About seven or eight kilometres from Lismore (on the road from Bangalow) there is an area called Boatharbour. As the name implies, it was an important location during the early days of the European river settlement.
As a child, I remember it as the location of a wonderful recreation area. With permanent wooden furniture and shelter, and roads where you could drive easily drive in and out, I remember it fondly as a place for summer picnics and river swimming.
The gates to enter the park are still there, and you can see where the road once was, though it now seems almost completely grown over.
There were a couple of other cars stopped at the nearby informal carpark. I can only assume they had also gone for a walk down by the river/creek as the reserve itself is closed off to the public. I did mention that, right?
As I read a little more about the recent history of the park, I read there was a death involving a schoolgirl, and it was the sight of “anti-social behaviour”.
There are a few online references to the park being “haunted” by the “ghost of the young girl”, who was killed by an accident involving a swing.
The references to “anti-social behaviour” are “code” meaning that it was, for a few years, a gay beat.
A search around the Trove newspaper archive, also reveals concerns about the preservation of the area go back to at least the 1920s/1930s, so the recent moves to close the area to public access probably go back quite some way.
It was a lovely way to spend part of Sunday, and if you’re ever driving between Bangalow and Lismore, it’s definitely worth pulling over to take a look at Boatharbour.