Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast and lots more.
09.11.2013 - 13.11.2013
Where we got off the coach it is New South Wales and just after nine. We were picked up by Jim and Maria crossed the river and it is Queensland and just after eight. The further north we go the earlier it gets dark. What I didn't expect was it getting light about four in the morning.
Jim and Maria live a short distance to the beach. Their home at one time was a beach cottage and they have built a wonderful new home on the property. You go up a short rise and turn in. On the ground floor is the granny flat and the garage. Enter the main level there is the laundry, washroom, living room dining area, tv room and a great open kitchen with a full bank of windows overlooking Kirra beach. The top floor is taken up by their roomy bedroom and ensuite and the guest room and ensuite. We are on the top with a view of the water. Their deck stretches along the front of the house. When they built the council controlled many issues such as height, design, and colours. Since then there is a proposal to build a 25 and 15 story unit in front of them which is not zoned for high rise. It is a very hurtful time as they come to terms with an uncertain future.
We are enjoying a morning walk here followed by a swim in the crisp blue water. We have walked both directions digging our toes into the sand. I tend not to walk with Jim as my knee is playing up and and I can't walk that fast. I have headed out on my own a couple of times, using geocaches to take me to interesting sights such as the shipwreck of the Coolangatta, most likely the reason for the towns name. The 'Coolangatta' was trying to enter the Tweed River during a gale when it was driven ashore northward of the River. The captain and several of the crew were ashore at the time attempting to locate a water source. The 'Coolangatta' soon bilged and the crew members stripped the vessel of all removable gear. The crew then traveled overland to Amity Point where they were recovered by the steamer 'Tamar' and conveyed to Sydney
We drive down to Byron Bay. Captain James Cook named Cape Byron after John Byron, circumnavigator of the world and grandfather of the poet, Lord Byron.
One day we took out the bikes to ride up the Tweeds river. Maria sits bravely on the tandem bike with Jim. I had Maria's little bike with the seat raised up. A challenge for comfort and ease of peddling, but the good thing is the muscle above my knee that was causing the problem released and I can get around with ease. Roger took it for the last bit to give me a break and I got to ride a `bigger` bike.
We visited Maria's mom one morning. She is a sweet and bright 98 year old. No wonder Maria loves to spend time with her.
We drove into the Lammington Forrest to O'Riellys. There we did the treetop walk through the rain forest. This one was smaller that the Otway one, made of wood that creaks and groans as you walk. At one point you can climb a tower. A metal ladder with a cage around it in case you fall. It won't stop you, but it would make you land on the walkway rather than the Forrest floor. Here we saw two red bellied black snakes and one python. We saw bower bird, the bush turkeys that you see all over and other brightly coloured birds. We saw various little skinks and frogs everywhere. The road into this location twists and turns and for the most part is one lane only. It was quite the ride in and out.
We explored the beach communities of the Gold Coast from Coolangatta to Surfers Paradise. A small town to the young peoples party central with lots of high rises and action. We prefer the quiet beaches by Jim and Maria.
We explore further up into the Sunshine Coast ending our day in Buderim at their son Rick's home. He, his wife Naomi, and children Nate and Eden have a lovely home on the hillside with a great view over the valley. Little Nate is in hot water! At four he has had a spate of biting people and has been banned from electronic devices and anything to do with super heroes. Eden is a sweet little girl. We connect over dinner at the Thai restaurant and I m honoured to be the adult who gets her to bed. She read me a story, I read her a chapter, then we said our prayers. Roger got to read to Nate, amusing everyone with his entertaining voices. Rick had caught a Cain toad in their pond, but it had escaped when he went to show us. We had a swim in their pool and chatted until it appeared people needed to sleep.
We set off in the morning to Noosa Heads. We walked a coast trail to Hells Gate where the water crashes into a small gorge. The ocean is calm today, so we can see a turtle below and we can enjoy the views, but the heat is rising.
We take a swim back at the beach and watch the kids.... The Schoolies. Schoolies or schoolies week (also known as leavers' or leavers' week in Western Australia) refers to the Australian tradition of high-school graduates (also known as "schoolies" or "leavers") having week-long holidays following the end of their final exams in late November and early December.
"Toolies" or "Droolies" refers to older revelers who participate in Schoolies week but are not high-school graduates. "Foolies" or "pre-schoolies" refers to younger adolescents, who participate in Schoolies week but have not yet graduated from high school. Schoolies week is seen as a final party with schoolmates before they head their separate ways. There were two hoards that arrived while we were at the beach. They charge into the ocean fully dressed in their uniforms, shoes and all. They had a great time playing and yelling and just being exuberant. On the Gold Coast they prepare for the Schoolies by actually baricading parts of the beach off so only registered Schoolies with wrist bands can enter. They are trying to protect the kids from toolies....older kids coming to pray on the young girls who have had too much to drink.
From here we wander through the town, stop for a lamb and veggie pie, have some Copenhagen ice cream before walking down the river to catch a nap and explore more coastline. Then we head to the other side of the bay where their friend Cherrill and Bob are camped. We have a cuppa and a shower before heading to Nambour to catch the train.
It is very sad to say goodbye. They have been so good to us!