Summer at home in Daisy Hill

Friday, May 8, 2015

BEAUTIFUL BALLINA

It was time again for our annual reunion of friends who belonged to the Pt Moresby Judo and Scooter clubs in PNG over 50 years ago. Unfortunately 2 of our group, Dianna and Graham couldn't make it this year. However, we found another ember, Bev, recently and she will join us later. We all drove from our different towns to meet in Ballina, a beautiful seaside town on the north coast of NSW. Penny and Charles were the organisers this year and they found us nice cabins in a Holiday Park. 
It was fun catching up with Charles, Penny, Martin and Del. We had 'fivsies' on the deck every evening.

 The first morning we walked along the groin, a wall built along  the Richmond River to provide a safe entrance to the river. The river is on the right and Shaws Bay on the left and the ocean is straight ahead.

 Love is preening together. The bay was muddy due to recent storms and flooding.

 After our walk we drove to The Crystal Castle in the hinterland between Mullumbimby and Byron Bay. It is a privately owned botanical garden filled with extraordinary crystals, sculptures and subtropical plants.

The original building was built in 1980 by eccentric architect Edwin Kingsbury, who pioneered harmonious architecture. It is built where the earth's energy lines intersect and it doesn't have any 90° angles. The original owner went broke but it was bought by Naren King. He has imported hundreds of crystals and sculptures and developed the gardens. This is just one of the many rooms full of crystal displays.

Crystal Singing Bowls made from quartz crystal create a magical and powerful effect of sound and vibration. You just rub a special suede mallet around the rim.

 The Fountain of Peace. This is an amazing fountain. A 310 kilogram sphere of Rose Quartz rotates on 0.3 millimetres of water. 

 Naturally we had a coffee in the Cafe, where Bev (in blue) joined us.  It was fun catching up after not seeing her for 50 years.

After that we ventured into the gardens.

Where we followed many paths through the lush subtropical vegetation which was punctuated with sculptures connected to Eastern spiritual traditions.



 We did the Buddha Walk which went through a bamboo avenue and onto The Blessing Bhudda sitting in a Lotus Pool. It is the largest Bhudda in Australia.


 Recently a stupa has been added to the gardens. It is the Kalachakra World Peace Stupa. A stupa is a sacred monument built by Tibetan Bhuddhists to represent universal divinity. These structures are assembled under the precise guidance of a Tibetan Lama and every part of the design has a special significance. Inside is a treasury of sacred objects and the Tree of Life. It was built under the guidance of the Gyuto Monks of Tibet. This one is unique to the southern hemisphere and only the seventh in the world.
This was a beautiful, peaceful place to visit and we didn't want to leave. I would love to return and see more.

30 comments:

  1. wow. really neat place! i LOVE the crystal castle! i'd love to wander around there. what a nice place to reunion!

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  2. Ballina is really one of the nicest and prettiest coastal towns in Australia.
    Many a very younger day holiday was spent there ( Moree days!).
    I certainly didn't know of these gardens as shown.
    I think when the "Moose" arrives back up a visit might be the order of the day.
    The RSL club does have wonderful food - buffet and a la carte at very reasonable
    prices.
    Great to know that you had a wonderful reunion with your PNG mates from those
    long ago days.
    Well done, Diane.
    Cheers
    Colin
    PS: Thank God for the coffee shop for "you know whom' !!!!!

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  3. What a great looking group. And I should love to visit that amazing place you show so well. On my scooter of course :-)




    ALOHA from Honolulu,
    ComfortSpiral
    =^..^=

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  4. That is a great looking place and how wonderful to have these yearly reunions. I loved the garden and the peace fountain, all the eastern spiritual sculptures and the Buddha walk. What a peaceful and beautiful place this must be.

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  5. It looks very nice. A friend flies there from Sydney for short breaks and likes the area very much. The quartz ball on the water is impressive.

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  6. A nice reunion in a lovely place. Great photos...

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  7. So nice you combine the reunion with a lovely place to visit.

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  8. Hello Diane, what a great reunion. The Crystal Castle is a great place to visit. The gardens, Buddha and crystals are beautiful! I love the pretty fountain of peace! Thank you for sharing your visit.. Have a happy weekend!

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  9. Trying to comment again. Martin and I enjoyed your blog Diane. You are good at getting great photos.

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  10. If you believe in the power of crystals there must be an awful lot of vibes there.

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  11. I love the way you have kept in touch via these reunions. It must require a great deal of effort to organise these events but it sounds as though you take it in turns so it doesn't always fall on the same person. Another wonderful place to wander around and such an unusual garden with its crystal installations.

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  12. would love to wander those paths in the garden and you all look so happy. I love that fountain and the preening pelicans to...

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  13. Beautiful place for a reunion. Looks so interesting and peaceful....I'm sure your group received blessings for many more joyful get togetherS. Several people here at our "Holiday Park" display banners that say "it's Five O'clock somewhere!" I'm wondering when their five sites would start if they're counting Australia! ))

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  14. Wonderful scenery - and I love the pic of the Buddha with all those pink stones.

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  15. Very nice statues certainly the last temple.

    Greetings,
    Filip

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  16. Diane, This is a beautiful natural setting as well as having interesting architecture and displays. All that rose quartz! Looks like you were having fun catching up with friends. Wanted to wish you a very Happy Anniversary! It's turned very cold in the city, and I expect snow to start falling soon.

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  17. What a nice place for a meeting with friends ! I am back home since this afternoon. I wished I could have taken some sunsine along !

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  18. It must be wonderful to get together with friends from so long ago, and in such a special place. All the crystals are so beautiful, and some huge! And what a view in the first photo of the garden!

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  19. What a brilliant spot for a catch up Diane.. Looove the 'fountain of peace' what a huge piece of rose quartz, looks amazing! You guys sure know how to have fun.. good on you for making time to keep up with old friends

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  20. Congratulations on maintaining contact over the years Diane - it's great to have events such as reunions to look forward to and helps to keep the memories flowing! (Love the capture of the preening pelicans!)

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  21. Hi there, Just stopping by to say “Happy Mother’s Day” to you. I’m sure you are having a fabulous day. I celebrated yesterday when one of my sons and his beautiful wife came to see us….

    As you probably know, we’ve been out-of-town this past week and I haven’t done any blogging much at all. I hope you enjoyed my two Tulip blog posts while we were gone——and be sure and tune in tomorrow morning to find out what we’ve been doing this past week….

    Enjoyed your post today! Ballina looks like an awesome place to be with friends.

    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  22. That looks like an interesting place. I've never heard of it before. Love the gardens

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  23. You all find such great places to gather! I adore the shot of the pelicans but honestly so glad you shared the crystal bowls - I have a friend/mentor who has one of those and it is AMAZING!

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  24. What an amazing place for your group to visit! Love the crystal gardens and grounds. The photo of the pelicans is so wonderful.

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  25. A wonderful tradition Diane, and what a place to hold it! Ballina, love it! Gorgeous place. So pleased \i called by.

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  26. What an enchanting place! Can't think of a better place to enjoy the day with your loved ones.

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  27. Lots of great things to see. Love the nature shots and those pelicans are just gorgeous.

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  28. Wonderful to be able to catch up and in lovely surrounds too.

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  29. Dianne, I seem to be an unknown...I read your blog again and saw the lovely photos. Martin and I had a wonderful time and look forward to seeing you next year at our reunion in Caloundra. I am the "unknown"...
    Del and Martin.

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  30. That's amazing! I've been to Ballina many times, but have NEVER been to the Crystal Castle!! I keep getting side-tracked by all the bakeries ... and beaches ... I actually think Ballina is one of Australia's best un-sung tourist destinations - when it's not raining, anyway!!

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