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Byron Bay – A Northern Rivers Natural Wonder.

Posted on January 21, 2015 at 7:26 AM Comments comments (712)
Byron Bay – A Northern Rivers Natural Wonder.

When you hear the words Byron Bay, you automatically conjure up thoughts and emotions of its pristine sandy beaches, tropical coloured waters, surfers and sun bakers. Known the world over Byron Bay is a Mecca for holiday makers and tourists alike.

Yesterday I decided to brave the traffic and crowds to sample some of the things that make Byron Bay one of the most sought out destinations on the planet. From the Northern Rivers Hinterland, I traveled through Bangalow, up and over Hayters Hill, cruising in from the Southern end of Byron Bay. Go this way to avoid virtually all the queuing traffic delays, synonymous with the Northern entry. Plus the scenic drive is stunning.

Byron shire has many stunning beaches along its coastline but today I really wanted to enjoy a couple of its most popular so I headed straight for “The Pass”. The car park is small, you have to pay for parking and generally there is a wait for a space to become available, but it is totally worth it because when you walk down the stairs, out onto the beach, you know you are somewhere really special. These are some of the images I took at “The Pass”.

After spending a good 4 hours there, it was time for lunch, so I headed into town where you are spoilt for choice of food and made my way to the beachfront, to check out “The Wreck” and “Main Beach”.

I spent another three hours swimming and relaxing, taking in this beach-side paradise and when it came time to leave, I just didn’t want to. Now over the halfway mark of the summer season, I am extremely glad I made the trip to Byron Bay to experience firsthand the pristine sandy beaches, tropical coloured waters and picturesque setting and highly recommend you put it on your list of things to do and see this summer.

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WOODY HEAD - On borrowed time - going, going ... gone ?

Posted on January 13, 2015 at 7:42 PM Comments comments (456)
Woody Head – A Northern Rivers Natural Wonder - On borrowed time, going, going ... gone ?

Erosion is posing an ever bigger threat to numerous beachfront campsites and caravan parks along Australia’s magnificent coastline. In recent years, huge waves and strong currents have caused massive changes to many, many areas and it’s far from just an issue in our towns. Woody Head in Bundjalung National Park is one of the fastest-eroding beaches in New South Wales … and is retreating at about two metres every year.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Artificial dunes have slowed erosion considerably along part of the beach. Around 5000 cubic-metres of sand, has been ploughed into an artificial dune on the shorefront at Woody Head to stop the damaging effects of coastal erosion. The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) and the Roads and Traffic Authority undertook a two week, $200,000 project to construct a beachfront dune that measures about 100metres long. The massive dune barrier has been built directly in front of the Woody Head Camping Reserve and has been planted out with native trees and plants. It is reported that the man-made dune was the most effective method of protecting the rapidly-disappearing coastline and camping infrastructure at Woody Head from an eroding longshore current.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             It is estimated that the magnificent Woody Head campground will almost certainly be gone by 2025.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Woody Head is a campground with the lot - you can pitch your tent, park your caravan or book a cabin to enjoy a pleasure packed beach escape for the weekend or longer. It's a great place for a family holiday. There are heaps of things to do and children and adults alike will love exploring the rainforest, shallow reefs and rock platforms around the campground. There's also a boat ramp for those who bring their boat along, great places for fishing and water babies will love being so close to the beach. There is one designated group camping area and the campground is wheelchair accessible. Woody Head is a hugely popular north coast campground and you'll need to book with plenty of time to secure your campsite.

                                                                                                                                                                                           The Hammond family were the pioneers of Woody Head and of the 3 sons, Charlie, Bert and Bill (all commercial fishers). Their original family house (hut) has been restored ( Hammond Cottage) and offers accommodation to holiday makers. If you’d been fortunate enough to have known Charlie and Bert particularly, you might have seen one of their little trawlers (“Woody H” or “Endeavour”) moored in the bay adjacent to what is now the boat launching area.

What you may not know is that at the top of the boat ramp there is a small green shed, the purpose of which is unknown to most. The shed housed a ’29 Chevy engine that was hooked up to a windlass and in times of heavy seas wooden ladders were placed on the beach and into the surf, along which the trawler would be hauled to eliminate the danger posed by big seas. When this happened, it was literally all hands on deck, as wooden rollers were attached to the vessel to steady it as it was retrieved from the water. The beach where this happened is long gone and where it was is now eroded to the rock at the right of the boat ramp. Those days, when they launched their boats to head out for snapper, they parked their vehicles on the beach above the high tide mark. Nowadays you can’t even get to the beach. Keep in mind, however that the beach at that time was a straight beach to Shark Bay Rocks.

So when you drive into Woody Head campground, you will feel that you have arrived somewhere really special and unfortunately, future generations will definitely not be enjoying this which is such a pity because there's so very much to enjoy at this Northern Rivers Natural Wonder.
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Whian Whian Falls – A Northern Rivers Natural Wonder.

Posted on January 6, 2015 at 7:45 AM Comments comments (666)
Whian Whian Falls – A Northern Rivers Natural Wonder...

Just outside the town of Dunoon in the Northern Rivers, NSW there is a stunning oasis that is known as, Whian Whian Falls. Like most, it isn’t signposted very well signposted and to get there you drive through Dunoon, take a left hand turn down Whian Whian Road.

Not far down that road, at the bottom of a hill and across the bridge, there is a parking area on the left seemingly in the middle of nowhere. It is a little hard to miss, especially if there is a tour bus parked there as was the case on the day I visited. There is a well worn walking track along a fence line that leads down to the falls and only takes just a minute or two. Always incredibly popular, there was a large group of about twenty other people enjoying the spot with swimmers, photographers and onlookers, all soaking up the incredible beauty of this stunning place.

I couldn’t resist and took advantage, snapping
a couple of shots.

There are plenty of fresh water around
and shallow pools for waders and frolickers,
so everyone can have a little fun.

Put aside a few hours and make the trip out to
Whian Whian falls to see for yourself,
one of the Northern Rivers natural wonders.

Word of warning: people have been badly injured jumping at the falls. Do so at your own risk.

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Bexhill Brickworks

Posted on December 29, 2014 at 10:08 PM Comments comments (372)
Bexhill, established in the early 19th century, was the central point of the early North Coast of New South Wales. In the 19th century Bexhill was known as Baldhill. Bexhill's early production was red cedar logging and its close proximity to Boat Harbour made the floating of logs an easy task during flood waters. As the Red Cedar industry started to dwindle, the Bexhill Brick works was established and it produced many of the bricks for the far north coast. It closed down towards the end of the 1990s, unable to keep up with the production of bricks from Coffs Harbour and Newcastle. 

Today it is located on Crown land and the quarry has over the years, filled with water. The NSW Department of Lands have fenced its perimeter and additional warning signs have been erected.
Water quality tests by Lismore’s SCU-based Environmental Analysis Laboratory, suggest the water is high in acid, magnesium, aluminium and the chemical analysis of the water by Southern Cross University reveals swimmers are putting themselves at risk. It is understood the bright blue colour comes from copper in the disturbed clay and the origin of the acidity and metals is due to an acceleration of natural processes similar to the acid sulphate soils in this region releasing acid and metals.

A beautiful sight with its cobalt blue water and dramatic cliff face makes the swimming hole hard to resist on a hot day.
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Browns Creek Rehabilitation Stage 1

Posted on December 29, 2014 at 9:53 PM Comments comments (723)
Browns Creek Rehabilitation Stage 1 - 10 years on and thriving...

In Lismore, New South Wales today, most people would travel over Browns Creek without knowing it was there, especially if they were going over the track from Richmond Lane car park to Zadoc Street. On most maps of Lismore it does not appear. However, it has a long history and so does the family who gave its name to the creek.

Browns Creek was a part of the natural drainage system of Lismore. It ran from below the New Ballina Cutting, down Orion Street, across the area now occupied by Lismore Caravan Park, over Dawson and Zadoc Streets, down Keen Street and across to Molesworth Street, where it entered the main river system just above the old Northern Star Building. Today the majority of Browns Creek is contained by large drainage pipes and mostly covered by roadway and car park.

There is however a section of Browns Creek where the cement drain has been removed and replaced with natural creek system utilizing native trees, grasses and aquatic plants that improve storm water quality naturally, improve habitat and visual amenity. Browns Creek is named after Henry Johnson Brown who arrived in Australia with his sister in 1840.

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