Cabarita Beach on the Tweed Coast has been creeping upmarket for some time but earlier this year it went stellar with the old Hideaway Hotel being transformed into Halcyon House.
It was an old 1970's joint and I have to admit that despite it's outrageous prices (way, way beyond my league) its great to see the place spruced up with dazzling white paint and pretty much unaltered with it's arches and crazy patterned bricks.
Off course the interior is a different matter!
So if you have a big bank balance, click here and book a room. I'm sure it will be totally fun and groovy.
The South Grafton Railway traverses the crossroads area and until the construction of the flood levees it was always inundated when the river broke it's banks. The historic wooden viaduct was built in 1915 and is typical of the wooden bridges that were once so prolific on the North Coast Railway.
The saved section of the old viaduct is in poor condition and plot of ground that surrounds it litter strewn and unkempt, I guess it will become so damaged that it will be pulled down at some stage.
The modern concrete bridge was opened in 1995 as part of a Keating Government initiative to replace all the wooden bridges on the North Coast Line.
An historic shot of the construction of the viaduct.
The Yellow Room is less chaotic than the living areas, but still a location where she worked. A few lines from Barry Humphries tribute poem sums it up.
The rugs, the jugs, congealing cups of tea The Chinese screen and old Matisse’s prints,
She considered the Yellow Room Triptych her masterpiece. It now hangs in the New England Regional Art Museum in Armidale.
I love her painting spot in the Yellow Room: an old hat, a ciggie in an astray, a packett of Mentos, an old beetroot tin, paint tubes and brushes and off course bunches of dried flowers she used in her still lifes.
I was a bit skeptical about the recreation of rooms from Margaret Olley's famous terrace house in Paddington, Sydney in the Tweed Regional Gallery. However, it is an amazing experience that you could spend hours looking at. Here is the famous dinner table, with its Karma Sutra placemats.
To read her biography click here
Susi Muddiman is the Director of the Tweed Regional Gallery. A current exhibition is her eclectic choice from the collection.
I was attracted and repelled by this piece from Robyn Sweaney entitled Beach House. She is a local artist from Mullumbimby and the subject matter is found in Brunswick Heads.
The notes state the work is "romantic and/or oppressive", "mundane yet compelling", it sums up the urban sprawl of the Northern Rivers very nicely!
You can tell a lot about a museum or gallery when you first walk in the front door. The first thing I saw at the Tweed Gallery was a wall of great art from local school kids, the incredible view and an art instillation created by visitors.
A small table contained pencils and the black and white discs, it was called 'Every Picture Tells a Story'. My initial impression of the Gallery was that it was going to be outstanding.
The Tweed Regional Gallery was founded in an old house in 1988 in Murwillumbah in 1988. In 2004 they moved to very impressive new premises on the outside of town on land donated by Doug and Margot Anthony. The view over the Tweed River and Wollumbin (Mt Warning) is very impressive
The Gallery has a series of slot/view windows to constantly remind you of it's impressive location.
In 1842 at least 100, probably a lot more, Bundjalung people were massacred at Evans Head. It gets a small mention on the Goanna Headland information board, but that still hasn't stopped attempts to cross it out and hide the history.
"In the 1840's Goanna Headland was the site of a massacre of Bundjalung people by Europeans"
There is an excellent and informative display about the significance of Goanna Headland to the Bundjalung people at the Chinamans Beach Car Park. It explains the dreaming stories but also reveals the stories about the area after the European invasion.
Goanna Headland in Evans Head is one of the most significant sacred sites for the Bundjalung Nation. On a clear day it can be seen from Ballina to Angourie. The following links connect to the two famous Dreaming stories of the area.
At the Evans Head Fish Co-op they have 2 retail businesses open to the general public. The Hot Shop, no surprises sells great fish and chips, the Cold Shop sells locally caught seafood. My attention was taken by the special, a new plastic bucket filled with ice for $3.50 plus the cost of the prawns.
The bucket of prawns reminded me of that once well known ditty..... Chunder Down Under - Barry Humphries I was down by Manly Pier, drinkin' tubes of ice cold beer With a bucket full of prawns upon me knee When I swallowed the last prawn, I had a technicolor yawn and I chundered in the old Pacific Sea
Drink it up, drink it up, Crack another dozen tubes and prawns with me If you want to throw your voice, mate you won't have any choice But to chunder in the old Pacific Sea
Today is the last day of the Jacaranda Festival for 2015. Perhaps the biggest change (although it has been occurring over a few years) is the ever increasing number of visitors from Japan, China and South Korea who are making the pilgrimage to see the blooms, some even got married on the mauve carpets.
The final word goes to my favorite fountain/sculpture in Grafton, who of course were dressed and bathed in the finest purple for the week.
SPOT IT has been around for a long time, at least 40 years. It happens during the Jacaranda Festival and local shops place an item in their window that is incongruent: something is in the window that shouldn't be there! Sounds crazy and it is!
Generations of families have wandered the streets, entry form in hand peering into window displays looking for that tiny needle, can of bug spray etc etc, and whispering to each other in case a competitor gets an easy ride.
In the old days an evening of SPOT IT was concluded with a visit to one of the Greek cafes for a milkshake or a purple ice cream. These days Grafton is lucky enough to have a retro 1950's cafe, IScream, so the tradition continues.
If you want to know what the SPOT IT item is in this window... it's in the bottom right handed corner on a white blanket (a silver paper clip) but don't tell anyone!
Here is very fresh seafood being loaded for the journey to the Sydney Fish Markets. According to a Northern Star article earlier this year, the Co-op is on it's knees with only one full time trawler now operating.
I was stuck in traffic on the Grafton Bridge when I had an epiphany! Not only is it Jacaranda(hence the purple trees) but it is Happy Birthday to Clarence Valley Today which I began on the 31st of October 2010. It stopped in May 2013, which wasn't planned, but I always thought that one day I would be back.
Today is that day!
I can't promise a post everyday so that's why I am renaming the blog Clarence Valley Some Days.