Sadly our time is up at Wonga. We head back down to Sydney in the morning – as the border slams behind us…. but we’ll be back to this magical tropical heaven for sure.
Wonga is one of those rare super laid-back places, seemingly untouched, and unknown of – unchanged even for decades. After two weeks of living here you definitely feel you’ve slowed down, or as we like to call it, wonga’d. Days are long and lazy in the tropical heat with plenty of reading and snoozing under the fans with the sea breezes cooling us down.
There’s essentially one main road, Wonga Beach Road that turns into ‘The Esplanade’ in front of the beach – with towering coconut palms, blooming orange flame trees and vast vine-entwined Calophyllum trees all set in dense lush green jungle.
The ubiquitous cicadas are truly deafening in the rising heat and humidity, so loud at times that it drowns out all other sounds other than the squadrons of Double-eyed Fig Parrots that screech across the skies and the iconic Kookaburras that cackle away in the morning and evening. At night there are some truly strange and disconcerting sounds, like loud erratic wailing, moaning or screaming even. Turns out that this is the Bush Stone-Curlew and not the neighbours trying to kill each other.
With the torrential night rain thundering on the tin roof and the fan whirring overhead I don’t think I’ve slept better, despite the murderous Curlews lurking outside.
The houses are almost all 50’s shacks that have been tinkered with over the years. Some are little more than fibro boxes, whilst others have more of a nod towards the Spanish villa such as the delightful home of our neighbours, with its walled in front garden and gorgeous kidney-shaped pool.
Our home-away-from-home has a deliberate shabby-chic curated look, with the décor inspired by the ’Handmade Home’ style – a uniquely quirky home full of hand-made paintings, decoupage table tops, sculptural pieces, found objects, tribal masks and shells, unusual ceramics and a wonderful clash of colourful fabrics and tropical inspired wall papers. You can tell it’s been a labour of love for the owners (who actually live here when not travelling), and it shows.
Ceiling fans whirr away in every room including the front deck, with billowing floor to ceiling net curtains allowing sea breezes to cross flow through the house and, despite the intense and constant heat and humidity, we haven’t felt the need for the AC, not once.
The pool at the back of the house comes into its own in the early morning, late afternoon and even better late at night, for the stars here are something else. There’s no light pollution in Wonga, so the night skies are inky black and clear, allowing the Milky Way to swirl overhead. The stars are so dense and bright that it’s like being in a planetarium, only you’re in your swimming togs and floating in a warm pool.
I’ll never forget the night skies at Wonga and the infinite heavens above.