On another perfect weekend day, the dog drops me off at the southern end of Carters Beach, above rolling waves and a crowd of five surfers, sitting on their boards out beyond the rock platform. I ramble round the rocks, enjoying the honeycombing, the colours and the great burst of white spray rising up as the the three-footers break against them. To the south, Narooma buildings are visible on the headland above the breakwater.

Carters Beach is only 300 metres long, so before I know it I’m heading round the rocks, great barnacled slabs, towards Reef Beach. I assess the incoming waves before I scurry around on the sea side without getting my feet wet to preserve the privacy of a topless sunbather in a secluded spot amongst the outcrops. A dog is having a great stick-chasing time in and out of the water. There are pines along the top of the patterned rocks marking the boundary of the beach; casuarinas with their tops flattened to an acute angle by prevailing winds; elegant fountains of grass. The reef is dark beneath the breaking water, and pinkish with weed as it emerges flat-topped close to the shore above the roiling foam of the waves.

The beach opens out into a rocky recess, but I am becoming invisible to my pick-up dog, so I head back to the stairs leading up to Anton’s cafe where a crowd is enjoying the view and Sunday lunch.