Friday, October 19, 2012

Version 2 of the Whale Watching Platform Design

Hi all,

Attached is a sketch plan (ignore the sections) I my understanding of the new direction. As per Nick's email I will fix this up and send something through early next week. Ignore the paving area also- I believe it will be deck.

I think this idea of a wide boardwalk / narrow deck is better. This will allow us to get seating along the western edge of the decks and the whole eastern edge becomes a seating element also due to the natural slope of the ground.

Let me know if you have any comments.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Norries Headland Whale Watching Platform Update

bodhi nick aldridge
5:22 PM (1 hour ago)
to memikeLukeDan

Hi guys, I have still not worked the blog out so i will give this update and one of you may update the blog:

I had another meeting with Rod Keevers from TSc on site today with Dans sketch ( tried to get a hold of mike without success )

rod then met with the TSC carpenter on site and spoke to myself and Dan Plummer over the phone.

TSC have decided to embrace Dans sketch with the following changes:

1, instead of paving, the current seat will be replaced by a 3x3mt timber deck with a seat built in at the back with seperate steps in and out

2. the decks dan has suggested will now only be 3x4mts and 3x3mts with seats built into them to avoid them being too big and requiring a handrail

next steps:

1. TSC are costing the above project and hope to have it done by friday

2.Dan is going to amend his sketch and have it to us by monday

3. hopefully anthony can log in to the grant site tomorrow and start writing

4. i have spoken to Jane Lofthouse from TSC as well and she will provide us with written owners consent to lodge the grant

 Bodhi Nick Aldridge

Leadership Coach

join me on leadership from the heart tours

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Preliminary Concept Sketch of Norries Headland Whale Watching Platform

Here is a concept that Nick's Landscape Architect friend has kindly designed and sketched.

What do you think?


Hi Nick,
Rough sketches attached of the approach we discussed yesterday.
Note:  There are 3 pages in the attached and the last one will be the one you want to look at.
If you could get me some feedback on approach within the next day or so it would be good.


Dan Plummer AILA

landscape architecture / art / design

Suite 30, 2 Queen Street
PO Box 204
Murwillumbah NSW 2484

Monday, October 15, 2012

Update - Proposed Grant Application- Norries Headland

Another update 15th October

Anthony and Nick attended a site meeting with Rod and Neil from TSC on friday 12th

Nick arranged to meet with Dan Plummer - Landscape Architect on monday 15th.
Dan has offered to do a concept sketch at no charge and we hope that with quick feedback
it will be possible to mould this into a point of discussion design suitable for TSC to proceed with some costings.
Mike attended that on site discussion as the  Caba Trails subcommittee rep.

Traffic from the boardwalk has concentrated the erosion at the viewing area near the crest of Norries Headland. Our aim as outlined to Dan is to work with TSC to secure a State Govt grant to allow an improved viewing area to be designed and constructed.

Concept to be sustainable - balance amenity, cost , durability, future maintenance
Must be low impact especially visually
Try to merge low terrace design with existing contours
Provide pockets for seating of small groups
Lead additional visitors around (behind) visitors who are already seated.
Try to cater for those who wish to take in the view from the crest as well as those who prefer to be seated in a more protected situation and those who just want to do stretches or tai chi.
Consider a staging of the development (for cost reasons)

Nick will onforward sketches/ notes from Dan for our consideration/input with the aim of reaching that point by about Thursday.
Regards Mike

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Update 10 October 2012

Just a quick post to share info for people not in attendance.

Meeting held last night chaired by Luke Porter who is currently leading the group.

Attending was Luke, Nick, Faye, Mike, Sandra, Graeme and myself.

Luke please correct me if I write anything wrong


Purpose of meeting was to be clear on messages want to put forward to council staff in a meeting at the top of the Headland on 19/10 at 10.30 am

We affirmed the highest priority for us is the viewing platform at the top of Norries.

We don't need to have a design concept as the experts will have one.

(Please leave your comments below if you have a point of view on this as I like Kieran's idea of a low flat rock terrace with sitting space to 12 bums. Sort of similar to the space on the Belongil to Byron Light house walk where the trail takes a 90 degree bend.)

The minutes from the Meeting / Walk 18th August list other priorities to make the walk attractive and safe to locals and tourists.

Mike, Nick & I will attend the meeting on the 19th.

We will just print out the blog post from the 18 Aug and pass that on by way of reference.


Mike tabled a great document in regards to where we have been, where we are at where to.

Mike's discussion document is linked here.

This is aligned to our thinking but the major point for mine was what level of integration do we want to have with the council. ( I guess answer is as much as the community needs.) Thanks for shifting our thinking Mike.

There is likely to be another meeting with senior council staff regarding the broader group activity at a later stage.

Nick is going to arrange that and Mike will go to that meeting with another representative.


In terms of the next steps for the group beyond that we still need to work our way through the walks we have prioritised in our meeting back in August at the Surf Club.

That is we walk the trails and detail what improvements are required from our point of view.

Nick rightly points out that our point of view may be very different and difficult to achieve with so many passionate stakeholders in places like the southern and lake precinct.

Pushing onwards we plan to meet at the headland carpark on Saturday 20 October at 9.30 am to walk to Hastings and back.

Can you please tell anyone interested to meet us at the start of the bush tracker trail?

See you then.


PS please correct me or add in what I missed in the comments.


Lastly ... and in breaking news .....

Nick was meeting Geoff Provest today and mentioned the whale watching platform. Geoff talked about  a grant scheme he thought we must apply for as it he supports the concept of a platform atop Norries.

Details of the NSW community building grant scheme are at this link and it could be worth $15K towards the platform.

We just need to apply under banner of a registered organisation such as the Surf Club / Dune Care etc and detail the scope, timeline and cost for the project.

Nick has a landscape architect that can help with scope, time and cost so if you have an opinion on what / how you think the platform would be please comment below so it can be taken into consideration.

Mike, Nick and I (reluctantly) are going to meet at the pub tomorrow night to discuss should we go ahead with the grant in such a rushed timeframe with little consultation or wait / possibly miss out.

If you can picture me in a YouTube video I would be making a gesture like kangaroo paws ..... please leave comments below!!!


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Cabarita Beach to Hastings Point Bush & Beach Walk November 2008

In this post I share a video I took prior to moving over to the United States.

I used to watch this whenever I thought of home. It's about 10 minutes long.

The value I hope you get from watching is an appreciation of how beautiful and rare the space we have between Norries Headland and Hastings Point including the Caba heath is.

Hope you treasure this as much as I do.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Meeting - Walk 18th August

Present   Luke, Anthony, Keiran, Fay, Christian, Ron, Andrew, Mike

Task  -  To review the condition of the trail - From Pandanus Ave over Cabarita Hill and to Norries Headland.

The following is a list of points for discussion concerning the trail in question. These were my notes but as there was frequent separation into small groups I suggest other points be added by others to supplement these notes.

  • There is a trail sign at the end of Pandanus Ave. It was suggested that this may be an excellent site for a supplementary sign to give an overview of the numerous recreational walking trails in Cabarita Beach / Bogangar.
  • Heading south the first viewing platform requires some maintenance , repair of the stainless steel wire balustrade and Oiling of the decking timbers and handrails. (issue - safety and amenity)
  • The first garden bed near this platform is very disappointing and should be replanted with native species to enhance the commencement of this trail.
  • It was obvious that the homeowners above the hotel or hotel gardeners are dumping garden cuttings adjacent to the path. This has allowed non indigenous plants and weeds to escape and degrade the slope. (issue - bush integrity)
  • The path has been substantially damaged below the Norfolk Island Pine and needs lifting levelling and relaying (issue - safety)
  • There are some safety hazards like the tree branch stump facing down being able to strike someone in the head. White paint on the edge of the steps could be redone.
  • Keiran advised that he has surveyed the Littoral forest and identified over 200 native species. This constitutes a precious biodiversity locality. Interpretive signs re this flora would help to educate our community and enhance our levels of respect and care for this region. He indicated that council has a bush futures officer who may be able to link us to some resources for this purpose.
  • Mention was made that some History of the Littoral Forest may be gleaned by contacting the author of a book about the region. (lives in Palm Ave right next to the foreshore)
  • Keiran informed us that the Littoral Forest is regenerating itself and that our actions should be to identify the major issues that affect sustainability, safety or aesthetics so that the ecosystems can hold up under the pressure.
  • The walkways skirting the headland carpark are becoming a problem.(issue safety and sustainability) Walkers in this region try to keep their separation from the traffic / parking area. 
  • The frail nature of the soils combined with high rainfall and increased numbers of walkers have created several eroded goat tracks of dubious safety. Paths following the contours of the hill could help give separation and safety without compromising the aesthetics.
  • Erosion at the foot of the Casuarina tree at the edge of the car park could start to jeopardise this tree soon.
  • Hopefully council signage in this car parking region can be kept at low levels to ensure the sea vistas are not degraded.
  • The trail through Lions Park is another meeting point which could be home to an interpretive sign showing an overview of walking trails and options for visitors and residents. Some mentioned the foot of the boardwalk as a possible site.
  • The coucil is currently working on restoring the fencing leading to the boardwalk at the base of Norries headland.
  • The midden site might be be restored as part of this work.
  • The flowers on the headland are quite susceptible to damage from people stepping off the boardwalk.
  • The grass on the headland is a special kind of coastal grass. (Kieran made a comment about this being rare. Ant)
  • The boardwalk itself was once covered in green paint and needs to be redone to prevent corrosion of some of the major bolts holding the structure together. If it fails or degrades to the point of being unusable that would be a major loss of amenity to the local and tourist users.
  • There was considerable debate re the crest of Norries headland. On stepping off the last of the boardwalk, erosion and level changes are becoming severe. The natural rock becoming more exposed is a tripping hazard. 
  • Should our group play a role in trying to draw attention to these issues? Have we the confidence that council will provide ongoing monitoring and maintenance of these points of issue. Keiran suggested this viewing platform if properly constructed from local stone and comprising a couple of terraced levels suitable for seating, may define a small area for crowd control and reduce (not eliminate) the impact of the meandering spread of damage over the top of the headland. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Simplified the Blog Pages

Simplified the Blog Pages

I cleaned up the pages tonight.
Now on a Precinct page there is just a list of the trails with blog posts hyperlinked.
I'm counting 22 trails with a number still to be published.
PS Will email a spreadsheet around to start some discussion for next meeting...

Precinct Ref # Trail Name
Lake 1.1 Camp Wollumbin / Cudgen Lake via Tamarind Ave Circuit
Lake 1.2 Camp Wollumbin to Cudgen Creek Mouth
Lake 1.3 Camp Wollumbin to Cudgen Creek at Casuarina
Lake 1.4 Camp Wollumbin to Kings Forrest Significant Sites
Village 2.1 Northern Buffer Trail
Village 2.2 Western Buffer Trail
Village 2.3 Cypress Ave Foreshore
Village 2.4 Cabarita Foreshore Walk
Village 2.5 Norries Headland
Southern 3.1 Norries Headland, Maggies Beach and Inland Trail
Southern 3.2 Headland Car Park to Goanna Track
Southern 3.3 Caba South Central 5klm Loop
Southern 3.4 Caba Heath to Hastings Point Trail
Southern 3.5 Caba Back Track - Hastings to Caba via Round Mountain Rd
Southern 3.6 Goanna Track to Les Burger Fields via frontal dunes trail
Southern 3.7 Pony Club to Caba Back Beach Horse Trail
Western 4.1 Clothiers Creek Rd to Round Mountain Front Peak Lookout
Western 4.2 Sliprails Rd to Round Mountain Peak
Western 4.3 Clothiers Creek to Southwest Cudgen Lake Trail
Misc 5.1 Caba back valley 30klm Mountain Bike MTB Ride
Misc 5.2 Caba "Round the Block 15klm" road run
Misc 5.3 Caba to Potty Enviro Center X klm Mountain Bike MTB Loop

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Cudgen Lake Walk

On Saturday 28-7-12 Luke, Nick, Chris and I went for a walk down to the lake from the Camp Wollumbin Entrance, then across to Tamarind Ave.

Here is the map of the route we walked, bashed, slushed through.

Down by the Lake is spectacular and there are a number of other trails to explore in the area heading to the north from the lakeside and up near the gate to Camp Wollumbin.

I think there is also a trail that parallels the road but we walked alongside the road to get back to our cars.

Would have been better crossing over to the bike path.

Chris told us of some of the rich history from some of the original owners going back thousands of years. Something like 13 major sites in around the Kings Forrest side of the lake.

When we walked south from the lake it was under a canopy of trees that Koala's use. Didn't see any but there was we assume fresh K-poo on the ground.

That is the sensitive area and I guess it is a short stretch that a track goes west of to avoid. I don't know as I 'm not qualified to say.

It is very boggy in areas and the ground is surprisingly uneven with steps ups and down and plenty of rock on the ground.

When you get close to Tamarind Ave you pick up a well used track that kids and others must frequently use.

Here the shots I took on my phone..