502. Sunday 24th July 2016. Southbank, Tallebudgera, Fingal Head and Whales.

 

Lots of photos this week.

Monday 18th July

It was funny weather today. Mostly overcast with snatches of sunlight and occasional big black clouds with sudden downpours. It was just the sort of weather for my adventure today. Within minutes of walking to the bus stop, the first downpour occurred. Today the plan was to take a bus to Helensvale Train station then train to Southbank and explore or at least re-visit a place I have been to many times. The train journey – express – took about an hour. Although the track roughly follows the Motorway it passes through what seems to be mostly rural and or bushland and quite a few swamps with spindly struggling saplings. Suddenly the train passes through a cutting and then it is suburbia.

Southbank was established for Expo 88 and has been built on, extended, enlarged and re-vamped since. This area is a community hub with parklands, gardens, swimming pools, playgrounds,

180716 wheel
Imagine being at the top of the giant ferris wheel, watching the storm clouds getting blacker and wondering if you will get caught in the rain and wind coming your way.

picnic facilities and stunning views of Brisbane River and the city beyond. Southbank is also a foodies heaven and a cultural wonderland.

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This is just one of several connected and interconnected free swimming lagoons at Southbank Brisbane.
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Another free lagoon at Southbank.

Some of the mostly free sights and places to visit are QPAC – Queensland Performing Arts Centre-, Cultural Centre, Griffith University Lecture Hall, State Library,

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Main entrance to the Qld State Library.

Museum, Art Gallery

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Entrance to Queensland Art Gallery.

and so much more to see and do than I had time for today. River transport departs and arrives about every 15 minutes for trips up and down the river. A cruise taking a good few hours for a total round trip costs only a few dollars.

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One of dozens of city cats zooming up and down the Brisbane River.
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Another City Cat. Note the big heavy storm clouds building up over the city.

Again I did not have time for that today. If all the above is not enough, a quick walk over the Brisbane River

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On the bank of Umm Err Southbank is the sign to tell you the city is Brisbane.

via the Victoria Bridge or the Goodwill Bridge will take you into the city itself.

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View of river city from State Library. Storm beginning to build.
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and the storm clouds build.

Including lunch and train fares the day cost me $20. If I had taken the car, underground parking at Southbank is $16 per day. Either way a good reasonably priced day out.

Pokemon Go is all the rage with children, teenagers, young adults and middle aged parents. It seems Southbank has lots of little Pokies waiting to be found. I saw huge numbers of people who all seemed to be following their mobile phone through the paths and gardens. I was amazed to see a high school excursion at the Art Gallery with most students following a glowing screen through the exhibits. The art on the walls was basically ignored in favour of a childish animated image on a mobile phone screen.

Wednesday 20th July

Happy Happy Birthday to my daughter Shelley also my son in law Paul.

I went to line dancing this morning. I enjoy the exercise more than the Tai Chi that Donnis and I went to for some months – before she went to Canada. I am sure I have rhythm and beat somewhere in my body but it must have been packed away. Trying to follow either the instructor or watching other people and trying to copy their actions leaves me grossly out of step. Hmmm! One step forward tap the heels twice one step back tap the heels twice then one step forward then one backward then suddenly it is three steps to the left followed by three to the right and I am still tapping my heels!!! Somewhere in all of this there is a wiggle, wiggle, wiggle. I must enjoy that as I wiggle six times and make everybody laugh. Next time we get to the wiggle bit I wiggle even more and the laughter is accompanied by comments, “No Frank you just wiggle 3 times”.  It is all in good fun and I am sure I will master this one day. Uh Oh. Now they tell me that was just one dance routine. There are another two to learn today. We have to learn another next week.

Sigh!

I packed a sardine sandwich and some cheese and fruit and head off to the beach. Hmmm! Southport parking is full. Instead I drive further down the coast to Palm Beach and Tallebudgera Creek.

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Tallebudgera Creek looking west towards Gold Coast Highway bridge.

This is a lovely family friendly spot and I was able to get parking.

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Tallebudgera Creek looking west from the bridge.

The sun is shining, it is 26° but in the shade with a chill wind blowing in off the sea it feels like 16°.

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Tallebudgera Creek looking towards entrance.
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From Tallebudgera breakwall looking south to Palm Beach
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From Tallebudgera Creek breakwall looking south to Coolangatta. Greenmount Headland is on the left.
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From Tallebudgera Creek breakwall looking north to Surfers Paradise.
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Somebody kept themselves busy collecting and forming all these umm err Teepees? Fireplaces? Pyres?

Out of the breeze and in the full sun it is just like summer.

We are in the middle of winter.

There were no Pokemon Go hunters to be seen anywhere.

Friday 22nd July

Good friends Tony and dawn arrived this evening just in time for a wonderful Beef in Red Wine casserole which I have had slow cooking all day.

Sunday 24th July.

We have wanted to go to a high hill on the coast to see whales on their annual migration to the north.  I remember going to Fingal Head last week and thought it would be ideal for whale watching.

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From here we could see Mt Warning, one of the remaining upthrusts of the ancient volcano which covered this entire area.
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Tony wandered to the southern cliff edge.
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A group of three young girls were find interesting if a little hazardous, places to pose for photos.

A good idea shared by many other people. The carpark and surrounding streets were packed with cars. A good strong swell was running and boardriders were out enjoying the surf.

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On arrival at Fingal Head I noticed these three surfers carefully walking across the columnular basalt to find a spot to launch into the surf.
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This surfer did not choose his launch moment too carefully…
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…this is the reason his timing was not great. He had to paddle through more broken water surf instead of waiting between swells.
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He did start catching waves so his efforts were rewarded especially later when the whales arrived.
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People sitting atop the cliffs got a great view of the waves breaking and meeting the backswell off the cliffs. The surf made a thunderous roar each time the waves broke.
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They also got a good view of the dolphins below and the whales when they arrived.

After a wait in the brilliant sunshine a Humpback Whale came into the bay between us and Cook Island.

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This pair of jetski riders were actively trying to locate the whales which is not allowed by law. By the time the whales arrived this pair had given up and returned from where they came.

240716 whale2 It cruised north to the end of the island then turned around and cruised south. 240716 whale4What ? Was that a second blow beside the big whale? Yes, it was! A calf!

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We believe this is a mother and her calf.

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240716 whale3Perhaps this big whale is the same one which gave birth at Port Macquarie further south along the coast a few days ago. What an exciting twenty minutes to watch the whales so close to our vantage point. Some people we spoke with on arriving had said they saw whales earlier via their binoculars but the whales were way out beyond the island. After a while those people packed and left. They missed the whale close encounter enjoyed by hundreds lined along the cliffs. I am sure the boardriders got a bit of a surprise when the whales surfaced about 100 metres from the surf. We are sure there were at least 2 adult and one calf as the dorsal fin on the adults was different. One appeared to have an injury.

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