Lockdown Life: COVID-19 With A Camera-phone

iPhone photos from deep inside Melbourne’s heavily-restricted life.

What a kick in the nuts COVID-19 has been! Looking on the bright side, Australia fared comparatively very well this year, but on the down side, Melbourne was forced to endure one of the harshest and strictest lockdowns on the planet. And I’m not gonna lie – it was tough. The mental stress of not knowing if things would improve, a police-enforced curfew from 8pm until 5am, being only allowed outside for 1 hour of exercise and being restricted to a 5km radius from home was extremely burdensome … and just draining overall.

But what it did give me was a greater appreciation for the everyday beauty in the ‘burbs less than 5km from my home. I’m fortunate that from Flemington there is a lot of great places nearby, and being restricted in my movements meant that I had to explore, by foot or by bike, a lot of places I would have normally bypassed. And of course I had my iPhone on me. Here is a selection of some of my favourite images from March until November (when we could finally start to get back to normal).

Some beauty in the ‘burbs … and a very empty CBD on the rare occasion I visited:

When we were permitted to travel further than 5km it was nice to by the water:

The Yarra River gets all the glory, but out west, the Maribyrnong has some real beauty:

And it’s funny, when you walk the streets, you notice so much more than when you zoom by in a car!

4 x GoodTimes With Nitro Snowboards

Four years of photo shoots with the Nitro Pro Team

With Melburnians landlocked from the mountains all winter with the COVID-19 restrictions, I wanted to look back on four fantastic years of Nitro GoodTimes camps in Victoria. The brainchild of Nitro Snowboards Australia/NZ’s Mark Bristow, Will Cheshire and “Master of Ceremonies/Mr Falls Creek”, Jimi Cordell, GoodTimes was a raucous weekend/week/fortnight to bring the extended Nitro family together with a bunch of the new boards, fresh from the factory, to shoot photos for each next year’s catalog.

I’ve been hooked up by Nitro since around 2009, so I jumped at the chance to lend my services … and it’s been a week that I look forward to most each winter. Good times, good crew … and way too many beers (bloody, Jimi!)

Please enjoy some of my favourite action shots from the last four years with Nitro.

2016: Hotham – Viking Invasion…

Led by Scandianavian slayers Marcus Kleveland, Torgeir Begrem, Sven Thorgren, Ludwig Biltoft, Jared Elston (honourary Scando/Aussie) and Silje Norendal, with Aussie Team Manager, Darragh Walsh, directing the troops, Nitro Snowboards held the first infamous GoodTimes Camp at Hotham. It was wild … and the vikings roared! My photos and words from this GoodTimes was a multi-page feature article in ANZ Snowboarding Magazine. See more photos here.

2017: Falls Creek – ANZACs…

A Trans-Tasman assault on Falls Creek coincided with one of the biggest storms of the decade. Rather than hitting the park, Nate Johnstone, Christy Prior, Harley Trivic and Toms Petrusevics (honourary Aussie) sheltered in the snowy trees … and in the warmth of QT’s balcony hot tubs. Oh, and this was the first time “Mr Falls Creek” introduced us all to his signature drink.

Pro tip: ask for a “Jimi” at Stingray next time you’re there … but don’t drink more than a couple!

2018: Falls Creek – The A List Arrives…

All the big dogs descended on lil ‘ol Falls Creek for the biggest GoodTimes yet: Marcus, Torgeir, Sven, Zoi (all fresh from PyeongChang 2018), Christy and Elias Elhardt destroyed the park – but it was Sam Taxwood who was MVP, styling all sorts of tricks that just should not be humanly possible on a 203cm “Big Pink” Quiver Cannon.

Falls Creek upped the ante with organised holiday packages for punters to get in on all the fun (and the “Jimis” at Stingray), and TM/Nitro legend Knut Eliassen just couldn’t help but throw a few handplants (when he wasn’t otherwise playing the party Pied Piper), while Nitro International’s Andi Aurhammer showed his commitment to GoodTimes by joining in the shenanigans.

But special thanks had to go to Falls Creek Terrain Parks/Events for hand-shaping the epic snake run down Last Hoot – one run has probably never received so much media coverage … and it was worth the guys getting in a bit of trouble for building it in such a high-traffic area.

2019: Falls Creek – The Good Times roll on…

Another GoodTimes, another epic storm! The crew scored … and took advantage of special lift access before the public was allowed up. Austen Smith brought his surf-styles to Falls Creek, and he was joined by the kiwi wonder women, Christy and Zoi, as well as lil’ ripper, Nico Bodi, with TM Darragh Walsh showing us all he’s still got it! And old Falls Creek/Nitro rider Jason Currie even managed to snag an epic pow spray like the good ol’ days.

Good times, indeed! Thanks to Bristow, Will, but most of all to Jimi for being the life and soul of GoodTimes.

I hope we can all get back to a GoodTimes in the future.

Nitro have just launched their updated website with their 2021 range of snowboards (which Australia/NZ received in-stores this year). Take a look here.

Lockdown Life: Victorian Goldfields During COVID-19

Photos from Victoria’s goldfields during COVID-19 lockdown.

Well, it’s been a long time between blog posts … and the world has definitely changed! Melbourne began a COVID-19 lockdown in late March, before a gradual easing at the start of winter. And after a calamitous second wave of infections, right now we’re (hopefully) at the tail-end of a second, even stricter lockdown.

My wife and I were fortunate to be able to spend many weekends (when we could travel outside of Melbourne) at Tarnagulla in central Victoria. I spent some time exploring the bush fires trails on my mountain bike. Here’s a few iPhone images.

It’s a beautiful, peaceful part of the world … and we can’t wait to get back there.

Loddon River at Newbridge, Victoria
Loddon River at Newbridge, Victoria
Loddon River at Newbridge, Victoria
Loddon River at Newbridge, Victoria
Tarnagulla Rainbow
Tarnagulla Rainbow above the Wesleyan Methodist church and Poverty Mine poppet head.
Broadway, Dunolly.
The view from Mt Moliagul.
Tarnagulla Track.
The track up to Mt Moliagul. Worth the trek for the view…
Murderers Hill, on the road between Tarnagulla and Dunolly, where a double murder took place in 1857.
One of the sand-scrape greens of Tarnagulla & District Golf Course in the dusk light.
Tarnagulla bush track.
On the banks of the Loddon River, near Poseidon Reef. Two guys were in the news a couple of weeks ago because they dug up a $350,000 gold nugget right behind those far trees on the left. Read about it here.
Bendigo’s grand court house … doing it’s best Parisian impression.