Public holidays are an Australian institution. We don’t even care what we’re celebrating, just give us a day off, and we’d probably throw an engagement party for a cockroach. I mean, the Queen was born in April, but every second Monday in June we eat heartily, drink merrily and in our own way, wish the Queen a very load, happy ‘fricken’ birthday!
Last week, Aussies all over the word celebrated Australia day. How did you celebrate?
I foolishy ventured into one of our beautiful national parks. Growing up around the southern suburbs of Sydney I have a definite soft spot for the Royal National Park, located 32km south of the Sydney CBD. My favourite beach rests here, so on Australia Day that’s exactly where I headed, only to discover, so had the rest of Sydney. By 9.30am there were sighs around the Sutherland Shire claiming the National Park was full! We took our chances and headed in anyway. What a mistake. Turns out my ‘secret spot’ isn’t so secret and there were cars parked up to 4 km (a rugged, steep 4km!) away from the beach. We left.
Instead, we waited until the next day, when the place was unrecognizable. Big black garbage bags lined the outskirts of the beach, and stray rubbish was scattered everywhere. It definitely didn’t look like a pristine, protected national park, and got me to thinking that maybe this shouldn’t be allowed to happen, especially when there were no clean-up services the next day. In any case it’s a shame that people can’t simply pick up after themselves- considering all we know about how fragile our environment is.
What do you think? Should there be a limit to the amount of people allowed entry into national parks during public holidays or should they be closed altogether?