Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Travelogue: Australia – Murramarang National Park (Part 3: Perfect Scenery!)

This weekend’s side trip is to Murramarang National Park, on Australia’s eastern coast in New South Wales. The plan had been to head over to Bateman’s Bay, and then turn to the right and go down the coast through the scenic loop that included a bunch of little towns with all sorts of interesting shops to poke through. I don’t know why, but we both decided to head straight to the beach. What a great choice!

Our first stop after lunch was Pebbly Beach in the Murramarang National Park. We paid our entry fee and were treated to amazing views. From the sight of the Pacific poking through the trees as we descended the side of the cliff down to the beach to the craggy rocks on their way to being pounded to pebbles by the waves the entire time there was rife with a plethora of things to attract our eyes.

I kicked myself at about this point as I realized that one of the things I had forgotten was the bag that had my swim trunks in it back at the hotel in Canberra. My colleague suggested we could always pop back into Bateman’s Bay to pick one up at the shops, but I didn’t want to leave the beach.

It is an amazing place, the ocean comes pounding over a rocky outcropping of rock that extends tens of meters out from the beach; it’s a veritable table of rock that is in the process of weathering down to join the pebbles that make-up the stretch of beach south of the rocks.

This shelf is pocked by tidal pools and washed-out pots of pebbles that are amazingly colorful. It is ponderous to consider their having been carved by the wind and waves out of the same rock that composes the headlands over the eons.

As I say, south of this there is a stretch of beach that is made-up completely of pebbles. These range in size from about an inch across to about the size of your fist. And let me tell you: if you think a march across the sand is rough, try doing it across a beach made of this kind of pebble. Sand may shift as you walk through it – rocks roll!

We spent a couple hours exploring the beach, taking pictures, and chatting with the people we encountered. There was this one artist who was painting a picture of something… “Don’t mind this.” She said when she showed it to us. “it is not finished.” It looked more like Jackson Pollok to me than Kodak Moment, but… to each his own!

As the day wore on, we decided to go to the other beach, just down the coast; the beach where the kangaroos come right down to the water in the late afternoon. And as the day was wearing on, we decided it was time to make the move.

Wherever you are this morning I hope that you are still feeling the afterglow of an excellent weekend!

Don Bergquist – 28 March 2012 – Canberra, ACT, Australia

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