With this week's Photo Hunt theme being "different", I had the perfect opportunity to show you something unique, so I shot these photographs late yesterday. This is Moomba weekend here in Melbourne - and I can assure you that Moomba is something unique. It is believed to be an Aboriginal word meaning "let's get together and have fun" although there is one alternative school of thought that says it means "bottom"!
Whatever, the bottom line is that it is a great big four-day carnival on the banks of the Yarra River. The Moomba water-skiing competition has not yet got under way, with Canadian maestro Jaret Llewellyn, an twenty-time winner of the Moomba Masters title, expected to be among the top contenders once again.
Moomba is always held on the first weekend in the Australian autumn, so while the rest of the world celebrates the arrival of spring, our days are starting to get shorter and the trees are taking on a beautiful palette of russet hues.
The bravest customers go for a ride (above) called The Slingshot - which produces G-forces similar to landing on an aircraft carrier (so I'm told). Let me just say that I am not a frequent patron. Am I a patron at all? Well, that is privileged information.
And on this ride (above) not only is there a height restriction, there is also a reminder that you need to remove all valuables before you climb aboard. No, there is no need to complete a will, but I'm not one to take chances.
Will I be going on this ride (above) which looks for all the world like a supersonic bumblebee? Er, no. Not negotiable.
The artwork here is very vibrant and I actually asked one of the construction crew if the artwork was ever changed or renewed. Yes, he told me with pride, in most cases the rides are newly painted each year. Obviously, there is no limit here.
Tickets must be purchased for all amusements, and this is one of the many booths that dot the area, to ensure that queues are always at a minimum. Didn't they have something like that in the Wild West - wasn't it called Booth Hill?
I shot this final image on my way out. As you can see, Moomba is on the south bank of the Yarra, with the central business district on the other side of the river. I lined up this shot very carefully to include the palm fronds and the high-rise office building several hundred metres away, in the city proper. The purpose of the neon sign? I guess it's to keep us on the straight and arrow!