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Wednesday, 25 February 2009

A Magical Part of Oz - Fingal

What a great place to enjoy a cool drink late in the afternoon of a hot day.

This little watering hole is on the bank of the Tweed River at Fingal, one of my favourite little villages on our North Coast.

Fingal is on a peninsular between the river and the sea and is named after the famous Fingal of Scotland and its ancient rocks. Next time I visit I'll get a picture of the rocks at the Australian Fingal, which are said to be extremely old.

The little cafe has also sorts of crumptious but simple and healthy food, and there is a little gallery of original art works next door.

It's fun to have a little bit of something to eat and walk it off on the bush track nearby - leading to a really lovely beach.

The tracks are being cared for by LandCare volunteers who established a nursery of native plants to replace nasty introduced vines and other species.

One native I love is a Banksia with its weird seed pods and shiny crisp leaves and nobbly branches.

As children many Australians know the pods as Big Bad Banksia Men from the Snugglepot and Cuddlepie books of May Gibbs, a brilliant Australian writer and illustrator.

This one's on its side. But place him upright and you'll see dozens of squinty little eyes looking at you - enough to turn the tummy of any imaginative little kid.

The pandanus, which we've met before, also has a character of its own.

At the end of the track - the beach and the headland with its lighthouse.

I'll take close up shots of the lighthouse and the sea from the headland, when I visit again.

This part of the beach, called 'Dreamtime', is a strip of cream sand running in either direction from where I am standing for this shot. It's probably 9km long. There are kilometres of beach on the other side of the headland, and down to the peninsular tip, as well.

I don't hold with people driving there though!

The inhabitants are friendly.

It's a favourite with the board riding community of course.

The town in the distance is Kingscliff - another interesting little place, known among foodies for its string of restaurants.

As you can see, dogs and horses are allowed on the beach.

There are many fascinating shapes and places to clamber and climb.

Fingal is the subject of a land claim by Australian Aborigines. The Minjungal people have been living in the area for probably thousands of years, and descendants are still there.

No wonder!

Do you know if there are any descendants of original indigenous inhabitants still in the area where you live?


  1. Hello June
    Wonderful post!. Love the photos. It makes me want to travel your way.

  2. It truly is a beautiful post, June, and your photos are gorgeous! I'm ready to get on a plane!!

  3. Hi,

    Lovely photographs. I especially like the one of the big bird- what kind is it? Thanks for the invitation to your other blog- I'll check it out.


  4. hi june,
    great photographs....wish i could travel like you...

  5. LINDA
    There are so many sides to Fingal - it's a real treasure ...

    Threats threats - when are you buying your ticket? I'll make a special meal.

    Fingal is just five minutes drive from where I live.
    I don't get to travel much at all really - but when I do I take my camera.

  8. Oh! I want to go there! I do, I do! I love the bird picture!

    I'm pleased you liked the pix. I'm pretty sure the bird is one of the cormorant or shag family. They often sit on any post they can find near water and dry their wings like this one. They are great fishers.

    Save your pennies!
    I'll look forward to having a natter over a cuppa or two ...

  11. That little cafe looks like a great place to relax for a bit and the picture of the beach with the lighthouse in the distance is beautiful. I love how white the sand is there and that you can ride horses and take animals to the beaches. Your country certainly is a beautiful place. No wonder you call it Oz!
    Love, Judy

  12. JUDY
    It is a dear little cafe - rustic charm as they say.

    I intend taking some more pix of the lighthouse and rocks for another time.

    Yes, Oz is magical - but it can also be very fierce!

    Oz is what we often call our land. The short form Aussie is said with a hard 'z' sound and that's where it comes from - rather than from the wizard, I think.

  13. Well, shoot! I was going to say what Sylvia K said, only she said it first...and said it better!

    Really enjoyed your post, June.

  14. Well Martha - you come too! We'd all have a ball ...
    Thanks for the kind words as well.

    Horses and other domestic animals aren't normally allowed on Australian beaches - selected ones only.
    When you think about it, hygiene could be a problem, plus erosion, if the pracice was widespread.
    Dogs are required to be on leashes in public, except for special areas. Owners walking their animals are required by law to collect faeces and dispose of it safely.

    What are the policies where you all live?
    I do remember being appalled in some European cities where dog excrement seemed to be everywhere when I visited years ago.

  16. It is quite beautiful there. I love seeing this beach and really getting a feel for the air and fragrance of the place.

    Here in Santa Cruz there were indigenous people, the Ohlone tribe. There are archeological finds of their time along this coast, but sadly they are no longer here.

    We are lucky that we still have our indigenous people - it says something very profound that they have been around for so many thousands of years and that some of their culture survives, despite great hardship.
    We seem to be appreciating the worth of this a little better right now ...

  18. Looks and sounds very inviting!!! You do have an eye for the interesting as well as the beautiful.

    It's probably the journalist in me!
    Thanks for coming again.

  20. Beautiful pics of a beautiful place...that dreamtime beach is exquisite...

  21. Hi CHRISY
    Have you been to Fingal? Not far from you really ...
    You have interetsing blogs ...

  22. Beautiful beach shots, they are amazing, better than any holiday posters. And yeah, I did get definite pleasure out of writing that piece of poetry.

    Eaton. :)

  23. There are many indigenous people who still live in this area! Two or three "cultures" are the original indigenous population from the Chaco. We try to live peacefully alongside one another. This being sometimes harder said than done.
    I love the pic´s of this post! I can´t imagine living in such an area with so much water!!

  24. Hi EATON (Byz) There was something very personal about your poetic piece - I knew it was very personal. There is nothing like writing stuff down to get rid of emotions that are hassling you.

    A bit like the old routine of writing a letter and never posting it!

  25. Hi BETTY
    Yes we're absolutely surrounded by the sea, rivers and lakes - magic. It even rains more here than in much of the rest of Australia.

    I can understand the 'stand off' between the two races. We sometimes forget that the emotional distance was probably caused by historical events ...

  26. Amazing pictures and well shot. I loved the scenes and wish to come to Oz.

  27. See you soon Nsiyer!
    And then I'll visit you in Mombai. I'll also drop in on Suranga of Gappa and Sucharita, my other Indian bloggy mates.
    Dreaming dreaming ...

  28. beautiful pictures as well as your style of creative writing. your= are very smart in stories. i loved your style of writings.very thoughtful.

    Thank you for your kind words - much appreciated. Please return often.

  30. Really beautiful posting! Nice picturs and brilliant colours!!!

  31. Hi June, its ages since I have been over here. I am so so busy at work. Wow, the are you live is wonderful. I so love the north coast beaches. My favourite area in Oz. One day, one day....

  32. Howdy Lilly
    Do you have a new job?
    I like your blog re-design ... very classy.
    One day you say - if you really want something, the future is not the time. It comes and goes too quickly!

  33. Look's like an entirely pleasant place to visit. I would probably spend hour upon hour in the nature walks.

  34. I'm sure you would Eric - but you wouldn't find any deer!
    I'm about to write two more posts about Fingal - the second concentrating on the nature walks. See if you can find a porpoise or two in the next one ...

  35. You know Ladyfi - I agree with you!


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