Hobart guest writer

A series of articles focussing on timber fit outs, for Forestry Tasmania (now Sustainable Timber Australia)

Catriona was commissioned by Forestry Tasmania to research and highlight projects where the designers or builders featured one or more timbers in the internal fit out: 

Guest blogger: Escape Travel

How to avoid the crowds in Hong Kong

In 2018 we wrote a blog post on how to avoid the crowds in Hong Kong, for the Escape Travel Blog site. We describe fun ways to get out of the city and into the National Parks, hiking trails, beaches and preserved areas. Although no longer live online, here is the published text:

Hong Kong: How to avoid the crowds … and still have lots of fun!

Typical Hong Kong attractions

Gleaming skyscrapers, bustling ferries, gleaming shopping malls and crowded traditional markets are the images most tourists see when they are researching Hong Kong. These exciting elements are only one aspect of the city: there are quieter places that many visitors overlook.

The ‘other’ Hong Kong

Hong Kong comprises three geographical regions: Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the New Territories and Outlying Islands, and roughly 260 offshore islands, including the largest, Lantau Island. Surprisingly, less than 25% of Hong Kong’s land area is built-up. The majority is grassland, forests, woodland, and agricultural land. Most of the territory’s urban development is on Kowloon peninsula, in scattered settlements throughout the New Territories and along the northern edge of Hong Kong Island. These are the areas most tourists visit, and in which most of the built attractions are located. 40% of the remaining land area is preserved as country parks and nature reserves.

Getting around Hong Kong, and getting out

Hong Kong has an efficient and highly developed transportation network. Travellers use the MTR Octopus Card, a stored value system, which is widely accepted on buses, trains and ferries. The MTR network also extends into the countryside, and there are regular ferry routes that connect Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the Outlying Islands.

On Hong Kong Island, the Peak Tram, the first public transport system in Hong Kong, has provided vertical rail transport between Central and Victoria Peak since 1888. The Peak, in the western half of the island, is one of Hong Kong’s most spectacular destinations, and the ascent and descent are breathtaking.

Getting off the beaten track

Hong Kong has beautiful mountains and its long coastline contains many bays, rivers and beaches. There are also many fine walking trails through the forests. The ‘Dragon’s Back’ hike, for example, winds its way along Hong Kong Island’s mountain ridge. In 2004, Time Magazine declared it the Best Urban Hike in Asia, saying the trail is, “the city’s finest and most surprising ramble … you’re so close to the city, but could hardly feel farther away”.

Wetlands and water birds

At the end of another MTR line is an environmentally important site: the Hong Kong Wetland Park and Tsim Bei Tsui. Hong Kong’s rich biodiversity is on display and coastal Deep Bay, a key area of natural wetlands, is nearby. Deep Bay contains lush mangroves, vast mudflats and many water birds. The adjacent Mai Po Inner Deep Bay Ramsar Site, a world-class ecotourism facility, is a perfect hideaway from Hong Kong’s hustle and bustle.

Going across the border

If your idea of getting off the beaten track is to travel to the best bargains, then Shenzhen in Mainland China is the place to go! Goods, such as clothes and food, are cheaper here. Getting to Shenzhen is not difficult using the MTR/KCR transport system from Hong Kong. A five-day visa can be issued at the border for most nationalities.

Get out and about

To enjoy ‘the other’ Hong Kong, catch the MTR to hike a mountain trail, or a ferry to an outlying island. This is a region of contrasts, from neon lights to stunning wildflowers, and fire dragon dances to jeweled dragonflies.

Hobart report writer: Shanghai Municipal Engineering Design Institute

Australian landscape design: key sustainable principles

Catriona was commissioned to research and write a report on Australian landscape principles for Shanghai Municipal Engineering Design Institute. This report was to guide the planning choices made by SMEDI for a site being developed near Sydney.

As requested by the client, the examples in this report are well-known and award-winning landscape projects in Australia, that focus on design using native plants, stone, wood and natural materials and address topics, such as ‘global problems’, ‘green house’, ‘ecology’, and ‘sustainability’. 

Australian Landscape Design: Key Sustainable Principles report


Hobart technical feature writer: Renew Magazine

River Power

The editor of Renew: Technology for a Sustainable Future commissioned an article on harnessing river power.

In this article Catriona describes how Nigel Tomlin and his son Josh designed and custom-built a hydroelectric generator in their Southern Tasmanian backyard.  The water’s power comes from its fall of 30 metres along 500 metres of pipeline: no mean feat given the project is entirely self-researched and self-funded and had multiple local and state authority hurdles.

Read the article here: River power: a hydropower station in your backyard


Design feature writer

Feature articles on design, building, architecture, and landscape architecture

We are frequently commissioned to research and write feature articles on design, building, architecture, and landscape architecture for nationally and internationally published journals.

Guest blogger

Guest blogger

We love writing blogs for other websites.  Here is one we wrote on D&C contracts:

The pros and cons of a D&C constriction delivery model


Catriona wrote a series of posts for the award-winning website Garden Drum, each of which describes the provenance, naming and characteristics of unusual plant species.


Hobart travel feature writer: Escape Travel [Flight Centre]

The sights and sounds of Portugal

Catriona was commissioned to research and write a 750-word feature article on Portugal for Flight Centre’s Escape Travel brand.

The brief was ‘to entice travellers to get off the well-beaten (Spanish) track and venture into Portugal’, by describing the best aspects of Portugal for a fun two-week holiday. The challenge of this project was limiting the sites/sights as there are so many places and things to see and do … and eat! The outcome is a fantastic looking feature article, delivered on time and within the tight word limit.

Portugal Feature Article

Hobart environmental writer for EPA, NSW

Reports on EPA NSW FOGO recycling bin initiative 

In April 2018 we were commissioned by NSW Environmental Protection Agency to write two reports on the EPA’s FOGO (food organics and garden organics) recycling bin initiative in two NSW Council areas.

This process involved undertaking research, gathering historical and statistical  data and interviewing the relevant Council officers and other stakeholders.  The reports can be seen here:

Kiama City Council

Richmond Valley Council