Australia’s Great Lakes Part VI: Mungo Brush and the Aftermath

By Nic Stoltzfus

Day Six: Tuesday, August 26th & Summary 

*(Short video included below)


On Tuesday we grabbed lunch at a local café in Bulahdelah and then drove down to Bombah Point, a jut of land that divides Boolambayte Lake and Bombah Broadwater. Here we explored a small museum across from the Myall Lakes Holiday Park info-center that offered information about the surrounding region. After we looked around for a few minutes we drove onto the ferry, which took us across the channel until we could begin driving in Mungo Brush.


We soon stopped and hiked out onto the beach and got some great shots of the sand dunes. After documenting this area we got back in our car to drive south to Tea Gardens. We ate dinner here and then drove back to the farmhouse for the night.

Approaching thunderclouds over Mungo Brush.

Approaching thunderclouds over Mungo Brush.


More clouds over the dunes at Mungo Brush.

More clouds over the dunes at Mungo Brush.

Over the next two days Dad and I had time to reflect on our trip and also plan for the next year. It was cold and rainy outside, so it was a great time to hole up and work inside. I made soup one evening and, at Dr. Stock’s recommendation, used vegemite as a base. For those unfamiliar with vegemite—it is a dark brown Australian food paste made from leftover brewers’ yeast extract. It smells like salty shoe leather and tastes somewhat similar. Despite my consternation about using the paste I figured “what the heck” and scooped a hefty dollop in the soup. It actually turned out pretty good!

Vegemite. Men At Work sing about it in their song "Land Down Under."  Picture from Wikimedia Commons.

Vegemite. Men At Work sing about it in their song “Land Down Under.”
Picture from Wikimedia Commons.

Friday we drove back to Brisbane and stayed the night with Dr. Stock and his family. We woke up a little before six the following morning to catch our flight back home. On the airplane, I thought about our time in Australia. Dad and I pitched the idea to our sponsor to go to Australia to do a comparison of the coastal dune lakes there and the ones we have in Florida. One of the reasons Dad was emphatic about going was because of a knowledge gap in Walton County: People there talked about the existence of dune lakes in other places such as Australia, New Zealand, and Madagascar, but not much was known about them. He wanted this documentary to present a comparison study between lakes found in New Zealand and Australia with those found in Florida. With the clock ticking, we didn’t have time to visit New Zealand this time around, but the idea of documenting the lakes there looms large.


Dad and I chatted on the way back and we agreed that this is only the beginning. There are so many more places we could have seen, so many other things we could have documented! The one place that I wanted to visit but didn’t get a chance was Broughton Island. The aborigines of the area, the Worimi people, inhabited the island for at least 2,000 years. Little Penguins, the world’s smallest penguins, still call this island home. In Australia, they are typically called “fairy penguins.” I glanced out the window wistfully as our plane descended into the darkened landscape of Panama City. That’s it: Some people wish upon a star. I’ll make a wish upon a fairy penguin—and I’ll wish to return to the Land Down Under.



A Fairy Penguin! Picture by JJ Harrison; uploaded from Wikimedia Commons.

A Fairy Penguin! Picture by JJ Harrison from Wikimedia Commons.



Read the series from the beginning at Australia’s Great Lakes Part I: Getting There.

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