I am slowly exploring this Camden Haven area of the NSW mid north coast, taking any turn-offs that catch my fancy. ‘Tuckeroo car park’ in Kattang Nature Reserve was one such. The word intrigued first, then the tree itself that invited me to the green tunnel ahead.
A large specimen with wrinkly elephantine bark, it was loaded with bunches of creamy-lemon blossoms, buzzing with bees.
It is properly called Cupaniopsis anacardioides, and also commonly known as Beach Tamarind, or Carrotwood. Birds love it too, because those flowers are followed by orange-red fleshy berries containing showy orange seeds.
The surprising reward at the end of the short walk was a rocky headland, the northern end of the long unbroken Dunbogan Beach.
I gravitate to small coves and clumps of rocks like this, but what was surprising here were the forms the rocks had taken…
Iron-rimmed geometric shapes, infilled with millions of pebbles… what gardener had been at work here?
Some still held seawater; at a certain point of tide change the higher rocky rims would be stepped moats.
Other rocks ran in parallel like railroad tracks, or formed crosses in this pebble-crater’s garden.
Others formed backbones for arching ribs…
Or enclosed miniature sea lettuce pools and waterfalls, with small oyster-like shellfish…
Brooding over the stone garden was this ancient wrinkled giant lizard, its smooth head lifted, on alert for any misdemeanours — or for dinner?