Thursday, 20 June 2013

Lennox Heads to Ballina - Coastal Walk.

                                                                       Click on photos to increase their size.   

Walking Tuesday has now become Walking Wednesday [work related,] so yesterday saw us setting off south from my home at 7am for the 150 k drive to our coastal walk between Lennox Heads and Ballina in Northern New South Wales. Travelling 40 mins on an 8 lane highway and the remainder on 4 lane highway made the journey far more pleasant than last week's commuter crawl.

We pulled into the Pat Morton Lookout car park at nine, to be greeted by this grand vista. The headland to the north is Byron Bay, the most easterly point in Australia. After a cup of 'lemon ginger' coffee, we headed up the slope to the crest of the headland and entered a leafy grove.

On exiting we were greeted by more spectacular coast line. Point no 5 [centre, horizon] was where we were headed.

The sun's rays shimmered across the ocean, but I was unable to fully capture its dance, with my small camera.

Much of our coastline is either bush or suburbia. We were thrilled to be walking these grassy slopes with an uninterrupted view of the breakers forming and surging towards the shoreline. 

I've been fortunate enough to walk this trail on 2 previous occasions and each on a sunshine plus day. As I viewed the above scene, I was stunned to realise that the devastating storms from earlier this year, had actually managed to topple 2 massive basalt outcrops.
June 2013
                                                        May 2012                                     
On dropping down to our 1st beach, we made the decision to continue on grass rather than on the rounded basalt boulders and stones. The blue of the sea, black of the wet boulders and green of the shore edge were begging to be photographed. 

Looking back from where we had come from.

About to climb another headland.

From here we descended to the 1st of 2 beach walks. The 2nd being less protected,
was where all the erosion of the shoreline took place.

12 k's saw us reaching the  Richmond River breakwater where I love to spot dolphins, but on this occasion we were being buffeted by a freezing southerly and so kept walking to find a sheltered spot for lunch. This unnamed bird kept watch. Possibly an egret. Further research to be done.

We crossed the bridge over the impressive North Creek to make our way to the bank of the 'mighty'
 [ in my late Father's words], Richmond River.

 Looking back to it's mouth and upstream.

Time was wasted watching the pelicans.

We arrived in Central Ballina with just a 20 min wait to catch a bus back 2/3 of the way to our car. Standing waiting, I happened to look to the south and and was confronted with a rapidly changing sky.

 Court House clock tower.

Our final leg was along Boulder beach and up the headland again to Pat Morton Lookout.  The weather had changed, but  we delighted in the different moods it cast on the seas surface.

We became aware of a loud rumbling noise and were unable to work out what was causing it. We  
finally realised the tide was full and the wave surge was tumbling the boulders over and over. The sound in this video is not wind, but the rocks tumbling.

As we crested the headland we took a final look at it's spectacular view. Turning to continue we gasped at the heart stopping scene before us. Police, ambulance, winches - with relief, we learnt that this was a practise exercise.


As we reached the car, the sky ahead was still quite clear, but we'd hardly sat down when the 1st raindrops fell. Tired but dry, we reflected on our rewarding 18ks  and how yet again the weather Gods were looking out for us. Unknown to us then, they had one more surprise for us. During the last 20 mins of the return journey, we had been observing the cloud patterns changing in the west. Suddenly the sun sank in  a brilliant red glory. A more than fitting climax to another walk down under with friends.

Happiness is.........
                             spotting a dragonfly.

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  1. Another great day's walking. The video didn't show up in the blog - is it an iPad thing?

  2. Could be, because I watched it on my laptop last night.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. I saw the video Helen. So enjoy reading your blog and seeing your photos.

    1. Thank you Marilyn. It was a perfect day.

    2. Thank you Marilyn. It was a perfect day.

  5. What a beautiful coastline. Looks like a great place to hike.

  6. Thank you Linda. It most certainly is. Another hour south is a 3 day coastal walk which I discovered through Leslie [Banff Trash Trail] when she visited Aus 18 months ago. We hope to do that later in the year.

  7. Thank you Linda. It most certainly is. Another hour south is a 3 day coastal walk which I discovered through Leslie [Banff Trash Trail] when she visited Aus 18 months ago. We hope to do that later in the year.

  8. I love this post Helen! Having grown up on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean in Nova Scotia, I have a special place in my heart for everything related to beaches. The sights and sounds from your coastal walk this day are wonderful. I do have to disagree with you though on one point, I do not think watching pelicans is wasting time, how fortuanate were you to have that opportunity. Thank you for your comment on a recent post of mine. My home is not near the flooded areas. I went to have a look for myself and the scene was unimaginable. It will be some time before our Parks are ready to explore again. Goodness, folks are still stranded in the back country and slowly being helicoptered out. Thank you again for your thoughts! Alexandra