It was a perfect summer's day for our final walk for 2016. Sparkling sea, clear skies, a cooling breeze, no humidity and a maximum of 29 C.
We arrived at the coast about 8 am, and the carparks were already filling up. We managed to squeeze into a parking lot beside the Marina Mirage Resort, at The Spit, Southport. We numbered only 3. Margot was busy being a volunteer - driving tennis players arriving for the Queensland Open to their accommodation, [commences on Sunday]. Laurel meanwhile, was in total relaxation mode with her family, in a unit at Surfer's Paradise, enjoying these views for 7 days.
Our first view of the ocean.
We too, were soon in relaxation mode. The scene before us was mesmerising and we could easily have spent the morning taking it easy here.
We finally tore ourselves away and hiked 2 kms to the light rail, to transport us to our starting point at Broadbeach.
Crossing the road to the beachfront, we were impressed by the cacti garden on the roundabout.
Greeted by this perfect scene, our walk went into leisure mode, as we soaked up the Christmas holiday atmosphere.
Looking south from the photo above.
The hot sand sprint.
Learning to surf.
Luxury units - the units didn't capture our attention until our eyes followed the sound of the children's squeals and laughter.
Nearing Surfers Paradise, our eyes were drawn to the towering Q1 tower. With the naked eye, we were just able to make out a group on the Sky Point Climb - Australia's highest external climb.
Q1 [322 m] is the 7th tallest residential tower in the world.
A friend had recently posted photos of the coastline from the viewing deck, so a decision was made to at least investigate the cost to take the lift up. $15 for seniors, so tickets were purchased. Definitely worth it, especially on such a clear sky day.
View south to Coolangatta.
View south to Coolangatta.
Hinterland view with our favourite National Parks of Springbrook, Binnaburra and O'Reillys on the horizon.
View north across Surfers Paradise.
The view, further north to Stradbroke Island, using my zoom lens. Our white sandy beaches are endless and sensational.
Back on trail, we spotted this very special and well placed message at Surfers Paradise. So much to be grateful for.
So many, many people, both local and from around the world, enjoying our 'Gold Coast'.
Nearing our car park, we left the crowds behind. Tranquility reigned yet again.
Hot and sweaty after our 10 km walk, we quickly changed into our bathers, dashed across the hot sand and dived into the refreshingly cold waves.
Last view of the beach as we headed homewards.
Just a few stats for the year.
We averaged 33 days of Wednesday Walking.
Between us we averaged 273 kms covered. Last year it was 325 kms.
Our longest hike was 17 kms . Last year - 18 kms.
My additional hiking, either by myself, with other friends or on OS hikes, adds another 713 kms, making my total for the year - 987 kms - the equivalent of a car journey from Brisbane to just north of Mackay. [google maps]
I know in comparison to so many of my blogging friends, this is minimal, but I am grateful for every kilometre I have been able to cover.
I would love to read your comment.