Tasmanian Beaches: North West Bay – Wingara

Tea at Wingara

The geo, the dogs and I had come here a few months earlier.  It had been late in the afternoon, the bay pensive, the tide low enough for us to wander out across the rock platforms, stopping often to contemplate  the sandstone cliffs.

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Wingara: rock platform
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The tiny pockets in the rocks provide protection for the periwinkles, who, along with other hard accumulated matter, weather the rock into these patterns in first place, with the assistance of water

I had seen some beautiful sandstone during my walks, but these cliffs were pretty  impressive.  Stratified sandstone with swirls of colour reminiscent of the Painted Cliffs on Maria Island.  There is honeycomb weathering and some of the features almost look like petroglyphs.  There are eroding, unconsolidated soils beneath higher, firmer layers.

We’d walked slowly.  It is the kind of place that draws your attention to small details.

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In the cold remains of the day, we’d had a cup of tea. It allowed time to absorb the landscape.

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Still bay with cup of tea

Now, the geo called across the water to me in my kayak, to tell me I was taking an awfully long time.  It was true.  I was moving across the water like a chameleon along a branch. Along with pausing to look at cliffs and coves, I’d watched tree martins hunt the air above me, and I’d been trailing a grey heron who’d finally met up with a partner in a cove that had a thin beach covered in red seaweed.  They’d hung around together for a while, then one flew south and the other had flown north ahead of me.  Four plovers had shrieked warnings, two seagulls had glided by on the breeze, I’d seen a lonely oyster catcher and a couple of cormorants near the jetty.   That’s not much birdlife, all things considered.  I was hoping to see more as I continued up the bay.

As a kookaburra’s voice rang out from one of the trees, I set off again, bound for Dru Point.


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