Wednesday, 30 January
Below is my very poor attempt at a selfie, as we took the ferry from Victoria Point to Coochiemudlo Island, just a 10 minute journey. We set foot on the island at 7am, yet again trying to beat the heat and humidity.
yellow circle - swim
red circle - memorial service
It wasn't our first visit as Hungry Hikers, but it never fails to impress with its natural beauty.
Setting off on a clockwise circuit.
The island was discovered by Matthew Flinders, on 19 July, 1799, whilst searching for the Brisbane River.
Thanks Joc for this lovely vista, taken above the red cliffs.
Steps down to the golf course and trail into the mangroves.
My dancing mangroves.
Tracks through the mangroves.
The path to infinity.
To lengthen our hike, we took the straight, almost carless road, which divides the island in half, back to our starting point.
Midway we were entertained by a local garden. The owners were very welcoming.
Back at the waterfront, it was perfect timimg for a cup of coffee and the most delicious little apple tartlets, at the Curlew Cafe. Curlews abound on the island. We sighted several.
A very short distance along from the cafe, we spotted this Anzac Memorial with flags flying.
We soon discovered that a special service was to take place to acknowledge the revamp of this beautiful and tranquil site. The Redland Bay Council marketing group, organising the event, offered to take photos and gave us heaps of info as to where we could further hike in their shire.
Waiting for the service.
The Last Post and a minute's silence were integral to this short but moving service.
Now hiking anticlockwise, we entered the Melaleuca Wetlands, which sadly weren't at all wet.
Views from the wetlands.
Exiting the wetlands, we found the temperature very hot, so I was the only one of the group who didn't then retrace my steps under the tree canopy. Thankfully a gentle sea breeze kept me cool, as I delighted in all the camera opportunities, that I had known were waiting for me, as I returned by the shoreline.
The dead trees were now behind me and I was busy looking along the length of the beach, before I realised I had trodden on a soldier crab. In fact, the beach was a moving mass of them.
So wonderful to watch.
I felt so bad.
It was now 11.30 am and time for a cooling swim. Sadly, the tide had receded and the water was shallow and not at all pleasant to put our feet on. Our short dip did however, leave us refreshed to enjoy lunch and make our way back to catch the 1pm ferry.
A perfect, if tad warm, blue sky day.
Before closing, I have to acknowledge the plight of the residents of Townsville in far north Queensland. For the past 4 years, rain has avoided them like the plague. Water was being piped in from further south at great cost. This time last week all were rejoicing as the rain had finally found them. A week later and the city is a disaster zone. Days of torrential rain has saturated the city with rainfall totals unprecedented. In just the 24 hours leading up to this morning, totals of 402mm have fallen in the Ross River Dam catchment area. A week ago the dam was all but empty. Now it is at 220.6% capacity. The flood gates have had to be fully opened for safety reasons. Evacuations have been taking place all day, with no hope of the rain abating any time soon.
West of Townsville, graziers are rejoicing with the falls they have been receiving to take them out of drought conditions.
The southern states have had no relief and and continue to suffer excessive heat, drought and bushfires.
We certainly live in the "sunburnt country of drought and flooding rains", from the poem by Dorothea Mckellar.
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