Goldcoast

Immersed in the Blues

The Blues came to Broadbeach this weekend with 62 musicians, both local and international playing their hearts out. For 4 days the sound of blues, soul and rock n roll wowed the crowds as thousands flocked into the Gold Coast for this iconic FREE event now into its fifteenth year. The atmosphere was electric. Stages set up in the streets that were closed to traffic. Bands playing in venues from the hotels to the shopping centres. Every where the music followed you, heavy rock, morphing into soulful jazz then beating into rock n roll as you move from venue to venue. And the sun beamed down in typical Gold Coast style.

We chose to go to the Pacific Fair shopping centre at lunch time to watch a 2 hour concert by Juzzie Smith, a favourite of ours, an immensely talented entertainer, a one man band who composes all his own music.

“Juzzie is a walking, talking, singing example of how it pays to follow your heart. Not that money is the point here – far from it. The real point is that Juzzie is one of those truly creative souls who makes a living out of doing something he absolutely loves.” (from Juzzie’s web page, see more here)

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We are huge fans. Look at this unusual guitar made from a cigar box. It makes a terrific blues sound. He also has 2 other guitars, his feet are his percussion, he has a belt full of harmonicas and then he has “chukka chuks”. “What ever are they?” I hear you ask. Well be amazed, I took a short video…

The kids found him irresistible and I had to get another video of these 2 young boys. With the spontaneous abandon of youth they grooved to the rhythm.

Then on to music central in the heart of Broadbeach. We mingled with the happy crowd and stopped for a while to watch another one man band.

Taking photos of the artists was very difficult as the crowds gathered around intent on hearing the music. So we just wandered around, stopping for a coffee and listening to acoustic, lyrical guitar for a while, then joining the crowds at the main stage in the mall. The big attraction was “Big Daddy Wilson”

“As soon as you hear Big Daddy Wilson’s voice, whether speaking or singing, you hear his southern country roots. The sound of the original blues people comes through loud and clear, reminding you of a bygone era when music came from people’s front porches instead of iPhones. Wilson has a voice baptized in the river of African-American song – a voice with the power to heal. His repertoire encompasses spirituals, blues, country & soul, delivered in his unique, heartfelt way.” (from his web page)

The crowd was packed tight around the stage so we just found a bench near the water feature and listened to the rich sound of a mellow blues man and soaked in the reverent atmosphere of the crowd.

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I love people watching and there are plenty to see here. I think this bloke is on to me!!!

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But time to head home. We came on the bus, to find a car-park would be impossible. As we sauntered back in the late afternoon sun I couldn’t resist getting a photo of these 2 lovely ladies in front of us.

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As we stopped at the pedestrian crossing Jack told them how we admired their dresses. Debbie and Cherry were pleased to let me take a photo. These are more than dresses they are works of art. Just look at all the detail and they are designed and created here on the Gold Coast, not one stitch was produced in China.

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They then put on these funky jackets from the same designer.

 

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Jack loved chatting to them as I took the photos and then gave them a big hug as they went on their way and we crossed the road to catch the bus home after a day immersed in the Blues…

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Categories: Australia, Broadbeach Blues Festival, Goldcoast, photos, travel | Tags: , , , | 35 Comments

Chinese New Year Dinnertime : Weekly Photo Challenge…

The Gold Coast China Town precinct has only been established for a short while, but it is expanding and now extends through 2 streets. Just in time for the celebration of the Chinese New Year the first set of traditional Han gates arrived.

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“And, as befits an auspicious addition to the precinct, a consultant ensured the gate’s feng shui was appropriately adjusted. We had a feng shui master examine the gates and his analysis showed we needed to put a lucky charm in each of the gate’s towers,” Cr Crichlow said.

“So we buried a set of eight Chinese coins connected with red Chinese knots in each tower.

“Eight is the luckiest number in China and because the towers are twins we had to get two sets of eight.

“We also had to bury them at a particular lucky time and date to maximise the feng shui.” (Gold Coast Bulletin)

It was February 20th 2016, Chinese New Year, the year of the monkey. China Town was crowded, parking was at a premium, so we went there on the G:Link, the new light rail system.

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The stall holders were busy preparing the food.

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And the hordes of people, locals and tourists, tucked in…

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On a stage traditional Chinese dancers entertained the crowd.

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I even managed to get a photo of a very rare 2 headed Chinese lady…

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Meanwhile round the corner a magician was enthralling both children and adults with his sleight of hand.

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It is getting darker but still the food stalls are supplying dinner for the crowds.

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The fairy lights are twinkling and some people find a seat.

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Others squeeze on to whatever they can find to sit on…

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While others have to be content with sitting in the gutter.

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But everyone seems happy.

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This week, Michelle asks us to focus on dinnertime: share a meal with us, or shoot during your dinner hour. Blogger’s choice!

I hope you enjoyed sharing dinner in China Town and celebrating the start of the year of the monkey.

Categories: Australia, Chinatown, dinnertime, Goldcoast, photos, Weekly photo challenge | Tags: , , , , , | 49 Comments

7 Day Nature Photo : Day 1 a walk in the National Park

I have been nominated by Gilly (Lucid Gypsy) to join this latest challenge that is doing the rounds. 7 consecutive days posting a nature photo, could I manage that? Then Sue (Wordsvisual) showed me the way by combining it with other challenges I enjoy doing. So for day 1 I am combining it with “Jo’s Monday walk”.

The second part of the challenge is to nominate another blogging buddy to join in. So today I would like to invite Ruth (Ruth’s arc) to join in.

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It is 5-30 and I have biked down to Burleigh Heads in the pre-dawn to watch the sunrise over the ocean from the Burleigh Heads National Park. The track winds along beside the ocean and I find a good position to wait for the moment the sun makes its appearance.

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Here it is in all its glory bathing the ocean in a blood-red glow

This is a popular jogging track as it is one of the few hills around this area for runners to test themselves on.

Going up

Going up

But I prefer to saunter along, taking my camera for a walk with me gives me an excuse to go slow and absorb the sights and sounds around me. (actually I am well past the jogging stage of life!)

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It is a narrow track and at this time of the morning the rays of the sun angle through the trees lighting up the volcanic rocks.

Before leaving the ocean track I take a side track down to see what is happening along the banks of the Tallebudgera River.

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It is so peaceful and this young woman sits and meditates.

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While another group move in a graceful swaying motion, almost hypnotic to watch them.

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The river along this part of the beach is also busy. Stand up paddle boarding is the current craze. Small tinnies zip by taking the fishermen out to try their luck in the ocean.

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The weather is perfect for swimming watched over by the lifeguards.

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I now branch away from the ocean track and head up the hill along the rainforest track. The vegetation changes, this park features rainforest, eucalypt forest, Pandanus groves, tussock grassland, coastal heath and mangroves.

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This bush turkey is quite unconcerned by the runners and walkers and just saunters along at his own speed. It seems to be a good year for these birds as there are far more than I have seen before.

 Six-sided basalt columns line the track were they have come to rest millions of years ago.

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 I explore the Rainforest circuit, wandering through a living museum of plants.

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It is  steep on this part of the track but I take it gently. There are benches at regular intervals and this one is right at the top.

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Look at the view all the way south to Coolangatta. Not so many hi-rise buildings on this part of the coast…

View from the top of the track

View from the top of the track

But the serious runners are not looking at the view, this is a good place to stretch the legs before the run down the other side.

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Some of the rocks are quite unstable and when there is heavy rain part of the track is closed for safety reasons,

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No danger today and now I am getting close to the bottom of the track. The road is in sight but lots of steps to negotiate. The serious runners make good use of these pounding up and down them and I have to keep standing to one side to let them past.

Going down

Now I can see the ocean again.

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I’ve been almost an hour going round the circuit. The light has changed, not so good for photography now.

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Hardly any surf, but still some surfers wait hopefully for some action and this photographer is waiting for action too…

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While others sit and watch the ocean, drink a cup of coffee, take the dog for a walk, bike and play with the children. Some people have to work and it is good to see the council workers keeping the place clean.

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I wonder if this surfer caught any waves…

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Well it is now time to head back home for breakfast.

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Ever Restless Jo encourages us with her energetic walks each week and a great band of world-wide walkers join her. Pop over to see where they are all taking us this week.

Categories: Australia, Burleigh Heads National Park, Jo's Monday walks, photos | Tags: , , , | 23 Comments

The changing seasons : March…

 In January I joined Cardinal Guzman’s “changing season” challenge. and introduced you to Burleigh Beach.

In February I took you to the monthly art and craft market on the beach front

These are the rules for Version 1 (The Changing Seasons V1):

  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons
  • Each month, post 5-20 photos in a gallery.
  • Don’t use photos from your archive. Only new shots.

My challenge each month is to showcase some part of Burleigh, this place I call home.

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March is my favourite month, the weather has cooled to a very pleasant mid 20’s, a very slight breeze keeping the humidity away, it is perfect weather for walking. So come with me to the Burleigh Heads National Park. That prominent headland that juts out into the ocean at the southern end of Burleigh Beach.

For this challenge I will just pick the highlights of the walk as the challenge calls for 5-20 photos. On Sunday I will overwhelm you with more photos when I walk with Jo and her troop of world-wide walkers.

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Version 2…

These are the rules for Version 2 (The Changing Seasons V2):

  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons
  • Each month, post one photo (recipe, painting, drawing, whatever) that represents your interpretation of the month.
  • Don’t use archive stuff. Only new material!

March has been a pivotal month for me. It is my birthday month and also Jack has his birthday on the same day, so double reason to celebrate. But it is the month we decided to settle down after 6 years of travel. We have moved back into our house (see the details of that move here.)

For the first time in over 10 years we had all Jack’s clan arrive and spend a joyous Easter with us. 3 sons, 2 daughters-in-law and 5 gorgeous grand children. This is what we missed while travelling. In the short periods at home, during travelling, we would make hurried visits to catch up with family and friends, but now we will be able to cherish having them visit us.

So, for me, this photo (taken by Jack), captures the feeling of togetherness.

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Would you like to see more of our Easter get-together? Go over to Jack’s blog he has done a nice post about the day.

Categories: #monthly photo challenge, #the changing seasons v2, Australia, Burleigh, March, photos | Tags: , , , , | 32 Comments

Going up in the world…

For 6 years a very small, one room Granny flat has been our home base. For 4 years we meandered around Australia in Matilda our small, very small Toyota Hiace camper van. (Jack called it our sardine can!!!) Usually coming home for a few weeks over Christmas before setting off again on another adventure.

Then we began doing more house sitting. So for the next 2 years we flew around Australia to various locations, enjoying the opportunity to become part of a community for the duration of our house sit. And we sold Matilda.

After 6 years of almost constant travel we could feel another change of life style creeping up on us. It was time to settle down again. The catalyst came 2 weeks ago, when our dear friends, who had cared for our house and garden for those 6 years, decided it was time for them to move on too.

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The Granny flat is behind the bottom right hand window and over the past 2 weeks we have slowly, very slowly, transported all our worldly goods, piece by piece, up those 15 steps and arranged them in a minimalist style in our new habitat. (not much furniture was needed in the Granny flat and we had down-sized in a big way 6 years ago). We now have the luxury of 3 bedrooms. One to sleep in and one each as our play room…

So life has changed. Time to settle down. Spend more time in the garden and getting back into our various hobbies, or just sit on the sunny decks and reflect on life.

From the back deck I can now see over the top of the trees and shrubs into the neighbour’s garden and just look at what is in flower…

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This Tibouchinas is in full flower. I have planted one in the front garden but it will be a few years before it is flowering like this. I have put this in for my blogging buddy Meg who has just gone to Warsaw for a year to stay near family and share in the life of her 2 mischievous twin grandchildren. Her descriptions of life in her adopted country will take you on cyber wings to experience life in Warsaw. (follow along here)

Being up 2 stories I am now on a level with the top of the Grevillia tree and I spotted this blue-eyed honeyeater and he defiantly eye-balled me right back.

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Jude is looking for wild life in the garden in her “garden photography” challenge. Take a look here.

Being home for Easter is a novelty, so tomorrow we will be inundated with the family, 3 sons, 2 daughters-in-law and 5 Grandchildren. What a lovely way to start this new stay at home year.

I wish you all a very happy Easter however you may celebrate it. And if you are travelling please take care.

Categories: Australia, Goldcoast | Tags: , , | 55 Comments

Thursday Special : Tall…

In 1977 Pacific Fair opened it’s doors and became the iconic shopping centre on the Gold Coast.

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Tourists travelled from around the world to experience this new style of shopping.

But in the last decade new shopping centres have opened, modern and up to date, they eclipsed Pacific Fair. In contrast it looked drab and dated. So in 2014 a multi million dollar redevelopment started. The first stage opened late in 2015.

This is the new look…

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So what has this got to do with “tall” the theme for this weeks challenge from Paula at “Lost in translation”?

Well I went for wander round the new and improved “Pac Fair” and I found these very tall, rather old-fashioned looking, ladies strangely promoting the new look stores.

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The final stage of the redevelopment is due to open later this year. I imagine it will be with lots of fan-fare and I will be there, camera in hand, to see what they have spent all the money on…

Categories: Goldcoast, Pacific Fair, photos, tall, Thursday Special, travel | Tags: , , , , , | 21 Comments

Wordless Wednesday : Golden Hour…

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Categories: Goldcoast, travel, Wordless Wednesday | Tags: , , | 24 Comments

Changing Seasons…

It is the last day of February. In fact it is the extra day for February as it is Leap Year. (now who shall I propose to???)

This year I am joining Cardinal Guzman’s “changing seasons” challenge. He has 2 versions to choose from.

These are the rules for Version 1 (The Changing Seasons V1):

  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons
  • Each month, post 5-20 photos in a gallery.
  • Don’t use photos from your archive. Only new shots.

These are the rules for Version 2 (The Changing Seasons V2):

  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons
  • Each month, post one photo (recipe, painting, drawing, whatever) that represents your interpretation of the month.
  • Don’t use archive stuff. Only new material!

So I’ll start with version 2….

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February is the hottest month. It is humid with temperatures going into the high 30’s, sometimes reaching 40+. It is the month for sun, sea, surf and going to the beach. Cyclone Winston has created wild seas, perfect for surfers. Look carefully and you can see these beach walkers are looking at that tiny dot riding the waves.

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Version 1

Each month I’ll visit the beach and park around Burleigh Heads to show you some of the things you can see around here. It is the last Sunday of the month and the Art and Craft markets set up along the beach front park.

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Music adds to the ambience and happy atmosphere.

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A variety of food stalls will keep your energy levels up.

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I hope you enjoyed this wander around the markets, these are only a few of the stalls that set up here every month. Did you see anything you would like to buy?

Meanwhile the beaches have been opened again to swimmers, but the life guards are keeping a sharp eye on the few that venture in.

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Check here to see what the conditions were like a few days ago.

Categories: #monthly photo challenge, #the changing seasons v2, Australia, Burleigh Beach, February, markets, photos | Tags: , , , , | 32 Comments

Amazing sights at the beach…

 Cyclone Winston powers its way toward the East coast of Australia after devastating Fiji and causing villages to be obliterated and lives lost. Storm warnings are in place and our beaches are closed to swimmers.

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Already the swell is over 3 metres, one set was reported to be almost 7 metres, and only the experienced and fittest surfers are advised to go out in these conditions. Surfers are coming from all over Australia. The world champion Taj Burroughs was on TV last night saying he just jumped on the first flight from Western Australia to ride these awesome waves and they will get bigger as Winston gets closer…

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Its 4pm as I walk along watching the waves roaring in. But other things are happening all around. I notice a young woman holding blue diaphanous material as it catches the wind and floats and ripples around her. Then I see it is a photo shoot. I zoom in to catch the action.

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The other couple with the 2 dogs get up to toss a ball around.

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The bulldog joins in with the fun. I wonder where the other dog has gone…

Here he comes to join in…

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But wait a minute just look what it is, I couldn’t believe my eyes…

 I was taking these photos on a long zoom lens and it wasn’t till I downloaded the photos back home and I looked closer at the other “dog”.

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Yes it is a little pig. It is the first time I have ever seen a pig on the beach. I know they can make good pets and are quite intelligent as I used to work on a pig farm.

Walking on I go up the hill to the Miami headland to take photos of the Miami beach north to Surfers.

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I’m not the only person up here taking in the magnificent sweep of beach and the waves rolling in.

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Notice the few locks on the wires? It seems to be a growing trend to lock your love and remembrance thoughts in scenic places. Further along there are more.

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Some have inscriptions scratched on them, some have professional engravings.

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As I turned to go back down I noticed 2 blokes clambering up the hard way over the rocks.

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Wow, they were so fit I couldn’t resist asking them to be foreground subjects for me. (I did a minor photo shoot!!!) Just look at those abs….

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Jack took a sneaky photo of us as I showed them their photos.

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As they turned to go they were stopped by another group of French tourists, giggling, they asked if they could pose with them.

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After all this excitement it was time to head back to the car, but I can’t stop taking more photos.

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The sun is going down behind the hi-rises casting long shadows along the beach. But people still stand around watching the ocean as it crashes along the beach break that is Burleigh Heads.

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I could not see any surfers out there, it is low tide and those rocks would be deadly. I will have to come back tomorrow morning on the high tide to catch the action.

Time for one last selfie. Now to go over and get some fish and chips for dinner.

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I’m walking in the late afternoon in the other direction along the beach today and I will join Jo’s enthusiastic bunch of world wide walkers. Go join them at “Restless Jo’s place”

Categories: Australia, Burleigh Beach, Jo's Monday walks, photos, travel | Tags: , , , | 47 Comments

Sand Safari at Surfers Paradise…

Earlier in the week I went again to Surfers Paradise to see how the sand sculptures were progressing.

Some were still a work in progress.

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Three sculptors were busily scratching away at the large piles of sand. A total of 50 tonnes in 3 piles.

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The theme this year is the DreamWorks Heroes. Characters from Kung Fu Panda, Madagascar, Shrek and more.

But some were already for viewing and photographing.

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Others were waiting for finishing details.

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Not many people around midweek, a good time to look around.

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 The expressions and detail fascinated me.

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This sculpture of a dragon with Donkey received the people’s choice award for the favourite sculpture.

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How cute is that. Look at the peaceful expression.

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They also had a pavilion set up with piles of sand for you to create a masterpiece.

Along the back wall were instruction sheets. I was amused to see this mother having ago, but it was just watching for her son. The ice-cream obviously more important.

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Streets ice-cream company are the sponsors and an ice-cream was very welcome on this very hot day.

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The sculptures were situated along the beach front. Where the life guards were keeping watch over a small group of beach goers.

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Of course, like every where in the world today, the cell phone is never far away.

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The judges will be announcing the overall winner this coming weekend.

So I’ll leave Shrek to say “Good bye”.

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Categories: Australia, Goldcoast, photos, Sand sculpture competition, Surfer's Paradise | Tags: , , , , | 20 Comments

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