Home Cameras/Lenses Leica Elegance in lighthousery at Sugarloaf Point

Elegance in lighthousery at Sugarloaf Point


At the end of my most recent Porsche outing with friend Craig two weeks ago, I drove from Buladelah along the picturesque Lakes Way to stay overnight with another friend who lives in the wonderfully named Blueys Beach. This is a very small and relatively isolated settlement on the New South Wales coast. 

Blueys, as it is widely known, is a magical place: A surfing hot spot surrounded by the national parks and blessed with stunning beaches. It is one of my favourite places. As it was winter, the road and Blueys itself were very quiet. It was heaven to drive the winding and challenging Lakes Way in the Porsche without a single sighting of an SUV, a caravan or worst of all an RV. [Ed: I hope you are not referring disparagingly to the Porsche Macan in your disdain for SUVs]

A few photos I have taken in Blueys and surrounding areas have appeared on Macfilos over the years and here are two more from the latest visit. First, the very elegant Sugarloaf Point Lighthouse near Seal Rocks, south of Blueys Beach. And, second, the stunning view down the beach to the south of Seal Rocks, looking towards Treachery Point.

There are quite a few elegant lighthouses along the coast of Australia and the one at Sugarloaf Point guarding the treacherous Seal Rocks has to be the most elegant, sitting as it does in one of the most picturesque settings. 

I will let Wikipedia take up the narrative: 

“The first recorded recommendation for building a lighthouse to guard Seal Rocks was made by a committee of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly in 1863. Original intentions were to place the lighthouse on the Rocks, but because of access difficulties the location, finally chosen in 1873, was Sugarloaf Point. The lighthouse was designed by James Barnet, the NSW Colonial Architect of the time. Tenders were called in 1874. Construction required building a 460m-long jetty, which was used to land the 1,800 tonnes of supplies and materials required for the construction. Construction was completed in 1875 and the light was first lit on 1 December 1875.”

Today the lighthouse is fully automated and the former lighthouse keepers’ cottages are tourist accommodation leased out by NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service. I’d love to stay there. The beaches are superb and the fishing and bushwalking are great. There is a car park about a kilometre and a half short of the lighthouse and then it is a walk uphill to the point and the lighthouse. On this visit, the weather was superb despite it being the middle of winter.

I took my X1 along with me and came back these two photos. That continues to be the joy of the X1 for me. I take it out of its travelling sock. I carry it in my hand. No lenses to change. No danger of sand on the sensor. No complex menus to grapple with. I set the aperture and shutter speed to A and bingo two beautifully exposed, very sharp photos. Who said photography was difficult? The hardest part was the very steep stairway uphill to the Lighthouse at the end.




  1. I’ll say it again, John: I think the way you use the X1’s field of view is superb. I feel I could just walk into that picture of the lighthouse. And the relationship between beach, sea and sky in the other picture is just right.

  2. Hello John
    Great pictures and a lovely and amzing feeling of space. just wish the sky down here in northern France was as blue as NSW. I did take my x2 yesterday for my Saturday walk and some nice keepers came out although the sky was a bit cloudy. Thanks again for encouraging me in one of your former answers to stick to the x2. It is the one and only camera I use now and I’ve dropped my ricoh gr. I was just wondering how the OVF works in terms of framing as I find my EVF really bulky and 2nd hand prices are going down. Thanks for your post which comes as a nice read on a Sunday morning.

    • Hi Jean, I don’t want to pre-empt John’s reply but I know he is on holiday in Europe until the end of September. I am not sure if he is monitoring this, so don’t worry if you don’t get a quick reply. I am sure he will reply when he can.

      As you may have read, I recently bought an X2 to add to my old X1, principally because of the EVF. I agree that it is bulky, but I don’t mind that too much. On the X1 I have an old round metal Voigtländer 35mm finder and it definitely looks a lot neater than the EVF. I know John has made the point that it is relatively easy to pinpoint the centre of the view with a bit of experience. And, of course, the green focus lock light is clearly visible in the corner of the eye. It’s as good as having an LED in the viewfinder. As you know, though, when using the X2 the eye is slightly higher because of the hot-shoe hump and, even with the OVF it is difficult to see the green LED. With the EVF it doesn’t matter, of course. I hope this is useful. Mike

      • Thank you Mike for your answer. don’t know yet if it will be the ovf on ebay or a x1 (with viewfinder + automatic lens cap although it’s more expensive). If you are interested or any reader from MacfilosI some of my shots are visible in the lfi gallery (the one you need a login + a password, I don’t know why) under the name johnjohn. and thanks again for this amazing blog

  3. Always great to read of John’s X1 adventures, the X1 and X2 and XE I like best with the OVF…when my grand daughters go with me one loves the OVF and the other likes the back screen..what I would love to see is John’s sock and school back pack that he carries them in, I think that is great way to minimize your baggage. The shot of John’s I like the best was from one of his Paris trips hanging out a window showing the resolution on one of the streets, just gorgeous. Hey Mike why not future article showing best of best of you John, Mister Faggan, Slack and your contributors, I think it would be neat, let us unskilled peeps vote, should be fun.

    • Not sure about a competition, John, but I certainly think it is a good idea to do an article featuring some of the best X1/X2 pictures from John, me and others. I’ll have a think about it and discuss with the Sage of Terrigal when he returns from Rumania.


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