The smell of hot chips whiffed through the air as I bounced enthusiastically across the boardwalk. I was on my way to meet the other photographers, embarking on our latest adventure at Hillary’s Boat Harbour. I was super-excited about the prospect of meeting a Hillary.
We had gathered outside The Breakwater Tavern, which was already full of people. Music boomed from inside, setting the mood for our adventure. The event was eagerly anticipated, following a two-week hiatus. In fact, one of the photographers had trekked for hours from Baldivis on public transport. It was a huge step outside of his comfort zone, venturing into the northern suburbs and entering unfamiliar territory. He must have felt like Edmund Hillary climbing to the top of Mount Everest, which is very fitting being at Hillary’s. Fortunately, the adrenalin rush of completing such a trek outweighed the exhaustion and he was keen to continue with us.
Our first stop was the Boat Harbour. Given that the light was very bright, it was challenging to take a decent photograph. Nevertheless, I couldn’t help but photograph a boat called Kalamari, before the photographers decided to head back towards the boardwalk.
It was a lively, festive atmosphere around Hillary's. There were several milestone birthdays happening at The Breakwater, including 30th and 50th birthday parties. We could hear the champagne popping and could see the gigantic silver balloons. Next door, the Old Wild West was going wild. During our stroll we encountered many seagulls dancing on the top of boats and on top of dolphins. Even the dolphins were dancing for a good cause, on a wishing well with a sign saying, “where dolphins do good turns for charity.” In the distance I couldn’t help but notice a boat called Wishful Drinking.
As we walked to the other end of the harbour I was distracted by The Go Party Bus. There was a line of very excited partygoers boarding the bus, ready to continue their partying elsewhere. Meanwhile, others were boarding the choo-choo train which was having its own party. The train circled around and around and around and around, playing the coolest music in town. The first song we heard was Baby Shark. After a while it was playing Santa Claus is Coming to Town. Clearly it was getting dizzy from all the circling. Either that, or the party on board was THAT good. The ear worms were having a ball. If the choo-choo train songs didn’t get stuck in your head, there is always the classic song Under the Boardwalk.
The choo-choo train was clearly steaming. After sunset, its lights glowed while it continued to pump out steam into the night. The boardwalk was far from being a bored walk, instead being the place to board buses and trains. All aboard at the boardwalk! Toot toot!
The photographers got carried away with conversation and became dizzy watching the choo-choo train. Consequently, some didn’t take as many photographs as usual. On a personal note, I am devastated that we didn’t get to meet a Hillary. Once it got dark, we decided to embark on our separate journeys home. The Rockingham adventurer wanted to return to his abode before sunrise. This time he didn’t catch the train, leaving it to choo-choo around Hillary’s. By the time that train finally runs out of steam, Santa Claus may already be in town.
Writer and Photographer
About my blog
An honest and often humorous recount of my photographic experiences. There is always a story, regardless of the photographs taken.