This week [5th March], we decided to explore Coochiemudlo Island in Moreton Bay, just a 10 minute ferry ride from Victoria Point.
It was a 30 minute, mostly rural journey from where I live to Victoria Point. We were a tad concerned that the reluctant rain of the past week, appeared to be setting in for the day, but our luck held. Our timing for the half hourly ferry was perfect, arriving a few mins before its arrival. We were stunned by the number of commuters that were disgorged from its length.
After meeting up with Laurel's friend, Janine, we took to the sandy beach. The sun was trying to penetrate the clouds, as Janine guided us through the 1st phase of the hike and back to her home for a relaxing coffee, stimulating conversation and viewing of her amazing travel photo books.
At times we had to leave the beach because of on going repairs and regeneration, necessary because of the cyclone of January 2013. So sad to see so many trees up rooted from wind and wave action.
The tide was on the make, and when we returned later in the afternoon the views were quite changed.
Janine shared her favourite point where she enjoys tranquility and glorious sunsets.
Having another avid photographer along, I felt I was able to cadge a little more time to experiment with my camera.
On resuming our hike after coffee, we quickly discovered that the tide was going to limit our time on the sand. We discovered though, that a pathway and quiet roads would allow us our circumnavigation. It was quite interesting to observe the variety of beach homes, from shacks to ultra modern and all with leafy cool surrounds.
The eastern side of the island sported stands of melaleuca, while the west was mangrove with trails through it, but our use of these was limited by the tide.
Not only was the tide blocking our way, but at this point it also appeared that the mangroves were on the war path!
We discovered curlews, where Matthew Flinder's had landed [with views back to the mainland] and information on the 'scarred trees'. One can learn something new every day.
Our lunch view was perfect and the day wouldn't be complete without a little bit of umbrella nonsense.
As we returned to the mainland, our views were of sunny skies and blue sea in complete contrast to our morning crossing.
GOLD COAST SPIT TO SURFER'S PARADISE - 12th March
Today our numbers were halved due to illness and injury.
Laurel and I decided to walk from the Spit to Cavil Mall in Surfer's Paradise, where we joined her family for coffee.
Just as we were leaving the Seaway entrance, we spotted a helicopter chasing a speedboat. Quite a drama to observe, but Michael assured us it was just a movie being filmed.
The skies out to sea and over Surfer's were quite ominous.
We were surprised at how empty the beach was for its 8 km length and were delighted that we had it all to ourselves.
On reaching Cavil Mall we spotted 2 'meter ladies'.
The Surfers Paradise Meter Maids were introduced to the Surfers Paradise landscape on the 13th April 1965 to address the bad image created by the installation of parking meters on the tourist strip in December 1964 by the then City Council. This was a controversial promotion, using young women dressed in gold lame bikinis and tiaras, who strolled the streets of Surfers Paradise feeding coins into expired parking meters, but quickly became an international celebration of Surfers Paradise. Now in our 49th year we remain 'the face of Surfers Paradise' after 6 decades. In 2014 we celebrate our 50th year culminating in a golden anniversary party in April 2015.
Today the girls are no longer funded by the council, so whilst they still feed meters and chat to visitors, they also have the onerous task of trying to sell calendars, key rings, stubby holders etc to raise money to keep the tradition going.
Yet again 'walking down under' has been invigorating and rewarding.
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