celebrating a special wetland on country

15 March, 2022

Joyces Creek as – we call it – provides the boundary along which the shires of Mt Alexander and Central Goldfields firmly rub shoulders. But the creek’s beauty can also be fleeting and ephemeral. We chatted to Castlemaine Camera Club photographer, Pam Connell, about two of her recent photographs.

The creek as it floods out to the Cairn Curran Reservoir is a special place for our trail. It’s a wetland area that for more than 40,000 years before White Settlement, helped support the Djarra people as a place of gathering and a food bowl.

In the nineteenth century, Joyces Creeek was a vibrant community, and this century is recognised as a key part of the world-class Moolort Plains wetland. The creek is also the rough halfway mark on our proposed 55km trail.

“These shots were taken just before sunrise around 7:00am,” Pam Connell reported. “I go to Joyces Creek for sunrise and sunset photos because I love the reflections on the water when there is interest in the sky. I also choose the times of the year when dawn and dusk don’t require getting up at ungodly hours!” Pam said.

Pam confessed it was the first time she’d climbed up to the disused railway track to take photos. “It made for some good leading lines and added a feeling of depth and interest to them.” Pam says that living in Newstead makes Joyces Creek and Welshmans Reef easily accessible photo locales.

For the photo nerds, and like most landscape photographers, Pam prefers a large aperture and a slow shutter. “The elaborate sunrise shot was actually an HDR blend of three photos with +/- 2 exposure stops. The settings were ISO 100 f11 at 1/6s,1/25s / 0.6s.”

Fellow club photographer, and a founding CMRT committee member, Mick Evans heaped praise on Pam’s images. “When I saw Pam’s photograph, I thought they were so stunning that they’d be ideal for the rail trail. I’m pretty sure Pam likes to get out early for the sunrise. Living in Newstead it’s a short hop for her to get out to Cairn Curran.”

Mick Evans is also an accomplished photographer. One of Mick’s photographs was selected to be exhibited as part of the landmark Friends of the Box Ironbark exhibition this month at the Newstead Arts Hub. The arts hub lies right on the path of our trail.

Here are some other fabulous shots by Pam of the creek and reservoir from 2021.