How lovely – a campsite by the sea so I may be lulled to sleep by the gentle sound of waves on the shore. Such are the idyllic thoughts in my head as we travel towards Pambula Beach.
After settling in we walked along the sand then took a path along the cliff and admired the view. There were a few people walking on the beach but only an occasional bather as the water was still quite cold.
We have spent more time in the temperate zone on this particular trip than we have for a number of years. The cold winds that have been so prevalent have given me a good reminder of the vagaries of South East Australian weather. These are not the gentle tropical breezes to which I have become accustomed – a soft caress to cool my sweaty skin – these winds bring a serious chill.
We drove into the South East Forests National Park to Goodenia Rainforest walking track on our first morning in Pambula. It was a short, steep incline which gave us a bit of cardiac exercise whilst getting out amongst the trees.
This small patch of Rainforest survives in a gully surrounded by much drier forest which we didn’t explore further as the smoke haze drifting through the bush was a little discomforting.
Not far from the caravan park is Panboola Wetlands, a 77 hectare conservation area which is part of the Pambula River floodplain. It includes the old Pambula racecourse, we strolled the 1700 metres not breaking any records in spite of Allen’s occasional commentary! We could see from the track that it would have been ‘slow’ after a few decent rain showers, I’m not sure of the description for a racetrack under water but it’s not surprising that the Pambula Racecourse has been relocated.
Alexandra Seddon bought the land with funds she had inherited from her mother and then she donated it to the community. Panboola is managed by Pambula Wetlands and Heritage Project Inc. in conjunction with the Pambula Wetlands and Heritage Reserve Trust.
Panboola shares its south-western boundary with Ben Boyd National Park. There are a variety of habitats including fresh water lagoons, saltmarsh, leading into mangroves and the tidal Pambula River. An active committee manages restoration projects, as well as overseeing plans to make the area more attractive to visitors. There is a good network of tracks and no access for dogs which we were very pleased to see. While there are challenges ahead it is so encouraging to see a large area set aside for conservation on the highly developed and populated East coast.
The financial cost of revegetation when each plant is required to have protection from herbivores plus an individual felt weed mat must be enormous when compared to our tropical restoration work.
Although the wind increased in velocity on our second day I found that even when waves were crashing onto the sand at night I was still lulled into deep sleep.