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The sea crashes and slurrs. Seagulls call harshly. There’s an occasional startling explosion as foot inadvertently steps on stranded bluebottle; the gentler brief sniffing of a curious dog; the murmur of an exchange that’s becoming routine: “Isn’t it a perfect day?” “Yes, but we so badly need rain.”

The tide is low and the sun warm, and there’s a tantalising spread of sand between the tideline and the rocky outcrop that looks like the pyramidaical slabs of a South American temple. “Aha!” says J as I catch up. “Today we get to see what lies around that corner. Any guesses?”

I’d be mad to attempt a guess. There is absolutely no predictability about these rocky outcrops that have colonised our beaches, our weekends and our minds. As for understanding the geological processes that made them thusly, or even the names of the rock materials – hope on.

But ignorance can’t spoil wonder at what appears around the corner: a rockscape of canyons, nooks and caverns.


Fountains of grass and cascades of succulents accessorise the rockface, which has many subtle beauties of its own.


High above on the cliff a farmer lays tumbledown claim right up to the very edge.

Such solid masonry of rock, sometimes rumpled and wrinkled, sometimes layered chunks, sometimes crannied, mostly tilted, and dare I say it yet again? Totally unlike anything we’ve seen before.

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Look south across a vast expanse of sand: there is no sign of the grandeur of the slabby rocks, the caverns, the cliffs, the canyons: they have all disappeared back into undistinguished flatness.

To see Wallaga Beach before you head around the rocks, click here.

I began writing this nearly a month ago: since then we’ve had good rain, so the greeting has changed to “Wasn’t the rain wonderful?”