Tag: Murwillumbah

683. Sunday 23rd June 2019. Blood tests, memory woes, a visit by granddaughter Shelby, weight loss and Rock and Roll babeee…

Monday 17th June.

Today I had to have a fasting blood test. The sooner I have the test the sooner I get breakfast. Last week I called them to determine what time they open. My mind tells me I was told 7.30am. I arrived at 7.29 to find the gates locked. In a moment a car arrived the gates opened and I ask the driver what time they open. There is a reason I did this as the blood lab website tells me they are open from 9am. The sign on the gate tells me 8.30 am while I was told 7.30 am and the car driver told me, “we open at 8am”. I went home and arrived back at 8am and discovered, much to my chagrin, I had left the prescription behind. I went home found the prescription sitting on the table where I had put it while putting on my shoes. I was back at the lab for the test by 8.45 but had to wait. I was home for breakfast by 9.30.


What bothered me was the memory aspect. Perhaps recalling the wrong opening time and forgetting the prescription. I suppose it can happen to anybody!

Tuesday 18th June

Daughter Shelby arrived today.  Her first semester at Uni ended and she is now having a holiday. With No Particular Place To Go, (thanks Chuck Berry) we decided to take a visit to Snapper Rocks

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A little surf at Snapper.

which seems to have become, along with Coolangatta, a favourite place for us to visit.

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Hanging Five at Snapper.

The weather was fabulous, traffic was less than heavy and we found a parking spot immediately.

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Shelby always seems to look the other way when a camera is pointed her way.

The surf, what there was of it, was in the category of tiny.

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Tourists trying to take a photo with the surf breaking on the rocks.
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Natural rock pool at Snapper Rocks

However the dozen or so surfers were enjoying the warm day, the clear clean water and friendly unchallenging surf.

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Shelby at Snapper
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Rock pool at Snapper Rocks.
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Rainbow Bay Surf Club entrance at Snapper Rocks. On the left are winners of the male, Quiksilver Pro Surf Title from 2002 to 2014. On the right are the winners of the female Roxy Pro Surf Title from 2002 to 2014.

Later after a lunch at a Mexican franchise we drove home along what I call the scenic route.

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Kirra Beach seen from Kirra Lookout.
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Coolangatta, Greenmount and Snapper Rocks from Kirra Lookout.
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Snapper Rocks from Kirra Lookout.

It is almost traditional for us to call into the Currumbin Surf Life Saving Club where Donnis and I had a cup of coffee and shared a piece of cake made with almond flour.

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Currumbin Beach from the Surf Club Dining Room.
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Coolangatta from Currumbin Surf Club.
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City from Currumbin

Shelby had a nice piece of Black Forest Cherry Cake while I eyeballed its ever decreasing size with envy. As we passed through Palm Beach we noticed a ship anchored just a little way off the beach and decided it was worth a better look. It turns out the Gold Coast City Council is spending M$18 building an artificial reef mainly for the purpose of stopping beach erosion along this stretch of beach.   http://www.goldcoast.qld.gov.au/palm-beach-shoreline-project-46031.html     A by- product of the reef will be a place for fisherpeople, divers, snorkellers and of course board riders. We watched as a backhoe dredger splashed below the surface but re-emerging with an empty bucket. It was moving rocks into place. We have always enjoyed stopping for a coffee and cake at the Palm Beach Surf Life Saving Club so now we have something additional to look at.

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Making an artificial reef at Palm Beach
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The city from Palm Beach

Further along the Gold Coast Highway I decided to stop at Cascade Gardens near Broadbeach.   http://www.goldcoast.qld.gov.au/thegoldcoast/cascade-gardens-27171.html

The number of times we have driven past this park, seen the large number of cars and promised ourselves we would have a look.

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Cascade gardens.

It is a popular picnic spot and an ideal wedding venue. 180619 cascade gardens1Today we just had a look at the Nerang River in one of its guises as part of the hugely extensive Gold Coast canal system.180619 cascade gardens 2 I loved it for the many photo opportunities and will be back.180619 cascade gardens

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Walking trail along Cascade Gardens canal wall.

Wednesday 19th June.

After our Line Dancing session and my cup of coffee – albeit without benefit of cake, biscuits or slices of rye sourdough bread – we decided to take Shelby to do a walk through Burleigh Heads National Park. https://parks.des.qld.gov.au/parks/burleigh-head/about.html

It was easier to park at Tallebudgera Creek and walk back across the bridge and enter the park from that end. Parking at Burledigh Heads is dfifficult.

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A very long mural at Tallebudgera Creek. The entire wall is also fitted with old exhaust systems. The mufflers have been cut and filled with soil and plants. Regretably, no watering system was installed and all the plants died. Not even weeds survive. Maybe it was all the accumulated gasses which kills everything.

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Tallebudgera Creek
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Tallebudgera Creek

The park abounds with massive hexagonal columns of basalt which were formed XXX millions of years ago when volcanic eruptions pushed lava into the sea which at that time was at a much higher level than today.

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One of many bench seats along the Burleigh National Park walk.

The rapid cooling of the lava, which includes Feldspar and Quartz aligns the minerals that form the basalt columns. Today we took the high path and the steepest walk which also has the best lookouts.

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Rocks overlooking Tallebudgera Creek, Palm Beach, Currumbin and Coolangatta way in the distance.
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Palm Beach etc

Next time we take the more level coast path which was closed for a number of years due to basalt rock falls. 190619 burleigh 5

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Another bench seat in Burleigh National Park
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View across Burleigh Heads towards Broadbeach and Surfers Paradise.

Once again the weather was near perfect as was the water clarity and colour. Today the surf had doubled in size overnight. Just offshore we glimpsed the tug towing two dumb barges which had just delivered a load of rocks for the artificial reef.

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Rock barges.

Thursday 20th June

Donnis went on a bus trip with her craft group to Murwillumbah. Shelby and I went to Harbourtown. I went to get a prescription filled and Shelby went window shopping. She, like me, is on a budget. I arrived at the chemist and lo and behold, no prescription. Uh Oh! Did I leave it on the table while I was putting my shoes on?  Shelby drove me home in her deep dark metallic blue Kia Cerato and there was the prescription, on the table where I thought it would be. Hmmm! That’s a second memory problem in a few days.

Saturday 22nd June.

Tonight we went to the Guannabah Country Music Hall for a Rock and Roll night. Many of the faces are becoming familiar to us as are we becoming familiar to them. Our dance lessons have paid dividends especially for Graham and myself. We are no longer stiff in our movements and we have learnt to move fluidly with the music and our partners. Both of us were fortunate to be asked by several women to dance with them. Donnis is beginning to relax although she is still a little unsure but then again she was asked to dance by several men. I have probably said this before but is worthwhile saying again. We should have taken lessons years ago. My friend…Frank…took up Rock and Roll 17 years ago and he also comments that he should have started a long time ago. The band is very popular and the lead guitarist started as a 17 year old playing on Bandstand hosted by Brian Henderson on National TV and later on the 6 O’Clock Rock TV Show hosted by Johnny O’Keefe. Co-Incidentally, the band starts the night at 6 O’Clock and plays the original 6 O’Clock Rock theme song. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4FPt0cB3x60

We had a great night and even when not dancing we enjoyed watching the other dancers with their great routines and some of the wardrobe choices, men and womens were eye catching. We have another Rock and Roll night here at our village on Friday and many of those at tonights event will also be coming.

Sunday 23rd June 2019

All the little jobs I promised myself I would complete today are still not completed. Not only are they not completed they have not even been started.

I did solve a neighbours problem with her iPad.

I did solve another neighbours air conditioning problem and some of her laptop problems.

Several of us watched the State of Origin on the big screen smart TV with 6 speaker surround sound in the Clubhouse. NSW gave Qld a lesson in Rugby League. Qld have still not learned to pass the ball. The score was an embarrassment.

Last week I reported that I hoped to have lost 6kgs by this week. The scales tell me – yahoo – I have lost 6 Kgs even after a couple of “treats” during the week. Watching State of Origin tonight I had a small bowl of chips, 2 small sausage rolls and a couple of rums. I hope that, overall that does not set me back. Back to the 6 Kg loss. Looking in the mirror I cannot see any change in belly girth and silly me did not use a tape measure BEFORE I started. However… I tried on some trousers which, although I could put them on previously, I could not do them up. There was a wide yawning gap between the buttons and the button hole. On Saturday night, getting dressed for Rock and Roll, my current trousers were simply too large and just folded down around my ankles. Next I tried on trousers I have not used since, well, at least 2014. They fit!!! I was able to easily do up the trousers, tuck in my shirt (something else I could not do, I always left my shirt out) and finish off with a belt. Next I tried on trousers and shorts. The old clothes fit. I made a huge pile of huge trousers and shorts. They will go into storage until I get the courage to get rid of them. I do not want to go backwards now I seem to be regaining my old body by loosing a bit of body. Maybe the loss of weight and girth had a positive effect on my mental state as I felt more relaxed joining others on the dance floor. I was doing “my thing” rather than being concerned how others perceived me.

568. Sunday 3rd September 2017. House painting and a long bush hike…

Friday 1st September (First day of Spring)

For the first time in a long, long, long time I did not post  last week.

Shame! Shame! Shame!

We started painting the house interior last week and it has continued all this week.

Today was a lay day.


Saturday 2nd September

Met sister Enid and hubby Ken at Binna Burra a small parcel of private land within the Lamington National Park along the Scenic Rim Region in the McPherson Ranges. The car park is 800 metres above sea level. Today we took a hike along the Daves Creek Loop Trail which took us through some heavily wooded country, some open heathland and spectacular steep cliffs some 900 metres above sea level.

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One of the legacies of Cyclone Debbie earlier this year. Although the cyclone came nowhere near this region, it was hit by strong winds and heavy rains. We saw many fallen trees along the track.

In places we could look across deep valley floors within ancient volcanic caldera and see Mt Warning across the border in NSW. Todays 4 hour, 12 Klm up and down hike was a sort of warm up preparation for a more challenging hike/climb of Mt Warning…perhaps in October.

In places the track skirted steep cliff edges which made for a nervous bit of careful walking and to ensure there were no trips or slips on the downward slope.

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Our path follows that cliff line on the left. The track can be seenheading close to the edge. The high range in the distance is part of an ancient volcanic caldera and overlooks the Tweed Valley in NSW. Look carefully and you can see a Telstra Tower midway aling the ridge. further forward but unseen is whta is known as The Best of All Lookouts in Springbrook National park which I have written about before.

We stopped for lunch on a cliff edge overlooking the Numinbah Valley where we could see the ribbon of back road which travels over the range down into the Tweed Valley of NSW to Murwillumbah.

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Our precarious lunch spot.

I am nervous about heights so removing my camera, hat, walking pole and backpack was done very carefully. A playful bird flitted around us looking for a handout of small amounts of bread which it took and placed in the fork of several bushes nearby.

Somewhere along the track we crossed a small brook or creek, no more than a stride wide which had a small trickle of water struggling through the rocks. This was Daves Creek for which the track was named.

After lunch we started the climb on the return to the car park and were surprised by a sign which said Surprise Rock. It was indeed a surprise a large rock in the middle of otherwise rock free bush.

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Looking across the heathland from Surprise Rock.

The rock had beautiful views across heathland to Mt Warning in the distance.

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Looking past Surprise Rock towards Mt Warning and the Tweed Valley of NSW.

Eventually we made it back to the car park where we stopped to finish our sandwiches but a busy cheeky unidentified bird made three passes snapping at my sandwich, taking a little bite each time. On the third pass he took what remained of my sandwich in one low flying sneaky attack. We never even saw him coming.

On the way home I stopped to watch Para Gliders take off from an impossibly high and steep hill. Now that’s what I would like to do. On second thoughts I am a little nervous about heights.

At least I can watch.

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Preparing for a bit of time in the sky.
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Quick take off. A few steps and this pilot was flying.
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The carry bag doubles as a comfortable sitting harness.
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Mt Warning is in the background.
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A gentle landing.

498. Sunday 26th June 2016. A funeral, a look around Port Macquarie and a visit to Murwillumbah…

Monday 20th June.

Despite the overcast, rain and blustering, cold westerly wind I drove from Port Macquarie to Newcastle Crematorium at Beresfield. I had allowed three hours for the journey and even stopping for fuel and a coffee break I was still 90 minutes early.

As people arrived it was clear the small chapel was not going to hold all the mourners. Apart from family, relatives and friends, Bobby had a wide circle of people who respected him. After the chapel was filled it was standing room only – outside in the cold. Bobby’s daughter Libby, ably assisted by her brother Grant, gave a moving eulogy. Bobby was a member of the National Rifle Association of Australia and at one stage was coach of the junior team which toured overseas. Mourners from the club and other business customers from Coonabarabran joined family and friend s to pay their respects.

Libby commented that sometimes her father was a Grumpy Old Man but we loved him. Judging by the tears, the 12 grandchildren also loved him.

Goodbye Bobby.

After refreshments at Beresfield Bowling Club I drove back to Port Macquarie arriving well after dark. Within minutes I laid down and fell asleep for a couple of hours. It was a long day, including 6 hours of driving and an emotional event.

Tuesday 21st June.

I decided to stay another day so I could be refreshed for the drive back to the Gold Coast. I drove around looking at some of the many beaches around Port Macquarie.

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Town Beach

Town Beach is adjacent to the breakwater and marina wall. This wall is different to most I have seen elsewhere, almost every stone face is painted with a memorial or endless love sonnet or even just a memento of a visit.

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These are the painted rocks along the breakwater walkway.
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This man is painting his own message on one of the breakwater rocks.

There is a great deal of beach erosion, a legacy of the violent storm experienced all along the Eastern Seaboard of Australia a few weeks ago.

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Beach erosion along Town Beach from recent storms

It was here I watched the cargo ship, “ISLAND TRADER” enter the narrow seawall opening into the Hastings River and marina and canal residential community. The ship carries supplies to and from Lord Howe Island almost 600 Klms offshore. LHI is part of NSW and therefore part of Australia. Port Macquarie is the closest NSW port to LHI.

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Island Trader returning from Lord Howe Island.

Shelley Beach has a memorial to Harry Thompson who arrived with his family in a caravan in 1960.

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Shelley Beach
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Harry Thompson is silent sentinel over his Shelley Beach. Note the cleared understory of the beachside vegetation.
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Picnic shelter carved to represent the interior of Harry Thompsons caravan where he and his wife and son lived for 40 years.

Perhaps the best explanation of the story is from this Flikr Page.

 “In 1960 Harry and Jean Thompson moved from Warren in western NSW after winning the lottery and buying a caravan. Being from the bush, with no experience of the beach Harry got bogged in the sand at Shelly Beach at Port Macquarie on the NSW mid North Coast.

The Thompsons decided there and then that they had found their spiritual home and thereafter made their caravan their permanent home at beautiful Shelly Beach,

The Thompsons were long time unofficial caretakers of this idyllic Port Macquarie beach and in the process became legendary as they successfully garnered the support of Port Macquarie residents in their effort to resist many vigorous attempts by the local Port Macquarie – Hasting Shire Council to evict them from their self proclaimed beach side home.

Harry Thompson, died on 31st January 2000 at age 83 and the community began fund raising for a memorial, now evident at the northern end of Shelly Beach in the form of a wooden sculpture of Harry and interestingly, his caravan. The area has become known as ‘Harry’s Corner’ and a walking trail with 254 steps, all laboriously built by Harry, leads to a nearby lookout now known as ‘Harry’s Lookout’

Such was the fondness with which Harry was held he was elected citizen of the year in 1983 and in 1999 was proclaimed ‘Mayor of Shelly Beach’


In 2009 an unbelievable mindless act of vandalism saw the sculpture of Harry decapitated. Fortunately local builder and friend of Harry, Ted Sala, came to the rescue and repairs were made and Harry once again stands a silent sentinel watching over his beloved Shelly Beach.”


I also visited secluded Miners Beach now an unofficial nudist beach, and given the weather today very few people were seen, all dressed of course.

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Miners Beach. Note the Banksia.
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Little Miners Beach.

Most of the beaches on the south side of Port Macquarie are at the base of steep cliffs much dressed in native vegetation including the wonderful Banksia’s.

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Much of the cliffside around the Port Macquarie beaches have all native vegetation. Currently Hastings Council are removing non native species. These beautiful banksia frame the scenery.

A walk has been established from Town Beach all the way through the beaches as far as the Tacking Point Lighthouse.

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Tacking Point Lighthouse.

Nobby’s Beach is on this walk but does have a one way access road as well.

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Nobby’s Beach

At Flynns Beach

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Flynns Beach notice to weed brought in by recent storms.

I watched boogie board riders in shallow water in front of the cliff face.

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It was cold on the beach today but these wetsuit clad boogie board riders were enjoying themselves.
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This rider needs to be careful he does not bite off his tongue.
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These riders were following the break of the waves…towards the rock!

At the end of my journey was Tacking Point Lighthouse. The  lighthouse was built high on a rocky headland in 1879 and is listed on the National Trust Heritage Register. The light house was built due to the large number of shipwrecks in the area. There were twenty shipwrecks between 1823 and 1878. The lighthouse was only 8 metres tall due to the height of the headland itself. It is similar in construction height to Sugarloaf Point Lighthouse which also sits on a high headland at Seal Rocks South of Forster.

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Lighthouse Beach looking south.

Late in the day I went to Lake Cathie (Locals pronounce it Lake Cat Eye which is probably a derivation of the original, Lake Cat Hie. It depends on which local you speak to and how long they have been a local). Calling it Lake Cathie alerts locals that you are an uninformed visitor.

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The calm reflective beauty of Lake Cathie where is runs into the ocean.
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Lake Cathies looking towards the bridge.

Wednesday 22nd June.

Another long day of driving home. Although there were lots of stop/slow roadworks I still managed the trip in 7.5 hours. Once home I fell asleep and woke in time for a light dinner and watch round 2 of the 3 round State of Origin series. Queensland won round one and only needed to win on their home ground to win the series for 2016. Despite strong defence by NSW and some good tries to both sides, Queensland won 26 to 16 and making them series winners ten years of the last eleven. The third round in NSW in three weeks was a sellout before tonight and the game will be just as tough despite it being a “dead rubber”.

Saturday 25th June

Astute and regular readers will recall I broke my wrist in an ummm, bicycle accident on 2nd August 2015. I required wrist surgery to install a T piece stainless steel plate. For 10 months I have been doing regular physiotherapy and taking strong nerve pain medication. I was on 300 Mg of Lyrica twice a day (the maximum advised does is 600Mg per day) and another pain medication, 10 Mg of Endep at bedtime. Although the medical profession say the medication is not addictive it is not something which you can just stop taking as there will be withdrawal symptons. One of the many side effects is weight gain. In my case about 10 Kg. I am pleased to report that I have stopped physiotherapy and now using the hand in regular daytime functional uses rather than the regime of particular exercises to regain use of the hand. What I am most pleased about is I started a slow withdrawal of the medication and I have not had any medication for two days. No constant pain and I am sleeping.


However, although the last two nights sleep have been a little troubled and have woken a few times during the night.

Silly repetitive dreams.


I mention these two drugs in case readers ever find themselves on Lyrica or Endep and need to know the slow process of coming off the drug.

Sunday 26th June

Yesterday evening and again this morning it was quite cold with overnight temps down around 10 degrees. Yeah Yeah I know. It only begins to get cold at minus 10. Remember we live on the Gold Coast and spent the last 30 years living in the tropics. Anything less than 23 degrees is cold!

Now for something totally different.

I drove to Murwillumbah about 70 Klms from home. The town is just over the border in NSW and is situated on the mid reaches of the Tweed River

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Tweed River looking east.
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Delightful timber cabin cruiser on the Tweed River.
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Another lovely old boat on the Tweed.

in what is surprisingly called the Tweed Valley. Once upon a time the original Pacific highway ran through here, following the Tweed River into Tweed Heads and on into Coolangatta Queensland. The town is not large in terms of size or population but it does have an impressive art gallery called, Tweed Regional Gallery and Margaret Olley Art Centre.

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Tweed Regional Gallery and Margaret Olley Art Centre.

Apart from the impressive paintings and sculptures it also includes a re-production of Margaret Olley’s home in Paddington, Sydney. The rooms have been re-created using photos and includes all the bric a brac, furniture, clothes, magazines, books, painting materials, weird statuatry  and assorted junk which was in the house at the time of her death. It also includes the stove top, oven and the kitchen sink. The windows also include the original tissue thin ragged curtains on the original house. The gallery sits on a hill overlooking the lush pastures of the Tweed

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Tweed River and valley.

while in the distance is the looming presence of Mt Warning (named by Captain Cook when he sailed along the coast in 1770) and other peaks which were formed by a massive volcano twenty million years ago. The other peaks are also

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Mt Warning
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Mt Warning and Tweed Valley.

the remains of the volcanic caldera. There is much to see in the Tweed Valley and surrounding peaks, National Parks and caldera farmlands.


I will save a return visit for when Donnis is home.