Swell is a marvellous festival held every September on Currumbin Beach. There are usually about 50 sculptures, literally sitting on the sand, where visitors can wander around, touch them (naughty) and get up close and personal. There are artists' talks, twilight walks, night time lights, and workshops for kids and adults. If you have any interest in art/sculpture, this really is a must-do. This year was the 12th annual Festival; here's hoping there are many more. I find it a really magical and marvellous event, and wouldn't miss it for the world.
|glorious artworks at Swell|
We wended our way down the highway into deepest, darkest NSW, heading for our motel in Pottsville. We were pleasantly surprised by this little gem of a town, and by the motel which was comparatively inexpensive, clean and modern after a refurbishment this year. The sea is just a couple of hundred metres behind the motel, and is glorious (I keep saying that word) and very serene; and best of all, we were virtually the only people on it!
|A white yacht was sailing off into the distance; and yes this shell was very long! |
There were many, many mangrove seeds along the beach as you can see
Next day we headed out to Bangalow, trying to get there early enough to avoid the big crowds. Even by 9.40am, the crowds were starting to swell, and people were drinking champagne already! Apparently there was a record crowd this year, so I guess it can only get bigger next year. We wandered around the food stalls, and bought local sparkling water from a lovely young girl who leapt out from the stall in hot pursuit of actor Chris Hemsworth who was trying but perhaps not succeeding in being incognito. I suppose it didn't help when I walked by him and yelped- "oh look that's Chris Hemsworth" to my clueless spouse (even tho he likes that movie Thor). Bangalow Showgrounds are seemingly endless, with lovely trees and plenty of parking- well at that time of day anyway. We sat and watched the winner cook up his successful dish using local macadamia products- macadamia coconut chicken satay. It was really delicious and spicy; not surprising since the winner owns the Byron Bay Chilli Co.
|the day was sunny and the crowds were happy and hungry|
|the winner of the macadamia comp.with chef Alex Herbert; lovely ladies selling Bangalow Banquet cookbook |
delish pork bun from 100miletable; actor Chris Hemsworth giving some local lads a big thrill!
|coffee truck; Zest Byron Bay spice pastes and blends; tasty chicken satay|
| the cutest, blue-est car parked in downtown Bangalow|
local sparkling water from nearby Mt Warning
lovely CWA ladies being storefront mannequins;
stunning purple tibouchina flowers outside the local school
The CWA ladies were a real hoot. They took turns sitting in the front window of the store, knitting and laughing and having a ball. I peeked inside the store and there was another (young) lady dressed in fifties gear and dancing up a storm in the doorway. There was such a wonderful atmosphere in the town, and everyone seemed to be having heaps of fun. I bought the Bangalow Banquet cookbook from the lovely ladies at the Festival stall, and I will be posting up a recipe or 2 down the track.
More to come from our northern NSW trip in the next post!