Hornsby water clock

This amazing sculpture, entitled “Man, Time and the Environment”, is located in the centre of the pedestrian mall in Hornsby.  The clock sculpture, designed and engineered by Victor Cusack weighs approximately 20 tonnes and stands 8 meters tall. Unveiled in 1993, the bronze, stainless steel and glass construction took 2½ years to build and cost over $1m.
Lunch with family and friends at the adjacent Blu Water Grill was, as usual, a great experience.  Choosing from a tapas plate, crispy fried zucchini flowers, salads, a lovely selection of mains or from the specials of the day, we were sure of a delicious meal.  A special dessert and the perfect coffee rounded off this enjoyable occasion.

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Strangler Figs at Sea Acres Rainforest Centre

The strangler fig starts life as a tiny seed in the rainforest canopy.  It begins to grow on the forest floor and as it grows, the fig gradually wraps itself  around a host tree.
These strangler figs we viewed from the boardwalk at the Sea Acres Rainforest Centre near Port Macquarie, make an interesting pattern on their host trees as they grow and widen, their size and strength evident as they slowly surround the host’s trunk.

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Epiphytes at Sea Acres Rainforest Centre

Look up into the canopy as you walk on the boardwalk at Sea Acres Rainforest centre, and you can see the Staghorns, Elkhorns, Birds Nest Ferns and Ribbon Ferns growing high up on the tree branches.  These plants are called Epiphytes and grow on host trees but are not parasitic.
The long leaves of a Ribbon Fern in my photo are growing from an Elkhorn, while another tree is supporting a Birds Nest Fern.

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Ninox – at Sea Acres Rainforest Centre

Apart from the wonderful rainforest to be seen from the boardwalk, there are some amazing sculptures at the Sea Acres National Park.
A sculpture by Stephen King of Ninox, the powerful owl, is part of a memorial to Boyd Laut, who was a senior national park ranger.  The owl, larger than life, greets you in an open-air classroom on the boardwalk.
I couldn’t resist including this photo I took of a curled frond on the branch of a Tree Fern, which reminds me of an owl with its large eyes and head slightly turned.

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Sea Acres Rainforest Centre

Close to Port Macquarie is the Sea Acres National Park.  This 76 hectare park has an easy 1.3km boardwalk through the subtropical rainforest canopy.
Majestic cabbage tree palms growing beside the walkway and vibrant birds nest ferns deep in the undergrowth made this walk a photographers paradise.
After our walk we enjoyed a delicious lunch on the deck at the Rainforest Cafe, which is surrounded by trees and palms.

 

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More from Mt. Penang Gardens

These cream and orange grevilleas are a delight to find as you stroll along the pathways at the Mt. Penang gardens.
The scribbly gums, displaying their zigzag tracks – which are tunnels made by the larvae of the scribbly gum moth – are Australian eucalypt trees, and are a feature of the parklands.
A lovely stand of Kangaroo Paws lines a pathway with their orange and yellow flowers swaying in the breeze.

 

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Mt. Penang Gardens

Over 8 hectares of native gardens with meandering pathways and  water features, makes a visit to the Mt Penang parklands at Kariong a rewarding experience.  We were lucky to visit the garden, take a few photos and enjoy morning tea at the Waterfall Cafe.
Featured above, are the beautiful yellow Grevilleas, Illawarra flame trees with their amazing seed pods, the huge leaves of the Lotus flower, a pretty branch on the pink flowering gum tree and some unique Queensland bottle trees.

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The road less travelled

This walking track at Kincumber Mountain reserve is lined with majestic gum trees, and could be a million miles away from suburbia.  Pleasant side tracks lead to lookouts and amazing rock formations.  Also popular with picnickers, the reserve has numerous picnic tables and barbecues.  About a ten minute drive from home, It’s a good spot for an afternoon walk.

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Edogawa Japanese Gardens

The Edogawa Commemorative Garden at East Gosford, with its meandering pathways and Koi ponds, also boasts an art gallery and cafe.  The art gallery has three exhibition spaces in which the artworks are changed on a regular basis. The gardens – including the wisteria walk, raked stone garden, waterlilies and iris – are beautifully maintained.  A lovely place to visit!

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