|Sue in the gardens at Mavis's Kitchen|
Run by the same organisation that has the lease at the Tweed Regional Gallery, we were greeted by a Frenchman and seated on the rear balcony which gets a last look at Korrumbyn Creek before it joins the Tweed. A popular spot for such occasions, the downstairs area was high in preparation for a wedding later in the day but despite all the activity, we were still made welcome. After our coffees, we went for a wander through the garden where much of the fruit and vegetables for the table are grown. Circular raised beds edged by roofing tiles make concentric circles from the centre of the garden and sculptures accentuate its European feel. It was a delightful interlude.
Following the Tweed after morning tea, we traced it to the ocean and an hour wandering at Point Danger on the NSW/Qld border.
|Captain Cook Memorial|
1971, the same year that the lighthouse was built with its four tall concrete pillars marking the cardinal points of the compass and a year after the re-enactment of Cook's voyage up the east coast of Australia and great celebration's at Point Dangar, the Geographical names board concluded that Fingal Head was the point Cook named. However, the same board concluded in 1998, possibly with consideration to legal and constitutional ramifications over naming rights and state borders, that the current location and nomenclature are correct. The debate rages on, with books and papers from learned experts standing on one or the other side of the argument.
The light was the first in the world to experiment with a laser emitted warning beam but the experiment failed and it now flashes its double white flashes at an interval of ten seconds from an electric light source. Interestingly, that warning configuration is to warn mariners that there are reefs immediately to the east but there are no reefs there. They lie of Fingal Head!
The NSW Maritime Rescue operate from a prefab building beside the lighthouse, an arrangement bought on by the discovery of concrete cancer in the footings of the lighthouse, under which their permanent observation bunker looks out across the mouth of the Tweed River and to the ocean. They had run a small kiosk in there as well, to raise funds for their volunteer organisation, but OH&S considerations for the public meant it had to be abandoned until repair work was completed. They are still waiting for permission to return.
|View over the mouth of the Tweed|
Without any trace of racism in the comment, it felt strange watching Japanese tourists taking photos of the memorial, many of them bowing their heads for a moment's silence and I wondered how it felt for them. Perhaps Americans who have stood at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial might tell me.
It was only a short hour's drive from there to Birkdale, in the south east of Brisbane and the hospitality of Sue's sister Judy and her husband Russell.