Autumn in the Southern Highlands

In May 2012, my partner and I decided to take a short weekend holiday in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia. It would be my first time seeing autumn foliage.

We drove about three hours to a log cabin in a small sleepy town named Robertson; it is often overlooked by local vacationers for its more famous and popular neighbours, Kiama and Fitzroy Falls.

Red, orange, green, and blue

We’d arrived a little late for “leaf-peeping” but I wasn’t very disappointed. The pops of reds and yellows among the common olive- and blue-greens that make up most of Australia’s coastal bush lands still managed to delight and surprise.

The skies threatened icy rain one afternoon, but I was unfazed.

As I walked outside with my camera, shivering during particularly wintry gales and wishing I’d brought some gloves, the Romantic poets’ odes to Nature and the joys of walking came to mind. In Most Sweet it is, Wordsworth mused about how lovely it was to wander in pastoral scenes, meditating on the purpose of travelling without the expectation to feel deeply inspired or moved by a perfect scene.

In fact, the most imperfect scenes are often the humblest, and within imperfection there can be inspiration.