Our maps and information brochures indicated the remnants of a long gone mining town, Luina, were located not far from the foot of the hill on which the Whyte Lookout stands. Westwards from the Lookout, Waratah Road descends steeply to the site. The whole town has been removed and is quickly being reclaimed by the bush, although the streets can still be identified and explored.
I wandered around the site looking for the flotsam and jetsam that marked human residence. I found little. Some pipes and rusty pieces of loose metal and equipment were occasionally to be seen. Otherwise highland grasses and forest bushes were healthily pushing their way to the sky.
In particular, I expected to find the occasional wayward rose bush. There were none but I did see a gorgeous hydrangea bush with a mix of huge blue and pink flowers indicating the soil beneath had a mix of minerals which suited this plant. I felt the hydrangea indicated a woman had tried to bring something of her past as she lived here in this, what would have been an, inhospitable terrain for most the year and one which was perfectly isolated from other outposts of civilisation.
Our sunny and fine day meant meandering along the streets and across the land where houses once stood was a pleasurable experience. I loved the freshness and cleanness of the environment. And even when I heard a motorbike revving out of sight before he came into view and chatted to my travel friend, being in Luina provoked no ghosts from the soil. No unpleasantness. Just a strange beauty different from that in the untouched forests.
A few days later I met a couple who planned to spend some time in Luina with their metal detectors. Hidden treasure? I doubt it.