LIVING NEAR THE PINNACLE Story and photography by John McNeill
LIVING NEAR THE PINNACLE
In the early 1990's I was looking for a place to buy land and live in the NSW North Coast region. Eventually, I settled in the Tweed Caldera, on a ridge about half way between Wollumbin Mount Warning and the Pinnacle. The summit of Mount Warning is visible to the east and an extensive view of the western escarpment, from Blue Knob to Springbrook, is spectacular. Little did I realize how much the view would change from day to day and even hour to hour. Escarpment shadows along with shafts of light through the clouds would reveal yet another part of the landscape that I had not noticed before. With the sun rising from near Mount Warning and setting near the Pinnacle, I would usually have a magnificent view, especially early morning and late afternoon, for most of the year.
Over the years, part of the view has been lost to tall growing trees which now means I have to walk a few metres from my verandah to see the Pinnacle. I feel it is a rather small inconvenience. I often interrupt breakfast or afternoon chores to grab the camera and snap away at the big sky with red clouds everywhere. Although I only have a small ‘point and shoot’ camera, the subject is so engaging that I never bother with all the other buttons. In season, fogs and mists roll down the escarpment ridgeline and through the gullies to the valley below. During storms, rain squalls scud along the ridgeline from Blue Knob, along the Border Ranges National Park, to Springbrook with bright lightning flashes filling the sky. The Pinnacle or its shadow is often revealed during this ever changing spectacular light show and even in the middle of the day, magnificent rainbows will shine over this unusual landform.
This series of photographs of the Pinnacle were taken opportunistically over the years and it was rather difficult to narrow the selection down to this slideshow. In the morning I often open the door and think “Wow, I’ve never seen that before”...and it reminds me just how special this place is, living in the southern hemispheres largest erosion caldera. So I still get up from my breakfast table to walk the few metres to take more photos of the Pinnacle every now and then.....a small price to pay.