Jamie normally sleeps in on a Sunday, so it was much to my surprise that he came upstairs early this past sunday and said 'Get dressed, make lunch, we're going to Finch Hatton'. Yaaaayyyyyyy!!
Finch Hatton is a tiny town near a beautiful gorge which is an hours drive from our home. It's just stunning and I love going there so much.
So, we began the arduous task of 'leaving the house'. We packed some lunch, snacks, seven towels, ridiculous amounts of water, togs, floaties, spare clothes, nappies, rubbish bags etc..
Then, with 4/5 children able to locate matching shoes, we set off into the wilderness.
I really need to emphasis how much I love this place. The drive to get there is beautiful and the falls themselves are amazing. Last year, on our way home from Eungella National Park, we drove through an enormous double rainbow almost the entire way down the mountain. It disappeared exactly as we reached Finch Hatton township and I told Jamie it was a sign that we were meant to become hippies and move to the hills. We actually briefly entertained the idea (Jamie briefly, me not so briefly) but decided it was just too far to be practical for us. But as for a day trip or camping spot, it's perfect. Not too far, but far enough you're away from it all.
The hike up to the falls takes us longer than most and I did my best to contain my inner Grug (you know the Dad from The Croods, that movie about the cavemen where the dad is so paranoid his family will DIE!! if they do anything? That's me most of the time and it drives Jamie crazy but truthfully, in this instance, there's the very real danger of death if I don't keep a close eye on the little ones, cos you know, 20 metre cliffs and all.)
Whenever we go anywhere as a family, it usually goes one of two ways. Either the kids are right little toads from the get go in which case, rooms clear and spaces open up for us as soon as we arrive or, more commonly, the kids start out as little angels which attracts a lot of attention, and people remark how cute they are and ask questions and smile and look on. This scenario is so much worse and I see it played out time and time again. The kids giggle and hold hands and sing and build up this false pretence of being like the swiss family Robinson, then, once everyone around us is captivated, one by one, they all start to lose their shit and I watch as the look of horror washes over the faces of those around us before the spaces start to clear and we find ourselves alone awaiting the next lot of unsuspecting onlookers.
This was one of those days. But still, it was beautiful and if I positioned myself far enough away, the noise of the waterfalls drowned out the whinging somewhat. We hiked up to the ring of fire which is the furtherest waterfall, had a swim, had some lunch, watched the drunken teenagers jump off the cliff face, swam some more then hiked back to the car.
And as an added bonus to my already 'pack mule' status, Charlie fell asleep in my arms on the way down and slept the whole way home.
Finch Hatton Gorge, you have my heart. Until next time....