North of Eden ~ The Pinnacles and Panboola Wetlands, NSW, Australia

Landscape: the Pinnacles in Ben Boyd National Park, an erosion gully with white sands overlaying rusty red clay

The Pinnacles
The white sands and red clay cliffs make a striking contrast to green eucalyptus, blue skies and water.

We live in a glorious corner of the universe, with National Parks, beaches, wetlands and mountains virtually at our doorstep. Trouble is, we are on the road so much that sometimes we forget to get out and explore when we are at home. That’s where having visitors comes in handy: there is no better way to appreciate your own neighbourhood than by showing it off to someone else!

It’s only a short drive from our little “Eden” to the northern half of Ben Boyd National Park – even so, we’d not been there before taking visitors to have a look last February.

National Parks walking sign-board to the Pinnacles, Ben Boyd NP

The Walking Track
It’s an easy one kilometre circuit out to the Pinnacles and back to the car-park.

Landscape: The Path to The Pinnacles, Ben Boyd NP rises up through banksia trees.

The Path
A short rise leads us up through the banksia trees.

Close-up: Brown banksia flowers

Drying Banksia Flowers (Proteaceae)
Soon they will lose their characteristic flower spikes, and the gnarly “cones” will be visible.

Saw Banksia or Old Man Banksia (Banksia Serrata) against a bright sky, Ben Boyd NP

Saw Banksia or Old Man Banksia (Banksia Serrata)
I can’t see these gnarled trees without thinking of the Australian children’s writer, May Gibbs…

May Gibbs
“Gumnut babies” are the flower/seed pods of the Eucalyptus (http://www.kopida.com/2011/12/may-gibbs.html)

May Gibbs Banksia men illustration

May Gibbs
“The Banksia Men Make a Wicked Plot”
(http://thinkdesignerprints.com.au/australiana/)

Banksia branch - browning seed pod.

Banksia Branch
Not quite “bad banksia men” yet, but these seed pods are browning.

Landscape: view down over Long Beach from the walking track

Long Beach
It looked like a beautiful afternoon on the beach. Usually you can walk down and view the Pinnacles from their base, but the steps were closed when we visited.

Landscape: Banksia branches silhouetted in front of cliffs of The Pinnacles, Ben Boyd NP.

The Pinnacles
The coloured cliffs of the Pinnacles come into view through Banksia branches.

Landscape: Banksia trees on a sandy path, Ben Boyd National Park.

More Banksia
Trees line the sandy path around the point.

Landscape: white sand and red clay cliffs of The Pinnacles, Ben Boyd National Park.

The Pinnacles
The white sand and red clay cliffs of the Pinnacles were laid down over 30 million years ago.

Leaves and Seeds

Leaf Litter and Seed Pods

Landscape: Termite Mound amongst tall tree stems.

Termite Mound
The vegetation changes dramatically on the second half of the path, with tall trees and termite mounds. We even spotted two black cockatoo overhead! They were too fast for my camera.

The short hike around the Pinnacles left us with time and energy to spare, especially as we couldn’t walk down to Long Beach. Just a ten minute drive up the road is Panboola, a protected wetlands, supported by National Parks and local agencies and industries, situated on 77 hectares (190 acres) of reclaimed farmland, town-land and a horse-racetrack.

It was late afternoon: a perfect time for a stroll.

Entry signpost: Panboola Wetlands, Pambula, NSW

Entry to Panboola
We parked close to the entry and wandered some of the pathways around the 77ha (190 acre) wetlands.

Landscape: A white egret wading in shallow wetlands.

Egret
From a covered pavilion near the entry, we learned about the reserve, and watched local waterbirds.

Small Purple wildflowers on a green background.

Purple Wildflowers

Picnic Table on a green lawn against a green field, Pamboola, NSW, AU

Picnic Table
There are places to sit, if you have time.

Swamphens

Purple Swamphens (Porphyrio porphyrio)

Black and white cow sitting in long pale grass.

A Holstein
Areas within the wetland are still used as farmland.

Landscape: Old Stable buildings behind grasslands; eucalyptus forest in the background.

Old Stables
Buildings from the abandoned racecourse sit around the track.

Lanscape: Old racetrack grandstand surrounded by grass, Pamboola Wetlands, NSW, AU

Old Grandstand

Eastern Grey Kangaroos

Eastern Grey Kangaroos (Macropus giganteus)
Early morning and late afternoon are the best times to meet Australian wildlife. These kangaroos were the biggest I’ve come across.

Two Eastern Grey Kangaroos against grass and scrub. Pamboola Wetlands, NSW

Two more eastern grey kangaroos watch us from a safe distance…

Evening shot of a kangaroo crossing a sandy road into scrub.

… before bounding off into the scrub.

Text: Happy Rambles, Ursula :-)It is amazing what you find on your own doorstep!

Sometimes we forget that the “familiar” to us is “exotic” to someone else.

And, our own neighbourhoods are always worth exploring.

Happy rambles!

Pictures: 07February2013

  • Ditmut - March 29, 2013 - 4:27 pm

    very interesting the banksia treee and flowers. Greetings and Happ Easter, DietmutReplyCancel

  • Anna - March 30, 2013 - 2:05 am

    I get homesick looking at these pics. It was so interesting and beautifulReplyCancel

    • Ursula - March 30, 2013 - 3:43 am

      Thanks, Dietmut and Anna! I’m always happy to show people around my neighbourhood. 😀ReplyCancel

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