I always head to Cylinder Beach for the sunset. This time I left before the full sunset arrived, and watched the colors light up the sky from the apartment I was staying at with a heap of irritation. The next evening I could not even find Cylinder beach in the dark, and gave up and took the photos from the Main Road as I wound my way back in almost darkness.
The best place for the Sunset is the rocky point between Cylinder Beach and Frenchmans Beach…where tourist collect waving their glasses of beer or white wine as they wait for the sunset watching the last of the surfers below catching the last wave.
I arrived at 5.30 and had to wait until 6.45 for the sunset. I sat on the rocks and talked with three German tourists as we waited for the sunset to begin. There were plenty of mosquitoes around and my legs were well bitten as I had not thought of insect spray.
Below us is Cylinder Beach, the most popular surf beach on the Island for Surfers and they collect there with their surfboards to ride the huge wave to the shore. Then taking their boards, they walk back over the rocks if it’s high tide, along the sand if it’s low tide, to get the wave and ride it back.
Cylinder Beach is also a favourite with surfers when the conditions are right. Lifeguards and lifesavers patrol this beach. The lower waves and fine sand maintain a usually wide, low gradient beach fronted by a continuous bar, with the mobile sand waves and bars extending up to 200m off the beach
In 1803 Matthew Flinders was on his way to Sydney to organise a rescue of shipwrecked passengers from the Porpoise. Flinders and his small crew stopped in the Cylinder Beach/Home Beach area and some Nunukul people helped the sailors to find fresh water. This was the first recorded European/Aboriginal contact on the Island and is commemorated in the Hope Plaque on the edge of the Cylinder Beach carpark.
The Gorge Walk at Point Lookout is a must for all visitors to the island. This gentle walk offers outstanding views across the ocean and is an ideal vantage point for spotting marine life such as turtles, dolphins and manta rays.
The best time for the walk is the morning when you can see the Sunrise from the left section of the walk, the start. It is here too that the wallabies and kangaroos collect, and wait as the morning begins when they go south to cooler and shadier places.
The first morning I was there, I was treated to 8 kangaroos and two males having a fight, and then a whole pod of dolphin down below clapping and dancing in the water.I was not able to get a clear photo of the dolphins, but it was a delight to see them enjoying themselves playing in the water. You could hear the clapping quite clearly, and it wasn’t until I read the notice board that I realised I had been listening to them calling and clapping in the water.
The Gorge walk is 1.5 kms, and you climb up the path and the steps to see the gorge below. Walk on the rocks and see the turtles and mantas playing in the clear waters below in the gorge cut out in the middle of the walk. Then you walk across to the other side and walk along the gorge on the opposite side.The gorge is constantly fed by water and waves. At high tide it is almost full of water and at low tide, there is sad below.
As you walk up the steps you can hear the mournful howl of the Blow Hole when the winds catch the hollow flute and the rocks groan out their protest to all who listen. There are steps down to the blowhole and in winter one can see the water spouting out of the hole in the rocks.
From here you can see the dolphins and the whales when they are migrating. Whales have great memories and they have avoided Stradbroke Island because of the whaling station at Moreton island and the whaling industry. However, recent years have seen the return of whales to Stradbroke as if they know the waters are now safe from whaling. This is bringing increased tourists to the Island during the whaling season when the whales migrate north and then return south back to their home in Antarctica.
For millennia, the islands have been the home of indigenous Aborigines until the arrival of Europeans. There is some speculation that it was the Portuguese that made first contact with the area. Although no concrete evidence now exists as to the whereabouts of the wreck of the Portuguese galleon, early local maps marked a spot where such a ship was supposed to have founded in the early 1600s. Several sightings of the wreck have been recorded and there are stories of artefacts being removed. This wreck, if it had existed, was connected with North Stradbroke Island.
What we do know for certain is that Lt James Cook sailed past these islands in 1770 and gave the name to the most northerly of them. He named it Morton Island after James Douglas, 14th Earl of Morton. Cartographers later misspelt the name by labelling the island Moreton.
Matthew Flinders followed in 1799 and, because of a confrontation with the local Aborigines on Bribie Island, named the place Skirmish Point.
John Oxley arrived in 1824 with convicts to set up a settlement at Redcliffe. The following year the settlement moved to a site inland on the Brisbane River. Moreton Bay as a place of incarceration continued until 1842 when the area was thrown open to free settlement. With that, migrants flooded into the area.
Quarantine stations were set up at Dunwich on North Stradbroke Island in 1850, followed by the occupation of St Helena Island in 1866. The St Helena facility was converted into a prison (1867-1933) and a new quarantine station was built at Peel Island with some overflow facilities on Bird Island. Peel Island was also designated a lazaret.
Southport is a suburb and the central business district near the midpoint of Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia and has one of the city’s largest communities. At the 2011 Census, Southport had a population of 28,315. Originally known as Nerang Creek Heads, it was named Southport because it was the southernmost port of the colony of Queensland. Southport is recognised as the central business district of the City of Gold Coast. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southport,_Queensland
A settlement was first surveyed in 1874 and the name Southport decided the following year. Southport was once the site of timber mills. A port was established to ship logs to Brisbane. The water way continues on to Brisbane, past South Stradbroke Island and between the Moreton Bay Islands. Today it is mainly the Tourist Cruise boats that use the water, and a few private cruisers.
I took the Light Rail from Surfers Paradise to Broadwater, where Meriton Apartments is located right opposite the Light Rail. There is a collection of restaurants and hairdressers on this corner, assuming that locals like to eat and have their hair cut and colored, and a little Chemist where the heat literally forced me to buy an upmarket sunhat to match the surroundings. This is not the raggle tag of Surfers Paradise where backpackers stroll around in the most motley of undress. This area is more upmarket where the shoppers wear designer hats and sunglasses, and elegantly probe the Supermarket shelves which are missing the ‘Odd vegetables’ and the bargain table. Same Supermarket brand, Woolworths, but high quality stockings catering for a different buying public. Everything here is better quality and with a slightly lower price. I bought grapes here for $5.90. Grapes were $7.90 in Surfers Paradise Woolworths and also Coles.
The Apartments line the river and the Meriton gave me the 52nd floor, with amazing views over the Broadwater with changing skies and water, and last night the golden Moon hovering above. The main road is just below the Hotel, and at night cars race along here with screaming noises, and police sirens and motor bikes breaking the otherwise peaceful evening, forcing me to close the always open soundproof glass doors, which effectively block all outside commotion. The River is beautiful. You can see all the way to South Stradbroke Island and its surf beaches that the surfers paddle out to from The Spit
This is the place for the sunrise, and last evening the reflection of the sunset was beautiful. The sky was pink with mares tail clouds whispering above and the entire water turned pink in the sunset. This was north too…
Across the green parkland that is everywhere, is Australia Fair Shopping Centre .I walked there following two boys headed for McDonald’s. It is a huge shopping complex with every shop imaginable, two supermarkets, six major stores, Event Cinema, Broadwater Food Court hosting 16 multicultural food outlets, as well as another 22 food outlets including takeaway and restaurants.
There are 3 fitness centres here and all the usual shops, in a bewildering two stories with lifts and escalators and stairways all adding to the overall effect of confusion. The Centre itself is surrounded by more restaurants and eating places and apartments.
On 25 April 1922 (ANZAC Day) Southport War Memorial located at the foot of Nerang Street was dedicated by the Member of the Queensland Legislative Assembly for Albert, John Appel, in a presence of many Southport people. In 2010, renovation of the parklands required the relocation of the memorial; it was re-dedicated on 11 November 2010…..and here it stands a lonely monument by the River.
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