Monday, November 2, 2009

A Desert Landscape

On Friday last, we visited Birubi Point (near Anna Bay, Port Stephens NSW) at the entrance to the sand dunes of Stockton Beach.

These are the largest continuous mobile sand dunes in Eastern Australia , stretching a distance of some 32kms and up to 1km wide, covering an area of 2500 hectares. The sands would have been deposited some six thousand years ago and were home to the aboriginal ancestors of the Woromi tribe.

This is an exotic landscape - white sand dunes up to 40m high, clouds casting their shadows over the sands, tourists, camels, horses and concrete pyramids!

But what are these strange structures?

During World War II, the area was heavily fortified. Running across the
beach into farmland for several kilometres was a line of heavy concrete pyramids (about 3000 in total) designed to slow down tank movements.

Many of these 'tank traps' as they were known, are still where they were placed in 1942. On closer inspection, each pyramid has a serial number and the date when it was made, rendered into the concrete.

A wonderful experience! Again bringing together a piece of the geography and history of our land.

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