The Ramblings of a Bush Philosopher

Clare Valley Photo Gallery

Created about early 2002, modified 2018/01/07

From the 'big hill', Elysium
This page contains photos of the Clare Valley in South Australia. I aim to show others what I believe: that it is one of the most beautiful places in the state if not in the country.

This page has been superseded by my Flickr set Clare Valley.

Click on the pictures that have a bright border to see them full size. Then use the 'back' button to return to this page.

Also see photos of wildflowers in the Clare Valley in Wildflowers.

Photographs of other areas or subjects are available via the home page.

The Clare Valley

The name 'The Clare Valley' is actually a misnomer; it refers to a group of valleys within an area of higher, and therefore better watered, country than the surrounding predominantly cerial farm land.

It is in the state of South Australia, about 150km north of the capital city, Adelaide.

August sunrise At the start of the day is the sunrise...

On Elysium

Toward Blyth Toward Blyth on a hazy day

From the Clare-Blyth road, at the top of the descent onto the Blyth Plain. Unusually, the plain is hidden by the haze.

Condowie Plain Condowie Plain On the western side of the Clare Valley, and at a couple hundred metres lower altitude, is the Condowie Plain, on which is the small town of Blyth. This is the view from the point where the road starts to wind down the hillside toward Blyth.

The summer grass is dry.

BlythView5 The Blyth Plain, winter

From further down the Blyth road

This is a beautiful view. On this day I took about eight photos. It was difficult to pick the best, I don't think any lived up to my best expectations. The back lighting makes imagining the result difficult.

Evening of 27th August 2003

Brookes Lookout From Brookes Lookout

Floyd and Margret Brookes kindly allowed this area to be developed as a reserve and lookout; I think in 2002.

Photo morning of 28th August 2003

Winter2004 Blue gums, Winter 2004

On the 'big hill', Elysium.

The photo is taken into the light and there is a low mist.

August sunrise From the 'big hill'

The camera is beneath a carrob tree. On Elysium.

Home dame Home dam, Elysium

Whether the dam filled in 2003 was a fairly close thing. It did finally fill about late August.

about 27th August 2003

Looking toward Armagh This is a scene near the village of Armagh which is five kilometres from the town of Clare, South Australia. Both Clare and Armagh are named after their counterparts in Ireland.

This photo and many others scattered through this web site were taken on my property 'Elysium'.

The Clare Valley is one of the smaller wine growing areas in Australia, but produces some of the highest quality wines. One Clare wine maker, Jeffrey Grossett, was rated top in the world a couple of years ago.

Across the Blyth road, from 'Elysium' Unlike most of the north and west of South Australia, which generally has low humidity, morning fogs and mists are common in the Clare Valley in winter.

This view is from my shack on Elysium looking toward the north on one early winter's morning.

Early evening light Eucalyptus leucoxylon (South Australian bluegum) trees on Jacob's Range Road, south of Armagh. This is more a track than a road, it gets little motor traffic and is ideal for cycling.

Early evening light Here are some more beautiful bluegums on Jacob's Range Road. These two photos were taken toward sunset.

In general I much prefer the light when the sun is no more than about fifteen degrees above the horizon.

A misty morning at 'Elysium', Armagh, in the Clare Valley, 
S. Australia Advice sometimes given to photographers is:

I strongly disagree with both statements and believe that more interesting photos can be obtained by breaking both rules.

My dog and I walked up the larger of the two hills on Elysium one early spring morning when there was fog covering the land, but clear skies not far above. In the photo above, the tree made large by perspective in the foreground is balanced well by the more distant tree on the right.

Early morning sun shining through a pine plantation onto 
young redgums and sheep, 'Elysium', Clare Valley, S. Australia When we bought Elysium in 1993 there was about a hectare of Pinus radiata on the place; these are in the background in this photo. Soon after we planted, among other species, quite a few redgums; these are the young trees in the foreground.

This photo breaks the rule about taking photos into the light. The result is that the trees are almost silhouetted, one can see the rays of sunlight coming through the thin mist, and the new leaves on the young gums show their colours well.

Shiraz grapes ready to pick, 'Elysium', Armagh, Clare Valley, 
S. Australia We planted a small (1.3ha) vineyard of Shiraz wine grapes in 1999 and expanded by another 0.7ha two years later.

Here is some of the first crop, ready to pick, in about February 2001.

Grape vines seem to suit the soils of the Clare Valley very well, while many fruit trees need to be pampered to survive and produce.


Sun shining through mist, 'Elysium', Armagh, Clare Valley, 
S. Australia An early winter's morning photo looking into the rising sun, with a light mist in the air.

The grass is dewy, but not covered with frost.

We pump some water for small-scale irrigation from the dam which has been planted with native ground-covers, shrubs and small trees.

Introduced sheep, native redgums, and introduced pine trees, 
'Elysium', Armagh, Clare Valley, S. Australia Elysium in the early morning again. The sheep were obliging enough to stand in the foreground. (Shortly later, a fox came out of hiding and sent the sheep running off.)

Sheep are a necessary evil at Elysium. They have done a huge amount of damage to the trees that I've planted, but without them the grass would grow so thick and tall that it would cause an unacceptable fire risk.

Eucalyptus leucoxylon in forground, E. camaldulensis in middle 
distance, introduced Pinus radiata in background. 
'Elysium', Armagh, in the Clare Valley of South Australia I like the way the big bluegum is silhouetted against the light, the colours in the new spring foliage of the young redgums, and the sun shining through the pine trees and thin mist in the background.

Well fed wooly sheep and full farm dams.  It's a good year at 
'Elysium' in the Clare Valley of South Australia Most of the dams in the Clare Valley filled in 2001. This is looking over my 'Home Dam' across the Blyth road toward my neighbor's dam to the north. His dam does not usually fill until mine has.

Again, the sheep were being very obliging.

Sunset at 'Elysium'
At the end of the day there is the sunset.

Always more beautiful with the open horizons of the country than in the cluttered city.

Same sunset This is the same sunset as the photo above; the light changing over a period of minutes, and the colours varying in different directions.

Moon and Venus, at Elysium After the sun has gone you might see the Moon and Venus

From Elysium, a Hardenbergia violacia in the foreground.