Goldcoast

Early morning beach walk…

 On Saturday Fiji was hit by category 5 Tropical Cyclone Winston, the most devastating in the Islands history it destroyed hundreds of homes. Strong winds and flooding from Winston have caused severe damage across the island nation. 

I woke this morning at 4-30am and, even though I live one kilometre from the beach, I could hear the ocean roaring. Australia is just over 3000 kilometres away from Fiji but this cyclone will affect our tides.

 Sunrise was due at 5-30am. As day was just breaking, I jumped on my bike and rode down to the beach.

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The sky was still the soft grey and pink shades of dawn and at 5-15 the beach was almost deserted. I noticed this couple totally immersed in each other. They looked so in love and my guess was they are here on their honeymoon.

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Just a seagull and me sharing this moment with them.

Then the sun made a dramatic appearance.

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It was just past full tide and the waves surged and tumbled, foaming and frothing.

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More people were arriving, walking their dogs, jogging or sauntering. Some just sitting and absorbing the beauty of the morning.

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The sun highlights the hi-rise buildings of Surfers Paradise

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Burleigh Heads is famous for its surfing breaks and this morning the surf was pumping.

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This surfer is not a youngster he has grey hair and a middle-aged spread, but how exhilarated he must be to catch this barrel.

But, for some, all good things come to an end and work or school call. What a way to start the day though.

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I couldn’t resist showing you a couple more of this beautiful area I call home.

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If you want to stay a little longer there is a small  hole in the wall that serves coffee in that building in the background. If you look carefully you will see a group of people gathered around waiting to be served their shot of caffeine.

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Or if you want to stay for breakfast the Surf Club serves delicious meals and you can enjoy them sitting at a table overlooking this beautiful Burleigh beach.

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But for me it is time to head home for breakfast, 2 hours and 240 photos later.

Where ever you are and what ever you are doing today I hope your day goes well.

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I have not joined Jo’s Monday walking group for a while. They are a diverse group from all around the world pop over here to join them.

Categories: Australia, Burleigh Beach, Goldcoast, Jo's Monday walks, photos, travel | Tags: , , , , | 48 Comments

Weekly Photo Challenge : Seasons…

It is summer in the Land Down Under. The temperatures hover around 30c degrees and it is humid.

The place to be is the beach…

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Hundreds flock here. The ocean can be dangerous and people are urged to swim between the flags, under the watchful eye of the Lifeguards. You can just see the red and yellow flags in the top left hand side of the photo. So that is why so many people crowd into this small area when there is over 40 kilometers of beach to choose from.

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In the background, to the south, is Burleigh Heads National Park with the hi-rise apartments and exclusive restaurants nestled between the ocean and the bush.

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Further north along the beach it is not so crowded, no lifeguards to rescue you if you swim here. In the distance the jagged, hi-rise outline of Surfers Paradise rises through the heat haze.

Being born in the UK I go into a heat hibernation through January and February. Summer is the season of sweating, I search out places with air-conditioning, library, shopping centres, cinemas or even the cool shade beneath a tree with the sea breezes to cool me down, and dream of the cooler weather to come in March.

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This week Jen asks us to share the season in our part of the world.

Categories: Australia, Burleigh Beach, Goldcoast, season, Weekly photo challenge | Tags: , , , , , | 14 Comments

Thursday doors : Sand Safari…

What a surprise I got when I went to see how the sand sculptures were progressing along the beach front at Surfers Paradise. I was happily wandering along taking lots of photos (I will be putting them in another post soon) and this was one of my favourites.

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The irrepressible Donkey from “Shrek”, I loved his cheeky expression. Then I noticed the 3 mice peeping at me. So I moved round a bit to get a close up of them. Look what I found…

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A very realistic looking door. So I went round to the other side.

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Another door.

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Not a real door, but so life-like I thought I would show them in Norm’s door challenge this week.

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Thursday Doors is a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world. Feel free to join in on the fun by creating your own Thursday Doors post each week and then sharing it, between Thursday morning and Saturday noon (North American eastern time),

Categories: Australia, photos, Sand sculpture competition, Surfer's Paradise, Thursday Doors, travel | Tags: , , , , | 28 Comments

All a Flutter in Surfers Paradise…

A giant, green inflatable octopus has invaded the Islander Backpackers Hostel in Surfers Paradise. I couldn’t miss it as its tentacles fluttered and floated in the breeze.

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This is an “in air installation” created by artist Filthy Luker (yes that is his name, I checked!).

“He is a mixed media artist who transforms the urban environment with art that is playful and mischievous to artistically assault his audience.” (quote)

This is part of the sand safari that is running this month. I will show you more later this week. I can’t believe that it is a year since I took photos of the last event.

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Ailsa has chosen the theme “flutter” for this weeks challenge. I thought this was appropriate.

 

Categories: Australia, flutter, photos, Surfer's Paradise, travel, travel theme | Tags: , , , , | 23 Comments

Library loving…

I love the local library, in fact I am a library junky, I visit 2 to 3 times a week.

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It is only a 10 minute bike ride away

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 As well as books, it has computers, magazines, newspapers, music cd’s, movie video’s and most importantly it has air-conditioning. Apart from these it also organises a large number of workshops, information sessions and group activities from baby reading groups, computer training, book clubs, movie discussion groups, author encounters even knitting groups. The list each month is extensive and varied and this month I noticed a “snap happy” workshop presented by Jeff Licence the local area producer for ABC Open (the National radio and TV station) Now that sounds interesting. So I booked for a three-hour, free session.

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 Jeff is the ABC radio and TV coordinator for this area and for the first hour explains how we can share our photos on ABC’s “pic of the week” and also discussed aspects of photography composition skills.

We were a small group and shared our views about the sample photos Jeff put on the screen.

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Then it was time to take our cameras outside and put into practice what we had talked about.

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It was a drizzly sort of day, and the challenge was to find something to stir the imagination. So for the next hour we all prowled around taking photos of each other and anything else that caught our eye.

Taking from different angles.

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A council worker having his lunch break was fair game for some of us.

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I thought maybe I would show the damp day and use the rule of thirds in this shot.

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Jeff was available to help and give pointers.

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Then I concentrated for a while on angles and leading lines.

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And of course I had to take this photo of a bench (for you Jude)

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Then it was back into the library to show our photos and have the group offer feed-back.

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It was amazing how a dozen people wandering around the same, rather limited, area could produce such a wide variety of photos. Not one was the same. Sometimes the same subject but from different angles.

It was a very enjoyable 3 hours.

Categories: Australia, Books, Goldcoast, library, photos | Tags: , , , | 47 Comments

The Changing Seasons, Version 2 : January

During 2015 Cardinal Guzman hosted a monthly challenge. The challenge was to choose one place and visit it every month to record the changes. A fascinating project. But unfortunately, last year I could not visit the same place every month because of my Gypsy wanderings.

Fast forward to 2016…

I was delighted to discover that the dear Cardinal has decided to continue his challenge but to add a 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!

Now this year is also a year of change for me. I plan to stay, more or less, put. After 5 years of roaming far and wide around Australia, I’ll be exploring the Southeast corner of Queensland and Northern New South Wales, the place I call home. No distant travels (to a galaxy far, far away) to far-flung parts of Australia.

So yesterday I went out to search for an image that says “January on the Gold Coast”. The bigger challenge being to do it in ONE photo…

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This is Burleigh Beach, my local beach, and it is the last weekend of the school summer holidays. It is hot, it is humid and the surf is pumping. Just look at the crowds, but it is still possible to find an oasis of calm with a book, a coffee and your loved one under a tropical Pandanus palm. Room for a couple of young boys to play ball and a young woman heading for the ocean to catch a wave.

In the background, just visible through the fronds of the Pandanus, the Burleigh Heads National Park keeps a majestic watch over the scene.

Thousands of years ago this was known as a favourite meeting place for the Aboriginal tribes of the area. They would gather for ceremonies and share the bounty of the sea, leaving middens of shells to tell the tale of times long gone.

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Categories: #monthly photo challenge, #the changing seasons v2, Australia, Burleigh Beach, Goldcoast, January | Tags: , , , , , | 47 Comments

The Changing Times…

How times change an area.

Go back to 1998 when we moved to Burleigh Heads on the Gold Coast. It was a sleepy, almost unknown suburb and houses were affordable. James Street, the main shopping street, was suffering, many shops vacant because locals were going to the Stockland shopping centre to shop in air-conditioned comfort under one roof with plenty of parking.

Tourists, especially the young back packers, flocked to Surfers Paradise for sun and fun. Families preferred to go to the many theme parks and the rich and famous frequented Main Beach with its, back then, trendy café culture. So Burleigh, with its air of shabby, old-fashioned and slightly scruffy street scape belonged to the locals. Parking was easy and shop owners despaired at the lack of customers.

That is how we left it when we took off for a years exploration around Australia in 2010.

But gradually change has come to this sleepy little suburb. It has been discovered. Empty shops have been taken over by young (or maybe even not so young) entrepreneurs and converted into trendy cafes with butter boxes for seats and op shop  crockery, or boutiques with designer everything. 2 bars are open till late. As they say “if you build it they will come” and come they have in swarms. Parking is almost impossible to find and expensive. All the shops are busy and the multitude of cafes and restaurants are doing a roaring trade.

Today we went for Sunday lunch and walked from end to end of James Street. It was buzzing.

This was just an empty arcade a year ago.

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What a delightful space it is now, but no seats so we wandered on.

Finally deciding on Govindas our favourite Hare Krishna vegetarian restaurant.

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No coffee sold at Govindas, so on to The Coffee Club, the only franchised, multi-national, along James Street.

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But what a great view it has. Right on the corner of the street. The Poinciana trees are just coming into flower and if you look carefully there is a small view of the ocean through the far row of trees.

This is, in my opinion, the best area of the Gold Coast to live in and now so many people of all ages are discovering it.

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Footnote: Main Beach is now sliding into oblivion…

Categories: Australia, Burleigh, Goldcoast, photos, travel | Tags: , , , | 27 Comments

Storm warning…

Yesterday a violent thunderstorm ripped through Sydney killing a man, destroying many buildings and leaving tens of thousands of homes without power. (For more details and pictures click here) Followed by hail and gale force winds. The man died when a tree fell on his car The storm was centred in the Western Sydney area where the farm we recently cared for is situated.

I received this e-mail from Deidre (who with Kim are the farm owners))…

“I’m glad we were home when this storm hit – we took a direct hit, a bit of hail and wind like you can’t imagine. Power went off of course.  But we have been very fortunate.  A tree that could have hit the house has been stopped by the dead tree (to the south of the dog pen). That tree should have been taken out after a lightening strike last year, but the contractor never turned up to do it!  Branches fell off, one hit the very corner of our bedroom but only bent a gutter that needs replacing anyway.  There is a big part of tree near the dog pen, but it fell between the wheelie bin and the gate, so if we crawl under we can still lock them up.  Other small stuff down all over, but the driveway OK.  The rented house had a tree fall between the carport and a shed, it damaged an old trailer. Andy and Raylene had a tree fall between structures too.  And, miracle of miracles, the power, phone and internet all came back on very quickly. That is a first.  (Neighbours said trees pulled down power lines locally, so I guess it was a relatively easy fix).

 Thought you might hear stories of storms in Sydney, and wanted to let you know we are OK.”

I was so relieved to hear they were ok, and thankful we never had that terrifying experience when we were in charge.

Now the storm is heading our way, 70 km per hour winds are presently buffeting our area and rain is forecast for later tonight. Fortunately the intensity has decreased so hopefully we will get some rain but not as bad as Sydney.

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I biked down to the end of the street just before the rain started to capture these images of the storm clouds rolling in.

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This sensible duck had bunkered down off the water for the night.

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The garden is in need of a good soaking rain. I didn’t do any watering today…

Categories: Australia, ducks, Goldcoast, photos, storms, Sydney | Tags: , , , | 50 Comments

Bye, bye beach…

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Tomorrow morning I will be going to New Zealand and it will be quite a while before I see my beach again. So this morning I made a monumental effort and biked down to see the sun rise.

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The surfers also arrived to catch the early morning waves.

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The seagulls preened and watched the passing parade.

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Then I went up the steps, at a more sedate pace than this young woman. To walk through the bush.

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Then it was time to go home, have breakfast and start packing.

Bye bye to my blogging buddies I may not be around for a while. I’ll miss you all.

Categories: Australia, beach, Goldcoast, photos | Tags: , , , | 31 Comments

Early Morning Beach Activities…

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 Ok I did not get up at dawn to catch the sunrise, but at 6-30 it is still early and on a sunny, spring morning the beach is busy. Not much surf, but this keen surfer is still going to enjoy what swell there is. Families take their children down to play in the sand and the dog walking brigade is out in force.

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Maybe not much swell for surfers but it looks perfect for this canoeist.

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Looking north along the beach, Surfers Paradise, the hi-rise hubbub, looms on the horizon

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The surf life saving nippers go through their morning training drill, while a tourist catches the cancer rays. Hope she has splashed on the sunscreen…

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The life guards are a very necessary part of beach life as this ocean can be deadly with rips and tides changing unexpectantly. It is reassuring to see these yellow life guard huts dotted right along the beach at all the main tourist spots.

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At the southern end of the beach are the cafes and restaurants and the hi-rise holiday apartments. But I am going up to the walkway, through the park, beside the beach now. It is easier walking and there is lots of activity.

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It is good to see all ages taking some exercise.

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But these blokes have come down for a BBQ. What a lovely way to start the day.

But look behind them…

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This personal trainer has set up his boot camp. Look at all the torture treatment he is putting his troops through. While the BBQ blokes relax in the background…

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These lycra lads have stopped for a quick cuppa. Wonder how far they have biked this morning.

These pretty poodles are the same ones I saw earlier on the beach. They have just had the sand washed off their hairy heads.

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It’s good to see the dogs are catered for as it is hot work walking along the beach, and more so if you have to keep up with your master on his bike…

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Notice the fence on the left? Well I could hear a scratching and scuffling sound in the scrub behind it, so I peeped over. Look what I found…

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A Bush turkey busily scratching in the leaf litter for his breakfast. He was quite oblivious to all the passing crowds, and most of them did not even notice or hear him. I couldn’t resist taking a video of him…

At the end of the video you will see a pile of leaves he is building up. I think that may be a nest he is creating. The male bush turkey does all the house work duties and also rears the chicks on his own.

Here’s some interesting information about these birds, to read more click here.

All Megapodes, (mound builders)including the brush turkey, incubate their eggs in a large mound built and maintained by the male.

  • Mound generally 4m diameter and 1–1.5m high
  • Females dig a hole in the mound to deposit eggs that the male then covers over.
  • About 18–24 eggs are laid in a single mound by a variety of females.
  • Mound temperature affects the sex of the unhatched chicks. A normal temperature of 34 degrees produces equal ratio of sexes: lower temperatures produce more male chicks; higher temperatures more females.
  • The male uses heat sensors in his beak and test digs to check the temperature of the mound and maintain the temperature at 34 degrees.
  • The chicks hatch deep in the mound and take 40 hours to dig themselves out before they quickly find cover in the undergrowth.
  • Chicks fend for themselves and many are eaten by predators including raptors, kookaburras, goannas and cats.
  • Chicks hatch with well-developed flight feathers and roost at night high in trees for safety.

Normally they build their nests in the Burleigh Heads National Park. I have never seen one nesting in this area before. I will come back when I come back home from New Zealand to check him out.

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You may like to stop for a coffee or even breakfast at this coffee shop right on the beach. It is always popular. There are plenty more places to choose from across the road in James Street, the main shopping, café culture place in Burleigh.

I have come on my bike so I am going home for breakfast now, it is only a 10 minute bike ride.

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Restless Jo has a dedicated band of keen walkers from all around the world. To join them is a lovely relaxing, cyber way of seeing local places. Pop over to join them

Categories: Australia, beach, Burleigh, Goldcoast, Jo's Monday walks, photos | Tags: , , , , | 33 Comments

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