Gorge Walk North Stradbroke Island

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.

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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.

http://www.straddiecamping.com.au/dosee

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.

http://www.afloat.com.au/afloat-magazine/2009/september-2009/Tangalooma#.WK30pjt97IU

Southport

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.[1]     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

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A settlement was first surveyed in 1874 and the name Southport decided the following year.[2] 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.

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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.

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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.

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War Memorial

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.[13] 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.

From my Balcony I can see all the places across on the other side…. Marina Mirage,  Sea World, The Tavern, Peters  Fish market, and the  Southport Yacht Club

Whitehaven Beach Queensland

Arrival at Whitehaven Beach is a little surreal. The luminous white sand, blinding sunshine and brilliant blue water all combine to disorient. Sailing boats and sea planes are moored in the sheltered water of the bay, their passengers picnicking on the beach. The most striking thing though, was the sand between my toes. It’s like nothing I’ve experienced […]

via Whitehaven Beach, scenes from a tropical island — notesfromcamelidcountry

Surfers Paradise Morning Walk

The mornings are beautiful at Surfers Paradise. The light starts very early because its mid summer, and from 5am or even earlier, you can see the Keen exercising people on the beach, and the Life Guard setting up his vehicle and Life Guard area with flags for the safe swimming area.

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The morning slowly awakens as the sun rises to the horizon, and the washed out pale color of the day tinges with golds and oranges of the sunrise. The morning is slowly wakening

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As the day wakens, you can see the color of the buildings and the water

Then the couples come walking, some hand in hand, others walking steadily together,  mostly older people, tanned by the sun, wearing hats and matching walking clothes, looking like locals as they comfortably take their morning exercise. Then the young joggers, well dressed females with trim muscles jogging like a training routine, the odd male running by hatless and wearing earphones attached to the ipod now a part of the young. Next group are the dog walkers, in pairs, or older single women with tiny dogs attached like balls of fluff on the end of retractable leads as they walk their dogs along the edge never in the water. Here the bigger dogs come attached to males who walk them down to the water and back up again. This morning there were bicycles riding the firmer sand by the water edge. Everybody walks with a purpose, only the tourist with the camera or smart phone dawdle to capture the view

Today there were surf fishermen and a few surfies with their boards…

They all do their own things and go their own ways in the Summer Sun. No-one sees me walking by, they look ahead and walk on by alone in their own world,safe in the sun.

 

River Cruise Surfers Paradise

http://www.surfersparadiserivercruises.com.au/

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I walked to the Mall at Surfers Paradise, and in the centre was a tour booth. Chatted to the lady manning the booth but I had done most of the tours as I visit Surfers whenever I want to enjoy the beaches and the places here. Looking at prices, this one seemed good value for the price, so I booked it, even though the Booth Lady kept saying Wyndham was better. The other tour was also twice the cost, and I do not like seafood served in the open where I have to peel prawns. Chicken, ham and salad with fresh bread rolls, and the cost of $25 seemed reasonable. I decided on the lunch cruise with River Cruises, and maybe an afternoon cruise with the other.

I walked down to Tiki Village where the cruise boots moor, and there was Wyndham cruises, full of people, and nothing else in sight. I was early, so I sat there under a tree in the shade and took photos of Howl at the Moon which was opposite. It does not appear to be active at present, except for weekend Breakfast on a Saturday and Sunday.

The Cruise boat arrived, and we went on board where lunch was displayed on the side. There was a mixed salad, a pasta salad, a rice salad, some sliced ham and some finely shredded chicken, and bread rolls. I helped myself and sat at a table opposite another 2 ladies and next to me a Chinese couple. The captain, who also said he was everything else, started off, and there was a recorded tour guide as we cruised away.

As we cruised the River listening to the narrative, we passed huge millionaire owned homes of the ‘rich and famous’, beautiful architect designed homes, many with private cruisers and jetties, but none looked inhabited. They were all empty shells belonging mostly to Asians and seldom visited according to the narrative.    You can tell the chinese owned and inhabited by the washing hanging out to dry.

http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/…/chinese-buy-up…/story-e6freoof-1226515392159

Nov 13, 2012 – THE Chinese have taken over where the Japanese left off when it comes to … The Hong Kong-based Pacific Alliance group has also bought up a large … and Soul buildings in Surfers Paradise and The Oracle at Broadbeach.

The Cruise Boat went as far as Sea World, and there we could see the Sails Shopping Complex, the Marina and also some very expensive yachts and cruisers moored at the pier. There was also the Floating Church which costs $1,200 an hour should you care to book it for your wedding or funeral.I can just see Grandma’s ashes being cruised out at $1,200 an hour and scattered over some point special to the family.

In this area is the Fish Market, and sea birds love to hang around here waiting for a treat. There was a pelican sitting on top of a pole eyes on the Fish Market below, alert for any action. Other birds were swimming below, a gourmet dining spot because of the location

A sandbank hosted a collection of seabirds. There was a pelican standing majestically on the sand surrounded by pacific gulls, seagulls, and cormorants.

Then we headed back after viewing the 6 Star Palazzo-Versace  Hotel and the Marina Mirage Shopping Centre  next door.

 

Surfers Paradise…Room with a view through Glass

I arrived at Nerang Station and waited for the bus to Surfers Paradise. It collects many tourists and the bus was full, standing room only. It stops at Surfers right opposite the Rail. I walked off the bus to the corner, and there was Shore Apartments on my left. I walked towards it along the main Road.It was after midday and very hot. Next time I will walk down to the Esplanade where there is some shade as you walk past the highrise buildings. A lady leaving as I entered was the Office Manager, and she came back to give me my Key and envelop and walked me to the lift.

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I have what I asked for, a room as high as possible, with the windows facing the sea. The only problem is, that since I was last here, they have screwed a small panel that lets you open the window 2 inches for sea breeze, but that does not allow the camera through. At Meriton, I was able to hold the camera out of the window and maneuver a viewpoint. Here I have to shoot through glass, that this morning is quite streaked with salty spray. Even if it was another 2 inches open, I could get the camera out. This is heartbreaking.You can see the window openings clearly in the photo above. Whoever did this was not a photographer. Nothing is as clear as it should be, and there could be a slight tint to the window as my photos are discolored and not clear…   http://www.theshore.com.au/

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It is a beautiful view…and I love the location, but I will never stay here again because I cannot open windows or stick the camera outside for photos. I hope I do not see the moon rising over the water, or a rainbow. It will break my heart not to be able to capture it from my room with a view…through Glass…

There is a Life guard station manned by a Lifeguard car with a tarpaulin with swimming flags for a safe swimming area right opposite the Hotel. I went to the beach for the sunset last evening, and the life guard was trying to get all these Asian tourists out of the water to disband the  safety swimming sign. Eventually he got most of them out, collected his flags and drove away, and they all went back in the water and were happily taking photos of each other again.

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Life Guard Station and Flags in the water

Cleveland Queensland

It was Sunday, and I was waiting on a train to the city to change to a train for the Gold Coast. I decided to have breakfast at Hog’s Breath Cafe, right on the waterfront at Cleveland Marina. It was a perfect day

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The Marina was very quiet. One yacht had moored on the public pier, and the owners came ashore. When I returned, the same pier had a collection of fishermen with their rods and buckets fishing, mostly older grandpas and grandsons. Next to the Marina are some apartments which I assume are mostly inhabited by the retired and the elderly. I doubt that anyone else can afford to own properties along the Marina. I know that every time I have seen someone, which is not often as residents in these areas keep themselves well hidden, they have been much older than me, and that is old.

There was no-one around when I arrived, but when I was leaving I saw that the other cafes along the Marina had customers mostly eating cakes. I looked at the breakfasts to see if any looked good, to see that cakes was selected everywhere. I wondered if cost was a factor. My Muesli cost $12.95 and I had free water as the coffee was $4.50. I also had a brioche at $5.95 because these items were the cheapest on the menu. A full breakfast was $22.50, and  eggs were $19.00. I wanted to buy a drink for the lady at the Railway Station who held my luggage while I had breakfast, but baulked at paying $4.50 for a small bottle of coca cola. Maybe this is why people have cake for breakfast. A single cake was $8.00.

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A modern boutique style marina with 75 floating berths nestled in protected waters surrounded by boardwalk at Cleveland, Brisbane. The marina has all weather access and is only a few miles from the delights of Horseshoe Bay on Peel Island and offers a choice for boat owners to cruise the open waters of Moreton Bay to the north or the sheltered channels to the south through to the Gold Coast.

http://www.peterhansenyachtbrokers.com.au/raby-bay-marina

I asked one day if there were hire boats, or tours going from here, and was told there is one, but it does not go often, and is run by someone privately.

Like all Marinas these days, the yachts appear unlived in, and sit still and silent in their berths, being a status symbol to those who can afford to purchase a yacht to leave it sitting in a paid berth so they can tell their associates that they own a yacht. My response is always, ‘..but why do you have a yacht’…implied but never stated….’when you never use it’. I never get an answer, so I say ‘Wonderful…it would be wonderful to have a yacht’ and they beam generously at me, for after all one who owns a yacht can afford to be benevolent to those who do not own a yacht, and who also have that slightly yearning look that suggests they would like to also be a yacht owner if things were different.

cleveland-marina

After breakfast I strolled the restaurants seeing that there is quite a few there, equally priced to Hog’s Breath, equally situated along the marina walkway with the same beautiful view from a slightly different viewpoint, and decided next time I must try a different one.

It was time to go back to the station and travel to the Gold Coast, so I ambled back enjoying the beautiful scenic views, past a couple of children using the playground equipment, and a lady sitting on a seat looking very lonely. I smiled at her and walked on, collected my suitcase and boarded the train to my next adventure

boardwalk-at-cleveland