This beach-hopping is taking over our lives: not just weekends now, we snatch midweek opportunities to explore. On Tuesday, J leaves his preparations for bushfire season and we drive down a dirt track off the Pacific Highway through spotted gums and burrawangs and find ourselves behind the dunes where we envied campers a few weeks ago. They are in fact still there, in an idyllic spot. I can see J planning a future excursion.
I do a search for Honeysuckle, the destination on the national parks board, and come across stories from the Yuin people. Vivienne Mason, interviewed in 2006, says “Corunna Lake is not so good for camping. We fish there until 2 am, then leave because an ‘old fella’ lives there.” There are also burial sites on this beach.
I discover that the national parks sign to Honeysuckle, which we follow, does not agree with the placement of Honeysuckle behind Bogola Head in the Moruya Yuin Community page. Beryl Brierley says “There was a camp at Bogola Head, under the honey suckle. People would camp here on their way back to Wallaga Lake.” Bogola Head is at the other end of a longish beach.
The dilemma of place continues.
We climb over a low sandhill onto a now familiar beach, which is probably Loaders Beach. (All approaches to certainty have deserted me, both geologically and geographically.) The tide is quite high, so we clamber up onto a headland which is nameless, and look down over a blue sea and a pinnacle sporting Liesegang rings, those swirls that so mystified and delighted us and that now have a name, thanks to a cheeky email to Chris Fergusson, a University of Wollongong geologist, and his instant response.
The tussocky grass is quite short, and we can see a glimmer of water through the trees. We make our way down towards it, and find an exquisite small freshwater lake, hills rising evenly around it and clouds reflected in it. A red bellied black snake heads into the water and swims fast across the lake, head just above the surface.
By the time we return to the beach the tide has dropped enough for us to nick around the rocks between waves, past the pink, green and pale mustard rocks of a few weeks ago, onto Fullers Beach. Images of these beauties are in the Headland in between part of another post.
The unvisited part of the beach stretches ahead of us with spurs of shingle jagged in the sand.
Otherwise, the rocks have a familiar palette and design: large veins of quartz, Liesegang rings, blue patches. Beach flowers thrive in the sand piling up at the bottom of the cliffs.
“Let’s go and sit on that lump of rock” says J. “That lump of rock” proves to be completely unexpected conglomerate, which sets off a whole new line of speculation. Did a river once flow down here, collecting bits and pieces that then solidified into this? An examination of the cliffs supports this idea (perhaps). We may know what those swirls are, but questions continue to proliferate.
We turn back, leaving the rest of the beach and the larger freshwater lake that nestles behind it for another day.