The Gold Coast coastal strip is a 'jungle' of towering buildings, entertainment signs, noisy traffic and hordes of tourists out to make the most of it.
Over recent years the council has spent time managing the foreshore to provide usable green space, between the road and beach, whilst consolidating the sandunes. With the Commonwealth games set to take place here in 2018, an even greater effort is being made. The best way to enjoy the coastal strip is to head south and keep looking left, or head north and keep looking right. Then a very relaxed walk can be enjoyed.
Wednesday 25th February saw me without my hiking buddies. They all had better things to do than hang out with me. [tongue in cheek] One was cruising to PNG, another was doing brunch and 'Wicked'
and the others were being spoilt at resorts on the Sunshine Coast.
I made the decision to walk from Seaworld on the Gold Coast to Burleigh Heads or further if necessary to notch up 20 - 25 kms. I had new hiking boots, orthotics and backpack to trial with the C2C only 5 months away, I also wanted to get a feeling of these distances, albeit on flat terrain and in sunshine and heat. Don't panic. I only intended to wear the boots for an hour or so, but they were to be added weight in the pack to test my back.
Hitting the trail opposite Seaworld.
Just over an hour saw me in the heart of Surfer's Paradise.
I was impressed by the random poster displays of Surfer's in the 60's.
A sand sculpturing competition is held along the broad walk every year.
The sculptures had been completed and judging had taken place prior to last weekend. Then the 'low' arrived with it's torrential rains.
2nd prize and being repaired
For the next several kilometres heading south, I had to leave the views of the ocean and walk a quiet, leafy street, with a mixture of tall, high rise and units of 2 or 3 levels. There were regular glimpses of the sea.
Finally the street curved back to the foreshore and I was greeted by a long expanse of tumbling surf and white sand.
At the end of this beach, was one of only two elevation rises, giving the heart a sharp work out.
Well worth it for the distant views.
North - beyond the distant high rise is my starting point.
South - Burleigh Heads Beach and Mountain.
West - Lamington Plateau, where we hiked last week.
A view waiting to be enjoyed at Burleigh Headland. Snack time after 15.5 kms.
Unknown to me at this point, another climb was to follow. The lower trail around Burleigh Headlands was closed as a result of the storm damage.
I was well rewarded for the extra effort.
Unfortunately, after descending Burleigh Mountain and crossing Tallebuggera creek, I then had to endure a good 4 kms of busy main road in the heat and humidity of early afternoon.
At 1.30pm, the feet complaining and the tummy rumbling, the path returned to the shore line. Soon after I discovered the lovely parkland of a backwater of Currumbin Creek. Here I relaxed and ate lunch in another 'cafe' with a view.
I spotted, yet again, these 2 members of the police force, whom I would think must have the best job in the force. I had crossed paths with them several times throughout the morning.
The garmin recorded 22.6 kms to my lunch spot. I'll claim 23, as I had to find a bus stop, to make my way back to Seaworld and my parked car.
It was a wonderful and rewarding day hiking 'down under'. I'd have liked to have notched up 25 kms, but the next bus stop would have made it 30 kms. That really would have been pushing my poor feet.
5 months to C2C. We'll be ready.
I hope you have enjoyed walking the Gold Coast with me. I would love to read your comments.