During April we took a drive out to Wooli, NSW on the beautiful Far North Coast. The Coastal Emu is listed as an Endangered Species.

This area, to the East of Grafton, is the largest remaining unspoilt coast landmass on the North Coast, however the new Pacific Hwy upgrade will see this area become fragmented like much of the coastal strip between Sydney and Brisbane. 

The highway upgrade is needed now as this is also an area of high human road fatalities. However the NSW RTA spends a good deal of funding and time working on Environmental Impacts in areas of high conservation value.

Rather interesting is that the money over many years could have created a better highway long ago without the underlying controversy of a totally new highway in these previously/relatively unspoilt or regenerated areas. Often city people have brought their retirement land/homes in these quiet locations for when their working life is over.

Instead we have a highway that is constantly in need of repair and where when it rains heavily, as it does here and often, we can not see the road in front of us on which we are driving. Coming towards you in these conditions are multiple B Doubles in a convoy at more than 100km’s per hour, with no dividing of the roads and just a single lane in both directions. Generally, there are also multiple pot holes, filled with water once it rains, which as explained you wont see until you hit them. 

This is insanity at its best. Unfair to the road user, unfair to the truck drivers who are just doing their jobs, unfair to the police, ses and ambulance services who have to pick the human remains up of the road.

It’s also unfair to the coastal emus which could become extinct when the highway is built through their habitat but for now this one is happy to use the road with other users even though they are in cars, which highlights the plight of the emu and makes it obvious to see that this majestic creature would be in much more danger with an increase of traffic in the home range for the species.

I ask myself “how hard is it to build a highway?” Incidently the companies building the highway are European and I wonder if they would take so long overseas to build decent roads that save lives and also consider maintaining the natural environment to create a balance for man and nature. When I think about the German autobarn I once travelled along, I find the differences in thought and innovation between our two countries to leave Australia sadly lagging behind.




Behind the Gold Coast Hinterland is a wonderfully awesome national treasure. The Lamington National Park is a sub tropical wonderland that offers those who enjoy trekking an easy and enjoyable day walk. Giant strangler figs reach up to the sky and incredible buttress rootssupport ancient tall rainforest trees.


I would recommend this 5km circuit walk to any one with an intermediate fitness level. The downhill leg is more than easy and the entrancing sensation makes it easy to move alone the path. The waterfall is enticing and there are excellent photographic opportunities along the way. The view out towards the city is interesting because you feel as though you are in a remote location. As you begin the uphill return you begin to realise how steep the climb actually is however it is not a hard walk and the path is well defined, the steps at the end are the ultimate test of your fitness, it is realistically an easy walk, and there were people with babies and young children enjoying the beautiful sunny day and the awesome remnant rainforest in the Lamington National Park on this day. 


The McPherson Ranges, QLD, headwaters for the Clarence River NSW,

All imagery on KOB Designs is copywrite to KMO’Brien. Please contact us to use these images.

I live on the beautiful Far North Coast of NSW, Australia, I moved here from Sydney when I was 28 years old with 3 small children. I had a multitude of ideals, dreams and hopes but I soon discovered that the reality of country life was not like my fantasy world I had created.

My working background before children had offered me some fantastic experiences and I was privilaged to work as an administrator within some major corporations at a time when gaining employment was a much simpler process than it is today.

I have always enjoyed photography however I never understood exactly what one can actually do with a camera, for me, photos were about good times shared with friends and containing the memories to share again some time, as I progressed to having my children it was almost like record keeping and the photo albums grew.

Over the years of my teens I developed my own artistic sense, I spent long hours drawing and later playing with words when I enrolled in a visual merchandising and display course with my local technical college. School art classes were a non event as they were competitive and seemed to be associated with cool kids with older siblings who had already done well in the course, my temperament and disgust at particular features of organisation and distinctions of these classes, left me less than excited at what I was offered as an individual student. I fought with my art teacher and spent time outside in the hallway due to my behaviour or my opposition to her traditional artistic beliefs.

Over the years I continued with my drawing and wordplay, and I found great comfort in working in my gardens in four different social housing homes I was priviliged to live in, I designed and landscaped each garden and took great pride in my work. It was in 1996 that I began to do a ceramics course with TAFE in Grafton and this was where I discovered there was a great deal more to art than I was ever exposed to I learnt about design, colour, perspective and how to manipulate substance and change chemical structure, these were enjoyable productive years.

In 2002, I changed my studies to natural resource management and gained my diploma in my field, while working with the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service again however art came into play, this time photography began to be used as evidence of land evalutions, it had a purpose. I also created a series of drawings for part of an assessment for animal taxonomy which was far beyond the scope of the initial purpose of the course but a most enjoyable exercise considering my background. In 2003 I gave birth once again at 36 years old within a new relationship which found me studying a diploma, and moving across state to WA with 3 kids, a baby and a dog to support my new partners career choice. It was here that I was offered the chance to see and photograph one of the worlds biodiversity hotspots for the Dept of Environment and Conservation while working as a terrestrial ecologist, I also worked for the National Landcare program and had the oportunity to teach ceramics at TAFE.

Skip forward a few years and I moved back to NSW where I was again privilaged to reside in the beautiful Dorrigo Plateau on the Great Dividing Range to right now where I am in the process of learning new skills and enhancing and upgrading older ones in the awesome and inspiring Clarence Valley.

I am very interested in New Media and technology, and I am studying administration programming and accounting but my true purpose in life lies in the ecological processes defined and undefined, and human evolutionary impact caused by industrialisation and disorganised urbanisation and regionalisation on the human psych.

On my days off and during holiday periods I get out to the awesome and inspiring National Park treasures that Australia has to offer to photograph and describe each experience with fresh eyes and the knowing that each day is a new day, each moment is the only moment and that the present is a gift worth receiving and of course sharing.