze overnight! While it was cold, and wet, we managed to get some walking in and we saw three of the caves.

The first one we went through was the Wollondilly Cave. It was a guided tour and was pretty spectacular. It’s quite a large cave with quite good formations, but was overshadowed by the Junction Cave which we saw on the second day. The rain had found it’s way into Junction Cave by the time we went through it, really bringing the cave to life. Seeing tiny, delicate droplets of water at the end of stalactites really gave you a sense of these caves slowly developing over hundreds of thousands of years. the dripping and flowing of water created noises in the caves that turned them from dead, almost morbidly quiet vaults into singing, living spaces.

W e also took the self guided tour of the fig tree cave. Although not as beautiful as the other two, it’s nice too take your time, set up a tripod and take some photos (not that mine turned out very well).

The roads to the caves are a bit rough and are not paved, but we managed ok in a tiny two wheel drive hire car. Just go via Goulburn to avoid the really tight turns.

These caves are as good as or better than the more famous Jenolan Caves, but in a nicer setting and without the bus loads of tourists (at least in winter!).

My Rating: 4 Stars

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Carrington & Fitzroy Falls

Posted by redkoireviews on 16/06/2007

Fitzroy FallsMy partner and I recently took a short holiday in the southern highlands of NSW. The first few days we spent at Moss Vale, where we did some walks around some of the local waterfalls. Unfortunately the drive down was pretty hellish – bucketing rain as the central coast was battered and flooded. Luckily it wasn’t that bad for us, but it was still very wet.

Carrington FallsThe upside was that the waterfalls where absolutely spectacular. The two main falls we visited were Fitzroy and Carrington Falls. We’ve seen Fitzroy before, but not with this much water in it. Just amazing. To see and hear these falls in full flight reminds you just what an awesome force nature is.

Next stop was Carrington falls, where the walks are not as long or nice, but the waterfall is truly mystical. A fine fog gave everything a ghostly atmosphere and the falls themselves are in more of a canyon, so they feel closer and somehow more urgent. Make sure you go to the other side of the falls and take a look at Nellies Glen – It’s also a very nice spot.

My Rating: 4 Stars

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“The Space Between” by Circa

Posted by redkoireviews on 19/01/2007

The Space BetweenI saw this performance after a last minute offer of free tickets from a friend of mine. It’s a dance / circus / theatre performance piece by the Circa circus company. There have been a few performances as part of the ‘About an hour’ series in the Sydney Festival.

I’ve seen a fee modern dance performances before, and sometimes they can be so full of such physical stunts that you can become distracted by the sheer effort of the performers, forgetting the beautiful shape and form of their performance. Not so with Circa. Though their performance is physical, the performers do that wonderful thing of making a hard thing look graceful. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in 4 Stars, Festivals, Other, Theatre | Leave a Comment »

Snorkelling at Bushranger Bay

Posted by redkoireviews on 04/01/2007

Bushranger BayI have a mate who lives in Wollongong, on the coast south of Sydney. I wen down there for a few days between Christmas and New Years and went snorkeling in Bushranger Bay, just south of Shellharbour.

It’s too far south for brightly coloured tropical corals and fish, but there was plenty to see. Not more than a few meters from the shoreline, small schools of small fish where having a rest. I floated with them for a while checking out their coloured bands – very cute. Then I noticed a group of about 5 largeish silver fish, each about a foot long. They where stalking the small fish looking for an easy lunch. Further out, in the middle of the bay I spotted a sand coloured sting ray about 20cm wide. I ducked dived down close enough to see those two weird eyes on the top of it’s flat body. Finally, at the mouth of the bay, a large school of fish where having a rest. They where about 15cm long, blue with a white strip on their tail. I floated around them and as they got used to me they came closer, surrounding me. Totally amazing!

I loved it and will be going back. If you choose to go, here’s a few tips;

  • Go in the morning, while the wind is low and visibility is good
  • Go at low tide – it just seems to be better
  • Flippers are a must, a wetsuit and a weight belt would have been great – I had to get out an warm up regularly. You can hire everything in Shellharbour or Windang.
  • Take care not to get burnt!

I highly recommend it – it’s just not that often you can get close to animals like this in the wild!

My rating: 4.5 Stars

For more info, see this site

Posted in 4 Stars, Bushwalking, Gardens & Parks, Other, Reviews | 2 Comments »

 
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