Since retiring from teaching I have written 4 books to encourage children to love and accept themselves and develop emotional resilience. They are available as e-books from www.TheNewChildrenSeries.com
Published September 9th 2016
A School Holiday Activity - Enjoy the Bush in the City
The Ukerebagh Nature Reserve which is part of the Minjungbal Aboriginal Cultural Centre is home to native bird life and if you're lucky, you might see a koala.
Beautiful native coastal bushland at the Minjungbal Aboriginal Cultural Centre.
Although it is part of the Minjungbal Aboriginal Cultural Centre, the bushland and paths leading to the boardwalk over the mangroves and the Tweed River, are free and open to all members of the community.
The outside of the Minjungbal Aboriginal Cultural Centre in Kirkwood Rd, Tweed Heads.
The Tweed Heads Historic Site which adjoins the Ukerebagh Nature Reserve is a popular meeting place for the Minjungbal, Goori and other Aboriginal people. It has special significance because the sacred Bora Ring and the surrounding bushland link them spiritually to their ancestors.
The Bora Ring that was restored in the late 1950's.
Margaret Kay, an Aboriginal woman spent years restoring the Bora Ring which had been shown to her by relatives when she was a child. This is ironic because when the Bora Ring was in use, woman were forbidden to watch or take part in the initiation rites that initiated boys into manhood. Because of the efforts of Margaret Kay and her band of young helpers, in 1961 the Bora Ring and 125 hectares of surrounding bushland, including Ukerebagh Island were reserved for the preservation of Aboriginal Relics.
An information sign explaining the use of the Bora Ring.
There are established walking tracks through the bushland where you can wander at your leisure and enjoy the peaceful surrounding, just a few minutes drive from Tweed City, a busy shopping centre.
There's a well maintained boardwalk.
In places the tree roots have cracked the path but mostly it's flat and even as it winds through the bush.
The boardwalk allows visitors to view mangroves and trees that grow in the tidal paradise. It's a great way to teach children the importance and the unique ecology of mangroves.
Kids can see mangroves up close.
The sculptural beauty of the trees that thrive on the tidal river banks are stunning.
The path that winds through the bushland and beside the Tweed River is a circuit. It is clearly signposted and there are also information signs at regular intervals, that explain aspects of the lives of the original Aboriginal inhabitants.
There are signs to direct you, however it's a circuit so you will return to the start, no matter which part you choose to do first.
If you walk the circuit slowly it could take about 30 minutes but if you rest on a seat on the boardwalk beside the river or take time to enjoy the bush or the Bora Ring you could spend a lot longer. There are picnic tables and a barbeque you can use at the entrance if you decide to bring your own food. There's also a refreshment kiosk where snacks can be purchased.
Picnic tables and the barbeque facilities are for community use.
The waking track is free, however you could also visit the Minjungbal Resource Museum which has entry fees. For Adults the cost is $15 and for Pensioners, Students and Children over 5 years, it is $7.50.
I loved wandering through the bush and beside the river and I think kids will love it too. I recommend it as a school holiday treat where they can to get away from digital screens, learn some Australian history and spend relaxing downtime among the trees in a beautiful natural environment. In fact, I recommend it for the whole family.
Places like this are lovely. They make the bush accessible for everybody even though in a small way. I love walking through urban bush and wetlands and am sometimes amazed at the number of bird species I see.