Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Return to the Murray Scrub

The first 9 years of my life were spent on a cream farm, in the farming community of Afterlee, on Cob O'corn Creek, in northern New South Wales.

In 1960, my parents moved to a milk farm at Mooloolah, on the Sunshine Coast, in Queensland. One of my strong memories of living at Aftlerlee, was the summer picnic excursions with my family, aunts, uncles and cousins, to the Murray Scrub and its crystal clear running water. The journey now, still on dirt road, takes half an hour. It must have been double that and more, back at that time.

Iron Pot Creek is surrounded by tall, flooded gums and rainforest trees. Its pristine water flows over basalt rocks. We loved to sit in the 'bath tubs' created over time by erosion. So many wonderful memories.

This photo would have been taken in 1956. All the cousins with their dearly loved Grandfather.

In January 2016, I visited my cousin Robert at Afterlee. I asked if he would mind taking me out to the Murray Scrub to find the 'bath tubs'. Robert had spent his teaching career in Sydney and although he visited his parents often, there had been very few trips to The Scrub once he had left home. He was excited as I was, as we set off. 

Our search was not in vain. Our memories hadn't exaggerated the beauty of this spot. We lost no time in enjoying the 'bath tubs' again.

Our first view of where we had picnicked in our childhood.

A series of views as we walked upstream.

It was difficult to tear ourselves away, but we made the resolution that sooner, rather than later, we would invite our cousins for at least one more summer picnic here. 

Alas, it wasn't until March of this year, that we finally gathered at 'Locheil' to car pool for the journey out.  Rain was falling, but we weren't complaining, as it was much needed. We weren't at all sure that the creek would be running, because it had been dry for so long.

Our plan was amended. Morning tea here on the farm. Drive out to the Murray Scrub, explore and then return for lunch. A day of creating wonderful new memories was underway.

I had copied an enlargement of the 'Grandfather and cousins' photo above, for each family. Much discussion ensued re who was whom and our ages.

A locked gate had us scrambling over it, before make the 500 metre trek to the creek. We now have a key to the gate for the future.

A bit of bush bashing.

Arrival. Thankfully, heavy rains had fallen in the nearby hinterland.

Not as agile as we once were.

The cousins of the original photo.

An after lunch photo, taken back at Locheil, when Caroline was able to join us.

What a special day this had been. The plan is to meet again in January 2020, giving enough warning so all our extended family members are able to join us.


  1. A special day and truly a special place.

  2. What a lovely location. It was good for you to be able to get so many cousins together.

    All of the cousins on Dad's side of the family got together this year. I never made it but there was still a big crowd as there were 39 cousins altogether. I would not know many of them if I met them in the street.

  3. How special, Helen. You made some new memories to go with the old.

  4. How fun to spend time with your family and recreate that old photo!

  5. That is an incredibly beautiful spot!

  6. What a great place for a bath tub!

  7. Oh wow! This is such a lovely post for so many reasons. Wonderful that you got back together again at such a beautiful place with so many memories.

  8. Wonderful to revisit your childhood with the family - a beautiful spot. I love to bathe and swim in rivers :)

  9. I loved the old photo and the re-creations you managed at your reunion. Too often, we don't get together with extended family any more. We are "too busy" with our own lives. It's wonderful that your family was motivated to do so.

  10. The area looks exquisite and I can understand why you longed to return. I would have loved to explore there, but the fact that your memories go right back to your childhood must have made this visit very special indeed.

  11. The warm and happy feeling of your reunion is felt also on this side of the screen. :) I too love the old photo, and the landscapes are always wonderful.
    Happy autumn! xx