Top 5 Wilderness Moments of 2010

I’ve done some serious travelling this year: 5 months of dedicated travel in Australia, Ireland and Scotland, plus what amounts to 3 months in London. Of that time, much of it was spent exploring far-flung, wild areas well away from the bustle of city life. Here’s the 5 moments I enjoyed the most while off the beaten track in 2010.

1. New England Night and Sunrise, Great Dividing Range – at the start of my road trip, I ventured into the depths of New England National Park for a night. It was clear, freezing cold and remote. The Corolla was tested for 20km of potholed dirt road to get to the campsite, and I shivered through a frosty night. I woke in the predawn and continued to the top of the mountain, to a stunning view and silence more complete than I’ve ever experienced.

2. Lorikeet Attack and Storm at Pretty Beach, South Coast – the weather forecast was scary, but I chose to brave it. As I pitched my tent, a cheeky gang of rainbow lorikeets descended on my campsite and thoroughly investigated my setup. They postured, posed and screeched for a couple of minutes, then abruptly left, while I stood bemused. The storm that night was stunning – 100kph gusts roaring off the ocean and twisting my flimsy tent this way and that while I huddled inside.

3. Chillagoe Caves and Sunset – if you follow this blog you’ll have seen lots of shots of this day (not the one below!). The caving was fun, but for me, scrambling around over outcrops housing ancient coral formations, on a stunning evening, was a memory I’ll keep for a long time!

4. B. P. to Pigeon House Mountain – while staying on the South Coast, I explored lots of the wave options. One day, I cruised up the coast, dropping by a bunch of locations while trying to find a spot holding the peculiar swell and wind combination. I ended up surfing alone for a couple of hours at a warping, strange reef break, only managing to get a couple of good ones but feeling very alive. The wind changed, a couple of locals arrived and I moved on, making the impromptu decision to climb a mountain I could see on the horizon. The four-hour hike, on top of the surf, left me with jelly for legs, but the sense of freedom and achievement was immense.

The distant shape of Pigeon House Mountain after my surf…

The view from the top of Pigeon House Mountain later on that day! Click for the large size…

5. The infamous Bathurst Bay debacle. I was covered in nature. Enough said.

An honourable mention goes to an epic Main Beach shorey session in February… the most thumping shorebreak I’ve seen in on the Gold Coast area for years, with golden afternoon light, an empty lineup and a solid 2 hours of swimming around with my GoPro! Great fun and makes me yearn for the chance to jump into warm water, wearing only board shorts, and test myself against the ocean! No, it’s not wilderness, but it felt pretty wild.

Categories: Fun Things On Land, photos, Road Trip, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 182 Comments

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182 thoughts on “Top 5 Wilderness Moments of 2010

  1. you mean top 5 *Australian* wilderness moments of 2010 =P

  2. these pics blow my mind, thanks for sharing and congrats on freshly pressed!

  3. Wonderful photos.

  4. Stunning images — how amazing to capture these moments and to have them to share, recall and enjoy for the rest of your life!


  5. Wow great pictures!! Total outdoors guy myself, so thanks for the little morsels of natures beauty as I sit in my concrete jungle in Chicago. Small doses of wilderness as you present them, help combat my cabin fever! Agh! Thank you!

  6. Beautiful pictures, nice job :)

  7. I love the wave picture. You described it well.

  8. Pingback: Top 5 Wilderness Moments of 2010 | Wisata Foto Dunia

  9. Awesome shots especially the last one!

  10. Congratulations. Amazing pics!

  11. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed! Beautiful pictures! Sounds like you had an amazing year. Hope your 2011 is just as fun!

  12. Very nice photos!

  13. Congratulations! Amazing pictures!

  14. Hiroki

    Very nice pictures. Did you take them all?

  15. Exodus

    i love the last one. stunning!

  16. God that looks amazing. Very jealous. That last shot is awesome though.

  17. these are amazing! Absolutely amazing! Congrats on FP!

  18. The last photo is super cool! Envy you! :-D

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  20. @ Hiroki; yes, I took them all. Thanks for the comments and kind words everyone, glad I could share these with you!

  21. WOW! Beautiful photos, kudos to you! Congrats on your year & on being Freshly Pressed! May your 2011 be as blessed!

  22. Oooo…I like #5 the best. But I’m into curvy lines. Thanks for the pics.


  23. Amazing photos of what appears to be an amazing adventure!!

  24. Anonymous

    Dave, you jammy bastard! Congrats on being at the top of the page, and also for taking such beautiful pics.

    I’m taking the old pentax to Morocco, so i’ll show you the pics when I get back.

  25. beautiful pics

  26. Absolutely amazing photos!

  27. Wow, what amazing pictures!

  28. Your pictures are beautiful but the last one is stunning. Congrats on being freshly pressed.

  29. daphinas

    I am quite speechless. These are beautiful! I can’t decide which one is best… They are all great.

  30. wow, your pictures are wonderful! Good job!:D

  31. I’m the type of person that doesn’t get to travel very much, so it’s inspiring to see all these beautiful pictures of possible places I could travel in the future!

  32. mercurialmind

    amazingly beautiful photos

  33. Pingback: Top 5 Wilderness Moments of 2010 (via David Robertson) « We Are All Made Of Stars.

  34. Excellent photographs! So beautiful!!!

  35. Wow – amazing photos! Looking forward to seeing more.

  36. Beautiful pictures. Australia is starting to look like a nice idea right now.

  37. LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog! Your photography is amazing!!!!!

  38. These images are so great that I really feel like I got to share a little bit of your adventures. I enjoyed reading your words, too, and am going to check out the rest of your blog. What a wonderful life you have!

  39. Beautiful! The Lorikeet close up reminds me of our Amazon, which died some years ago. The feathers around the face are so interesting, and many people do not see birds at such a close distance.

  40. the last pic is really wild.

    How much time and effort did you take to get that stunning view?


  41. I would be interested in your camera setup if you are willing to share, like others stated the pictures are stunning. Any of them altered with photoshop or the like?

    I love the outdoors put not sure I could commit to the type of gear necessary to take shots like these.

    • Hi BTD-P. The first 4 shots were taken with a Canon 40D, with an assortment of lenses – a 10-22mm wide angle and 70-200mm for the landscapes and a 100mm macro for the bird, I think. Unfortunately all the gear was stolen at the end of my road trip! (insured, but it was still a shame)

      To be honest, any digital SLR on the market today could get shots like these – the important thing was getting to the locations at the right time. An old Canon 400D with a couple of kit lenses would suffice pretty well if used correctly. And I’ve only used minor touches to saturation etc in photoshop.

      The wave shot was with a GoPro HD, a little, relatively cheap camera, which is OK for stills but is mostly focused on video. I just got pretty lucky with that session.

  42. The third photo reminds me of The Gods Must Be Crazy. :D

    Nice shots.

  43. All pictures are amazing but i liked 3rd one more than the others.

  44. Absolutely awesome. Your story of 100 km/h gusts of wind reminds me of a night camped on the beach in an onshore gale at Freycinet NP. It got so bad that at 2am we picked up the tent, still assembled, and carried it 50m into the bush for some shelter!

    Thanks for sharing your stories.

    • Whoa, that sounds amazing! I was really lucky, I pitched in the lee of some dense bushes, so the gusts mostly blew over – a little further up the hill I’d have been toast. Relocating did cross my mind a few times though!

  45. Love the pictures – where was the picture of you standing with the cool clouds taken?

  46. wow! great photos!

  47. I like the lorikeet picture; it’s so amazing! Personally, however, I love Ireland better. If you ask me why, I’l explain in great detail, but not now. Anyway, I love your photos!

  48. pawpoint

    Amazing, amazing photographs, nice blog ;)

  49. I spent a life travelling. Avoiding my withins. Far more exotic fillings and destinations eluded me, in a lifetime spent travelling. Fearing meeting me.

  50. Cool pics, love the lorikeet!

  51. faerylandmom

    Such incredible shots! Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

  52. wow…. wish i cud travel too…..

  53. Pingback: Top 5 Wilderness Moments of 2010 (via David Robertson) « VANILLA :)

  54. Wow! Very adventurous! It’s great to see young people like you. Change the world. So happy you were Freshly Pressed.

  55. mieftah18

    wow suhanalloh . . .

  56. niiiice… :) and that’s a great pic to end with…

  57. Those are really gorgous pictures.

  58. Wow…I am really impressed with your photography. The colors are gorgeous, the subject matter is interesting, and you definitely know when magnificence is in front of you. Great post! Congrats on being Freshly Pressed! :)

  59. Oh,man, how did you take the last photo? Beautiful.

  60. You’re lucky to have gone to all those places and taken such wonderful pictures, truly the best way to retain all those moments and memories! Love that last one!

  61. I’m a new follower of your page. I love you shots and am excited to hear more adventures!

  62. Beautiful images. My most recent post also features a photo of the same type of colorful bird :) Don’t know the name but it’s a very photogenic species!

  63. elmer

    Wow.This is absolutely impressive! Great site, great photo-adventures.

  64. wow, awesome!

  65. Wow, absolutely marvelous!! Congratulations on being freshly pressed :)
    Are you a professional photographer?

  66. holygypsy

    Love the sites, Love the pictures and love the stories that go along with them… I think I am a bit in love with you too …Wonderful blog.. thanks!


  68. Pingback: Top 5 Wilderness Moments of 2010 (via David Robertson) « Mbconsulting's Blog

  69. I can say only this much… superb!!!! the pics are absolutely amazing. perfect. Great job.

  70. Pingback: Top 5 Wilderness Moments of 2010 (via David Robertson) « potamophilosophy

  71. That was super cool!!!! W rote a post yesterday about everything i want to do before i kick the bucket….. a bucket list. One of those things was become a photographer!!! I look at your photo’s and i am even more inspired to get cracking on that one sooner rather than later!!! Going to have a nice squiz around.

  72. jocazplamenco

    so beautiful…
    appreciating things is the best way to be happy!

  73. Astonishing. I love the New England Night and Sunrise. Great atmosphere. I’m a keen photographer myself.

  74. beautiful pics you done.

  75. behail arif new

  76. absolutely
    behail arif new

  77. Great photos! I think No. 5 was the most difficult, but I really like the look of that colorful bird :D

  78. what a wonderful year you have had!!! thanks for sharing it!! and beautiful photos!!

  79. Wow! Amazing pictures, and I especially love the one of the lorikeet and your story. Sounds like you had a great trip.
    I’m one who arrived from Freshly Pressed. Congrats, thanks for the welcome, and I’m off to roam your blog a little!

  80. wow its amazing

  81. These are awesome!

  82. Too good man! Thanks for sharing these with the world. This is a must see and must watch piece of work which I would definitely recommend to my friends. Keep on posting such delightful work. You made my day buddy…

  83. Great post, as always. Congrats on getting Freshly Pressed!

    Really like the lorikeet. Nice detail. Birds are difficult to do well.

    Only 5 top wilderness moments in Australia, huh? Hopefully in the not to distant future you’ll feature your top AFRICAN wilderness moments! ;-)

    • Well I’m not sure if it’ll be Africa next, but I do want to get there… I’ve got people encouraging me to go to New Caledonia, Reunion Island, various parts of North America and Europe and I still haven’t been to Western Australia or Tasmania or even New Zealand’s south island.

      When I make a list like that I wonder if I will ever stop travelling… and that’s only the ones that come to mind now! Let alone the middle east, China…

  84. Beautiful pictures! I love the ocean picture. It’s awesome how you were able to capture the intensity of the waves. Love it. :D

  85. Gorgeous shots!

  86. David,

    cool pics, man. I have to admit, I’m partial to pictures of the ocean, and I’m jealous of your 2 hour swim. You mentioned a “GoPro!,” what is that? I’d sure like to know more about ocean photography of that sort — gear, method, etc…


    • Hi Jason, thanks for the comment. If you google “GoPro HD” you’ll see what I mean – it’s a specific type of camera. Most pro surf photographers shoot using an SLR in a large, waterproof housing, but the GoPro can take decent shots for a fraction of the price. Method wise… you need to spend a lot of time surfing/swimming in surf to get the knowledge of the waves, positioning etc… it’s not easy but the rewards are great!

  87. while the wave shot is quite epic, the colors on the bird really get me.

  88. Just saw this post featured. I love your photographs and the adventures you have sound amazing (and cold)! Glad to have found your blog.

  89. great photos, especially point number two :D

  90. wow, i am loving this post! your photos are phenomenal, & for a wanderlusting spirit like me, it really makes you feel as though i’m right there with you. bravo!


  91. really really beautiful! I’d like to add this to my blogroll. We loveeeee travel and photograph’s.

    gorgeous …………..

  92. I know this isn’t a travel agency, but I want to sign up for every place mentioned in this post! My favorite is the surfing pic. How on EARTH did you get that shot? Congrats on FP…very well deserved!

    • If you want to sign up for all these spots, come to Australia for 2 or more months, rent a good car and camping gear sometime between March and October, and just travel the East Coast! So many amazing places!

      The surf shot… it was actually fairly lucky, I was swimming desperately to get under the wave and kept my arm in the air with the camera as I dived, and that’s how it turned out! I was more concerned with not getting annihilated by it!

  93. modiana

    I can´t stop looking at the last pic… it´s just so unbelieveable gorgeous and I really envy you, you could see that:))

  94. Fantastic I love your blog!!!!

    Happy new year 2011 – Thanks for sharing!!!

  95. Beautifully Done. What photo’s would you put with my poetry. Process of preparing third non-profit poetry book. All profits serve the “homeless cause” of Texas.

    Would you have an interest to participate? Poetry work is truly a huge hurdle to overcome in creative photos.

  96. Wow–BEAUTIFUL pictures! The sky in number 3 alone makes me want to learn more about photography (and go to Australia)!! Thank you for sharing these on your blog, and congrats on being Freshly Pressed! :)

  97. dorotheenbar


  98. rwjones

    Great photos, and glad to see that someone else enjoys Top 5 lists as much as I do.

  99. jbetoblog

    amazing photos, well done :D

  100. great post

  101. Such beautiful images…all those different colors in the wilderness…very nice work!


    nice :)

  103. Wow. Simple, yet amazing capture of 5 highlights of your year. Truly jealous…thanks for sharing.

  104. Loved the wave photo. Did you have to shoot many to get that seminal shot?

    • Yes, lots! I think that surf session I shot about 300 photos, perhaps 20 were ‘good’ and that one was one of the best. It was a particularly nuts wave too, I only just made it under without getting smashed!

  105. I love your wave shot. Incredible!

  106. the wave looks amazing! great pictures in total. very nice

  107. wow :)

  108. Beautiful!!

  109. ur post inspire me more to travel..

    urhh..cant wait.

  110. Pingback: Top 5 Wilderness Moments of 2010 (via David Robertson) | Khaos Theory

  111. webcloudj

    the shot is awsome!

  112. The last photo’s awesome!

  113. aminsanaei

    wow! nice pics

  114. Love the photos. Expressive of the great adventures you had this year. Congrats on the FP

  115. These are beautiful! The last one is just incredible.
    Also, The first and third photo remind me so much of Into The Wild (which I find amazing :P )

  116. Love that last picture. Love them all!

  117. Superbe shots. Thanks

  118. very very beautiful. Thanks for sharing

  119. Yes I like U blog, very good

  120. liked the wave pic

  121. gorgeous pictures. i’ve always wanted to get into photography (who hasn’t?), but i suck (:
    if you like writing, check out my blog

  122. i only scanned your post but i was taken in with all those photos! great collection! :D congratulations on being freshly pressed^_^ keep the photos coming!

  123. I liked the first and the last pictures best – personally my kind of pictures are macros but these are certainly interesting.

  124. lagabbianellaeilgatto

    very nice photographs!And nice “travellings” =D

  125. Pingback: Top 5 Wilderness Moments of 2010 (via David Robertson) | I've become like the tinman

  126. Great blog mate. Cheers.

  127. wow!!! i wont say anything new. Breathtaking!

  128. wow…amazing pics and i love your blog theme too! congrats on FP!


  129. Pingback: Top 5 Wilderness Moments of 2010 (via David Robertson) | Other Stuff

  130. These pictures are stunning! Thanks for sharing!

  131. Seafoam

    Beautiful shot of the wave.



  133. wow amazing photo :)

  134. I am in love with your photos! They’re amazing!

  135. You have been to some wonderful places. I like the pictures. The last one is so neat. I love wave pictures, but yours is above and beyond fantastic.

  136. Kendrick Brix

    Dude, spectacular but how on Earth did you snap number 5? If I wasn’t looking at it right now I’d say it was impossible.

    • Basically… sit on the inside of a big, heavy wave in shallow water, swim toward it as it breaks, hold my camera arm as high and straight as I can as the lip goes over, then do my best not to get smashed by it! Great fun.

  137. Number five is AWESOME! I cannot imagine snapping that photo!

  138. Amazing ….

  139. Stunning pictures accompanied by great captions.
    Really great post!

  140. I love your blog. The design is beautiful and your color scheme is spectacular. It made the cover for wordpress.coms site. Nice Job!

  141. They are some very cool photographs … did you take them???or did you just get them off the internet???

  142. Wow! the scenes as well as the photos are marvelous.

  143. wonderful pictures! well done!

  144. notitiae

    Quite a good Post and wonderfull photoes, pics…
    I wanted to link my post and for the Photography and its word… With the last contribution, help or work: it’s in Italian …

  145. Merry Christmas, just wonderful pictures!
    Ana Martins

  146. brunOliveira

    “Welcome to those arriving from Freshly Pressed, feel free to look around! To see more stories and lots of photos from my travels, there’s a summary on my Road Trip page…”

    That’s me! And I sure like this post, not today but I surely will browse through your blog, along the next few days. Lots of great pictures, seems like the kind of site I like to spend my time on.

    “it was an amazing year.”
    An even better 2011

  147. The last photo is super cool! Envy you

  148. Michael A. Rullo

    Absolutely stunning photographs! Thank you so much for sharing!

  149. AWESOME!!
    The view from the top of Pigeon House Mountain is so amazing… Like a vision.. :)
    Anyhow, I wonder how difficult but fun u took the the 5th shot.. :)

  150. how do u guys do it man!

    such beautiful pictures!! :D


  151. giyounghwang

    Your pictures give off a breath of fresh air and adventure. Quite stunning, to say the least!!

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  154. Surreal shots,to say the least…I must say! :)

  155. Like the post and pics. Congrats on Freshly Pressed, Dave.
    -Nate Marti

  156. really nice!

  157. Great shots.

  158. gvipromote

    เที่ยวญี่ปุ่น เที่ยวฮ่องกง ทัวร์มาเก๊า

    Like the post and pics. Congrats on Freshly Pressed, Dave.
    -Nate Marti

  159. elizabeth Walker

    great pics could you tell mw where you where to take picture of pigeon house mountain and ocean photo Thanks Elizabeth

    • Hi Elizabeth, I replied to you on the About Me thread – it’s at Sussex Inlet, at the end of Pacifica Drive, near the surf club I think. A really nice spot! The mountain is quite far off, it was shot with a telephoto lens, but the view is still good on a clear day.


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