The view from Mt Buninyong Tower© Andrea Sparks
Saturday 5th April, 15 members braved the forecast of wet conditions and headed to Ballarat for the day. Luckily the weather defied forecasts and stayed dry, we had a wonderful sunny day out and about Ballarat and its surrounds.
Starting at Lal Lal Falls, no water was found, but that didnâ€™t stop diehard photographers, who found an array of other things to photograph including weeds, fungi, old trees, and even the occasional moth in the ladies loo.
Moving onto Mt Buninyoung the views from the ... puff puff ... many stairs to the platform viewing deck ... puff wheeze ... wow, we made it up the stairs and were treated to an amazing 360 degree view. We also found out one of our members was the supervisor responsible for the tower being built.
A short drive into Ballarat and the Botanic gardens found our group divide and wander around the spectacular gardens, the highlight being the Begonias in the giant glasshouse.
After lunch we lost a few members who broke off to pursue other interests, our group of 8 were to continue on until sunset.
A visit to the Ballarat cemetery, the "Big Rusty Shed", which is no longer there, then out to Lake Burrumbeet where we went off road â€“ making our cars do things they weren't meant to do... becoming all-terain vehicles â€“ into a pine forest that led to the beachfront of the lake. Duck hunters were out and one member made it known: "Don't shoot us â€“ we're not activists, we're just here taking photos".
Next we head off to Lake Learmonth to scope out a site for sunset and found the water had receded quite considerably, leaving dry and cracked mud that many members found very photogenic but extremely difficult to walk on.
After all that a quick trip into Learmonth to view and photograph the old buildings, along with an ice-cream to calm our nerves from the mud-walking before heading back to the lake for sunset.
A decision was made to walk out to an island which looked simple enough but with the cooling of the evening the mud was softening and after lots of giggling and attempts at running fast over mud (you still sink) we made it to the firm land of "Controversy Island" with its own pirate flag fluttering in the wind. Views over the lake with the sunset where worth the effort.
After sunset the fun and games really progressed with the trek back over mud turning into an episode of "Wipeout". With muddy shoes (and a sock left behind), the laughter ringing in our ears, a very satisfying day out was had by all.
If you have never attended a day, please consider it and make the effort to join us, all outings are fun, thereâ€™s always someone to talk too, point out things you may not see or to help with your settings. The dayâ€™s are not just about taking photos, but spending time with like-minded people and great company.