On the third day, I decided to do the Mundooi walk. It runs from Short Point, in Merimbula, along the coast hinterland behind Short Point Beach to the Short Point Beach carpark beside the Tura Beach golf course. This is a 4km (return) walk – out and back along the same path. It has informational signage on the flora, fauna, broader environment and local history along its length. It also features a cliff-top lookout over Short Point Beach, nearly 400 metres from the Tura Beach end of the walk. My intention was to do it from the Merimbula (Short Point) end, since that was closest to where I was staying.
The perfect wave photo
After lunch at a reasonable hour (I remembered to put the book down this time) I drove out to Short Point, and walked out to the rocky point. This very short walk has a little bit of signage on the indigenous use of the point, and the existence of middens on the point, as evidence of many thousands of years of Indigenous habitation around there.
I took some photos of waves dashing themselves senseless against the rocks … I remembered to take the proper camera this time! Actually, there are LOTS of photos of waves crashing on rocks … but none of them really captured the spirit of what I wanted, so I have spared you that. One of these days I’ll capture the perfect wave-crashing-on-rocks photo, but this day was not to be the day.
The creek crossing
Having spent an hour or so trying (and failing) to catch the perfect shot of the right wave at the right place and the right time, I decided I should start the actual walk I came for. I went back to the carpark and from there down onto the beach. The start of the walk at this end is on the other side of the outlet from Back Lake (or “Back Lagoon”). I understand that normally it is very shallow or even completely blocked, and my theory was that if I couldn’t walk or jump over the flow, I’d take my shoes and socks off to cross.
Unfortunately, I discovered that with all the rain we’d had over spring and summer, Back Lake was actually very full. It was an outgoing tide on the sea side of the outlet, and the water flowing out of the lake was both strong and quite deep. The water was probably mid-thigh depth or a bit deeper where I came down to the beach. Deep enough that people were actually swimming in it. I might have got away with something closer to knee depth if I went further out to where it met the waves.
On looking at it, I realised I would have to take way more than just my shoes and socks off if I wanted dry clothes on the other side. This walk is about 4km (return) cross-country, and I didn’t want to do that in wet clothes. I decided I wasn’t prepared take my pants off in public in order to get across dry(ish). I think the large number of other people on the beach and surrounding area are probably relieved at that decision.
The Mundooi Walk
So, foiled at that end, I went back back to the car and drove around to the Tura Beach end of the walk instead. The carpark at the Tura end is easy enough to find on Google Maps, although it doesn’t really look particularly beach-front. The beach is there, though, if you follow the path that goes down past the toilet block. The Mundooi Walk, however, heads off at right angles along the back of the houses, running parallel to the beach.
The walk wends its way through a mixture of different sets of coastal environments, including very moist rainforest patches, scrubby bushlands, and stands of (very wind-blown) trees all growing at an angle (presumably indicating the prevailing wind direction). It ends up (at the Short Point end of the walk) in sandy dunes covered in a smattering of coastal grasses desperately clinging to their sandy perch and pretending they’re happy with their lot in life.
Along some stretches of the path it was very sheltered from the wind, and in those patches, if the tree cover was a bit light-on it was actually very warm. I carried a litre of water with me, and I drank almost all of it over the 2 hours I took (at a gentle ramble) to do the return walk. It wasn’t the most scenic or visually exciting of walks, although I got quite a few good photos. It was interesting to see the broad range of environments in just a short walk, however, and to get a feel for the diversity this country presents.