Where the wild things are

It was the long weekend at last! After our World Environment Day and Oceans Day celebrations, and the announcement of the lucky winner of our Endemic notebooks, we couldn’t wait to travel to the South Coast to visit Booderee National Park and retreat. After settling into our wonderful Airbnb, and being welcomed with homemade granola and a lovely furry friend called Layla, we were good to go.
It’s no surprise Spike Jonze (who we had the pleasure of seeing live at Sydney Town Hall the other week) chose the south of Australia to film one of his greatest movies, Where the Wild Things Are. The landscapes are incredibly intricate and I must say, there’s something about winter that makes it even more enigmatic.
We headed to Booderee National Park and chose the Botanic Gardens as our starting point as we had once visited this location in summer and remember birds flying out of trees in every direction. A birder’s paradise.
Visiting in this cold weather had seemed to swap most birds for exhilarate wattlebirds chanting about. The atmosphere was different, it was the calm after the storm. The water in the lake had risen so much it completely covered the bench we remember sitting on a few years back. No endangered Bristlebirds or Gang-gangs to be seen but an array of both female and male Satin Bowerbirds bathing in the nearby creeks.
Our second stop was one of Booderee National Park’s beaches. Distracted by a local Sea Eagle, we started heading towards the centre of what seemed to be an infinite beach, only to discover tiny footprints in the sand. Without knowing we ran into one of Australia’s most endangered shorebirds, the one and only Hooded Plover. And there he was, looking so much like our print! Moving his tiny legs almost at the speed that a hummingbird flaps its wings, it was very hard to catch him still. The excitement escalated as we spotted another 2 birds catching their food at the speed of light. As if they had to rush somewhere else!

That day ended at Murray’s Beach, probably one of my favourite places to slow down, breathe and sink it all in. It’s easy to forget that when we arrive at these pieces of paradise we tend to think that these are unbelievable landscapes when they are really someone’s home and habitat. Food for thought.

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