Wasp Head is a beach unlike any other I’ve ever seen. At 280 million years old, it has all the apricot blush, lure and comeliness of geological youth. The landscape here is the result of sedimentation and the movement of glaciers and there isn’t only spectacular sandstone but shell fossils, ironstone box work, dropstones, and even, somewhere, fossil logs.
We begin our exploration admiring the colours and shapes of a sandstone cliff-face. Then we amble around honeycombed rocks until our way is stopped by the sea. At this point we do our usual find-a-path: a scramble up a slope slippery with casuarina needles and dry leaves, a stroll through a casuarina forest and a descent down a grassy hill to an expansive rock platform.
The rock platform is honeycombed, flat with the occasional standing rock. On one of these J spots a shell fossil, and the search is on. It wasn’t the only one.
There are also dropstones carried along and then discarded by glaciers, gravel flows embedded in rock, and strange holes for which I have no explanation.
As we move around the levels of the rock platform we look across to the island over a group of surfers, busy catching waves and breaking boards.
After a late picnic breakfast – potatoes, bread, hummus and leaf litter picked in a hurry from J’s garden (“We’ll just brush the dirt off!”), we head down the path to another platform, this time sloping in sandstone curves to the vivid sea. Here are patterns and curlicues; intricate ironstone boxes; and maybe even a leaf fossil.
The tide covers the beach below cutting us off from further adventures, so we head home, already planning to return to this astonishing landscape.
Maybe Jo’s Monday walkers would enjoy this taste of the NSW south coast.