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Why NZ’s emissions trading scheme should have an auction reserve price
Suzi Kerr, Victoria University of Wellington
While people’s eyes often glaze over when they hear the words “emissions trading”, we all respond to the price of carbon.
Back in 2010, when the carbon price was around NZ$20 per tonne, forest nurseries in New Zealand boosted production. But when prices plunged thereafter, hundreds of thousands of tree seedlings were destroyed rather than planted, wiping out both upfront investment and new forest growth.
Emission prices have since recovered but no one knows if this will last. With consultation underway on improving the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS), the government should seriously consider a “price floor” to rebuild confidence in low-emission investment.
A new approach to emissions trading in a post-Paris climate
How a price floor works
If we want to make a smart transition to a low-emission economy, we need to change how we value emissions so people make the investments that deliver on our targets. Implementing a reserve price at auction – or a “price floor” – is a powerful tool for managing the risk that emission prices could fall for the wrong reasons and undermine much needed low-emission investments.
In New Zealand’s ETS, participants are required to give tradable emission units (i.e. permits) to the government to cover the emissions for which they are liable. A limit on unit supply relative to demand reduces total emissions and enables the market to set the unit price.
In the future, the government will be auctioning emission units into the market. A reserve price at auction, which is simple to implement, can help avoid very low prices. If private actors are not willing to pay at least the reserve price, the government would stop selling units and the supply to the market would automatically contract.
The government’s current ETS consultation document suggests that no price floor will be needed in the future because a limit on international purchasing will be sufficient to prevent the kind of price collapse we experienced in the past. However, that assessment neglects other drivers of this risk.
When low ETS prices are a pitfall
Ideally, ETS prices would respond to signals of the long-term cost of meeting New Zealand’s decarbonisation goals and achieving global climate stabilisation. With today’s information, we generally expect ETS prices to rise over time. For example, modelling prepared for the New Zealand Productivity Commission suggests emission prices could rise to at least NZ$75 per tonne, possibly over NZ$200 per tonne, over the next three decades.
However, ETS prices could also fall because of sudden technology breakthroughs or economic downturn. Even though some low-emission investors would lose the returns they had hoped for, this could be an efficient outcome because low ETS prices would reflect true decarbonisation costs. Technological and economic uncertainty imposes a genuine risk on low-emission investments that society cannot avoid.
But there is another scenario in which ETS prices fall while decarbonisation costs remained high. This could arise because of political risk. For example, if a major emissions-intensive industrial producer was to exit the market unexpectedly and it was unclear how the government would respond, or if a political crisis was perceived to threaten the future of the ETS, then emission prices could collapse and efficient low-emission investments could be derailed.
Even when remedies are on the way, it can take time to correct perceptions of weak climate policy intentions. The New Zealand government’s slow response to the impact of low-quality international units in the ETS from 2011 to mid-2015 is a vivid example of this.
A simple and effective solution
With a price floor, an ETS auction will respond quickly and predictably to unpredictable events that lower prices. A price floor signals the direction of travel for minimum emission prices and builds confidence for low-emission investors and innovators. It also provides greater assurance to government about the minimum level of auction revenue to expect.
It is important to note that ETS participants can still trade units amongst each other at prices below the price floor. The price floor simply stops the flow of further auctioned units from the government into the market until demand recovers again and prices rise.
We have three good case studies overseas for the value of a price floor.
The European Union ETS did not have a price floor for correcting unexpected oversupply and prices dropped because of the global financial crisis, other energy policies and overly generous free allocation. It now has a complex market stability reserve for this purpose, although that operates with less ease and transparency than a reserve price at auction.
To counteract low EU ETS prices, the UK created its own price floor as a “top up” to the EU ETS. Although this did not add to global mitigation beyond the EU ETS cap, it did drive down coal-fired generation in the UK.
California’s ETS was designed in conjunction with a large suite of emission reduction measures with complex interactions. Its reserve price at auction has ensured that a minimum and rising emission price has been maintained, despite uncertainties about the impact of other measures.
Keeping NZ on track for decarbonisation
In New Zealand, the Productivity Commission supports the concept of an auction reserve price in its final report on a transition to a low-emissions economy.
The only potential downside of a price floor is the political courage needed to set its level. It could be set at the minimum level that any credible global or local modelling suggests is consistent with New Zealand and global goals. The Climate Change Commission could provide independent advice on preferred modelling and an appropriate level. The merits of a price floor warrant cross-party support.
If the market operates in line with expectations, then the price floor has no impact on emission prices. But the price floor usefully guards against price collapse when the market does not go to plan.
The government, ETS participants and investors need to understand that international purchasing is not the only driver of downside price risk in the NZ ETS. A price floor would strengthen the incentives for major long-term investments in low-emission technologies, infrastructure and land uses in the face of uncertainty.
To reach New Zealand’s ambitious emission reduction targets for 2030 (a 30% reduction below 2005 levels) and beyond, bargain-basement emission prices need to stay a thing of the past.
This article was co-authored with Catherine Leining, a policy fellow at Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.
Suzi Kerr, Adjunct Professor, School of Government, Victoria University of Wellington
This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.
Rising dragon: China’s carbon market exposes Australia’s energy paralysis
Peter Christoff, University of Melbourne
When China’s national carbon market is launched later this year it will be the world’s second-largest carbon market, after the European emissions trading scheme (ETS), which it will eventually overtake.
In sharp contrast, the absence of an explicit carbon price in Australia and persistent turbulence and confusion around domestic energy policy are hindering investment in renewable energy, leaving Australia lagging behind global trends in cutting emissions.
China will add to the cluster of national and sub-national emissions trading schemes that now exist in the European Union, Canada, the United States, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand.
As the World Bank Group’s 2016 report on the state and trends in carbon pricing indicated, up to a quarter of global emissions will then be covered by carbon pricing initiatives across some 40 national jurisdictions and 20 cities, states and regions. The evolution of regional carbon markets fostered by the Paris Agreement, in North Asia and elsewhere, will economically advantage those able to participate.
For a brief time Australia flirted with being a global leader in carbon pricing and emissions trading. The Keating Labor Government debated – and rejected – a national carbon price in 1995. In 2009 the Rudd Labor government proposed laws to establish a national emissions trading scheme, the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, which then failed in the Senate.
Read more: Obituary: Australia’s carbon price
Instead, Australia became the first country in the world to dismantle a national carbon price, when Tony Abbott axed Gillard Labor’s carbon tax. Now Australia is in danger of becoming an outlier globally – and this will have significant economic costs as well as environmental implications.
China’s climate leadership
When China became the world’s largest national greenhouse gas emitter in 2006, its involvement in any effective global emissions reduction agreement became an unavoidable responsibility.
China first acknowledged this internationally in 2009 when, at the climate negotiations in Copenhagen, it announced voluntary measures to improve national energy efficiency, pledging to cut its carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by 40-45% below 2005 levels by 2020.
In 2014, China and the United States jointly announced their national targets and goals as a means of providing momentum for the following year’s Paris summit. China committed to an energy intensity target for 2030, lowering carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by 60-65% below 2005 levels, and also to peak its emissions before 2030.
Read more: China and the US step up on climate
Indeed it appears already to have achieved this goal as a result of industrial modernisation and slowing economic growth, along with a push to reduce its reliance on coal and its global leadership in building renewable energy capacity (specifically, solar and wind).
Then, a decade after the launch of the European ETS, during a second joint announcement with the United States in September 2015, President Xi Jinping declared that China would establish a national carbon market by 2017.
China’s national ETS
Seven pilot emissions trading schemes have operated in China since 2013. These subnational projects – in five cities and two provinces, including Beijing, Chonqing, Guandong, Hubei, Shanghai, Shenzen and Tianjin – together already cover some 26.7% of China’s GDP in 2014.
They have employed slightly different market designs, varying the range of greenhouse gases and industry sectors covered, slightly different approaches to permit allocation, verification and compliance, and produced seven different carbon prices, at times ranging from some A$2.50 to up to A$22 per tonne.
The new national market represents a further step in the process of policy learning and systematic development, based on these experimental steps as well as the experience of the European ETS, which has evolved in several phases since 2005.
During its trial phase, from 2017 to 2019, policy makers will work to help new participants become familiar with the new national market and to improve its design. The market initially will be restricted in scope and size. It first will only include carbon dioxide and, like its pilots, its initial carbon price likely will be modest.
Guidelines from the National Development and Reform Commission indicate it will cover eight major industry sectors, such as power generation, petrochemicals, construction materials, pulp and paper, aviation, and iron, steel and aluminium production.
Nevertheless it is expected to cover some 40-50% of total Chinese emissions and eventually become a significant contributor to the suite of measures now being used to tackle Chinese emissions. Full implementation is expected to occur from 2020 onwards – with greater industry coverage, an increased percentage of allowances allocated by auction, and improved benchmarking.
A new measure among many
The new national carbon market is an additional response to the pressures that have driven Chinese climate and energy policy reforms over the past decade.
Domestically, a complex basket of tools are already in use to increase energy efficiency and reduce emissions. Coal-fired power generation has faced increasingly stringent regulation and new investment to counter dangerously high levels of air pollution in major cities, growing health problems and associated social unrest.
Read more: Want to see the business case for green energy? Just look at China
China’s heavy industries – economically sluggish, energy-inefficient and emissions-intensive – are under intensifying regulatory and now market pressure to modernise rapidly. While the carbon prices under the sub-national pilots have remained modest, they have added to this pressure for technological and economic reform.
National energy security is a strategic concern given China’s economic reliance on energy imports. The threats from global warming to China’s food and water security are recognised as concerns at the highest levels of government, including through the 13th Five-Year Plan.
China’s climate and energy policies also offer China an opportunity to demonstrate global leadership in climate policy, with the election of US President Donald Trump creating new diplomatic possibilities, a point emphasised in President Xi Jinping’s opening speech to the 19th Communist Party Congress, where he noted that China had taken a “driving seat in international cooperation to respond to climate change”.
Implications for Australia
A successful Chinese national emissions scheme has a range of impacts for Australia.
About a quarter of Australia’s coal exports (by volume) currently go to China, which in 2016 was Australia’s second biggest market for thermal coal and third biggest market for metallurgical coal.
If a national carbon market accelerates improvements in energy efficiency in China’s metals and power generation sectors, its demand for Australian coal exports – already beginning to contract – is likely to fall faster.
Second, for a quarter of a century, a succession of conservative Australian Prime Ministers justified the absence of a meaningful Australian climate policy by claiming there was no point in reducing emissions here because China wasn’t doing enough to tackle the problem.
Based on misrepresentations of what was happening in China, the Howard government delayed and then the Abbott government destroyed an Australian carbon pricing mechanism. Both leaders consistently stalled Australian climate policy, and continued to spruik the mirage of a national energy future based on exporting coal to ever larger overseas markets, including in China.
In all, the turbulent unpredictability of Australia’s climate politics and policies stands in contrast to China’s steady institutional commitment to accelerating decarbonisation. Given its present weak climate policy settings and institutions, and without a clear target for renewables, Australia will struggle to meet its current emission reduction commitments and will face increased future costs for failing to act sooner.
Peter Christoff, Associate Professor, School of Geography, University of Melbourne
This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.
Wind, solar, coal and gas to reach similar costs by 2030: report
By 2030 renewable energy sources such as solar and wind will cost a similar amount to fossils fuels such as coal and gas, thanks to falling technology costs, according to new forecasts released in the CO2CRC’s Australian Power Generation Technology (APGT) Report.
The report also shows that technology costs will fall faster under climate policies that limit the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to 450 parts per million. (The current CO₂ concentration is around 400 parts per million).
While the practice of forecasting is often derided, with multi-billion dollar assets that can last 50 years or more, the electricity industry and the policy-makers, academics and stakeholders who study it have no choice but to get involved.
Updating the data
A key input to all energy crystal-ball gazing is the cost of generating electricity, and performance data. However the last comprehensive update of electricity generation costs was the then Bureau of Resource and Energy Economics’ Australian Energy Technology Assessment (AETA) in 2012 (followed by a minor update to selected data in 2013).
The lack of consistent up–to-date data disadvantages technologies such as solar photovoltaic power systems whose costs have been improving rapidly since then.
To avoid misrepresenting the possible future role of fast-moving technologies, many analysts have had to slowly abandon use of the old data and create their own more up-to-date estimates.
While diverse opinions are sometimes useful, a proliferation of inconsistent alternative cost data sets creates confusion for the industry as it makes each published study less comparable.
The delivery today of a new and consistent electricity cost data set therefore is an important and long awaited addition to the electricity industry’s toolkit. The new report was conducted over the July-November period and utilised an electricity industry reference group of around 40 organisations to provide input and feedback along the way.
Given the often heated debates in Australia around energy sources, the CO2CRC recognised that it is crucial that studies like these are conducted in an open and unbiased manner.
The report includes key “building block” data such as capital and operating costs, and performance data such as emissions intensity, water usage and expected usage rates.
The cost of energy
Whenever a new electricity generation technology cost and performance data set is created there is an opportunity to update our view of the relative competitiveness of each technology.
This is calculated using a measure called the Levelised Cost of Electricity (LCOE). The LCOE captures the average cost of producing electricity from a technology over its entire life. It allows the comparison of technologies with very different cost profiles, such as solar photovoltaic systems (high upfront cost, but very low running costs) and gas-fired generators (moderate upfront cost, but significant ongoing fuel and operation costs).
The LCOE is the best technology comparison measure available but is not without limitations. It cannot recognise the different roles technologies might play in an electricity system (e.g. such as supplying everyday, baseload power, or power for periods of peak demand) or the relative flexibility of plant to increase or decrease power supply as needed.
Accepting the limitations, the updated LCOE analysis finds that in 2015 natural gas combined cycle and supercritical pulverised coal (both black and brown) plants have the lowest LCOEs of the technologies covered in the study. Wind is the lowest cost large-scale renewable energy source, while rooftop solar panels are competitive with retail electricity prices.
It is interesting to note that all 2015 LCOE estimates are higher than the current wholesale price of electricity of around A$40 per Megawatt-hour. The reflects reduced demand in the electricity network, which is putting downward pressure on electricity prices.
By 2030 the LCOE ranges of both conventional coal and gas technologies as well as wind and large-scale solar converge to a common range of A$50 to A$100 per megawatt hour. This outcome is consistent with observations from many commentators noting that the continuing reductions in wind and solar photovoltaic costs must inevitably lead to an intersection with the costs of the existing mature technologies before too long.
Of course, equality in LCOE will not necessarily translate to an equal competitive position in electricity markets, given differences in the flexibility of renewable and conventional coal and gas plants (which LCOE does not capture as already noted).
Falling technology costs
The convergence of conventional and renewable energy costs depends on the capital costs of these energy sources. These were modelled for the new report by CSIRO’s Global and Local Learning Model. This model is a relatively objective way of projecting costs based on historical learning rates. Learning rates show that for each doubling of installed capacity of an energy source, costs fall by a particular amount.
We can model these costs across different climate policies, as you can see in the chart below.
CSIRO’s projections included carbon price signals consistent with either concentration of 550 parts per million or 450 parts per million of greenhouse gas emissions. However, we found the total amount of cost reduction was fairly similar, but more accelerated in time, by approximately five years, in the 450 ppm case.
With the future policy environment of the electricity industry potentially becoming a little clearer after the COP21 meeting in Paris next week, the new report makes the job of understanding the role of different technologies in that future a little easier.
Paul Graham, Chief economist, CSIRO energy, CSIRO
This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.
Cents and sensibility: why it’s unwise to put dollar figures on nature
More and more studies are attempting to “value” nature by attributing (sometimes huge) dollar figures to things like threatened species. Apparently, this makes it possible to compare their value – for the record, a sea otter is worth twice as much as a sea turtle, according to one estimate.
This fits within a wider approach that attempts to view and manage nature as an “asset”. Advocates argue that valuing the “ecosystem services” provided by “natural capital” and specific “natural assets” will ensure the environment is given due consideration in decision-making.
Indeed, this week a diverse group of people from government, business and environmental organisations assembled at the World Forum on Natural Capital in Edinburgh to explore how and why this must be done.
However, I think it makes more sense to question what economic terminology achieves and where it leads. Instead of asking “what’s the value of nature?”, I would rather ask “why is nature important?” and “how can we live with, and within, it?”
How we think (and write and talk) about nature has important implications for how it is appreciated and governed. Cognitive linguists George Lakoff and Mark Johnson made this clear in their seminal 1980 book Metaphors We Live By. Put simply, when we signify things through one metaphor rather than another, different realities are created.
Embracing different metaphors works by reframing situations and enabling different questions to be asked. For example, while not without their own problems, metaphors such as “green infrastructure” and “ecological foundations” reframe the importance of nature in significant ways: anyone familiar with the classic children’s tale of The Three Little Pigs will attest to the importance of good infrastructure.
In a similar way, “building” metaphors are already used to understand waterways and beach nourishment. There is potential to explore further opportunities in this area, including through metaphors such as ecological “renovation” and “restoration”.
The importance of embracing new metaphors for nature is highlighted in an essay by US environmental scientist Thomas Princen, who wrote that “change occurs not when people argue well, but when they speak differently”. Using “building” or other metaphors can therefore help to understand nature in ways that do not commodify and financialise it.
In contrast, the idea of “living with nature” re-imagines the relationship between humans and the world we live in. It does not view human-nature relationships through a narrow, commodified lens using concepts like “ecosystem services”. It avoids creating singular measures (such as dollars) to represent all the diverse ways we interact with and benefit from nature.
Such a perspective aligns with an emerging body of literature that focuses on the ways in which we encounter nature in everyday situations, and the implications that arise from this. This highlights the fact that human understandings of nature are closely connected with our experiences of it.
This forces us to consider the intimate and pervasive ways we encounter nature in our daily lives: nature is not just “out there” in national parks and wilderness areas. If we learn also to understand “everyday” nature, we will realise the coarseness of using economic metaphors to understand it. As others have argued, embracing economic metaphors serves to “work inside and perpetuate the very logics that have produced biodiversity loss in the first place”.
Clearly, the use of economic metaphors is politically significant. For me, economic metaphors represent a continuing neoliberalisation of environmental policy: nature is only important to the extent that “natural capital” provides “good and services” that are viewed as having a financial value to humans. The reality, of course, is that our dependence on nature goes far deeper than money.
New metaphors for nature and why it matters are needed so that new questions, new understandings and new answers can be explored. Perhaps it’s time for our political leaders, policy and business elites, and environmental researchers and practitioners to cast their minds a bit wider.
Brian Coffey, Lecturer, School of Global, Urban and Social Studies, RMIT University
This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.
One year on from the carbon price experiment, the rebound in emissions is clear
Hugh Saddler, Australian National University
Just over a year ago, Australia concluded a unique public policy experiment. For the preceding two years and two weeks, it had put a price on a range of greenhouse gas emitting activities, most significantly power generation.
Now, 12 months since the price was removed, is a good time to assess the results of the experiment.
The immediate effect of the carbon price was to increase the costs faced by most electricity generators, by an amount that varied between individual power stations depending on that station’s emissions intensity (the emissions per unit of electricity). These costs were then passed on in higher prices to consumers.
Simple economics suggests that two effects should have followed.
First, less emissions-intensive generators should have been able to increase their market share, resulting in an overall reduction in the average emissions intensity of electricity.
Second, higher prices should have led consumers to reduce their consumption, cutting the total demand for electricity. When the price was removed, both of these effects should have been reversed.
Let’s look at what happened in the National Electricity Market (NEM), which is the wholesale electricity market in every state and territory except Western Australia and the Northern Territory.
My analysis, using detailed NEM operational data from the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) finds that emissions intensity, which was increasing until shortly before June 2012, fell continuously (see graph below) for most of the two years to June 2014. Since then, it has increased consistently. All these changes were caused by changes in the market shares the different types of generation, just as expected.
Generation by both black and brown coal decreased under the carbon price, with the more emissions-intensive brown coal falling faster. Over the past year both have increased, with brown coal growing faster. It is plausible to assume that, had the carbon price remained, the earlier trend would have continued.
The rise and fall of hydro
Much of the gap left by reduced coal-fired generation between 2012 and 2014 was filled by increased hydro generation, particularly in Tasmania, which supplies about 60% of total NEM hydro generation. In 2013-14, hydro generation was 40% higher than two years earlier, but 2014-15 it fell back to below the 2011-12 level.
While these changes appear to have been largely driven by the carbon price’s introduction and removal, it would be wrong to assume that the level of hydro output achieved in 2013-14 would have continued had the price been retained.
The average output of a hydro power station is determined not by the capacity of the station but by how much energy it can access in the form of stored water, which in turn is determined by rainfall and run-off into hydro dams. This storage gives hydro generators some flexibility to choose when to generate.
When the carbon price was introduced, hydro generators, with no carbon price to pay, were able to make windfall profits.
But the hydro generators, especially Hydro Tasmania, anticipated that the carbon price would be short-lived and so generated as much as they could while it was in place. Hydro Tasmania achieved its highest ever annual profit in 2013-14, exporting large quantities of electricity to Victoria while also supplying Tasmanian demand.
In doing so, it ran down its energy in storage from 61% of maximum level in October 2012 to 28% in June 2014. With more certainty of a long-term carbon price, they hydro generation industry may not have pushed itself so hard.
Consumer demand was (mainly) oblivious to carbon pricing
There is no clear trend in the rate of demand reduction after the carbon price was introduced. Separate analysis has shown that the demand reduction seen in the NEM since 2010 was due not to the carbon price but rather to a dramatic reduction in household electricity consumption and the closure of two aluminium smelters.
The sharpest change in demand occurred between 2010 and 2011, a period that saw price increases in most state markets, caused by a hike in transmission and distribution costs that was considerably larger than the price increases due to the carbon price.
This was also a time when higher electricity prices became a high-profile topic of political debate, both because of the price rises and also because of a successful scare campaign about the possible effects of a carbon price. It seems that many householders were looking to cut their power use even before the carbon tax arrived.
For five years, from 2010 to 2014, residential and business consumers steadily reduced their electricity consumption, largely because of improved energy efficiency. It is possible that, with the carbon price now gone and emissions rising once more, this trend has now come to an end.
Perhaps the price decreases have persuaded many consumers that they have now done enough, although after five years of growing energy efficiency it is equally possible that the range of efficiency measures has simply been largely exhausted.
The take-home messages
If we are thinking of the carbon tax as an experiment, I have drawn four main conclusions.
The first is that many factors besides the carbon price have influenced changes in the behaviour of electricity consumers and suppliers, so it is not possible to isolate the effect of the carbon price alone. The volatility caused by the short duration of the carbon price may even have been a factor in itself.
Second, notwithstanding this complexity, the carbon price induced the sorts of changes in both supply and consumption that economic theory would have predicted. This is consistent with an earlier analysis done immediately after the end of the carbon price.
Third, the rather modest size of the changes is also consistent with the theoretical expectation that major changes in electricity markets depend on large-scale investment. This means that larger impacts of a price on carbon will only appear if the policy is maintained over the long term.
Fourth, and following from the three preceding conclusions, achieving larger and faster emissions reductions will require a wide range of policies, all working in the same direction. A price on emissions, whether through an emissions trading scheme or a tax, will be a key component of such a suite, but only one component.
This is the approach being taken by all of the many countries and sub-national jurisdictions that have introduced emissions pricing.
Campaigners for the return of Australian carbon pricing shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that other policies will be needed too.
Hugh Saddler is Research Associate, Centre for Climate Economics & Policy at Australian National University.
This article was originally published on The Conversation.
Read the original article.
Video: A Price on Carbon (Australia) – In Five Easy Steps
Article: IMF Backs Australian Carbon Price
The link below is to an article reporting on how the IMF recommends a $US20 a tonne carbon price, which is only slightly less than Australia’s July 1 price.
For more visit:
Australia: Carbon Price Needed Now
Thirteen of Australia’s leading economists have signed and published an open letter calling for a speedy introduction of a carbon price for carbon polluters. They prefer to have a carbon emissions trading scheme institututed as soon as possible.
The introduction of carbon pricing is designed to accelerate a move to more environmentally friendly production methods, increased reliance on renewable energy sources, etc.
For more visit:
View the actual letter.
Check In: Day 2 of Holiday
I have had a most interesting couple of days on the road and in the bush. Currently I’m in a motel room at Woolgoolga, near Coffs Harbour on the mid-north coast of New South Wales, Australia. ‘Hardly the wild,’ I hear you say, and you’re quite right – it isn’t. The weather was beginning to change I noticed on the final leg of my day’s itinerary, so I decided to hide out in a motel room for the night – good decision, it’s pouring outside.
I won’t give all away – I’ll leave the main description of the holiday to the website – but just some of the ‘downlights’ of the first couple of days for this post.
I didn’t arrive at Cathedral Rock National Park until just on dark, but did get the tent up prior to darkness arriving – when it did, it was dark! The campfire took an eternity to get going as all of the timber was damp and by the time I got it started it was time for bed – all-be-it an early night (7.30pm). I had decided to not spend the money on replacing all of the gear I needed to replace for camping, following the loss of a lot of gear over the years due to storage, etc. I hadn’t done much in the way of bushwalking or camping for years due to injuries sustained in my car crash and a bad ankle injury, so I left it all a bit late. I figured that for this holiday I’d make do and replace the gear with quality gear before the next trip. In short, I’ll get by – but it would have been nice to have some good gear just the same. It was a very cold night let me tell you – and long.
When I reached the heights of my first walk today, standing on top of Cathedral Rock National Park, my digital camera decided to die on me. I knew there was something wrong with it during the ascent as it was really chugging away taking pictures. I did get a couple of reasonable panoramic shots on the top of Cathedral Rock before it died, so that was good. I took stills with the video camera I was using, so it wasn’t a complete loss. When I completed the Woolpack Rocks walk I made the trip to Coffs Harbour to seek a replacement and got one for a reasonable price. It’s just another compact and so I will also buy a digital SLR prior to my next trip I hope. My previous SLR was basically destroyed when the camera cap came off during a multiple day bushwalk and all manner of stuff got into it. It wasn’t digital so I didn’t bother repairing it.
So tomorrow – off to Dorrigo National Park I hope and several lengthy walks I haven’t done before. Hopefully the rain will clear.
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