Quick intro by Pascal: Please welcome Sean, who is sending this contribution to the blog and to the list of un-destinations we are curating. The Monument-Valley-by-the-sea quality of the photographs blew my socks off instantly, so I asked Sean to provide a little more info about the location, which he kindly did below. Read on.
The former Bombo Headland Quarry area is a physical environment that is man made. It came about from previous blue metal quarrying activities during the 1880’s and 1900’s. One gets the impression the area easily looks like an imagined lunar landscape. The eastern perimeter, that faces the Pacific Ocean, has a high scalable wall made up of a row of basalt columns. This wall separates and protects the inner lower flat central area from wave action, incoming from the Pacific Ocean. There are several inner rock pools, laying between the base of the perimeter wall and the large central flat area. Standing up on the headland, one can look down into the area formerly quarried for its blue metal rock. Looking north, in the distance, one will see Cathedral Rocks, Minnamurra Headland and Jones’ Beach. Turn south and one will immediately see Bombo surf beach, laying between the quarry site and the township of Kiama and it’s famous Blowhole. Kiama has a popular tourist strip mall of cafés, restaurants, and art galleries. Kiama is a name derived from the Aboriginal word “kiarama” meaning “Place where the sea makes a noise”.
The Bombo Headland Quarry area is located within the Illawarra. It is approximately 120 km – a little over a one hour drive – south of Sydney, via the Princess Highway. Travelling south, exit using the Kiama Downs turn-off, then going via Cliff Drive you’ll drive under a railway bridge to enter a dedicated car park. One can only walk into the Bombo Headland Quarry area, from the car park. You can appreciate I’ve described an area where it’s best to get to by car. If no car is available, an electric train service is available from Sydney. The trip takesa little over 2 hours to Kiama, and from there it’s a car trip to the Bombo Quarry area.
The main activities in the Bombo Headland Quarry area are sight seeing, photography, and savouring the power of the Pacific Ocean and its interaction with the man made environment. It’s a beautiful, open, and powerful space, that offers a unique photographic experience, based on amultiple range of moods – all subject to circumstances dictating the day, at the time of the visit.There is also a public convenience and a drinking water resource at the car park, nothing else. The Bombo Quarry Headland area and Bombo surfing beach, are both off-leash dog friendly.
A couple of weekends ago, saw a visit by a cousin and wife. We met at a local coffee shop. Having finished our coffees and whilst waiting for the bill, there was a momentary pause – a suggestion we take a scenic drive was offered. Bombo was identified and quickly agreed upon as a destination to visit and experience what it had to offer. We set off, and upon arrival there was collective gasp in awe of the beauty and energy of the quarry site and its headland.Then came a realisation – no camera. Problem solved, between the three of us, we had two smart phones – one had a cracked screen, and one hada nearly flat battery.A press-on attitude allowed usto capture several images.
Finally, without a car, the spontaneity of the outing and the accompanying images would not have materialised, as I believe this place can also be appreciated as an undestination.
The following two links are provided as an informative on Bombo:
A) Bombo. See:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombo,_New_South_Wales
B) At Bombo, there’s the Bombo Headland Quarry Geological Site. Seehttps://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/heritageapp/ViewHeritageItemDetails.aspx?ID=5045194
The following is a direct copy and paste from the above B) reference:
“… Bombo Headland Quarry: Bombo Headland, an attractive coastal feature in its own right, also retains an added characteristic that increases the area’s scenic qualities. Set deep within its contours is the Bombo Quarry. A legacy of Kiama’s century-old blue metal or basalt quarrying, this ‘moonscape’ contains geological features of international importance (Dillon, 1991).
In the early 1880s over 80 men toiled to break up the natural blocks of stone. These were then carted by horse to the harbour at Kiama and the nearby Bombo jetty. The rockfill remains of this latter structure can be seen lying in the northern cove of Bombo headland. The area around the cove is known as the Boneyard. The majority of the quarry workers were housed in a nearby ‘tent city’. At the time it was reported that ‘the place now the favourite resort of Sunday afternoon pleasure excursionists is beginning to assume a very business-like aspect’ and ‘the verdant beauty of the fields and slopes of Bombo promises soon to be covered with dust and its quiet caverns and shady nooks to ring with the sound of the hammer and explosions of dynamite’ (ibid, 1991)…”
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