Do you like shopping, casinos the glitz and glamour of the Gold Coast? If so I will leave you with the Icons of the Gold Coast. https://pommepal.wordpress.com/2015/08/03/gold-coast-icons/
But if you love the beauty of nature, rainforests, rivers and stunning scenery, come with me today. I am going south, over the border into New South Wales.
Millions of years ago this was an area of volcanic activity. The ground shook and volcanoes spewed forth the molten lava from the bowels of the earth. Mountains were formed and rivers of lava flowed through the valleys leaving behind a layer of rich volcanic ash. The earth cooled and rivers flowed were once the lava created the valleys. Mighty rainforest trees thrived in this rich soil and vines and creepers twisted and tangled into every spare gap. It was a land of abundance. For thousands of years the Aborigine Bundjalung people cherished this land, it gave them all they needed for survival. Their name for the mountain is “Wollumbin”; meaning, “cloud-catcher”.
Captain Cook passed by in 1770 and called this mighty mountain “Mt Warning”. A mere 200 years ago pioneers (and convicts) arrived looking for a better place. In awe they looked at this land of abundance and settled here. The mighty Red Cedar trees were cut down and used to build their houses, make furniture and send overseas to an insatiable market. The land was cleared to plant crops and create farms. Slowly the mighty rainforests were raped and plundered and the Aborigines were denied access to their ancestral home land.
Fortunately the park was reserved for public recreation in 1928 and dedicated as a national park in 1966. The Park is part of the Shield Volcano Group of the World Heritage Site Gondwana Rainforests of Australia inscribed in 1986 and added to the Australian National Heritage List in 2007.
Now the mighty “Wollumbin” slumbers on the horizon. Its work has been done. At times shrouded in mist.
At the foot of the range the Tweed River winds through the fertile farm land.
Today I will take you to Tumbulgum, a small historic village nestled on the banks of the Tweed River.
Looking across to Wollumbin/Mt Warning from the junction of the Tweed and Rous Rivers, Tumbulgum was one of the first villages established in northern NSW in around 1840. For many years, it was the Tweed Valley’s main hub of activity, with shops and services springing up to cater to the timber trade and cedar cutters. At one stage it vied with nearby Murwillumbah for commercial supremacy – until Murwillumbah scored the railway in 1897 and a bridge in 1901, guaranteeing its status as the Tweed Valley’s economic centre. In Tumbulgum today it is the tourists who generate the buzz, coming to enjoy the picturesque setting and admire the historic buildings which now house a range of art galleries, gift shops and cafés. One of the most popular reminders of the past is undoubtedly the old Tumbulgum Tavern. Established in 1887, it was the region’s first unlicensed pub (otherwise known as a ‘grog shanty’) and over 120 years later, it is still going strong. The food here is excellent – as are the sunsets that illuminate the river and Wollumbin/Mt Warning. It is too early for lunch. I think I will make a note to come here for dinner one evening. A boat cruises from nearby Tweed along the river and after dinner will take you back again.
As we drive away this interesting old tree calls to my camera. As we reach Murwillumbah another old tree “talks” to me.
Jack has an interesting post about the museum and art gallery in Murwillumbah. Go to this link. https://jacksjottings.wordpress.com/2015/08/03/tranquil-trip/
To see more artists impressions of this beautiful area this is the link to the art gallery http://calderaart.org.au/
Now it is lunchtime and we drive out-of-town and toward the Mt Warning Road. To the Rainforest Café that has been recommended by the lady in the tourist information centre.
We are not disappointed it is set in an idyllic setting on the banks of a small meandering creek. The tables are well spread out and you can choose to sit in the sun or the shade from the large, mature trees and palms. We choose to sit on the veranda. Can you see Jack?
The food is delicious.
There is so much to see in this area. Next time I will take you for a walk in the rainforest.