Rock pool love

Much of Australia is a dry country (well, at least, until it's a soggy wet country), and drought is something that almost everyone goes through at one time or another. Anyone living in Brisbane through the 90s and 00s will remember how dire the water situation got - Wivenhoe Dam down into the teen percentage, four-minute shower timers, public water fountains being drained and shut off, moves towards de-sal and water recycling. And dry and drought is more than just what happens locally; it's cultural memory, too: the stories of dust storms, dry creeks and fire. In Brisbane, we're actually in a wet cycle now (as I remember it was like in the 80s), but I'm mentioning this stuff because I have special affection for rock pools. When your default consciousness is 'water is rare, and precious', there's something decadent about finding cradles of water in the middle of the bush, ones large enough to swim in, resting with level gravitational certainty in water-carved rock.


It's a privilege to find such places, and be able to be in them. This week, I was in Townsville, and headed north to Crystal Creek on a tip. At the end of a trail beneath the eucalypts was one of the best rock pools I've ever been to. I stayed a long time, swimming, sitting, writing (got myself burned, too :( ) ... and it was still sad to leave. I've been to other swimming holes all over the eastern states, but this one was really special. I know I'll be there again sometime.