Scott Bevan is no stranger to the water, having written about his travels down the Hunter River and kayaking around Sydney Harbor. In his latest book he has turned his attention to the lake that captures the attention of thousands of people every day and attracts thousands more to visit every year. It is of course Lake Macquarie.
In The Lake: Exploring A Splendid Sheet of Water, Scott shares with the reader of this wonderful book, numerous stories of his paddling travels into the bays and around the headlands,
Scott gets out of his kayak to take a walk up Munibung Hill – “a symbol of the ancient past” – with Munibung Hill Conservation Society members Stuart Carter and Fergus Hancock.
“Actually, the word ‘hill’ doesn’t do it justice,” Scott writes of the landmark.
In Scott’s book we learn much about the lake’s history, diving into events that have shaped not just this place, but also the region; and looking at the challenges the lake faces as it flows into the future.
Scott is a master wordsmith, painting a picture of Munibung Hill from her origins 250 million years ago, indigenous significance as a place where ochre is found, as a place for oversighting Awabakal country, the relative youth of the lake – 6,000 years – and the impact of European settlement since the 1820s.
From the vantage point of Munibung Hill, Fergus explained to Scott how generations of Indigenous people would have watched the lake take its place in the landscape over thousands of years. We, also, can explore the lake from the heights of Munibung Hill.