Sapphire coast

A few hundred kilometers south along the coast the ocean gets a little icier with deep cold currents from Antarctica, and along with golden rocks and beaches, the colour of the sea changes to a beautiful sapphire green.


The Mimosa Rocks

Sitting between Bermagui and Tathra, lies the Mimosa Rocks National Park named after a vessel that was wrecked on this jagged coastline. It’s inlets and lagoons are secluded, and beaches often empty even in the height of summer. The Mimosa Rocks are near Aragunnu with its ancient shell middens, and camp sites once inhabited by the indigenous traditional owners of the land.


A golden grain


Sapphire waters



Bermagui, or “Bermi” as it is known locally is a fishing port, with a farmers market outside the back of the co-op, a fantastic bakery nearby selling cardamon seed scrolls that are to die for, and some decent coffee shops. We bought a sour dough baguette, local cheese from Tilba, a bottle of wine, and freshly shucked oysters at the market for a late afternoon picnic by the harbour.


Melody at the markets


All tied up



Down the highway, Cuttagee Beach caught the early morning glow after daybreak as waves foamed across the glistening sand. We stopped for a photo break before heading into the National Park.


Cuttagee Beach

I was traveling with an Olympus 35-S rangefinder loaded with Kodak Ektar 100, and my Chamonix 045F1 View camera with Fuji Reala in a roll film holder, as well as Ilford FP4Plus sheet film.


Baronda Head

One of my favourite places has always been the lagoon at Nelson and Baronda Head, but on this occasion we hiked out to the lookout on Wajurda Point instead, then down through the spotted gums and tree ferns to Moon Bay. At the top of the trail a young woman sat on a log among the ferns, strumming a guitar and singing. It felt good to be here.


Moon Bay


Becoming driftwood

Eventually we made our way on to Tathra and its historic pier, built in deep water near the end of the point, which protects it from southerly gales and ocean swells. It was time for us to have a coffee at the cafe and share a fabulous cardamon scroll from the Honour Bakery at Bermagui before heading north, and home again.


Tathra Pier




Waiting for a palanquin

All colour photos were taken with an Olympus 35-S on Ektar 100, except for Cuttagee Beach which was taken using Fuji Reala 100 in a 6×9 roll film holder and Chamonix 045F1 View Camera. All colour film was developed in the Unicolor C41 kit. Black and white photos were taken on FP4+ sheet film and developed in PMK.

5 thoughts on “Sapphire coast

    • It was quite overcast, with low but still bright. I metered once for 100 ISO but then basically applied the sunny sixteen rule from there. The camera was made during the mid-1950’s and has a G.Zuiko 42mm f1.9 lens on it. These early 6 element Zuiko lenses are mostly single coated, sharp but also produce colours that have a nice dreamy quality.

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