Thursday, March 18, 2010

Another Day, Another Beach

Today we headed for my favourite beach. Known to surfers of the area as 'Sandmines' because of an old and now long gone sand mining operation in the vicinity, it is more properly known as Racecourse Beach.
South of Bawley Point and quite a walk in from the road, it is a great year round surfing spot. In summer, the nor' easter blows off shore and the sand banks here can hold a wave of good size. I have ridden it at 3m (10ft). It usually has both left and right peaks and sometimes these extend down the beach from the headland.
Today only a few surfers were there and the swell had increased considerably since yesterday. Despite not being a top class surf most were having fun.
The beach is on the southern fringes of the Murramarang Aboriginal Area of 60 ha and comprises the headland of Murramarang Point, sand dunes along Murramarang Beach to the north and part of a small lagoon.
The Aboriginal area protects the largest complex of middens on the south coast and is one of only three archaeological sites on the south coast dated to the Ice Age. It contains a dense concentration of stone artifacts and shell, mammal, fish and bird bones. The variety of tool types including rare bone tools illustrate a long history of occupation.

The area was a meeting place for a number of Aboriginal tribes until after settlement of the country by Europeans and is part of a cultural landscape linked to other places along the south coast. Burials took place on the headland and the area is said to have been the site of a massacre during the late nineteenth century. The Aboriginal area has very high traditional and contemporary cultural significance to Aboriginal people and is managed in accordance with the wishes of the Aboriginal community to protect this significance.
A walking track has been built through the area and a detailed interpretive brochure is available. It is an interesting place to spend a few hours. But we chose not to do the walk this time round as I have found it to be a little bit 'snakey' during the summer and Crystal is not orientated quite yet to deal with all Australian wildlife.
However we enjoyed a few hours watching the guys do their thing before heading home.
By the way this is the place where my ashes will be scattered when the time comes, just off the rocks in the above picture.

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