It seems of late that birthdays have a horrible habit of coming around too quickly. The best way to cope is to share it with good friends, good food and wine and doing the things one enjoys the most. In my case, exploring the great outdoors, camera in hand.
9am March 15 saw Frank, Margot, Reg, Laurel and I setting forth for the Hinze Dam. I had last visited a number of years ago, prior to the stage 3 upgrade, which commenced in 2007. We were quite stunned at the length of the wall and all the vacilities provided. Now only open to pedestrians, we walked for 1 km and wouldn't have been even halfway across.
We chose the parkland on the lake's edge for our morning coffee, enjoying the tranquil views across to the far shoreline. It was with great excitement that I experimented photographing with my birthday camera. I was delighted by its performance.
Laurel kindly provided a yummy cake and after a little shoreline nonsense, we returned to the car to drive the western shoreline of the dam to the Numinbah valley and the Natural Arch.
A circuit of approx 1km, took us through rainforest, to the arch created by water erosion over many thousands of years. This erosion had not only created the arch, but also a cavernous area that is home to bats and glowworms. The waterfall, cascading into the rock pool, splashed on a large log swept here during one of our major floods.
We spotted a 2 metre python slithering amongst the rocks, looking for some warmth to sun himself in.
Tyalgum, a quaint, country village of 300, was just a half hour drive from the Natural Arch and our timing for our booking at 1pm was perfect. Their tea room had just been redecorated with a fresh, cheery, Easter theme. Having worked up an appetite, it was relaxing sitting here sipping our wine and enjoying the gratis garlic bread, while our delicious gnocchi and prawns were being prepared. Their flutterbie - butterfly cupcake and ice-cream was definitely worth the drive for.
Our next destination was Point Danger at Tweed Heads. Coffee on the headland overlooking Duranbah Beach was most welcome before the final leg home. How fortunate I had been - rainforest, rural scenes and waves whispering to me as they ebbed and flowed.
How spoilt can one be? On our return at 5pm, Reg and Laurel invited us to share a glass of bubbly with them, as a near full moon majestically rose above the tree tops of the golf course horizon. The sky was clear, as a gentle breeze wafted, bringing the 1st hint of the autumn evenings to come.
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