On the1st and 2nd of June Year 12 Geography students boarded the bus for a two day field trip. The first part of our journey focussed on the spatial patterns of urban dynamics. The group viewed market gardens at Marsden Park; large mansions complete with two tennis courts, circular driveways, landscaped pools, lakes and gardens near Annangrove; the global arc of Sydney at Macquarie Park, the secondary business districts of Chatswood and North Sydney; the culture of places at Kings Cross; examples of urban renewal at Woolloomooloo; urban consolidation at Bondi and finally the older industrial suburbs to the south.
After lunch we travelled to the south coast via Stanwell Tops. By late afternoon the group arrived at Shellharbour to observe the changes to this sleepy coastal town as a result of suburbanisation. There is now a sprawling array of suburbs that have displaced many dairy farms and changed the rural landscape forever. A visit to the very active Kiama blowhole in the late afternoon sunshine left everyone in awe of nature. An overnight stay in Kiama and an excellent Mexican feast followed.
Early the next morning a few members of the group undertook a brisk walk along the shoreline. All joined in for a delicious breakfast at the Amaki Cottage Café. The cold weather ensured that most of the group ordered the ‘big breakfast’! After attempting, in gale force winds, to complete a line sketch of the hill overlooking Gerringong we arrived at Crooked River Wines. There was much to learn about the operation of the vineyard and the challenges of producing high quality grapes when the weather is so variable. In January 2013 a heat wave resulted in a day that recorded 47.5°C. Many of the grapes looked like sultanas and 100% of the crop was lost. Although there were some serious setbacks the harvests for 2014 and 2015 were 100% successful and produced quality grapes that are carefully being transformed into beautiful wines. The new manager, Godwin Felice presented a fascinating insight into the challenges confronting this local enterprise with significant impacts from the major upgrade of the Princes Highway. We learned about the high level of technical expertise required as well as the application of the most recent technology. We returned to Sydney having enjoyed a fantastic time away and gaining great insight into the economic activity of wine production.
We thank Mr Johnson for driving the bus and Ms Smith for sharing her knowledge of this economic activity.