View from the cabin
My love affair with Australia has travelled a rocky path. I grew up near the Royal National Park south of Sydney. My Dad, being a real lover of the outdoors took us bushwalking a lot. We camped in the Australian bush. We went on holidays to beaches up and down the east coast. As a kid I loved the bush and the beach.
Travelling in my 20’s and early 30’s, I chose anywhere that wasn’t Australia. South America, Africa, Europe, Asia. But suggest an Aussie holiday destination and I’d inwardly groan. Being a bit of a novelty seeker, I loved the differentness that another country offered and loved anywhere new.
But my love affair with Australia has recently been reignited. The flame was firstly re-lit when I walked the 6-day overland track in a beautiful part of Tasmania a few years ago with my Dad. I went back and did the track again, an unheard of thing for me (going somewhere twice when there are new places to see!). Since then, some of the most amazing holidays we have had have been in Australia. Koalas and fur seals in Victoria, swimming with whale sharks in Western Australia, experiencing incredible marine life off Lady Elliot Island, and camping in beautiful gorges just 90 minutes out of Sydney.
With my heart fully re-engaged with Australia, I organised a stay in a cabin in the Wollemi National Park last week. It was heart-stoppingly beautiful. I could go on and on about the beauty and uniqueness of the Australian bush, but that would not do it justice. Because it needs to be experienced. So much of the wonder is in what is not obvious. The tiny flowers that you only see if you stop and really look. The abundant but timid, mostly nocturnal wildlife. The subtle smell of eucalypts, as you trudge along a bush track. The view down an untouched, pristine valley. The real beauty is strong and yet quiet. And that is what it does for me. Quietens and strengthens me.
In front of the fire on a big rug