SUMMERLANDS

16-17 Mar 2021

Inspired by yesterday’s expedition to the Phillip Island‘s coastline, we headed out to the south western peninsula to the Ocean Discovery Centre. 

There were a couple of people around, but the centre basically looked closed except for a few basic services. It didn’t look particularly inviting inside and besides, we were here to see the sea. 

We found an elevated board walk that hugged the cliff tops and wound around to Nobbies Point Lookout, and went to investigate. 

Navigating around a pair of soft grey Cape Barron geese, these Australian natives were almost brought to extinction but have since been protected. We saw plenty of these beautiful birds around Summerlands.

The boardwalk crossed through the dramatic headland covered in a patchwork of vivid colour. Lush greens, sienna, yellow ochre, dropping down to turquoise waves smashing into black rocks. It looked like a theme park, carefully curated. 

I resolved to paint this somehow. 

At the Nobbies Point Lookout, we stood mesmerised by the raw energy of the ocean. Huge waves swept up and smashed over the rocks, the deep sound of impact echoing over the headland. 

Another feeling washed over me that’s hard to put into words. A mixture of happiness, gratefulness, disbelief, and maybe a little guilt. A year of creative sabbatical. How luxurious. 

There is something mediative about standing in the warm sunshine and staring at rolling waves. 

“Let’s come back tomorrow, with the bikes” suggested David as we walked back to the car.

Over breakfast the next day:

“I can’t tell if we’ll be able to ride the bikes through Summerlands, or not.” I said scrutinising google maps on my iPad. “It looks like there are tracks through there.” 

“Let’s just go and find out” my ever practical (read impatient) husband. 

Unloading the bikes in the car park, we could see a dirt road that hugged the coast and decided to explore in that direction. 

It was easy riding and we stopped at a couple of lookouts along the way. 

When we reached the lookout at the Penguin Parade, we stoped to take in the view. Dave started singing parody music that he imagined would be played as the Little Penguins waddled ashore. And then he proceeded to entertain me with humorous banter from the penguins, indignant of the crowds.

My own private radio play.  

Meanwhile a pair of Cape Barron grey geese wandered by. We eyed each other cautiously. They are big birds. I know they look plain in the photos but their feathers are a beautiful soft grey with a yellow beak. 

“What a handsome fellow” I complemented him. He just looked at me. 

“Can we get through that way?” I called to David who had ridden over to a trail head into Summerlands. 

“Noooo…” he said flattening his vowels into the familiar Northern English ’no’. I rode over to him to read the sign over his shoulder. The area is closed due to a weed management program.  So we chose to head back the way we’d come rather than continue down to the Main road. 

Later that night the sky was filled with stars. We could see the Milky Way, Mars, and a gazillion stars. 

2 thoughts on “SUMMERLANDS

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