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 August 14th 2016
Is Picnicking a Dying Pastime?
I have childhood memories of freshly prepared sandwiches, bottles of cordial for the kids and a thermos of tea for the adults and our family heading off for a picnic. One particular memory still stands out. It was a busy start as usual; the cows had been milked, the younger children were dressed and ready, the sandwiches prepared and wrapped in greaseproof paper, the thermos filled with boiling water and we were ready to leave. However my mother couldn't find the stopper for the thermos so she gave me the task. I hunted in the drawer and eventually found something that looked like it would fit, jammed it in and screwed on the lid. Alas, when my parents were ready for their cup of tea the candle had melted.
Our picnics were simple, they usually consisted of sandwiches and a piece of fruit and maybe some biscuits although later on bread rolls became more popular. As a young adult I remember attending a picnic where a cheese fondue and crusty bread took pride of place.
I have identified some beautiful spots along the Tweed River that would be perfect for a quiet picnic and would also suit families and larger groups. Many families are looking for an economical way to enjoy their leisure time and parks, where there is space to play and throw a frisbee are a great option. Some even have places where you can buy hot drinks, if coffee in a thermos doesn't inspire you.
1. Budd Park, Murwillumbah
Budd Park is a great place for a picnic.
Budd Park located on Alma Street, is an easy walk across the bridge from the Murwillumbah shopping centre. There's car parking, outdoor seating, barbeque facilities, attractive landscaped gardens and public toilets. The World Heritage Rainforest Centre and Murwillumbah Visitor Information Centre operated by Destination Tweed is located in Budd Park and sells ice-creams but no coffee; you would have to buy that at one of the many cafes in town.
Part of the refurbishment of Budd Park completed in 2013
This area is great if you want peace and quiet. The Tweed Shire Council is currently upgrading Clarrie Purnell Park on McLeod Street Condong, to reinforce the riverbank and make it more suitable for boaties but at the moment there is some outdoor seating and plenty of space to relax and enjoy the trees and the Tweed River. There are no amenities so you would need to bring everything you need.
A quiet spot on the Tweed River at Condong.
3. Faith Mussing Bandler Park, Tumbulgum
Imagine relaxing by the Tweed River at Tumbulgum
Faith Mussing Bandler Park, Riverside Drive, Tumbulgum is named after an Aboriginal rights activist who was born in Tumbulgum. The park has plenty of outdoor seating, some barbeques and tree-lined river banks. There are a number of cafes close by including Birdwing Café & Curios and The House of Gabriel so finding a takeaway coffee will be easy. Public toilets are located on Government Road, not far from the Tumbulgum Tavern.
A beautiful spot for a picnic.
4. Fingal Park on Fingal Road is near the Boat Ramp and across the road from the access path to Dreamtime Beach.
The children's playground will keep the little ones happy.
This park has a children's playground, picnic tables, barbeque, ample parking and toilets. The Sheoak Shack is a short walk along Fingal Road and serves coffee.
Picnickers aren't the only ones who love the Tweed River, fishermen love it too.
The riverbank right along Fingal Road is enjoyed by the public, especially on weekends when many people set up their chairs and picnic gear and relax with family and friends. Any day of the week you can see fishermen trying their luck, or maybe just relaxing by the magnificent Tweed River. The only word of caution is that in the warmer months the sound of surf skis and motor boats can be a bit much for some. However, not all river activity is noisy and the houseboats are a pleasant sight.
Picnickers can enjoy the activity on the Tweed River.
I hope I've inspired you to pack a picnic lunch, maybe a modern version of the one I grew up with and find a beautiful spot on the banks of the Tweed River to relax and unwind and enjoy our glorious Spring weather.