‘Call of the mountain: The spectacular views from the top of North Brother’

Apr 16, 2021
Situated in the Dooragan National Park, North Brother Mountain offers some of the most accessible, panoramic views on the east coast of Australia. Source: Ian Smith

There’s something about North Brother I find hard to ignore. For decades I’ve been slipping up this part of the Dooragan National Park in New South Wales from time to time, the lure beyond resistance. Heck, I even walked it one time from the base at Laurieton, all the way to the top and back again, arriving in front of my partner Lorraine with a short so sodden with sweat I was bade to immediately remove it, marched off to a shop and told to purchase a new one. Nice shirt, I have it still.

This day though, the weather coursed through my veins. The threat, or promise, depending on your point of view I guess, of the storm clouds rolling in from the south, from time to time illuminated by flashing as the lightning begat the thunder, conjured up the possibility of images that might be on display atop the Brother. Five cars passed me on their way down; what some deem as possibilities, others view as danger.

When I arrived it was merely gloom, not much to see anywhere, so I traipsed off into the Dooragan forest on a trail I’d never walked before. The lovely even light offered opportunities not available in bright sunlight and the trail, though topped with litter that wanted to seemingly mate with my sandals, was easy to follow. However, in the end, it didn’t seem to go anywhere in particular and I figured my time was running out as were the lumens as the light grey trended to darkness. I was the only one on the mount.

Traipsing up the mountain. Source: Ian Smith

Strolling out onto the southern facing lookout I watched as flashes rent the grey blankets moving up the coast, rolling in over the distant Watson Taylors Lake. A few spots of rain urged me into the motorhome and I moved it to try and avoid falling branches, knowing when the storm hit, the accompanying winds would rip across the top. I settled down, made a cuppa and relaxed with the computer.

Time ticked away and it started to happen, leaves whistling past and the cacophony of sound accompanying the rain certainly kept you alert.

In time it died down and something, I have no idea what, made me pull the curtain back. One second later I had my phone camera in hand and was rising to exit. A rainbow had appeared over Laurieton though you couldn’t see all of it, just the left side that indicated gold might be found way out at sea. A few shots later and I was, I’d like to say running, but moving as fast as I could, to the southern lookout and, praise be, it was happening. Low level cloud hugged the hill behind Watson Taylors, above were layers of colour, slowly moving and shifting with the weather. The lightning had dissipated with the exit of the rain bearing monsters that had ushered it in. Now was the calm of the encroaching night. The still, post-storm fresh air wafted pleasantly through the nostrils. It was time for the night hunters to emerge and stealthily wait for prey.

The rainbow that appeared over Laurieton. Source: Ian Smith

I camped the night up there, hoping for a dramatic dawn, but there was no climax, not even an anti-climax, just a band of orange above the horizon. Then the first visitors arrived, soon followed by others, and I strolled onto the verge and watched the dragonflies assert their territory until I felt it was time to leave.

While crawling down the mount in a low gear, I couldn’t help but wonder who would ever share the type of night I had, but I gathered they’d be few in number.

Become a Starts at 60 Member now.

Starts at 60 Members get a whole lot more value here. It’s free to join and you’ll get:

  • Exclusive emailers with the latest news and leading insights from retirement experts
  • Free online Retirement Masterclasses and other events
  • Amazing deals on tours, cruises, and community holidays from Travel at 60
  • And *new* an ecommerce marketplace just for over 60s with exclusive member offers

What are you waiting for?

Join for freearrow_forward

Leave your comment

Please sign in to post a comment.
Retrieving conversation…
Stories that matter
Emails delivered daily
Sign up