After scouring Moruya Markets looking unsuccessfully for rhubarb crowns, we head down the coast to Bingie Bingie Point, perhaps the most notable of the local geological sites. We walk out onto a promontory with spectacular views north towards Didthul (called Pigeon House by Captain Cook) and south towards Gulaga. The rocks are vivid with lichen, but today we are after more than aesthetics.
Let's see how I go with recognition and explanation today, helped out by J and the same website that gave us chevron-recognition last week. We are hunting first of all for dikes, two different kinds and colours. They are described as “discordant features” which gives me hope. I'm looking for something distinctive: a false lead in a way. I later discover that “discordant features” is a technical term, not a description. The sheer multitude of rocks is daunting and I wonder whether I'll walk on by without actually encountering. But my scramble-route leads me to unmistakable dikes, rock running in a panel, intruded into older rock, rock formed when magma cooled and solidified. Even in the world of rocks, it seems, younger shoulders older out of the way. One dike is blonde (aplite), the other black (porphyritic basalt.) If I begin to think I have seen a dike of substance, I need to think again: the Great Dike of Zimbabwe is 600 km long and 10 km wide.
So I've found and identified the dikes. However, there are other things to find before I can simply, and far more easily, admire beauty. Find the junction between tonalite (lighter grey) and gabbro (darker grey) I must, because it's “geologically outstanding” to see two different igneous rock types in such a small area. Here, I'm not so sure about my ID, but if I'm wrong we're left with a beautiful view, and that's not to be sniffed at!
Moving away from the hard labour of new knowledge, I indulge in a little bit of purely aesthetic photography capturing the rich colours and patterns of the orange and yellow-green lichens that make the rocks at Bingie so immediately and superficially spectacular.
The end point of our Bingie ramble are the remains of the SS Monaro wrecked en route from Sydney to Merimbula in May 1879. It came to grief on a reef on a dark rainy night: all the passengers were saved and warmed by blankets sent from Moruya. However there was no hope of recovering the steamer, and the remains (two boilers and a steam post) are rusting in decaying splendour more than a century later.