Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Sunday driving

After spending the last few weeks between the office and moping at home trying to shake off the last of what the doctor thinks was whooping cough, it was wonderful to finally get out and about on the weekend. My eldest niece was home on holidays from Uni in New Zealand, so I packed up the car and the pooches, and I headed down to Tony and Leanne's at Ballina, a little over a 2 hour drive south from here in Brisbane.

As always there was lots happening in his garden (next post) and, since the dogs and I missed our Sunday morning visit to the beach, I decided to extend our country weekend with a drive through the Tweed Valley on the way home.

We left the main highway to detour through the town of Murwillumbah - always a popular day trip when I was growing up - taking the scenic option and emerging at Currumbin, only a couple of kilometres from where we lived. The surrounding countryside was as beautiful as ever.

Mount Warning dominates much of the Tweed Valley. It is the eroded plug of an ancient volcano that formed most of the surrounding mountains and hinterland.

Nearby Cape Byron is the most easterly point in Australia, and because of its proximity, Mount Warning is the first place on mainland Australia to be touched by the sun's rays at dawn each morning.

The groves on the hill are part of a macadamia nut farm and the tiny yellow daisies in the foreground are Fireweed, a serious weed that is poisonous to livestock.

It has been unseasonally wet the past few weeks, so the fields are a vivid green.

The Tweed River, near Stokers Siding

Distant view of Mount Warning, named by Captain James Cook because  it  was visible from the sea close to some dangerous reefs.

The conifer on the left is a Hoop Pine. They are native to the area, and their distinctive silhouette makes them a real favourite of mine.

Blue mountains across the sugar cane fields

I have loved this house just outside Murwillumbah since I was a child. It is called Lisnagar and was built in 1902. It is still in the hands of the original family, the Twohills.

As you approach the border between New South Wales and Queensland, the road skims along the top of a mountain ridge. This is one of my favourite parts of the drive. Initially the view is to the east and the coastline, and then on the western side, the great escarpment and Springbrook National Park come into view. 

The best of both worlds, autumn colour and palms.

There are some great produce stands on the roadside near Tomewin, and I was able to supplement my supply of home-grown avocados and passionfruit from Tony with some bananas and paw paw (and I'm still kicking myself that I didn't snap up some custard apples while I was at it!)


  1. Thanks Marisa - terrific photos as usual. A friend was supposed to book us on a bus trip down Mt Warning way recently but I think we've missed out not which is a shame judging by your beautiful photos.

    1. You must head down there next time you get a chance, Cathy. It really is a lovely part of Australia.

  2. Beautiful pics, as always. Glad you have recovered and are out and about again.

  3. Thanks, Heidi. I think sunshine and a country drive can work wonders.



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