Photography by Andy Reimanis, story by Fran Hardy
Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo - fly past call - Doon Doon Pied Currawong - fly past call - Doon Doon
PhotoTrail to Mt Doughboy 3pm - 8pm, Thursday, 3rd March 2016
Packed up a little picnic basket with a thermos of hot ginger tea for our afternoon PhotoTrail to Mt Doughboy in the Doon Doon Creek catchment. We decided the light palette of late afternoon shadows and enriching tones of the ‘golden hour’ would give the best photo results.
From the Murwillumbah Visitors Centre we head off along Kyogle Road which snakes alongside the sparkling Tweed River. Passing Wollumbin Mt Warning, I am reminded that we are driving through an ancient volcanic erosion caldera and resist the urge to go off track into the Gondwana rainforests, crystal clear creeks & swimming holes....instead we are on a mission....Mt Doughboy for sunset!
Turning off at Midginbil Road we head south along a sublimely lush valley that forms the catchment for Clarrie Hall Dam (our local back-up water supply reservoir). A brief stop at the delightful Crams Farm Recreation Area on the shores of Clarrie Hall Dam reminds us that this is a great location to see a fantastic variety of birdlife. Mental note to self: next time bring kayak....and, breathing in the beauty of this place, it is decided this is a perfect spot for an art or photographic class to be held sometime soon.
We continue along Commissioners Creek Road finding a vantage point to pull over and photograph Mt Doughboy from the northern side. Friesian(?) cows are grazing on the abundant lush grass in the foreground, very bucolic . I know there are even better viewpoints along the Doon Doon Road to the south so we head back, and are not disappointed. Meandering over crystal clear creeks with perfect grassy banks……picnic rugs and thermos’ of hot tea jump to mind, but our photo expedition is about timing so we continue on viewing Doughboy from every angle the road has to offer....late afternoon tea will have to wait.
The backdrop for Mt Doughboy is Mt Jerusalem National Park, a mystical, virtually inaccessible landscape with foreboding cliff faces...one can imagine a myriad of waterfalls streaming down the escarpments after a storm. We stop near an old farmhouse and get a friendly wave from the farmer and barks from his dogs. It is now 7pm and camera shutters are going off, working overtime to capture this great panorama, with the pleasant ringing calls of the currawongs contrasting with the mournful calls of black cockatoos.
The intense light falling on Mt Doughboy becomes narrower and we have to work fast before all is consumed by the shadows. The ridgeline to the south is the Nightcap Range with Mt Tarrawyra in the foreground becoming a visual feast, contrasting with the darkened bluffs of Mt Neville and Matheson. Our ‘golden hour’ light is almost gone, telling us it’s time for that long awaited thermos of tea and munchies before we head back, all the while chatting about our next expedition and how much we love this landscape.