Archive for the ‘Tweed Shire’ Category

It was a beautiful autumn morning on the deck overlooking the sparkling pool surrounded by lush tropical gardens. With the warmth of the sun bathing me in it’s radiance, I relaxed at the end of my first Iyengar Style Yoga class in a heightened state of awareness – and felt the first urges to write in my blog again. I had lost all inspiration to write for weeks, and now suddenly I could hear the faint beginnings of a post gestating as I savored the experience.

I spent most of last year sitting at a computer, so this year I was determined to get into physical activities and enjoy life. Apart from walking and swimming, I’ve been going to a personal trainer which has been great to wake up the muscles and strengthen the body, but I decided my body is more suited to yoga. Yoga is a more conscious and balanced form of exercise to create wellbeing and inner strength.

Mark and Paula Cave

Mark and Paula Cave

My friends Mark and Paula Cave have offered classes on their deck on Saturday mornings – which is a fantastic way to start the weekend. The class included both men, women and children, and we all just managed to fit on the deck!

This was my first experience of having a high level of instruction with both Mark and Paula helping to adjust the poses where needed, offering structural guidance and support. We worked on opening up the chest and had a good all over workout with assistance from using props and belts.  Mark said the poses help to release accumulated toxins etc, but I had no idea what else it would release and open up!

I have practiced yoga on and off for years and have been to classes commonly known as Housewives Yoga – as only women turn up! For some pictures of ‘Housewives of Yoga’ from the 50’s click here

I look forward to attending weekly classes as yoga obviously benefits the mind, body and soul. Due to the popularity of the classes Mark and Paula are going to offer evening classes at a larger venue in Murwillumbah next term and I wish them great success.


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After spending more than 2 weeks stranded in Cudgen Creek at Kingscliff, the last 2 Bottlenose Dolphins were caught and successfully taken back to the ocean, where they were released to hopefully rejoin their pod. To view video footage of the rescue click here

Surfers around here are very familiar with dolphins riding waves alongside them, but there is a magical quality about encountering these unique creatures which land lovers rarely experience.

The dolphins certainly created interest for locals as we were made aware of how the unpredictable nature of the constantly changing ocean and estuary can affect it’s inhabitants – as they arrived with the high tide and were unable to leave.

They were being monitored daily by Australian Seabird RescueNational Parks and Wildlife Service and had been assessed by experts from SeaWorld. They also maintained an exclusion zone marked by buoys and anyone who violated that was warned they will be fined.

We spent some time at Cudgen Creek on Australia Day captivated by the dolphins frolicking in the water as we viewed them from different vantage points. I took many photos trying to capture an image of the dolphins suddenly appearing before submerging into the waters again. Here’s an image I managed to catch with more than one fin showing!

Dolphins in Cudgen Creek

Dolphins in Cudgen Creek, Kingscliff

It was an experience for everyone seeing the dolphins, but as the high tides came and went and the days turned into weeks, many became concerned about their welfare.

Cudgen Creek

For dolphin images and 12 Facts About Dolphins that you Must Know click here

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Uki is a beautiful little historic village in the foothills of Mt Warning (Wollumbin in the Bundjalung aboriginal language means ‘Clouds Catcher’).  It’s such a tiny place but it has a fantastic community with it’s own Uki Village website full of information and the local Uki News is on-line  for all to view. There are alot of very talented Artists around Uki and environs, and here’s a great website with a list of Galleries called Cloud Catcher.

My good friend Paola Emma of Living Moon Astrology is so passionate about Uki she has offered the following history

‘The cute name Uki, (pronounced yook-eye) may be the aboriginal word for a water fern with edible roots, but many believe that it was derived from the sign, reading UK1, the timber cutters used to put on the first quality lumber, in particular the precious red cedar, that was exported in great quantity to Great Britain in the early days.

Uki Village

Uki Village in the Foothills of Mt Warning

There is a book with real life accounts of the way life was in the Uki, Main Arm area since the first white pioneers started moving to the Tweed around 1860, called ‘The Way it Was‘ . This wonderful collection is full of fresh and interesting accounts of what life was like for the brave men and women of these bygone days. It also provides some ideas of the ups and downs in the relationship between white settlers and aboriginal people. The book was edited by Mary Lee Connery and is a very good read.

The region around Uki was, first of all, settled for lumber cutting and export. Then the sugar cane came and many dairy farms populated the area from the early 1900s. The latter soon became the commercial backbone of the Uki area. The historical Uki Butter factory, affectionately known as The Buttery, was the place where the local dairy farmers used to bring their milk and cream to be processed, until the early 1960s.

Over the last few years the Old Butter Factory has been transformed, through the dedication of community groups and grants, into a busy shopping and cultural centre. There is a good selection of shops inhabiting the Buttery including the Uki CTC (Community Technology Centre) which is run by volunteers.

Uki is also close to the wonderful Mebbin Forest National Park and the Clarrie Hall Dam (only ten kilometers from the village), a haven for sail boating, canoeing, fishing and picnics.

Uki has been hosting a colourful monthly market around the Old Buttery called the Uki Buttery Bazaar while a Local Produce market is held in the Uki Hall every Saturday’.

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Tumbulgum has always been a laid back little village on the banks of the Tweed River except on the weekends – it comes alive with boat enthusiasts, water skiing and picnickers.

I remember when the old car ferry was the only way to cross from Terranora to Tumbulgum before the bridge was built in the 90’s, and when the ferry broke down it was a long drive to get to the other side! The public boat ramp is where the car ferry crossed over to North Tumbulgum.

Here’s a photo gallery of some images of Tumbulgum.
Click on the images to enlarge.

I have often taken a detour through the village as it’s so beautiful to see the river and the view of the surrounding countryside with Mt Warning as a backdrop.

Mt Warning in Background

Mt Warning in Background

You often see houseboats taking a slow cruise down the river and can be hired at Tweed River Houseboat Hire at Tumbulgum. A great way to cruise the river for a day and learn about the history, is with Tweed Endeavour Cruises that stop at  Tumbulgum.

Tumbulgum Village

Tumbulgum Village General Store

It’s a lovely stroll along the riverside and interesting to peruse the quaint village shops and the famous historic Tumbulgum Tavern. There is also picnic facilities, boat hire, a public wharf and boat ramp.

The Poinsiana Trees on the riverside are in full bloom at the moment and look magnificent.

Tumbulgum was one of the first settlements in the Tweed Valley. To learn more of Tumbulgum’s history, click here

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The Ukitopia Festival Opening Ceremony on Saturday was exceptional and I love watching the YouTube videos that I made about the Wishing Wall and Be the Love.

Not only was there non-stop entertainment on the Main Stage in Uki Village all day on Sunday, the famous monthly Uki Buttery Bazaar was in full swing also. There were many interesting stalls and a line-up of entertainment and activities at the Buttery Market stage.

The little village was packed with people keen to see and experience all that was on offer. The Images of Uki Art Exhibition was most impressive and the Uki Primary School held their 1st Annual Eco-Expo.

Fresh Organic Vegies from Bio Organic Farm

Fresh Organic Vegies from Bio Organic Farm

Zehvitt and her husband Avi from Bio Organic Farm grow certified organic fruit and vegies and have recently opened a stall to the public on their property at Byangum.

Solarwise Hot Water

Solarwise Hotwater

James from Solarwise Hotwater was glad to be in the shade and Mt Warning Spring Water next to him should have been doing a roaring trade as it was so hot!

I learn’t a lot about the environmentally friendly and sustainable options available and was amazed at all the local businesses and groups there to share their knowledge. Free workshops were available throughout the day and the Uki Kids Club had activities for the kids.

I spoke with the new Principal Jeff Robinson (who was once my son’s teacher) and he was very happy with the day and looks forward to it being bigger and better next year.

Caldera Art Display

Caldera Art Display

Caldera Art and the Rainforest Information Centre had a lovely display with art students working on their latest creations under the tutelage of Andy Reimanis.

Art Student Regina in residence

Art Student Regina at work

For a slide show, click the link Ukitopia Festival 2009 Photo Gallery

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The Ukitopia Festival is about celebrating all that is Uki. It was a beautiful start to the festivities with wishes from the community Wishing Wall being sent out to the universe. Armed with a hand held camera and no experience, I filmed some of the event and created my first YouTube videos.

Through the dedicated and untiring work of Natascha Wernick , the Ukitopia Arts Collective and a team of local community groups, they served up the most engaging opening ceremony that set the stage for an extremely unique celebration of Uki life, arts and culture.

Natascha and Sue lead a fabulous sing along with some of the local musicians weaving their talents into the colourful kaleidoscope that is Uki, and with the captivating Deya Dova and Loren lending their vocal talents, the crowd was spellbound and wanting more.

Afterwards we were lead by Natascha to the hall for the opening of the Images of Uki Art Exhibition. When the door opened we were greeted with an amazing display of talent and imagination that filled the hall.

Images of Uki Art Exhibition

Images of Uki Art Exhibition

The evening festivities had only just begun and things were hotting up with live music and DJ’s getting the crowd going off. Everyone was in a celebratory mood and I tell you, there was dancing in the streets!

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With a great line up of entertainment, workshops, exhibitions, an Eco-Expo and more – there’s definitely something for everyone at the Ukitopia Festival this weekend November 14th & 15th, held in the historic Village of Uki

Everyone is invited to come and celebrate the unique community that is Uki, nestled at the base of Mt Warning in the Tweed Valley. I’ve always had a soft spot for Uki as I fell in love with the area when I first came here in the early 80’s, and I still enjoy the community atmosphere that pervades the town.

Starting on Saturday there are programs for the kids, live music, workshops, dancing under the stars, and the Anglican Church will host a special concert with doors opening at 7pm.

The Images of Uki Art Exhibition in the Uki Hall opens at 5.45 pm on Saturday and will display over 100 artworks by Tweed Artists, with 25% of all sales going to Ukitopia Arts Collective.

The Uki Buttery Bazaar that is on every 3rd Sunday of the month has been part of the north coast market circuit for as long as I’ve been around here. It’s still a genuine old style trash and treasure market, but this Sunday it will be extra special with a line-up of entertainment all day at the Buttery Market Stage and the Main Stage at Hall Park.

To view the great line up of events click here

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