Once again I made my annual pilgrimage down to Iluka in the northern rivers area of NSW to celebrate Australia day with my family. Iluka is surrounded by Bundjalung National Park, World Heritage listed Rainforest, the mighty Clarence River and the South Pacific Ocean and is famous for fishing for both river and deep sea enthusiasts. It is abundant in rain forests, stunning wildlife, long secluded beaches with clean sand and crystal clear blue waters. The town is off the beaten track and I would describe it as an ‘untouched seaside resort’.
Only 2 months ago this part of the northern Rivers of NSW was engulfed in out of control bush fires. My family were evacuated from their home several times but thankfully, the dedication of the firies saved their house.
This is how amazing the Australian Bush is; This area was a raging inferno 6 weeks ago.
Australia Day is our official National Day which is celebrated annually on January 26th. It marks the anniversary of the arrival of the first fleet of British ships into Port Jackson Sydney in 1788. In contemporary Australia, the holiday is marked by the presentation of the Australian of the Year awards. It is an official public holiday in all states and territories and celebrated with festivals, concerts and ceremonies, large and small, in communities and cities around the nation.
For us, it is time with family.
The beginning of our day commenced with our early morning walk where we were watched by some of the locals. I did notice that there were not as many as past years. They are always so curious and usually only hop away when we start to get very close to them.
Then it was time to take the boat out on the Clarence River. We launched the boat at our usual spot, Brown’s Rocks. Once again, we were blessed with glorious weather. We motored on down the river to where the mouth meets the Pacific Ocean, between the towns of Iluka on the northern side and Yamba on the south.
We slowly cruised around the Yamba side of the river where there were many fantastic looking boats.
We eventually pulled in to Moriarty beach where we all dived in to the clear blue water. Moriarty Beach can also be accessed from the township of Iluka by foot or by car. Yachts, motor boats and house boats continued to arrive to the “secluded” beach while we were there and before long it was turning in to a very popular spot. And why not, it is beautiful.
After a full and fabulous morning out on the water we cruised back up the river to home.
It was not long before friends and neighbours were joining us for our very Aussie backyard bbq. An Aussie barbecue is a great Australian tradition and almost a must on Australia day. It was a very long afternoon of swims, prosecco, beers, laughs, great food including a lamb roast and finishing off with a wonderful Australian sweets platter.
Our weekend celebrations also included visitinga local beach with our doggies who I must say had a fantastic time running in and out of the ocean. Many of the beaches in the area are dog friendly which is wonderful for us.
The beaches are clean, deserted and offer tranquility. When there are people, they are very few so it is most likely that you will have the beach to yourself on most days. Iluka is a popular tourist destination in holiday time however due to its small population the beaches are pretty much empty other times of the year.
Another perfect Australia Day weekend.