30 April 2002
Today we went on a long bush walk. I packed the lunches last night and made the morning coffee. It’s hard to wake up the crew here. I’ve got some assistance this morning from a chorus of currawongs. The animals here are precocious, although they do not pester us directly for food. Any rubbish bags left in the open will be thoroughly inspected, however, and their contents strewn about the campsite. Luckily we can secrete stuff in the trailer overnight, and while we are out during the day.
Today we walked to the Amphitheatre and the Art Gallery, and returned via Alijon Falls and the Moss Garden. The Amphitheatre was breathtaking. You ascend a little ladder into a huge crevice that opens out onto a natural amphitheatre – although the word ‘cathedral’ might be more apt. The place was cool, magical, and beautifully quiet so long as you could get the kids to stop chattering. Susie forgot to take the video camera, so we might return tomorrow.
The Art Gallery was a less spectacular sight, but it was more interesting due to the Aboriginal rock paintings. We had lunch there and then headed back towards Alijon Falls and the Moss Garden.
The falls were pretty, and would no doubt have been more spectacular if there was some more water flowing. Prettiest of all was the grotto at the top where the King Tree Ferns grew. The rust-red algae and the dark-green moss made a striking colour combination.
The Moss Garden was as striking as the amphitheatre, which is saying something. If ever there was a film set needed for the Garden of Eden, this is it. It was not just the beautiful lichens and ferns and mosses that grew where the sandstone met the shale, it was the setting itself with crystal clear pools of water, and big square boulders strewn about – a true Eden in miniature. Clare was so taken with the spot that she cried when Susie said it was time to go.
Clare and I came across a large snake on the way back from the Moss Garden. Luckily I was holding Clare’s hand as we were walking, and I managed to pull her back just before she landed on it.