If you are looking for a vibrant, undulating, natural white noise to allow you to focus on your meditation or studying or melt into sleep, this windy winter day’s recording near Australia’s Eastern shores makes an excellent choice. Just an hour or so to the south of Sydney lies a sprawling park that has over a hundred kilometers of walking tracks and some of the finest coastal vistas you will find anywhere on earth, which is probably why it was one of the first areas in the country to be set aside for conservation. The recording was made near a place called Wattamolla Beach (not far from the famous Wedding Cake Rock and Figure Eight Pools). The coastal track that snakes along the coastline of the park is a place of exceptional beauty, even on a blustery, rainy winter’s day. Perhaps especially on such a day. The vast grey expanse of the open ocean comes to a sudden end at the jagged line of warm yellow and copper colored sandstone coastal bluffs. The broken boulders and verticality of the cliffs tower above the crashing surf then arch back as they blend seamlessly into the coastal heath of low shrubs. The undulating scrub of the heath has been shaped by the relentless wind into curves and folds as though the wind itself were frozen in time the patterns of branch and leaf that these fierce survivors of the heath make in their slow, low-slung growth. The creeks that trickle out of the denser, wetter Eucalyptus forests further inland reach their terminus in this part of the park hundreds of feet above the sea in a perfectly perpendicular cliff edge that drops almost at a straight right angle down to the crashing waves below. On windy days like the one in this recording some of the smaller creeks invert at the cliff face. The roaring wind literally reverses the waterfall from the lip of the cliff down to the sea to instead rising, improbably, directly up into the air and blending with the sputtering wind and moisture whipped along from the precipitating clouds or the foaming white caps in the sea far below. The wind was gusting strongly enough to blow a grown man over, so it was too windy to record near the cliffs and upside-down waterfalls. Instead, I bushwhacked into the brush, following a dry creek bed a few hundred meters into the thick heath. What you will hear in this recording is mostly wind and more wind. Most of the birds are sticking close to the ground and the thicker parts of the heath but from time to time you can hear them above the wind’s roar. They do fly very close a few times so don’t be too surprised. And if you listen closely enough you can just make out the occasional sputter of rain tickling the thick, fire blackened bark and long, grassy leaves of the New South Wales Grass Tree.
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