Norries Headland, New South Wales
Not far from the border between the states of Queensland and New South Wales, and right on the lovely coastline, is the small town of Bogangar. This is an aboriginal name for pippies, the bivalve seashells found in this area. The pippies are a very tasty variety of seafood and have been popular with the original inhabitants for hundreds of years.
Today, many people know the area better as Cabarita Beach. That was the name given to a 'development' here that has become popular with tourists and holiday makers. There is quite an amount to see, especially for those interested in water birds and exploring the natural surroundings, including Cudgen Lake, which has some beautiful vistas and great possibilities for the photographer.
One interesting walk is to Norries Headland.
The Track to Norries Headland
The walk can be shortened by taking the car and parking not far from the Headland, but the best way is to begin at the beginning. That is from the end of a short road that begins right in the centre of the shopping centre. The track is signposted and winds in and out among pandanus trees and other native vegetation on the sandy hillocks. There are many different glimpses and views of the Pacific Ocean and the walk is very pleasant and not too difficult, but it would not be suitable for a wheelchair or walking frame because of the sand.
The track is fenced and there are boards that direct the attention to various points of interest. One tells about the aboriginal middens that are dotted here and there: mounds of pippi shells and other remains of long ago aboriginal seafood feasts.
Lovely Views from Norries Headland
When the track becomes steep near the Headland, there are steps and handrails and we meet other walkers returning from the highest point. Although it is winter and rather bleak and blustery, there are quite a few people exploring the area as it is school holidays. One of the views is back towards Cabarita Beach (see below).
Although they are not easy to see in the photograph, a number of surfers are enjoying the waves in the lee of Norries Headland. They look a little like seals as their dark heads bob in the water.
Norries Headland is Quite Extensive
We find that Norries Headland is quite extensive and some of us venture out on the rocks to find good places for photographing the heaving seas. We are also watching to see if there are any sea birds looking for their dinner.
Near the furthest point, the vegetation thins on the windswept point. We find that Norries Headland affords good viewing and uncluttered opportunities for taking photos.
The Point at Norries Headland
Care is needed in the blustery weather, but when we reach the furthest point, the views are lovely. Some of us venture out as far as possible for good photos.
Then, as we look down at the waves in Diamond Bay and up into the expanse of wintry sky, we spot a couple of seabirds searching the sea below for their food.
The Brahminy Kite
The Brahminy Kite is also known as the Red-backed Sea Eagle. He comes closed and we see him in silhouette against the sky.
- He is a fairly common bird of prey, a raptor, in Northern New South Wales, but this is as far south as he goes.
- He is well known in South East Asia and is the official mascot of Jakarta in Indonesia.
- In the second photograph below, we can see a little of his lovely rich chestnut colouring and his white head. His chest is also white.
- The tips of his wings are black and shaped like fingers. This helps him to glide, wheel and sail on the thermals as his bright eyes search for fish and carrion.
- Although he has long, sharply curved claws, his feet are not strong, so the cannot take large prey.
- Some seabirds are not able to fly after getting wet when diving into the sea, but the Brahminy can swim and take off from the water quite well.
We clambered down the side of the Headland and enjoyed exploring among the rocks before finding our way back to Cabarita Beach. A lovely walk and that wind certainly blew away all the cobwebs!