Location Guide – Crystal Castle (Northern NSW)

Posted by on Apr 13, 2014 in Location Guides | 0 comments

Location Guide – Crystal Castle (Northern NSW)

Crystal Castle is nestled in the foothills behind Mullimbimby in Northern NSW and is a wonderfully different location for photography. Whilst not a castle in the traditional sense, The Crystal Castle offers fun for all members of the family with a wonderful garden, unusual statues and a cafe with scrumptious food on offer. As a photographer it will take you no time to lose yourself in the gardens with a superb collection of flowering plants mixed with rainforest walks.

Following some of the paths throughout the property you start to encounter some of the many surprises that are sprinkled throughout the gardens. These surprises in the form of statues pose their own photographic challenges and rewards. One of the main attractions is the Blessing Buddha, a 4 metre high statue weighing 14 tones. The Blessing Buddha sits in the centre of the gardens in a giant wishing pond. A fairly recent addition to the gardens has been the construction of a Buddist Stupa as part of the World Peace Project, this wonderful structure bring a sense of the Tibetan mountains to Australia was blessed by the Dahli Lama.

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The thing that attracts me most to the Crystal Castle is the chance to throw on the Macro lens onto the camera and wander the gardens looking for those special details that I can portray in close up shots. When buried in concentration for Macro photography, the time just fly’s so luckily the cafe and crystal shop will keep your significant other occupied. The will be occupied in the playground or undertaking an adventure walk supplied by the staff.

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I actually prefer attending the Crystal Castle on days that are overcast, it provides much softer light for doing macro type of photos. The overcast conditions also help you to take pictures within the the rainforest areas as bright sun provides very bright patches mixed with dark areas and this doesn’t work too well for your pictures. Last time I went to the castle it was raining and I was able to make some wonderful pictures utilizing the water droplets.

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It is possible to reach Mullimbimby in a day trip from Brisbane and still have plenty of time fro taking photographs. When I go there I tend to look for an overnight stay, either near the beach at Bryon Bay or at a nice Bed and Breakfast in the mountains.

Equipment Recommendations

– Camera/Memory card and batteries

– Lens – usually the range between wide angle (10-20mm) and medium zoom (70-200mm) will be all that is required. If you have a Macro lens this is a must.

– Tripod – especially useful when doing Macro work. No restrictions onsite regarding the use of tripods.

– An umbrella (it is rainforest after all)

Techniques to Try

– Macro photography, camera on the tripod and using Liveview on your camera to assist with framing

– Try some wider angle images getting some of the many statues in their environment.

Directions

– From the Pacific Highway take Brunswick Heads / Mullumbimby Gulgan Rd exit. Come back across the Highway overpass and continue straight through round-a-bout. Take first right turn at ‘Uncle Tom’s Pies’ towards Mullumbimby. As you enter Mullumbimby, when the road veers to the left you are on the main street (Burringbar St). Take the 3rd Left (at Post Office) onto Dalley St. Follow this road out of town. From the Golf Club (on your left) drive 4.5 kms straight up the hill (This is called Coolamon Scenic Drive). Take your first Right at the top of the ridge onto Goonengerry Road. After 0.6 kms turn Right onto Monet Drive.

https://maps.google.com.au/maps?q=81+Monet+Drive,+Mullumbimby,+NSW,+2482&ll=-28.598992,153.549728&spn=0.253808,0.445976&hnear=81+Monet+Dr,+Montecollum+New+South+Wales+2482&t=h&z=12

For more information:

http://www.crystalcastle.com.au/

 

If you would like to learn more about Macro or Garden photogrpahy, remember to check out the upcoming Ozlight Photo Adventures Garden Walk workshops for upcoming courses – http://www.ozlightphoto.com.au/enrol/outings/garden-walk/

Cheers

Ken

 

 

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