501. Sunday 17th July 2016.Baking, Fingal Heads and Binna Burra…

I should have made a big deal out of last weeks post.After all, 500 posts is a milestone. Considering I do at least 52 posts in a year perhaps as many as 55, I have been writing this for more than 10 years. So, did I go and open a bottle of champagne and toast to the next ten years? No! Instead I had a cup of tea and two choccy biscuits.

Congratulations FrankieG.

Monday 11th July

Today was a mix of overcast and sunny.

What better day to do a bit of baking.

Zucchini Savoury Rice Muffins

Sultana Cake

Mini Baked Passionfruit Cheesecake Cups.   I had some left over Cream Cheese and some frozen passionfruit pulp and some oat cake biscuits and these were the main ingredients as well as caster sugar in the pantry and butter and an egg in the fridge.

Yummo.

My first cheesecake and it was so good.

In the afternoon I went crazy with the Magic Bullet blender. I put in spinach, cucumber, carrot, tomato, parsley, garlic and ginger.

Yechhh! It was so thick and pulpy and bitter. Perhaps I should have used a juicer but it still would have been bitter. I filtered the green mess and put the juice in the bullet and added a green apple. The pulp went into the garden. The taste? Better now that I added the apple but what am I going to do with the rest of the spinach. (It is not my idea of an enjoyable drink) Perhaps I can cook the spinach with a bit of ricotta cheese and make something tomorrow?

Hmmm!

Wednesday 13th July

Today I drove over the border into NSW to have lunch with Errol, Nicole, Amelia and Hannah. It is their last day at Hastings Point before they head home to Wollongong. Before leaving Hastings Point we stopped at Lake Cudgen which is behind Cabarita Beach. For some reason the locals like to call it Cabarita Lake while locals at Cudgen call it Cudgen Lake. Go figure! It is a small lake which seems to be surrounded along the foreshore by Melaleuca forests (also known as Paperbark Trees) which are currently in flower.  On the lake and near shore is a thick growth of what appears to be a type of bulrush.

130716 cudgen
Cudgen Lake. At one stage big lumps of money were poured into creating resorts with jetty’s and designated swimming locations. All are now weathered and ready to collapse.
130716 cudgen1
The last remaining pieces of a jetty at Cudgen lake.

We drove along the coast towards Tweed Heads to have a little walk and lunch at Kingscliffe. After lunch the girls wanted to go back to the caravan park for kids club while Errol and Nicole opted for a spa.

This was my opportunity to look at Fingal Head (named after the Celtic God Fingal) which lies between the Tweed River and the sea. Once, all this area was part of the now extinct Tweed Volcano, where lava, flowing into the sea, cooled more quickly forming hexagonal shaped basalt columns.

130716 basalt
This is weathered example of basalt columns at Fingal Heads. The island in the Background is Cook Island, also columnular basalt. The island is named in honour of Captain James Cook who passed this way in 1770.
130716 basalt1
Basalt Column cliffs at Fingal Head. Almost the entire headland is made of these columns with an overlay of later lava which is itself overlaid with thin soil.
130716 cook
Cook island

The columns here are called the Giants Causeway.  Similar basalt columns around the world, such as in Ireland and the USA are also called the Giants causeway. Probably the most famous example of Columnar Basalt is Devils Tower in Wyoming USA. It was the often used setting and a part of the plot in the 1977 movie, “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”.

Also located at Fingal Headland is an unmanned and automatic functioning  lighthouse which was built in 1879.

130716 lighthouse
Fingal Head Lighthouse.
130716 lighthouse1
Still operational, unmanned Fingal Head lighthouse with a Trig Point. Trig Point was erected in 1872. Trig Points are no longer used as GPS has made mapping and location pinpointing much more accurate.

Today the lighthouse out buildings and lighthouse keeper cottage are gone with only the foundations still intact. The lighthouse sits atop the steep basalt column cliffs and from here,  can be seen the Tweed River entrance, Tweed Heads and Coolangatta looking north along Fingal  Beach.

130716 fingal
Fingal Beach looking north to the entrance to the Tweed Rive, Tweed Heads and Coolangatta.

To the south lies the long expanse of Dreamtime Beach and the town of Kingscliffe. One of my favourite trees, the Pandanus

130716 dreamtime
Fingal Headland with the iconic Pandanus Trees looking south across Dreamtime Beach to Kingscliffe.
130716 dreamtime1
Pandanus and cliffs looking to Dreamtime Beach.

has a strong foothold on this weather and salt exposed headland where the only other plant in this area which flourishes are grasses.

Today, the medium sized swells were crashing against the vertical basalt columns and were probably the reason so many people were sitting on the rocks watching the sea. This would be a wonderful place to visit when the huge storm waves are battering the coast. Today a small pod of dolphins were cruising in the deep water just off the base of the cliffs.

In 2010 Donnis and I visited a similar basalt column area called Sawn Rocks in Mt Kaputar National Park near Narrabri in western NSW.

2010 sawn rocks
A fine example of mildly weathered hexagonal basalt columns.Mildly weathered in this case is a few million years give or take a few more million years but this example in Kaputar National Park, western NSW near Narrabri, known as Sawn Rocks has not been eroded by the salt ocean and pounding waves over milenium.
2010 sawn rocks1
Some of the columns have broken and fallen to the base of the cliffs. They really do look as though the rock has been “sawn”.

The features in this park are more visibly stark and pronounced as they are not subject to the same weathering and action of the sea as is the case here at Fingal Heads.

Strange clouds gave the Tweed Rive and the twin towns of Tweed Heads (NSW) and Coolangatta  (Qld)in the distance, a  brooding outlook.

130716 tweed
Looking along the expanse of the Tweed River with the towers of the twin towns of Tweed Heads (NSW) and Coolangatta (Qld)
130716 tweed1
A calm backwater f the Tweed River at a location known as Cave Point.

Thursday 14th July

Good friends Tony and Dawn arrived for an overnight stay before heading off to the Sunshine Coast tomorrow…for a holiday!

Friday 15th July

After Tony and Dawn left I also left for Binna Burra in the Lamington National Park on the Great Diving Range. Sister Enid and husband Ken have a weekend planned with friends to do a couple of walks in the rainforest. They are staying at Binna Burra Lodge.              http://www.binnaburralodge.com.au/

150716 lodge
Binna Burra Lodge.
150716 hut
Some of the slab sided cabins with shingle roofs.

I took an extra jacket as a precaution against the cold front moving in from NSW. Although I expected it to be cold I did not expect snow although snow was forecast for parts of NSW above 800 metres. Binna Burra is also 800 metres above sea level but it only snows here infrequently.

150716 birdhouse
This once delightful bid house has not seen birds in a long long time. The spiders have taken over.
150716 playground
This children’s playground has not been used by children in a long long time. I guess the spider webs which drove the birds away from the bird house also drove the children away.

The lodge was built in 1930 and has been added to over the years. The original buildings were of slab timber, roughly hewn with a cedar shingle roof. Rooms share facilities. The 40 Klm drive from the coast took almost an hour. The road is steep, winding and narrow. In some places it is one way only with blind corners.

150716 hill
Valley view along the road to Binna Burra.
150716 retrieval
The steep hillside is a great place to fly gliders. It is not such a great place if the glider crashes.

The old lodge has a separate accommodation of modern buildings with facilities. The new buildings do not blend in with nature and are a jarring counterpoint to the original buildings.

150716 view
The newer cabins do not blend into the hillside.

There is also a camp ground managed by the National Parks. I chose not to go on any of the walks as I have been suffering high blood pressure for a month including a constant headache for almost two weeks leaving me a bit light headed and at this altitude slightly out of breath.

I had a time of near panic when I realised my precious Panasonic Lumix FZ200 camera was missing. We had left the nearby barbecue and picnic grounds to drive to the lodge when I noticed the camera was missing. I drove back to the picnic grounds, retraced our steps but found no sign of the camera. I reported the loss to the teahouse then drove to the lodge to make the same report there. Sister Enid and friend Jack insisted we go back to the picnic grounds and have another look. I thought it was a waste of time as it was more likely anybody finding the camera would keep it. We split up looking at the toilet block, the barbecue pit and the picnic table. I heard Enid calling me that she had found the camera. It was a few metres away from the table where I had last placed it. The camera was on the ground beside a rock and its location was such that it would not be easily seen. We speculated the pesky thieving aggressive Scrub Turkey could have tried to take it. (earlier a turkey jumped up onto the barbecue table and stole a tub of butter Ken had placed there. He and Enid chased the turkey and managed to recover the butter but the turkey kept the lid) Perhaps. Once they found it was not food it would have been abandoned. Personally I think the camera and case was simply too heavy for a hungry turkey to carry. I am inclined to think there was some sort of human activity involved. Either way I was grateful we found the camera.

Be still my beating heart. Next time I will padlock the camera to my arm…

Just kidding

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s