Wednesday, 25 March 2015

TOD Tour, Days 42&43 - Lennox Head

Lennox Head
Back in the dim, ancient days of my teaching career, I bought a school group to the Sport & Rec centre which sits between Lake Ainsworth and the Seven Mile Beach at Lennox Head. I may have bought two.

I remember little of those visits other than: finding out the drinking record, set behind the locked door at the end of library where staff used to gather for drinks after lights out, was held by an old teaching and cricketing mate of mine from Armidale days, Steve "Colonel Klink" Reading; and the chant of "boom, boom, shake the room", which was cried out across the lake every time one of my charges was knocked into the water by the swinging boom of their small sailing craft.

We also camped here as a family at some stage just after.

In truth, we wouldn't have been here but for the recommendation of the Marketing Manager of North Coast Holiday Parks, Jenny Sewell, who just happens to be one of Sue's oldest friends and had been harping at us to stay in "her parks". Our experience at the first, in Red Rock, was a pleasant one and as it turned out, so was this. Lake Ainsworth Holiday Park is located at the southern end of the lake and the new amenities, super friendly staff and large sites make it a top destination.

You have your choice of where to swim. The beach is a short walk across Pacific Parade and when you get there, you'll not only find water that is patrolled by the local surf life saving club 24/7 but a kiosk which does meals and a fair coffee almost as regularly. The lake, dyed a black/brown by the surrounding tea trees is popular with many but not too many are locals. Reports of health issues, real or imagined, keep them from the stiller water there.

Pacific Parade runs parallel to the beach, never more than a hundred metres from the water and local businesses provide for all your needs, whether they be supermarkets, medical facilities or the inevitable cafes, fish and chip shops or pizza joints. You can also buy some surfie threads and be seen hanging with the coolest dudes in town.

Paragliding 1:01 of
Lennox Point
Lennox Point - the headland above the town to the south - is part of the lava flows from the Mt Warning volcano 66 million years ago, in the days before tourists ... in the days, in fact, before mammals. The surf off the point is a favourite of surfers and the grass slope on the northern fringe of the headland is a take off point for paragliders. We watched some rookies go through their paces and take to the air for their first flights and land two hundred metres away on the grass below ... then pack up their shute and carry it back up a steep track to be slapped on the backside where their wallets used to be. The Pat Morton lookout above, offers great views north to Broken Head along Seven Mile Beach ... which isn't actually that long but who lets the facts get in the way of a good story.

In recent times, nature has taken the front seat in drawing attention to Lennox. Nearly five years ago, a mini cyclone hit, causing damage which included the upending of vans in the caravan park and several serious injuries and only last year, a bushfire to the north threatened the town for a few days and peat deposits underground burned for weeks after the surface fires were extinguished.

Poetry reading
(photo by Deb Smith)
Sue haunted the beach. I tracked down a coffee shop recommended by a mate from Tambar Springs days - yes, they exist! Duncan Walker had been my unit controller in the SES and we still keep in touch and as a local - albeit not present during our stay - he gave me the good oil. He was right! You can find a link to the left.

Unfortunately, after being shamed into swimming at Yamba by the ex-Nipperette, I have spent the last few days falling over laying down and having an ear starting to provide me with a familiar and totally unwelcome pain. The doctor confirmed an ear infection. I confirmed my dislike for the beach. Follow the link to my comment from "Straightening My Tie" ... The Beach

On our second night, I gave a poetry reading at the caravan park which was attended by a pleasant group, including the park manager, Deb Smith. She couldn't have been more helpful in staging the event, advertising it across the park by poster and word of mouth, coming along and taking some splendid photos and even buying a book. I hope others host me as well around Oz.

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