A Memorial to a Remarkable Woman

 

Margaret Olley

Margaret Olley

Margaret Olley was small and birdlike in stature but she was a giant in the art world. Her paintings of still life’s and interiors vibrated and glowed with warmth. Standing in front of them I could feel the atmosphere of a well-loved room.

The Yellow Room

The Yellow Room

In July 2011 she died at the age of 88 in her home in Sydney surrounded by her beloved art work and all her belongings. Painting to the very end she had just finished the last painting for another exhibition.

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(To see the photos click here)

Australia lost a treasured artist.

In her will she left her house and ALL her possessions to the Tweed Valley Art Gallery. Margaret loved this beautiful area where she was born and grew up.

The Tweed Valley

The Tweed Valley, dominated by Mount Warning, an extinct volcano, today covered in a smoke haze.

Overlooking the Tweed River

Overlooking the Tweed River

The Gallery decided to recreate the house inside the gallery, it has been a mammoth project. Firstly a new wing had to be built and rooms the exact shape and size of the Sydney house constructed inside the new wing.

The new Margaret Olley Art Centre added onto the existing Art Gallery

The new Margaret Olley Art Centre added onto the existing Art Gallery

But that was straight forward compared with the next task. Recreating the inside of the house and studio that Margaret called home. She was a collector, a hoarder and never threw anything away. Everywhere, on shelves, tables, the floor, she left the remains of the objects that had been subjects for her still life paintings. Dead flowers wilted in vases, colourful artificial flowers clustered among baskets of rotting fruit, ornaments picked up from op shops, tubes of paint, old paint brushes in recycled tins, canvasses and books stacked on the floor. It was cluttered splendour of a life’s dedication to art.

Every single item had to be catalogued, then a photo record taken of the position of ALL these “things” right down to the cigarette in the ashtray. Next the packing and transporting to the Tweed Gallery. That was just the start, now the challenge was to recreate the inside of the house exactly, lovingly and carefully.

3 years later in February 2014 the task was completed.

Now I am back home we drove,  with anticipation and two friends, to see this memorial wing to the art and times of Margaret Olley.

The entry doors to the Gallery, depicting Margaret Olley's art

The entry doors to the Gallery, depicting Margaret Olley’s art

What an amazing experience to be transported into the world of this exceptional artist.

The curtains show their age as they hang dilapidated and disintegrating

The curtains show their age as they hang dilapidated and disintegrating

The original windows and doors added authenticity as I peered into this cluttered space. Classical music flowed from an old transistor radio perched among the tubes of paint.

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Look around, note all the “things”, over 20000 of them, that had been taken, piece by piece, photographed in place, then returned to the same spot to recreate this home that is redolent with the essence of a great and eccentric person who lived, breathed and created superb art works in this space. She said “this is my home, but first and foremost it is my studio”

In the bottom photo look carefully and you will see the small round table with a light over it. That is where Margaret would sit with her Masonite canvas balanced on her knee, resting on the table and that is how she painted.

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 The kitchen is small, almost a cubby hole, but many dinners were created here in the past, she was a good and creative cook, but in later years she lost interest in cooking and visitors would bring their own food.

Follow round to the next window and there is the yellow room that features in so many of the paintings

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This is the last picture Margaret painted of the yellow room

This is the last picture Margaret painted of the yellow room

 Being a triptych it is also the largest she painted. Notice how very closely it resembles the yellow room in the photo above, that is how it was when she died.

A 45 minute  free gallery tour, with a very knowledgeable guide, highlighted the many unique aspects of the items on show, including stories and anecdotes from Margaret Olley’s rich and passionate life.

Now it was time for lunch. The café/restaurant has been enlarged and the views are superb from all the decks. The food matched the overall excellent standard of this world-class art gallery. Prawns in tempura batter and a light noodle and cucumber salad for me and Samosa in a crisp, light filo pastry and green salad for Jack.

The view across the Caldera valley.

The view across the Caldera valley.

The gallery had a number of other exhibits showing, all so different, but all needing time to study the techniques from realistic paintings of flora and fauna of this Tweed Valley Caldera area

Caldera Art 2014

Dailan Pugh
oil on canvas

to fascinating lino cuts featuring almost full size portraits of Captain Cook. The detail was unbelievable. I have tried very basic lino cuts at school as a 12/13-year-old and could understand how many hours of careful dedicated work had been put into these art works.

The Prince the Tiger and a Toad

“Rew Hanks is a Sydney based printmaker whose intricate linocuts are a combination of dry wit, satire and hard hitting imagery which engage social, political and environmental issues. His narratives are amongst the most complex and challenging in contemporary Australian printmaking.”

A collection of art work from children aged 5 to 12 with the brief to depict how they saw life in 500 years time. Very interesting interpretations.

In complete contrast another room held a rather sombre and macabre selection of print works that were the collaboration between artist, writer and print maker.

Hearsay Euan Macleod, Lloyd Jones and Ron McBurnie

“The works were created collaboratively in response to a fascinating story that Jones heard at a writer’s festival. The historic narrative described mass suicides by the members of Balinese royal houses, prompted by the arrival of Dutch ships on the horizon. “Seeing the end of the world as they had known it had apparently driven hundreds of people to walk en masse into the seas, and drown”, Jones writes.”

Finally I will leave Jack to describe his favourite part of the gallery. It was another very unique display and Jack joined in with the hands on interactive fun. Go over and see what he got up to.

This is a one of the best art galleries, outside the main cities, that we have visited and I would urge any one coming to this Goldcoast area to seek it out. It is not easy to find being tucked away behind the charming small town of Murwillumbah, but the drive to find it is worth the trouble, and can be even more of an adventure if you get lost, as all the scenery and villages around this Tweed Valley area are delightful.

Categories: Australia, Margaret Olley Art Centre, New South Wales, photos, travel, Tweed Valley Art Gallery | Tags: , , , , | 7 Comments

A walk along Beautiful, Burleigh Beach : Joining Jo’s Monday walking group

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This is my street and that hi-rise is on the beach front, just one kilometre away. So join me as I hop on my bike to go down to the beach for my morning walk. Bring water, put on sunscreen and a hat it is hot and sunny.

Today is  a special day as it is the last Sunday of the month and that is the art and craft markets on the beach front.

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Only a 5 minute ride (10 minutes if you walk) and now I tie the bike up. The beach is just the other side of the bushes, from here we will head south, next time we will go north.

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I think I will wander around these markets, it is mostly local art and craft. I have never seen any Chinese or imported products here, great place to shop for gifts or Christmas presents. Be warned this could add an hour or more to the walk…

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It’s a great venue under the shady Norfolk Pines and next to the beach catching all the sea breezes. They are very welcome as it is going to be hot day today.

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That is my cup of iced tea waiting while I take a photo. It was delicious.

Still lots to see.

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This group of Hare Krishnas passed by chanting and playing their instruments. Times have changed as a few years back they would all be in their orange cloaks with shaved heads…

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This is Burleigh Beach, my local beach. It is very hot today and what better way to cool down, but you must swim between the flags as there can be very strong rips along this coast. Notice the surf life savers in their orange and yellow jackets.

That hill in the background is Burleigh Heads National Park and that’s where we will be walking round.

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The surf rescue boat and team are ready for any emergencies, and the sea is very choppy today.

The board riders club are having competitions.

The board riders club are having competitions.

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This is the surf club building, a great place to have a meal upstairs right on the water front. Downstairs you can have a coffee and a snack.

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Further along is my favourite coffee hole in the wall. I think she has recognized me!

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Notice all the seagulls on the scrounge?

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This is the entrance to the National Park.

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The tracks go round the hill in a figure of 8. The right hand track goes up the hill and is STEEP with lots of steps, quite a challenge. The left hand one goes round the bottom of the hill along the ocean. I am not very fit at the moment so we will go along the low track.

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This gate is padlocked if the track is dangerous. You’ll see the rocks soon.

The day we arrived home a fire broke out on the hill and these gates were locked for a few days. I am interested to see how much damage was done.

10AM: A SENIOR ranger has revealed an illegal camp fire is thought to be behind a large blaze that engulfed Burleigh Headland overnight.

The fire began at about 6.30pm and burned well into the early hours of the morning.

Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service senior ranger Henry Waterman said about three quarters of the sloping headland had been burnt.( go to this link to see dramatic photos of the blaze)

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How did these Pandanus survive?

The report was that three-quarter of the Park burnt, but in fact it was only a small section of the grass land, the bush was not effected.

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These are the rocks that caused the concern. They have been like this the 16 years we have lived here and probably very much longer.

Between 20 and 23 million years ago, molten lava from numerous eruptions in this area spread in all directions, some flows reaching the present coastline at Burleigh headland. Slow cooling of the thick lava resulted in shrinkage and cracking into six-sided columns. Many slid and rolled to the water’s edge.

So let’s quickly and safely move on.

Round into the shady, cooler bush track

Round into the shady, cooler bush track

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The 6 sided basalt columns line the track.

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Round the other side of the hill we look over to the mouth of the Tallebudgera River. Beyond is Palm Beach and down to Coolangatta and over the border into New South Wales. The wind is whipping up the foam today. No surfers out here in these conditions.

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Further along the river bank it is calmer. That bridge is the Goldcoast Highway, the major road south.

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On the other side of the river is another surf club, they certainly have the best beach front positions.

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This is the intersection of the 2 tracks, to go right it will be all up hill, straight ahead takes you to the Highway. I am feeling quite hot and so I think I will go back the way I came and leave the hill climb for another cooler day.

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There’s the iconic hi-rise outline of Surfers Paradise on the horizon.

I think I will stop for a coffee and ice-cream at that little kiosk.

Hope you enjoyed your walk in the sun.

To enjoy more walks around the world visit Jo’s blog and join her for Monday morning rambles.

walking logo

Categories: Australia, beach, Burleigh, Burleigh Heads National Park, Goldcoast, Jo's Monday walks, photos, Queensland | Tags: , , , , , , | 31 Comments

Travel Theme : Numbers

 After nearly 8 months roaming around New Zealand and Australia. Visiting family and friends and house sitting in 3 different locations it is good to be home and getting back into rediscovering the things I like to do.

One of my favourites is going to the local Saturday Farmer’s Market.

when Ailsa gave us NUMBERS as the “travel theme” this week I grabbed my camera as I hopped on my bike to restock the fridge and pantry with the freshest produce around.

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Notice the bags of peas ready shelled and purple carrots

Numbers were everywhere.

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That is a very good price for an armful of sunshine. But difficult to carry home on the bike, especially as today is hot and sunny but also windy.

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Here they are at $2-50 per kg. I consider bananas a staple and we have one every day with cereal for breakfast.

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 There are other things you can find at this market. So after putting my fruit and vegetable purchases into my saddlebags I just love wandering around taking in the vibes and atmosphere.

Categories: Australia, farmers markets, Goldcoast, numbers, photos, Queensland, travel, travel theme | Tags: , , , , , | 33 Comments

On the way home : Lingering Look at Windows

Only 3 kilometres along the coast from Trial Bay gaol is the charming little seaside town of South West Rocks. Our friends put it as a “must see” and recommended we definitely should visit it.

After the walk to the lighthouse and being immersed in gaol life all morning the time had flown round to 3-30pm, coffee time. First priority was to find some where open. A local bakery is always a good choice. We made it just as they were closing but they made a good coffee and we chose one of their home-made meat pies to sustain us.

I think we must’ve been all “photo’d” out. Do you ever get like that?  As walking around the small shopping area we just looked and didn’t take any photos. Then I spotted some windows and had to snap them. So here are a few window photos.

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I rather like this colour combination.

Then we walked round the corner and down to the beach. This apartment block was all windows.

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When we turned round it was just WOW what a view they have.

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With views like this my photography mojo was turned back on.

What a great place to sit and contemplate or meditate

What a great place to sit and contemplate or meditate

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I tried to catch that magical effect of the sun sparkling like diamonds on the ocean. I vaguely remember reading some where that there is a special expression used to describe this and it has a calming effect on the mind. Can any one out there tell me what it is?

It was a beautiful moment watching the swimmers enjoying the ocean.

So ends another interesting day, not many more days before we will be heading home to the Goldcoast.

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G’day Dawn. I’m sneaking in a second post about windows this week.

Categories: Australia, Lingering look at windows, New South Wales, photos, South West Rocks, travel | Tags: , , , , | 8 Comments

Another day, another outing. Let’s go to gaol

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There is so much beauty along this coast and it is also steeped in history.

“The cape was named Smoky Cape by Captain Cook when he passed it on 13 May 1770, writing of “a point or headland, on which were fires that Caused a great Quantity of smook, which occasioned my giving it the name of Smooky Cape”.[2] Smook was his usual spelling of smoke, the spelling for the cape now follows the modern spelling. The hills there were an important meeting place for aboriginal people from various surrounding areas, it’s possible Cook saw fires from such a gathering.[3]

A lighthouse was proposed for the cape in 1886 and completed in 1891. Known as the Smoky Cape Lighthouse it was built from concrete and local granite aggregate in an octagonal shape at the highest point on the cape.” (from Wikipedia)

Before walking up to the lighthouse we take a short stroll through the bush.

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A relaxing stroll

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“Smoky Cape Lighthouse is an active lighthouse located on Smoky Cape, a headland east of the town of South West Rocks, New South Wales, Australia, and within the Hat Head National Park. It directs boats towards the entrance to the Macleay River, which is located just to the north of the lighthouse.[2]

It is one of the last major lighthouse complexes designed by the New South Wales colonial architect of the time, James Barnet,[3] and was one of Australia’s last lighthouses to be designed for architectural excellence.[4] Standing on a granite headland 140 metres (460 ft) above the sea, its light is the highest in New South Wales.[5]“(From Wikipedia)

The path is steep but the views are spectacular.

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Looking North

Looking North

B&B cottages

B&B cottages

On the way up we pass these cottages. Staying here you would get fit walking up and down to your accommodation.

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From the top the view South is as stunning.

View South

View South

A short drive away is the Trial Bay Gaol.

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Step back in time and soak up the history and the amazing coastal views that surround it.

The gaol opened in 1886, after 13 years of construction. It must have been a strange feeling building a prison in such a beautiful setting. The prison labourers were there to construct a breakwater to make Trial Bay a safe harbour between Sydney and Brisbane. Unfortunately the scheme failed, however you’ll still be able to see the remains of the breakwater from the guard tower lookout. During World War I the gaol became an internment camp for people of German descent who were feared to be enemy sympathisers.

Today, this picturesque historic ruin stands as a testament to those who lived and died here, with a museum and memorial for visitors to get a better idea of life in those days.

That little dog is the back seat driver...

That little dog is the back seat driver…

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Very solid construction

Very solid construction

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These are the only inmates we saw and they seemed to have the run of the place.

Laying down on the job

Laying down on the job

I can imagine that back when this gaol was in operation it was one of the more liberal prisons, and what a million dollar location.

Time to head for home but we have one more stop on the way… to be continued

Categories: Australia, New South Wales, photos, Smoky Bay lighthouse, travel, Trial Bay goal | Tags: , , , , | 12 Comments

A day out immersed in the art and craft of Bellingen

40 kilometres along the Waterfall Way is the delightful small town of Bellingen. Surrounded by mountains and nestled on the banks of the Bellingen River it has the romance of a place loved by artists of all kinds. What attracts artistic people to a certain place? Is it the beauty and peaceful atmosphere? Is it a few artists settle here and suddenly a commune of artists develops? Whatever the reason in the 1970’s Bellingen became one of those places.

From the 1970s until the present, alternative life-stylers purchased land in the area and built owner-built homes. Numerous intentional communities were established, many of which are still in existence. The rural lifestyle of Bellingen and surrounds has consequently diverged and is now a mix of traditional and non-traditional farming. Many of today’s residents, such as artists, craftspeople, writers, musicians and horticulturalists, have established home-based activities.” (information from Wikipedia)

The old Bellingen Butter Factory is now a collection of art and craft shops, paintings, glass work, leather work, wood gallery, fashion emporium, antiques of all kinds. We spent a pleasant hour pottering around through all the outlets.

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This old corrugated iron shed had been transformed into a fashion boutique but with a difference.

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Can you see it? The trunk of the tree has been allowed to stay and the shed has been formed around it.

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The shops were all clustered around a landscaped court-yard.

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Huge, spacious area packed with fascinating stuff.

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Just look at that beautiful window in the leather shop. Dawn runs a “lingering look at windows” each week and invites us to share windows we see, so here is a gallery of windows I captured around this interesting place.

Of course there is a restaurant/café and a jazz band was entertaining the diners with very good Dixie land jazz. So time out for a coffee and light lunch and sit soaking up the atmosphere.

Before going back to the car we walked down to the river.

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Another 2 kilometres along the road and we stopped in the main street of Bellingen.

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I think this may be one of the alternative type locals. What do you think?

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 A group of locals are having a liquid lunch while the dog waits patiently for it’s master.

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Next to the pub is this old style “Emporium” going inside is like entering a time capsule and going back almost 100 years.

The shop assistants were giving us side ways looks as we oh’d and ah’d our way around taking photos.

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Next door this grocery shop had a definite old-time feel about it too.

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The bank is a splendid example of Art Deco. But then most old towns have very impressive bank buildings, I guess they had the money to make a statement in style.

Just look at the size of these trees.

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Floating down the street came the happy, chirpy sound of an Irish jig and we stood a while tapping our feet to the rhythm. 2 dogs wait for their owners here.

Just to finish our wander around this charming old town I couldn’t resist another gallery of windows.

 

Categories: Australia, Bellingen, Lingering look at windows, New South Wales, photos, travel | Tags: , , , , | 22 Comments

A journey into the dawn of time.

 

Where we are staying for this house sit, along the mid-north coast of NSW, the mountain scenery  is a spectacular backdrop to the pristine beaches along the coast. National Parks abound in this area. One in particular we have been told about is Dorrigo National Park along the “Waterfall Way”. The name alone tempts me to explore. So today with the sun shining we head inland.

It is a 65 kilometre drive from Nambucca Heads to Dorrigo and the road is a marvel of the grit and determination of the early road builders. It climbs and winds through narrow gorges cut from solid rock. In places the tight turns curl back on themselves. Then it will narrow to a one way cutting. It feels like driving a rally course and needs intense concentration. The spectacular scenery spreads away to the horizon.

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As I squeeze past the oncoming traffic I catch a glimpse of this waterfall mistily cascading down the cliff face, we pull over to take a photo.

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The rainforest towers above us.

It is lunchtime when we pull into Dorrigo the small timber settlement on the edge of the National Park.

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This grand old hotel built in 1925 by Michael Feros, is heritage listed and is still owned by the Feros family. It is a classic example of Australian hotel architecture of the 1920s. The meals had been recommended and they were good, but HUGE. After seeing the size of other diners meals, we ordered one seafood platter to share. 4 Large calamari that just melted in the mouth, 4 super size prawns, 4 pieces of fish a heap of chips and a delicious fresh salad, that was supposed to be a meal for one! Needless to say we enjoyed it…

Next it was a short 2 kilometre detour along the road to the Dangar Falls.

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It was a pleasant surprise to see so much water cascading over the escarpment as there has been no rain for weeks.

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  This fertile area was once covered in forest and the giant red cedar was the king, but the timber industry of the late 1800’s and early 1900’s soon cleaned out this precious timber.

Word quickly spread of the agricultural potential of the area’s deep basalt Soils, and with Government regulations requiring selectors to improve the value of their land, farmers immediately set to work to clear the scrub for pasture.

Rainforest clearing was backbreaking work. Trees were ringbarked or felled, and burnt in ‘great conflagrations’.

 “During the last twelve months it is estimated that fully 3,000 acres of timber have been committed to the flames so that at the present rate it will not be very long before the entire original scrub has disappeared.” (Agricultural Gazette, 1911).

The 1917 Guide to the Dorrigo Shire extolled the plateau as “an enormous area of splendid, delightfully, watered agricultural and dairying lands, upon which are many smiling homesteads and herds of well-bred cattle and adds “notwithstanding wanton destruction of enormous areas of timber, magnificent supplies yet remain for posterity”.

However, the luxuriance of the rainforest growth exaggerated the fertility of the underlying soils. Most of the valuable plant nutrients were derived from the rich and constantly recycled litter layer of the forest floor, and after forest clearing and subsequent burning,these nutrients were quickly depleted.

It was a hard life for early settlers, with distant markets and decreasing soil fertility offering poor returns. However, many were successful and dairying, beef cattle and logging are still major industries of Dorrigo today.”  (information from the Dorrigo community web site)

Leaving the fertile farmlands behind we drove on to the Rainforest centre.

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This word brings to me the vision of an ancient land, with dinosaurs roaming through the rainforest. But this is the twenty-first century and fortunately remnants of these prehistoric rainforests have been preserved as National Parks.

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This 75 metre long “Skywalk” takes you over the rainforest canopy to magnificent views to the distant mountains and on a clear day as far as the ocean.

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After seeing life from a bird’s eye view it is now time to go down to ground level.

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Another board walk takes us down into the bowels of the rainforest.

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As we walk through this heritage listed park the track winds through the luxuriant tropical vegetation. Trees, with large buttress roots,  tower above us, palms fight for space as thick woody vines encircle every thing. Epiphytes and ferns are also common and add a profusion of multi-layered confusion.

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This describes the atmosphere so well. Much better words than I could ever think of to describe how it feels, with the rustle of the wind and the abundant call of birds and, surprisingly, no one else on the track, it felt as though we had been transported back to the start of time.

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There is so much more to see in this spectacular area and I make a mental note that we will come back again and follow this “Water Fall Way” right along its 165 kilometre length from the ocean at Coffs Harbour to Armidale on the New England tablelands.

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This is my contribution to “Jo’s Monday Walk”.

Categories: Australia, Dorrigo National Park, Jo's Monday walks, National Parks, New South Wales, photos, travel | Tags: , , , , , | 70 Comments

Lingering Look at Windows over the River

Nambucca Heads is our closest shopping centre. A small town of 10000 people, it was an important coastal port with ship building and timber mills as the main industries in the 1800s and early 1900s. Situated at the mouth of the Nambucca river where the river flows into the sea it is now an ideal tourist destination and the fishing is superb.

Some of the best views in town can be seen from the local RSL club as you gaze through the large picture windows.

Large windows invite you to come inside

Large windows invite you to come inside

Up the stairs past more interesting windows

Up the stairs passed more interesting windows

Morning tea time and not too busy

Morning tea time and not too busy

How can you ignore this view.

How can you ignore this view.

Looking down the Nambucca River

Looking down the Nambucca River, notice the pelicans and the fisherman launching his boat. Those pelicans will be waiting for the return of the fishing boats.

A board walk runs along the edge of the river so after scones, jam and cream to go with our coffee we go for a short walk.

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“Quick, look, look” Jack calls, and we watch entranced as a couple of dolphins leap and play in the centre of the river. They are so fast diving and leaping we could not catch a photo of them. Then, with a last flick of their tails they are gone.

Further along we discover the “V-Wall”, a long row of rocks and boulders along the breakwater where every one is encouraged to make a statement and leave a message or decorate one of the rocks. It has become a Nambucca Heads institution.

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The rocks covered in art work disappear into the distance

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As we wander along reading all the messages there is suddenly a loud commotion in the bay.

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The fish must be running and it is creating a frantic feeding frenzy among the pelicans and seagulls.

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The tide is strong and swift and the birds have to keep flying back to where the fish are.

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Then launching back into the fray. I think that splash of water in the bottom centre of the photo could be a fish trying to get away.

 The climate in Nambucca Heads is close to perfect, with highs of around 27°C in summer, and 18°C in winter. An ideal place for a holiday.

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Dawn invites us to join in her “lingering look at windowseach week and show the windows we have found.

Categories: Australia, Lingering look at windows, Nambucca Heads, New South Wales, photos | Tags: , , , , | 22 Comments

Beach Walk : Joining Jo’s Monday Walk Group

Valla Beach is only a 5 minute car drive away and this is where we take Rufus for his morning walk.

First a stroll through a small patch of rain forest

First a stroll through a small patch of rain forest

Across the boardwalk

Across the boardwalk

Those shells on a tree stump look interesting

Those shells on a tree stump look interesting

Let's have a closer look

Let’s have a closer look

There's the ocean

There’s the ocean

 

We have the beach all to ourselves.

We have the beach all to ourselves.

Jack spends time fossicking for shells

Jack spends time fossicking for shells

It's starting to look like rain, time to head back

It’s starting to look like rain, time to head back

Have a drink of water Rufus.

Have a drink of water Rufus.

Just a short walk this week, hope the sea air refreshed you.

*************************

Jo invites us to join her on a weekly walk and take us for a walk in our parts of the world.

Categories: Australia, house sitting, Jo's Monday walks, New South Wales, Ocean, photos, Valla Beach | Tags: , , , , , | 29 Comments

House sitting again

We love house sitting, it is a great way to make new friends, explore different parts of Australia and adopt a new animal family.

So I would like to introduce you to our latest furry and woolly friends.

Rufus a beautiful, loveable blue heeler.

Rufus a beautiful, loveable blue heeler.

The "boys" 3 very aloof and haughty alpacas

The “boys” 3 very aloof and haughty alpacas

Notice the park like grounds and mature trees. The alpacas have 20 acres to wander around during the day and each evening I entice them back to their securely fenced night paddock with a bucket of pellets.

Can you see me?

Can you see me?

Wait for me...

Wait for me…

Time for a chat now they are in the shed.

Time for a chat now they are in the shed.

We are staying on an idyllic property just 7 kilometres inland from Valla Beach on the Mid-north coast of NSW.

The garden wraps around the house in a profusion of colour and we wake each morning to the song of birds and the distant crowing of a cockerel as he welcomes the day.

Mobile coverage is non-existent and the internet connection is very slow. I wonder is that a good or bad thing!!!

So posts will be few and far between.

Categories: Australia, house sitting, New South Wales, Valla Beach | Tags: , , , , | 27 Comments

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Postcards from Ian and Margaret

We are a couple of retirees with a caravan. From our home in Sydney we are exploring Australia with short trips of 4-8 weeks. Our posts let friends and family know we are not lost and will come home when the fun stops.

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