Explain it: IP addresses

IP addresses are how all our internet connected devices communicate with each other with great synergy, without these addresses your devices cannot communicate. IP addresses are important for both inside and beyond the firewall.

Each Internet connected device has an unique address on the Internet, which can be used to send things to it. This is what we refer to as the IP address. There are actually two IP versions in use on the Internet today, which coexist but vary in the form of the addresses:

  • Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) is the most common protocol used by Internet connected devices. IPv4 addresses consist of 4 bytes worth of information, i.e., four dot-separated numbers each in the range of 0–255. This makes a total of 232 = 4,294,967,296 unique addresses on the Internet. For example, Yahoo’s server IPv4 address is 206.190.36.45.

 

When IPv4 was created, it was not known how many interconnected devices there would be. Despite the relatively large number of address, we have already exhausted our pool of IPv4 address, click here to learn about one solution.

 

  • Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) is the successor to IPv4. IPv6 uses longer addresses that support 7.9×1028 times as many addresses as IPv4! IPv6 addresses are made up of eight colon-separated groups of four hexadecimal digits per group, where leading zeroes in each group may be omitted for brevity. Yahoo’s server IPv6 address is 2001:4998:c:a06::2:4008

 

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Beginner Digital Photography: DSLR 2017

Photography has to be one of the best and most rewarding hobbies. Each photo you capture tells a story. How you got there, what the photo is of, why the photo etc. You could take a photo then create an entire story based off the photo. With the current stresses of modern day life, I think it is important to take time out to relax and get behind a camera. To me, photography makes me relieved, walking in the fresh air and observing the world with an open mind. I will be honest, photography is one of the most expensive hobbies that are out there and also the most diverse. You may be wondering the same questions I was asking towards the end of 2015, how do I get into photography? What do I do? What do all these buttons do? Each week we will go through a specific part to ensure you get the most fullest and most engaging photography experience.

 

When I went to buy my first camera, I literally had no idea what I was doing. I went under the impression that the megapixel count was all that mattered. Despite watching so many youtube videos and reviews, nothing still made sense and salespeople will make you buy expensive equipment. It was only after a month of owning my camera did I know about all the other cameras in the market.

 

A few things you may hear when you buy a new DSLR is the term APS-C crop sensor and full frame. APS-C crop sensors are smaller and found in beginner DSLR’s and there is nothing wrong with them. Most lenses are made for APS-C cameras and they are cheaper than the full-framed version. I would recommend full-frame as your second camera after you are comfortable and enjoy photographing. The more megapixels on a crop sensor would mean a higher-resolution but please remember that this does not equate to a better shot. The shutter speed on Budget cameras normally go up to 1/4000, this is plenty fast to take photos of moving objects. Furthermore, ISO levels are not make or break, a lot of images can be edited through software and you can always adjust the brightness of the shot by changing other factors. If you are confused reading all of this, do not worry, I will be going through each term later. The bottom line is, specs aren’t extremely important.

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My first DSLR was the Nikon D5200, which is a fantastic beginner camera. The internals are nearly identical with the predecessors going up to the Nikon D5500. However, let’s go through the current day offerings and see which camera is the best to begin with. 

 

  1. Nikon D3400

You seriously cannot go wrong with this camera, the pricing and features/performance of this camera make it one of the best bang for buck camera. It is a very simple to use camera and has a lot of built in functionality with a guide mode. The image quality coming out of this camera is superb. If you do not believe me, insta the hashtag #3400.

 

It has a 24.2MP sensor with a 3 inch screen, 5 FPS shooting and 1080p video. I would recommend this camera to anyone. DX lens mount.

 

  1. Nikon D5600

The older brother of the D3400, this camera contains the same sensor internals as the D3400 however introduces a larger swivel touch screen, increased autofocus points, larger flash and a microphone jack. If you feel like you will videoing, I would spend the extra money to get the D5600, the swivel screen helps so much when you are getting trying to something down low or high above. The image quality is better than the D3400 with a few extra internals being included and is just as easy to use. If you have the money, definitely go for this camera.

 

It has a 24.2MP sensor with a 3.2 inch touch screen, 5 FPS shooting and 1080p video. I would recommend this camera to anyone. DX lens mount.

 

  1. Canon EOS Rebel T7i (EOS 800D)

Direct competitor to the D5600, the canon puts up a strong fight. This newly released camera comes with a 24MP sensor however has a lower ISO range compared to the two Nikon cameras. This camera is very capable with a 3 inch swivel touch screen. The specs are very similar to the D5600, however with the D5600 being newer, it contains more options. It is however pricier but you may be interested in Canon’s larger lens collection, which is a bonus later down the track when you need to upgrade your lens to suit your needs. I would recommend Canon over Nikon when it comes to videos.

 

It has a 24MP sensor with a 3 inch touch screen, 5 FPS shooting and 1080p video. I would recommend this camera to anyone. EF-S lens mount.

 

  1.   Canon EOS Rebel T6 (EOS 1300D)

This Canon is a competitor to the D3400, It is Canon’s cheaper budget option with good quality images. The megapixel count is however only 18MP, meaning a smaller maximum resolution. What separates the Nikon from the Canon is the continuous shutter speed with the Canon at a measly 3fps and the Nikon with 5ps. This could be a deal breaker when it comes to photographing sports and any moving object. As a beginner photographer you would want room to grow before you move up in the photography game.

 

It has a 18MP sensor with a 3 inch screen, 3 FPS shooting and 1080p video. I would recommend to stay away from this camera. EF-S lens mount.

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What about other brands?

I have excluded other brands from this list as these are DSLR cameras and I will create another list for mirrorless cameras. The problem with the current mirrorless cameras are battery life however they are extremely compact. Pentax also have a range of bang for buck DSLR’s, however they have a very limited lens range which also means the pricing of certain lens would be higher due to the rarity. As a beginner, it is best to start off the common cameras with all the forums and other users.

 

Overall thoughts?

Nikon D5600 would be the camera to buy as your first camera. It has everything you could possibly need as a beginner and will help you become an amateur photographer and help bridge the gap into full frame photography. For a beginner I would recommend the kit lenses as they provide a perfect range for most photography.  

 

 

 

Explore: Warburton Redwood Forest

History

The famous Californian redwood trees were originally planted in 1930 by the board of works after they cleared the original eucalypt forest. The trees that were planted were: Bishop Pine, Douglas Fir and Californian Redwood. There were further plantings in 1960-63 as part of the Boards hydrology research program which included Radiata Pine, Western Red Cedar and Redwood. The results of the research program were not known. The forest is now heritage listed and will provide great tourism for the surrounding towns.

Why is it so special?

Well, there are over 1476 Californian redwood trees that range from around 20m to 50m in height and are planted in a grid which make it aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Once you enter the forest, you are surrounded by the silence of the trees, the coolness of the breeze and a refreshing smell. There is more to just trees in the forest, which locally created wild nests made out of twigs and branches that are large enough for us, humans, to stand in them and take some amazing shots. They are scattered around the forest and anyone can add to them or create a new once.

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What can I do?

Definitely bring a camera, some food and a picnic rug. There is a large open space opposite the carpark for the picnic and walking tracks for later in the day. These tracks are just as beautiful and are situated alongside a river. Take as many photos as you can, the sunlight that reaches inside is fantastic and diffused, however a flash is also recommended.

Where is it?

The forest lays 70 odd km’s from the heart of Melbourne and is easily accessible by car. The dirt is relatively flat, 4WD is not necessary at all. Type Redwood forest into google and it will automatically recognise it.

It is a perfect day-trip for all families to enjoy no matter what time of the year it is!

Explain it: DDoS attacks

DDoS, denial of service, attacks have been well documented throughout internet history. The basic principles of the attack is flooding and overwhelming an online service by flooding it with traffic from multiple sources. It makes it impossible to stop the attack simply by blocking a single source as it comes from a range of different sources.

 

There are 2000 recorded attacks every day and the average price of an attack costs $150 on the black market. Furthermore a simple DDoS attack can be flooding a small server with emails from like petitioning websites  where hundreds of petitioners sign and the email gets sent to the cause. Thus overwhelming the servers.

 

The first step in creating a DDoS attack is building capacities. Attackers often build huge networks of bot computers, this can be done through creating a virus and malicious software in emails, applications, torrents and social media. Once the device is infected, they are able to remotely control the device without the user’s knowledge to attack a specific online service. They essentially build up an army of computers and devices with many being millions strong.

 

The second step is to generate large amounts of traffic to overwhelm the target, this may be banks, news websites and email exchanges. This could be sending many requests from each device and also sending huge amounts of random data to the server to use up the servers bandwidth. The server cannot handle all this data and requests and then either freezes or shuts down.

 

Attackers often sell their services to people willing to DDoS attack a specific website or company, they are bought through the dark web and online marketplaces. A DDoS attack that can last a week long and can take a small organisation weeklong and cost as little as $150.

 

There are different classes of attacks which include;

  • TCP connection attacks
  • Volumetric attacks
  • Fragmentation attacks
  • Application attacks

 

Nowadays, these attacks can take down DNS servers, which halt internet productivity and internet services. A recent major attack had brought down large services like Spotify and Twitter. With attacks affecting DNS servers, the future of the internet is fragile with more and more bots being created, thus allowing for larger DDoS attacks.

 

Read more about the different types of attacks here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denial-of-service_attack

Explain it: NAT

Network address translation was created due to the exhaustion of IP address, Ipv4. Ipv4 is the standard for current day IP addresses, however it was created sometime around 1981. Back then they did not account for the millions of internet connected devices. Ipv4 is a series of 32 bits, which means there is a physical limitation of 2 to the power of 32 unique IP addresses. With the current growth rate, we would use up all these addresses with new smart phones, fridges and any internet connected device. Two major solutions were used to combat this, Ipv6 and NAT. Ipv6 allows us to have 2 to the power of 128 unique IP addresses.

 

With the limitations of IP addresses, network address translations were used to make better use of the limited addresses. To explain it simply, the router links up all the devices in your home into one public ip address. It is similar to an apartment building. To the outside world, they are one building, but once you go inside you see the different people who live there. The router is the apartment building and the people who live there are the internet devices connected to the router. This means, within the private network, each device is given a unique ip address. Instead of having 6 unique IP addresses, the NAT cuts it down to one. This limits the number of public IP addresses an organisation or household would use. Furthermore NAT’s act as an firewall, lets say you have a printer connected to your router. The NAT only allows private IP addresses access to the printer to ensure no random can print to your printer. This provides a security to the home user or business if they store their files on a NAS (network attached storage).

 

Now, lets say a computer request to visit bkmedia.co, the NAT see’s that this request is not for a device in the private network, the NAT then makes the exact same request using its own public IP address and delivers the response to the computer which requested the resource. This therefore means all your devices would have the same public IP address to an outside organisation.

 

NAT’s are very important, without them, security would be breached, we would run out of IP addresses and the internet would look a lot different.

 

Head to Head: HDD vs SSD

Consumers today are met with a range of storage solutions for their technological device. However you may be wondering what they all mean? What are the advantages and the disadvantages of using different types of memory? Let’s find out.

 

Hard Disk Drives

 

HDD’s are the traditional format for storage, they offer large capacities at a relatively cheap price. Essentially it is an nonvolatile solution that contains a large magnetic coated spinning disk. There is a read/write arm that accesses the information stored on the disk while it spins.  The advantage of HDD’s are that they are the cheapest storage solution per GB. HDD’s are known to last a long time (brand dependent) and certain brands are pushing the limits of these Hard drives by filling them up with helium producing 10TB hard drives. Laptops and Desktops commonly come with 1tb hard drives as consumers need larger storage solutions in an increasingly digital world. Unfortunately hard drives are limited in size, the laptop drives being 2.5 inches whereas the desktop drives being 3.5 inches. With laptops slimming down, hard drives are left to go into external storage and hard drives do use up more power compares to flash memory. Manufacturers now place hard drives in their lower tier models and use SSD’s to help slim down the body of the laptops.

 

Solid State Drives

 

Solid state drives have been out for a while but never really for the consumer market. It was only a couple years ago when they started to become the normal for consumers. Like HDD’s, SSD’s are a non-volatile solution (meaning they retain your data even with no power) where there are series of interconnected flash memory chips. Think of a multiple USB’s being attached together but are faster and more reliable. There are many different types of SSD’s on the market and the most common size is the 256GB models. Fortunately, SSD’s are becoming cheaper every day with the increasing advances in this technology. Common SSD’s are in a 2.5 inch factor, however recently smaller SSD’s have been produced like the mSATA Mini PCIe SSD card, M.2 SSD in SATA and PCIe variants. Seagate recently released a SSD with a 60tb capacity, however consumer variants go up to 4tb. SSD’s are much faster than hard drives as they do not have any moving parts, which also means SSD’s are hell of a lot more durable compared to HDD’s. Couple years ago, my mate dropped a basketball on a HDD (that was on carpet) by accident and then the HDD just died. However, SSD’s have a lower length in life due to the constant read and writes, but each generation is getter better at preserving life in the memory chips.

 

Overall

I would recommend having both. HDD for all your documents, videos and other unnecessary stuff and keep your operating software on the SSD. This ensures that your computer will boot fast aswell with applications on the SSD. However if you are to decide between an SSD and HDD on a laptop, get the SSD and buy an external hard disk drive.

 

Explain it: DNS

Every website has a specific and unique IP address, however remembering each individual IP address can be a painful experience and a misprint of a number leads to a completely different website. Instead, we have domain names which provide a much more human-friendly approach, which maps a string of letters and numbers to a direct IP address.

 

For example, the popular social media website, Facebook, has a domain name www.facebook.com instead of its long IP address (66.220.144.0). No-one would want to use Facebook if it didn’t have a domain name.

 

The infrastructure that allows us to register these domain names to a specific IP address is through a DNS server. Your internet provider would have its own DNS where it can potentially filter out specific IP addresses such as torrenting websites.

 

Therefore, the DNS essentially works like a yellow pages or white pages. You type in the domain name, your browser connects to the DNS server which matches up the domain name with the correct IP address and then you are presented with the correct website.This all happens in the matter of milliseconds!

 

This is just the tip of the iceberg, for a more indepth look at DNS and DNS resolutions, I would recommend looking at http://computer.howstuffworks.com/dns.htm

How do I pirate in Australia?

Australian internet providers, ISP’s, have blocked access to many different torrenting websites such as the pirate bay and kickass torrents. You may be wondering, how do i gain access to these websites? Well, there is a loophole, a major one. Currently, your internet would be coming from your internet provider’s DNS, let’s say Telstra. You are free to change your DNS to another companies, well probably a public DNS. Click here to learn more about DNS. A quick rundown of a DNS is that it essentially links the domain name to the correct IP address of the website you are wanting to visit. Now, the government has teamed up with Australian internet providers to block users from connecting to these IP addresses of the torrenting websites. However, as mentioned earlier you are able to bypass this by following these simple steps.

  1. Bring up control panel
    1. You can easily do this by pressing the windows key and typing “control panel”
  2. Click onto Network and Internet -> Network and sharing center
  3. On the left hand column select change adapter settingssettings
  4. Right click your adapter, wifi/internet/hotspot and select properties
  5. Select Internet protocol version 4 (TCP/IPv4)DNS
  6. Select “Use the following DNS server addresses”
  7. Input both 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4
  8. Click okay and you’re set!

 

Don’t worry, this DNS you are connected to is a public google server, many gamers often use this DNS to connect to online games. The worst google can do is collate the data and see which websites are more popular than others, or they could sell your information. Realistically in this day and age, your information has most likely been sold off to other companies and businesses. Anything you put onto the internet isn’t safe.

Honest Review: Samsung S8

Samsung was eager to release their S8 after the note 7 debacle and they did not disappoint. Released in April 2017, the Samsung S8 has become the phone of the future, the benchmark for smartphone technology. Let’s take an in depth look at Samsung’s latest flagship.

 

Build Quality

The very first thing you notice about the phone is the screen, it has a whopping 83.6% screen to body ratio, making the phone feel like what we dreamt the future would be like a couple years ago. The screen is an super AMOLED display with amazing colours and brightness, something the iphone 7 lacks. The form factor is very similar to the S7, however the S8 has the screen size of the S7 edge. The resolution is a little out of whack and unusual, however now third party apps have adjusted to this unusual screen resolution and video’s make use of the crop to fit functionality. The overall build quality of the S8 is class leading with its smooth curved screen, glass front and back that seamlessly integrate into the metal side panels. It feels natural to hold in the hand and is very comfortable to use, Samsung really knocked it out of the park with this build. The corning gorilla glass 5 gives the user a sense of ease when dropped, knowing each generation of smartphones become more and more durable. That being said, a case would be recommended to be worn to preserve the beauty of the phone. The phone is also ip68 rated, which is extremely useful in the wet weather as well as taking underwater videos or photos. When applied with force, the phone barely bends which is always a positive. One thing that Samsung didn’t get right with the build is the fingerprint button placement, it’s shocking. I’m not sure who told the engineers to place it on the far side, but the flashlight and scanner should definitely be swapped. The reason I say this is due to the awkward one hand use as the finger stretches over to the other side whilst smudging the back camera. This isn’t a deal breaker but it definitely is something that you need to take time to get use to it. However, it makes sense when you use the phone with two hands. A possible solution for this could be integrating the fingerprint scanner onto the screen in the future.

4.7/5

 

Features

The Samsung S8 is filled with innovative features as well as some completely unnecessary features, I will touch on the ones I think are important. The curved edge for me is more for aesthetic however the edge panels are surprisingly helpful at time. You can customise the edge panels to display apps, people, reminders, weather, sport scores and finance. This can be helpful when you need to quickly check something. With the edge to edge display, Samsung had to introduce onscreen buttons. The buttons are remappable and now with the latest update, you can make the buttons disappear during applications which make the screen feel so much bigger. The S8 features Bluetooth version 5.0 which is leaps and bounds above version 4.0. The feature I personally enjoy the most is the ability to stream your music to two different Bluetooth speaker simultaneously to give a stereo experience. Click here to learn more about Bluetooth 5.0. Furthermore, the S8 has expandable memory and a headphone jack. Samsung has made the switch the USB type C ports, which is the current market trend and is really simple to plug in. A new feature Samsung has introduced is the Iris scanner which operates similar to windows hello where the infrared camera scans your eyes and surrounding face, if there is a match you unlock the phone. What is really useful is the ability to capture gifs, scroll captures screenshots and other clever bits with make the S8 more like what the note7 was meant to be. Also Bixby is shit.

4.5/5  

 

Performance

The S8 is decked out with the latest specifications with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 for USA and China and the remaining countries with the Exynos 8895 Octa. Both are top of the line processors and the GPUs, Adreno 540, handle all the current smartphone applications like a walk in the part. The phone runs extremely smooth thanks to the inbuilt 4GB of ram as well as the 64GB internal storage. The phone has the same amount of ram as the everyday laptop. The phone performs extremely well, however it does get hot after an hour of strenuous use. The camera is relatively unchanged with its 12MP shooter at f/1.7. It easily can shoot 4K and has optical image stabilization for 1080p shooting. The secondary camera is an 8MP shooter that can shoot 1440p video. The samsung S8 camera is a slight improvement over the S7, however the google pixel and the HTC u11 reign ahead.

4.8/5

 

Battery Life

I consider the battery life to be the most important feature when buying a smartphone. With the increased screen size and resolution, the battery remains the same size as the S7. What? Yes, it’s the same size, but do not fret. From my usage of the phone, the battery life is better than the S7 but not the best. I am able to get a full day use out of the phone and just reach the 15% warning. There are two power saving modes that allow you to extend the battery life, however your notifications do get delayed and sometimes your messages do not get sent straight away. One thing that is positive is the quick charging and wireless charging. This allows you to charge the phone quickly and newer power banks are supporting quick charging both ways. In order to increase the battery life of the phone, remember to close all applications that are not being used, such as Facebook or Messenger and ensure to take your phone off the charger once it’s fully charged, which means avoiding overnight charging.

4/5

 

Complaints

This is the section where I like to highlight everything that isn’t good with the phone, let’s begin with Bixby. There is a complete dedicated button towards something the world doesn’t need, another smart assistant. I personally like to avoid using smart assistants however this time I unfortunately cannot avoid accidentally pressing the button. It is in such a poor placement and I activate the button far too often. What needs to happen is Samsung should allow users to remap the button to something they would like to open, let’s say the camera or the phone application, something that is useful. If anything, I would rather use google now than to use Bixby. The speakers on the S8 need improvement, the down firing speaker is getting really old now with competitors introducing stereo speakers which make use of the earpiece like in the HTC 10 and 11. The screen resolution is also very annoying when watching videos in 1080p as there are thick black bars to the side. The crop to fit functionality does take away certain aspects and can be annoying with hardcoded subtitles. Another complaint has to be the pricing, well this goes towards the entire industry. I’ll save this for another article, also Bixby is shit. The fingerprint scanner really needs to be reevaluated and perhaps making the phone a little thicker to allow a larger battery. I’m sure many consumers would prefer a slightly thicker phone and have an amazing battery life!

 

Overall thoughts

Samsung really nailed this phone, they did nearly everything right and deserve to make huge profits from this phone to invest in future improvements. It takes time for the consumers to adapt to changes such as the loss of the headphone jack and Samsung has made the smart move to leave to port until the market is ready to move. There are many improvements that can be made with this phone, it isn’t perfect, but Samsung really are becoming the market leaders and giving us the phone of the future. I purchased my S8 on an $84 Optus plan using the family and friends 20% discount, bringing the monthly payment to around $67. Make sure to search around for a deal on this phone and you will not regret.

Overall score:  18/20 = 90%

Competitors:

  • Google Pixel
  • HTC U11
  • Iphone 7
  • LG G6

 

Mt Macedon: the winter experience

Without a doubt, Mt Macedon is just as beautiful in Winter as it is in Autumn and Spring. The greenery and smell of fresh air is something you don’t often see everyday. The lovely country town is less than an hours drive from Melbourne, being 66 km away from the CBD. Drive along the Calder freeway and you’re there. My girlfriend and I picked a week during our Uni break to get away from everything and explore the in’s and outs of Mount Macedon and the surrounding area. Here is a little recap of our stay.
Accommodation

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We decided to Airbnb our stay in the nearby town of Macedon, it was cheaper and closer to the essentials. I would highly recommend the place where we stayed, it was modern and contained everything we could possibly think of! It was a well furnished apartment with an amazing front garden. The place was not too far away from the main strip of shops and a 15 to 30 minute drive from the many places we were to visit.

Macedon

The first town we explored was Macedon which contained some amazing restaurants and cafes. We ate at Ida Red, a wood fire pizza place with a touch of Japanese. The interior decoration was warming and had a lovely atmosphere. (Do definitely try their vegetarian pizza). Another place we ate at was Mr Cafe. They had a wide range of breakfast options and we couldn’t resist having their eggs benedict with their apple hollandaise sauce. Both eateries were well priced. Just across the road was a small IGA, PSA: they have Ben and Jerry’s. The night we ate at Ida red, we went to buy some Ben and Jerry’s for our desert, however they had closed. We were determined to get our ice-cream and drove the distance to Kyneton to get our ice-cream, disappointingly it was a dollar more expensive than the smaller Macedon IGA. The town itself is very easily accessible.

Camels Hump

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A view you have to see, unless it’s foggy. We had to visit Camels Hump twice, first time we went up when it was really foggy and we could barely see past 10m in front of us, would not recommend unless you want some moody misty photos. The second time we went up was for sunset, the trek up is easy and is done within 15 minutes. The view blew our minds, you could see other country towns, hanging rock and all. There even is a plaque which points to other famous landmarks you could possibly see. The sunset view is gorgeous and I would highly recommend visiting Camels Hump as a sunset location.

Memorial Cross

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One of the major attractions of Mount Macedon includes this 21m tall cross commemorating those who gave their lives to the first world war, 1914-1918. There are many looks out to view nearby towns and on a clear day you can spot the Melbourne CBD in the distance as well as the Dandenong ranges. At Sky-high, the plague points towards Mount Macedon. The gardens leading up to the cross are gorgeous, even in winter, and looking out into the distance, all you can see are fields of green and forestland. It is an incredible look-out and a perfect walk. Be wary during winter, the road can be covered by frost as well as fog.

Forest Glade Gardens

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When I was younger, I visited this garden during Autumn and it was absolutely stunning, the colours and atmosphere was lively. As this garden is open all year round, we decided to explore the garden and see what has changed and I got to say, it keeps getting better. The greenery was incredible and there were still plants shedding their leaves. We were the only two visitors in the garden during our visit, which gave the garden a sense of peace and tranquility. The sculptures and different gardens within the garden are a sight to behold. Everywhere you looked, you could see the different landscaping techniques and styles and the wide range of plants. It was a delight to photograph in this garden and I strongly recommend anyone who has an interest in photography to come visit, prime lenses would be the recommendation to capture the crispness of the flowers. The $10 entry fee is definitely worth it.

Hanging Rock

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Situated within a 10 minute drive from Mt. Macedon, the infamous Hanging Rock and its mysteries lay bulging out of the flat land. To many, Hanging Rock would be best known and recognised for the story and film adaption; Picnic at Hanging Rock. Inside the park contains many different rock formations, which all follow a trail. The walk is rather steep and it is recommended to take breaks when ascending to the top. Be mindful the rocks can be slippery when wet and there are no safety barriers if you happen to slide off the edge. The view from the top is incredible, you have a complete 360 degree view, barely being intruded by other rocks or trees. Furthermore, there is a cafe and race-course nearby which adds tourism to the rock. I recently learned about the deal Frontier touring have with the Macedon shire council, which means they are to host 4 shows a year at Hanging Rock. In 2017, the announced tours include Ed Sheeran, Bruce Springsteen and Midnight Oil. There is a entry fee that is based off the vehicle you enter in, a car being $5.

Turpin Falls

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Do not shy away from the dirt road and death warning signs, this is a hidden freshwater swimming hole gem! The billabong is larger than an Olympic swimming pool and is a very popular diving location. Be warned of the water level as there have been several injuries. Unfortunately it was winter and we didn’t go for a swim, however I would definitely revisit this waterfall in the summer. It was a great picnic location and was completely secluded. The waterfall itself has plenty of water flowing. Be mindful the car park is small and has been reported to be very crowded during the summer months. Fortunately we were the only ones there.

Trentham Falls

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In order to maximize your experience here, avoid the signs at your own risk. The path has been blocked off due to unstable cliffs, however when we visited, everyone was walking along the path. There is a viewing platform a short walk from the car park, but it barely captures the essence of the waterfall with trees hindering your view. Once you walk down the trail, you see the wonderful nature of this waterfall, it is absolutely stunning. We walked to the bottom of the waterfall for some photos and also down the creek. The waterfall is so much more impressive from the bottom and along the creek. The flowing water and the greenery along the creek made my jaw drop. With the sun just peaking through the clouds, a rainbow can be seen at the waterfall, making the entire experience majestic. I would recommend shoes that have grip, unless you want to slide down your bottom. The location is easily found and is definitely worth a visit.

Closing thoughts

My girlfriend and I had an incredible time at Mount Macedon, exploring the various landmarks and eateries. We would definitely recommend spending at least two days to capture the beauty of the place. In order to capture the beauty of the town, the locals we spoke to work in Melbourne but are willing to spend an hour or two to travel to and fro as they don’t want to leave the peace and serenity of Mount Macedon. Every place you visit is unique and will be an unforgettable experience.