In May 1770, when Captain James Cook sailed along the eastern coast of Australia, he originally named what is today known as Fingal Head, Point Danger. Today, Point Danger is located just five kilometres north of Fingal Head. Since the mistake of locations was made so many years ago, the two place names have become established in the area, and are not about to be changed, even to keep Captain Cook happy!
Regardless, both Point Danger and Fingal Head are points of immense natural beauty in the area and both also share the need for a lighthouse, due to the dangerous offshore reefs.
When my husband and I spent a leisurely Sunday afternoon at Fingal Beach recently, the dangerous reefs and pounding waves were the least of our concerns. We took a long walk along the sandy beach, dodging the volcanic rocks, as my ex-surfer and fourth generation Tweed Valley husband educated me on the history of the beach, pre-Cook days.
About twenty-million years ago Mount Warning, (you will remember Mount Warning, surely, from the umpteen times I have made mention here of this Magical Mountain) a now-extinct volcano, spat out basalt lava, now hardened into rocks, which to this day adorn the shores of Fingal Beach.
Surely these rocks haven’t remained here, on this same beach, for twenty-million years, untouched, I wondered? Apparently, yes, they have. The basalt lava from Mount Warning solidified and over the years has transformed into the rock formations we see today on the beach.
As the lava cooled and contracted, in places it split into unusual columns of rocks, which resemble rock formations in Fingal, Ireland, hence Fingal Head was given its name.
We climbed over a narrow section of the rocks to reach a grassy, tree-lined track, which would take us up to the Fingal Lighthouse.
After quite a considerable amount of time spent photographing and admiring Fingal Head Lighthouse, we ventured along the boardwalk tracks, not knowing for sure where they would lead to.
After surviving over twenty-million years subjected to the elements, it is good to know that the area is being taken care of, in an effort to retain the natural beauty of Fingal.
There were a number of off-shoots along the path but we chose the path which would lead us back to the beach.
I’m not sure of the name of the trees around the beach, but look at the unusual roots in this next photo. I thought at first that the soil, or sand, had eroded from around the base of the trees, leaving the roots exposed, but my husband assures me that is the way these trees grow.
As we headed back towards our car, I glanced back for one last look at the volcanic rocks along the beach, and noticed how long the shadows were getting as night-time approached.
It really was a picture perfect day, with the brilliant blue skies are gentle breeze. Even as the sky darkened, everywhere I looked I found more and more beautiful images to photograph, as we bid our goodbyes to Fingal Beach.