Distractions, reflections

David Ing, at large … Sometimes, my mind wanders

2009/07/09-11 Lower Hunter Valley, Port Macquarie, Byron Bay

We had chosen public transportation for our week in the Sydney area.  To transport the six of us from Sydney to Brisbane, we opted not to fly, instead reserving a minivan (called a people mover, down under).  Diana and I woke up early to catch buses to the rental location on William Street in central Sydney.  We drove back over the Sydney Harbour Bridge and missed the freeway exit by the Lane Cove Tunnel.  We circumnavigated back to the hotel, our sons loaded up the luggage, and we embarked following directions leading through the narrow streets of Pymble.  We reached the Sydney Newscastle Freeway in time for a traffic jam.  I gradually became more comfortable driving on the left side of the road.

di_20090708-205058-sydney-newcastlefwy.jpg

Our plan was to route through the Lower Hunter Valley to visit some wineries.  We had a short list of potential places to visit, but no real sense of the region.   Trying out Broke Road around Pokolbin taught us that the wineries are spread across vast distances in this region.

di_20090708-222232-broke-road.jpg

Some random decisions led us to Hunter Valley Gardens.  We got out to stretch, but we didn’t find any lunchtime alternatives to suit our palates.

di_20090708-224246-huntervalleygardens.jpg

We doubled back to Cessnock, where our son enjoyed Portuguese-style chicken for lunch.  Watching the clock, we figured that we had time to visit only one winery.  We headed northeast via Wine Country Drive to Dalwood, passing by some well-developed residential areas on the way to Wyndham Estate.  In Australian winter, we weren’t expecting to see any grapes on the vines.

di_20090709-003232-wyndham-vines.jpg

The tasting room would probably be busier in the fall harvest season.  The casks outside are for show rather than for aging.

di_20090709-003308-wyndham-exterior.jpg

Entering the tasting room, more oak casks reinforce the winery imagery.

di_20090709-003354-wyndham-casks.jpg

A plaque with some of the original rootstock for the winery is more authentically historical.

di_20090709-003608-wyndham-root.jpg

We debated who would sample wines.  As designated driver, I was limited to sniffing the glasses.

di_20090709-003420-wyndham-bar.jpg

Our family sampled both white and red wines.  The server was knowledgeable about wine, and dispensed education with the tastings.

di_20090709-010138-wyndham-explaining.jpg

The sun was low in the sky when we left the winery, so I experienced much of the Pacific Highway (with some construction diversions) in the dark.  We checked into a hotel in Port Macquarie, discovering that it’s a small town where the Chinese restaurant closes at 9 p.m.

The rain continued overnight to the next morning.  As a unique sight for Port Macquarie, we chose Lion’s Lookout, also known as Gaol Point.

di_20090709-192024-portmacquarie-gaolpoint-memorial.jpg

Under the shelter, there’s a map pointing out historic sites.  Between 1859 and 1912, the gaol was active, with prisoners sentenced to hard labour.

di_20090709-192046-portmacquarie-gaolpoint-map.jpg

Looking north, the site of the former gaol has devolved into the Port Macquarie town beach.

di_20090709-191956-portmacquarie-town-beach-n.jpg

Looking south, the longer stretch of sand had more facilities (e.g. changing rooms).

di_20090709-192002-portmacquarie-town-beach-s.jpg

With the river mouth nearby, the waves are supposed to be good for surfing.  The lone surfer was a die-hard in the rainy Australian winter.

di_20090709-192556-portmacquarie-surfer.jpg

Our routing took us through Kempsey with a supermarket stop for fruit (and raw vegetables, as our sons asked to supplement our fast food meals).  When we got to Coffs Harbour, we were mistaken in presuming good seafood might be near the docks, eventually settling for a lunch of fish and chips in a mall instead.  The second hotel on our road trip was in Ballina.  Our choice of a Chinese restaurant for dinner led to our sons lamenting how far away we were from a real Chinatown.

By the third morning, our sons had become adept at loading up our luggage in the people mover.  The third row seating was partially taken up by smaller suitcases that we had brought from Canada.

di_20090710-185610-portmacquarie-load-out.jpg

We somehow missed the northbound exit for Byron Bay, and had to double back south in a roundabout approach.  To pick up maps at the visitors centre, we dodged pedestrians on the small streets.  In pursuit of major sights, we drove up Lighthouse Road towards Cape Byron.

di_20090710-203944-capebyron-lighthouseroad.jpg

Halfway up the hill was a parking lot overlooking Clarkes Beach.  We saw surfers suiting up, preparing for the descent down to the beach.

di_20090710-203634-byronbay-clarkesbeach-lot.jpg

In pursuit of a better photograph of Clarkes Beach to the north, I got up on a three-foot wall … and slipped off backwards to fall onto my knapsack.  I was to be sore for more than a few days, and was unfortunately the only person licensed to drive the people mover.  I had to persevere twinges to continue on the drive.

Despite the physical setback, we continued with our plan.  Across from the parking lot, Lee Lane leads to the Cape Byron Walking Track.

di_20090710-204556-capebyron-path.jpg

It’s mostly a dirt path, well marked but lightly maintained.

di_20090710-204802-capebyron-incline.jpg

We were sufficiently fit to not need the resting bench.

di_20090710-204908-capebyron-bench.jpg

We opted for the shorter route.  The steeper sections had stairs.

di_20090710-204946-capebyron-steps.jpg

In my condition, walking all the way to the lighthouse seemed impractical.  We reached a clearing that must be near Cosy Corner.  There, we found a hang glider ramp overlooking the ocean, facing southeast.

di_20090710-210308-capebyron-ramp.jpg

Eric insisted on crawling up to the edge for a photograph looking down.

di_20090710-210656-capebyron-photo-down.jpg

The view south showed the expanse of Tallow Beach, long and unoccupied.

di_20090710-210344-capebyron-beach.jpg

Looking east from Cosy Corner, the Cape Byron Marine Park is a protected area from the beaches down to the seabed.

di_20090710-210826-capebyron-islands.jpg

We returned down the walking track, as we has ascended.  My hurt back slowed me down.

di_20090710-211156-capebyron-return.jpg

Back in the minivan, we drove up towards the Cape Byron Lighthouse, and only had a short wait for a parking space on the circle.

di_20090710-214624-capebyron-lighthouse-rail.jpg

The lighthouse at Cape Byron marks the most easternly point in Australia.

di_20090710-214350-capebyron-lighthouse.jpg

On the east side of the lighthouse, there’s an outlook platform.  DY and the boys continued all the way down the stairs to the water’s edge.  I waited at the top, to rest my back.

di_20090710-214802-capebyron-lookout.jpg

I watched a lot of tourists with ice cream cones.  When the family returned, we drove back into central Byron Bay.

di_20090710-215330-capebyron-lighthouse-road-s.jpg

We had read good reviews of Fish Mongers, and were fortunate to find street parking nearby.  We took over a table outside the restaurant.

di_20090710-232456-mongers-sidewalk.jpg

The interior diningroom was as informal as outside.  We placed our order at the counter, and waited for the waitress to deliver it to the table.

di_20090710-232644-mongers-diningroom.jpg

We ordered a large platter of fish with rice.  We had been in Australia long enough to appreciate the barramundi.

di_20090710-232806-mongers-fish-rice.jpg

For six people, we also ordered the family platter, and another smaller plate.  Our sons declared this meal the best of our trip to Australia.

di_20090710-232854-mongers-family-platter.jpg

Continuing our travel towards Brisbane, the number of highway lanes gradually increased.  We drove through Surfer’s Paradise long enough to assess it as a cross between Waikiki and Las Vegas.  We arrived at our reserved apartment at Toowong just after sunset on the Saturday night.  We were surprised that grocery stores in the Brisbane area don’t open late on weekends.

I’ve read about drivers making the Sydney-Brisbane run in a single day, although most would take two.  Our three day plan allowed us to see some sights along the east coast of Australia that we’re unlikely to revisit as a family.

[Start a large-image lightbox screen show over this blog post (in a supported browser)]

[See the Lower Hunter Valley webphotos album (with a slideshow option)]

[See the Port Macquarie webphotos album (with a slideshow option)]

[See the Byron Bay webphotos album (with a slideshow option)]
Fishmongers on Urbanspoon

  • Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • RSS on Coevolving

    • Entropy: The Second Law of Thermodynamics | David L. Hawk | ST-ON 2021-03-14
      For espoused systems thinkers who are predisposed towards towards finding an equilibrium (or maybe one amongst multiple equilibria), a discussion about entropy can raise discomfort.  In the systems sciences, the second law of thermodynamics — as an entropic process — is often cited by the learned as a universal law applicable across physics, chemistry, biology […]
    • Systems Thinking through Changes: An action learning guide | Canadian Digital Service | 2022-03-04
      In the 4th year of an espoused 10-year journey, the Systems Changes Learning Circle reached a major milestone.  With Code for Canada, the team conducted its first educational workshop based on the contextural action learning approach currently under review for publication.  The client was the Canadian Digital Service . The presentation outlining the basic ideas and […]
    • Schizophrenia, Alcoholism, Double Binds: From Practice to System Theory | Gary S. Metcalf | ST-ON 2021-02-21
      Many might sequence systems thinking as (i) systems theory preceding (ii) systems practice.  This is not always the case.  There are situations where (i) systems practice has preceded (ii) systems theory, or the two advance in a tight learning loop.  Jack Ring once pointed out that applied science (engineering) precedes science, because human beings often […]
    • Living, Becoming, Process Philosophy: Systems Thinking in Time (ST-ON 2022-01-10)
      System thinking, coming from roots in mainstream Western philosophy, tends to orient towards (i) thinking in space,  before (ii) thinking in time.  Structure is an arrangement in space.  Process is an arrangement in time.  A critical systems perspective leads us to think about inclusion within boundaries.  Does this lead us to overlook boundaries in time? […]
    • Progress on Systems Changes Learning | CSRP Institute | 2022-11-07
      The Systems Changes Learning Circle, formed in January 1999, has since been meeting at least once every 3 weeks.  In many respects, the core group has exhibited great patience in our mutual learning towards an agenda of Rethinking Systems Thinking, from talks given in 2012, and published in 2013. In anticipation of a journal article […]
    • Ecological Economics and Systems Thinking | Katie Kish + David Mallery | (ST-ON 2021-10-18)
      In the 1980s, ecological economics seemed to be mostly economists extending their work towards environmental and resource concerns.  In the 2020s, ecological economics is seeing a new generation first schooled in other disciplines such as environmental studies or one of the social sciences, then coming into economics.  Programs that encourage the new perspective include the  […]
  • RSS on Media Queue

  • RSS on Ing Brief

    • Book review of ZHANG, Zailin (2008) “Traditional Chinese Philosophy as the Philosophy of the Body” | Robin R. Wang | 2009
      In this review of a philosophical work written in Chinese, a comparison is made between Chinese philosophy centering on the body, in comparison to Western philosopy centered on the mind. (I found a reference to this book, tracing back from Keekok Lee (2017) Chapter 9, footnote 8.
    • Approche systémique
      The translation from English "systems thinking" to French "la pensée systémique" misses meaning. "Approche systémique" has lineage to "Conférences Macy", "General System Theory (Bertalanffy)" and "Gregory Bateson"
    • The Arrogance of Humanism (1978/1981) David W. Ehrenfeld
      When one chooses a guiding philosophy of life  -- and the modern world has chosen humanism -- one becomes responsible for all the consequences that flow from that choice. (David W. Ehrenfeld, 1981)
    • The evolution of service systems to service ecosystems | Brozović and Tregua 2022
      “Rethinking Systems Thinking” (2013) is cited by #DaniloBrozović (U. Skövde), #MarcoTregua (U. Napoli Federico II): The level of complexity in current service ecosystems is rising, not least due to technology (Barile et al., 2020), with the effect of such increased complexity of service ecosystems being perceived as ‘simple’. On the other hand, some systems researchers […]
    • 1995 Francois Jullien, The Propensity of Things
      Jullien views propensity in Chinese philosophy, as a counterpart to causality in Western philosophy.  Some unpacking of his writing in digests may be helpful. Jullien, François. 1995. The Propensity of Things: Toward a History of Efficacy in China. Translated by Janet Lloyd. Zone Books. Introduction How can we conceive of the dynamic in terms of the static, in […]
    • Reformation and transformation (Ackoff 2003, 2010)
      In his system of system concepts, Russell Ackoff made the distinction between reformation and transformation in many of his lectures. Here are two written sources. From Redesigining Society (2003) … Systemic Transformation A system is transformed, as contrasted with reformed, when its structure or functions are changed fundamentally. Such changes are discontinuous and qualitative, quantum […]
  • Meta

  • Translate

  • Creative Commons License
    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
    Theme modified from DevDmBootstrap4 by Danny Machal