The crashed helicopter was on its side, an unlikely blight on a neat triangle of lawn that offers one of Illawarra's most idyllic views.
From back behind the police tape, an hour after impact, the wreck was quiet now.
The smart yellow tail was pointed towards the freeway and one of the landing skids stuck out, almost vertical, with a tarpaulin tied to it.
Someone from the scores of emergency services personnel had strung up the cover to conceal the fuselage.
There were still bodies in there.
Everyone aboard died when the helicopter crashed on the lawn at Bulli Tops about 12.10pm in a ball of black smoke said to have plumed 100 metres into the sky.
The aircraft, a Robinson R44, left Bankstown Airport with a pilot and three passengers aboard.
Now broken pieces were scattered around the main wreck, including a little red tail light about seven metres out.
A policeman warned against stepping on the shards of a tree branch that have been spat at least 50 metres from the wreck.
They might just look like sticks, he said, but they could be part of the investigation.
A broken tree branch lay with the helicopter, as thick as a man's bicep and at least two metres long. It had come from a damaged tree that borders the lawn, with ribbons of loose bark showing its exact provenance.
An investigator gestured to the branch, then to the tree, and to the helicopter, explaining something to uniformed police.
But no-one can say yet what caused the helicopter to crash, or how those on board may have spent their final moments.
Staff of restaurant and function venue Panorama House wanted to help them.
They ran towards the wreck and used red fire extinguishers to try to put out the flames.
Afterwards, the extinguishers lay on the lawn, tiny next to the wreck.
The staff huddled together in their black shirts and chef's whites.
It was three hours after the crash when two of them broke with the group and left, their arms around one another.
At the wreck, firefighters removed the tarp.
The investigation presses on.