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Tree change

May 22, 2010

People often say that Adelaide isn’t a real city but big country town. Sometimes a criticism, sometimes a compliment, mostly in lighthearted jest, it’s easy to see why. Even as an ‘outsider’ who has spent a relatively short amount of time here, it’s clear that there are fewer than six degrees of separation. As someone who has called Sydney home for nearly ten years however, the most striking difference is in its geography, or rather the size of it: how easy it is to traverse the city (unless you’re relying on public transport!) and its proximity to the countryside.

I am staying in a little suburb which I affectionately refer to as ‘Double Bay without the bay’. It isn’t far from town, but it’s well and truly nestled in the ‘burbs, and my mind boggled when I timed a recent journey on foot and by car from the foyer of the Town Hall, where I had just attended a concert, to my bed. Precisely 11 minutes.

Aesthetically, Adelaide isn’t a beautifully autumnal city in the way that some cities in colder climates are, so my hosts suggested a drive up into the hills to get a bit of altitude, fresh air and admire Autumn in its final throes. Psychologically, a journey from the ‘city’ to the ‘country’ leads me to expect a significant investment in petroleum and time. I was quite surprised then, when about 20km along the freeway and 20 minutes later we were suddenly in the picturesque town of Stirling.

Until today, I had always been perplexed, and as an art historian, a little bit offended, by the logic of naming the Heysen Tunnels after a great Australian artist. I appreciate that tunnels can be beautiful and elegant monuments of engineering, but they hardly scream ‘celebrated landscape artist’. That was until I emerged from said tunnel and realised that they are a perfectly located gateway to the landscape he celebrated in his art and loved during his lifetime.

In half an hour of perambulation followed by a lazy lunch at the Stirling Hotel Bistro, I certainly got my fix of Autumn. I’ll let my photos speak for themselves.

Autumn leaves...

A collusion of branches

That old chestnut



Green and gold

Streetscape in orange

The magic faraway tree?

Landscaping materials


The most beautiful Camellia I have ever seen, plucked from a carpark in Stirling for my selfish enjoyment.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 22, 2010 20:31

    Beautiful, Felix. Gorgeous words and images.

  2. June 5, 2010 21:19

    We don’t get any autumn colours up here by the coast. I’ve been in the Barossa in Autumn and the colours were stunning. Your photos have certainly captured the colours of Autumn.

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