509. Sunday 11th September 2016. Noosa, Costco and the SWELL Festival on the Gold Coast…

Monday 5th September

It is my birthday. Instead of going out to dinner I wanted to stay home and play table tennis at the clubhouse. Donnis made a Black Forest Cherry Cake and we shared it among the regular players.

Tuesday 6th September

After a slow start we hit the highway at midday. Noosa here we come. Along the M1 Motorway, Donnis spied a Costco store. Costco are big in the USA, Canada and Mexico. Basically they are a warehouse style, member only, giant general store. There are 8 stores throughout Australia, this is the only Queensland Store, at Northlakes, umm err north of Brisbane.  For your $60 annual membership fee you can sometimes buy cheap fuel, ($1.06.7 per litre but a few Klms further along the M1 we saw fuel advertised at $1.05.9 available to everybody, no membership or rewards card required) uncertain discounts on electrical products, and cheap food products. Only of course if you buy food in bulk or the one size super dooper jar. For example I usually buy a small jar of peanut butter which lasts me for three months and does not have time to get stale. At Costco the smallest size is one pound and it would be a year before I could eat it all by which time it would be stale or rancid. Donnis insisted we look at how Costco looks in Australia. At the front door we were asked for our membership card to gain entry. Hmmm! We are only looking to decide if we will become members. (I lied) OK we were allowed in. There was nothing we really needed. The iPads and laptops and TV’s etc were all about the same price as elsewhere. The food all came in super size and most was made overseas. Some local Aussie products were on the shelves but were in the minority. We did not see fresh fruit or vegetables. Yes lots of frozen or dehydrated stuff. There was an area we could access, the canteen. Here is where the cheap prices stand out. For $1.99 you can get a hot dog accompanied by a 500ml drink of cola or lemonade. For the same price you can get a large cappuccino coffee, no other sizes, just large. Off to one side near the same fibreglass tables and chairs they have in all their overseas stores is the chutney, tomato sauce and mustard dispenser. There is also a dispenser of onions. Giant slices of pizza are another option for $1.99. No matter how you look at the price it is still $2.00. In Australia we do not have one or two cent coins. Only 5, 10, 20, 50 cent coins and $1 and $2 coins. Still, $2 for a hot dog, including a drink, is cheap. Looking around, most customers look like they need to go on a diet. Overweight is the new fashion it seems. Costco is not my type of shopping.

Or eating.

Ken arrived home via train from Gladstone on the Central Queensland Coast. Ken finished his last shift this morning before the accommodation camp for the Curtis Island workers closes tomorrow.

Wednesday 7th September

We joined Ken for a walk in the Noosa Headland National Park. There are many walks criss- crossing the park but we always choose the clifftop coastal track. This track is a mixture of a sealed section to what is known as the Boiling Pot and is suitable for wheelchairs and baby prams. The path then degenerates to a fine gravel for a distance and degenerates even further to a gravel track where some boulder and tree root hopping is required.

Gravel Pathway at Picnic Point.

The track passes a number of beaches and headlands some with iconic names, including the Boiling Pot

Surf Ski paddlers at Boiling Pot.

some others are Dolphins Point,

Ken & Donnis at Dolphin Point
Winch Bay.

Hells Gates, Lions Rock, Picnic Point

Ken & Donnis overlooking Picnic Point.
Picnic Point

and Devils Kitchen. The track finishes at Sunshine Beach and all up is about 6 Klms. The final section from Devils Kitchen is quite high up in the cliffs and involves a rather challenging steep climb down to a timber staircase which then leads onto Sunrise Beach. Today we only walked to Hells Gates and return.

Granite Bay looking North.
Granite Bay looking south

The track is always busy with runners, walkers, surfers, Mums and Dad’s  with a young baby in a harness. There are lots of overseas visitors clutching maps in plastic pockets as they search for elusive slumbering Koala’s. The maps give an indication of the sightings in the last 24 hours. Koala’s can travel big distances at night searching for food and females so they will not be in the same place the next day. Sometimes they may spend a night or two in the same tree fork. We saw a group of excited backpackers and knew they found a Koala.

I’d rather have my feather top mattress for sleeping.

Late afternoon, Ken’s sister Kirsty arrived. Ken did a lovely marinated chicken on the barbecue while I stir fried vegetables in my own home made peanutty sauce. A bottle of champagne did not last long. Oops. Donnis tells me two bottles of champers was consumed.

Friday 9th September.

Every year at this time is the Annual SWELL Festival at Currumbin. This is the 15th year. – SWELL SCULPTURE FESTIVAL INSPIRES, AMUSES, UPLIFTS AND CAPTURES THE HEARTS AND MINDS OF ALL WHO VISIT.

This is a ‘must see’ festival in Currumbin each September. Every year, the beach comes alive with an amazing array of sculptured artworks. Local, national and international artists re-invent the style of this beach with their passionate, quirky, weird, sensible, technical, simple or detailed and intriguing artistic works.

Scrabble anybody?

Usually we go in the middle of the day and then enjoy lunch and a cold beer at the Currumbin Surf Life Saving Club which is situated on the rocks overlooking the water.

Currumbin Surf Life Saving Club with bird sculpture on the beach. Elephant Rock is behind the club.


This year we decided to do it differently.090916-faces The idea was to arrive at sunset and get some wonderful photos. Hmmm! Not such a good idea. We arrived a tad after sunset and by the time started walking and looking  at sculptures, night had crashed all around us.

Giant vinyl inflate turtle.

I used the “Night Scenery Mode” on my Lumix FZ250. The camera takes multiple images and makes a composite photo using available light.

Giant chairs at SWELL. The family beside the chairs gives a good perspective.

A good idea if the camera is mounted on a tripod.

This is an umm err needle perhaps? Lights of Burleigh and Surfers Paradise are in the background.

Hand held is not so good as there is always some camera movement.

The lights of Burleigh heads and Surfers Paradise further in the background is the background for this nighttime photo of of art. Remember the photo was taken at night with a hand held camera without the aid of a flash.

Given there was a stiff breeze blowing I can only show a few photos that were a bit less than OK but a bit better than useless.

No idea what this is called but it seems to be trumpeting something. Lights of Coolangatta are in the distance.

We will plan another daytime visit. There are 48 pieces of sculpture on display along the beach. Thirty eight of those pieces are lit at night.

Here is a link to the 2015 promotional video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1Qyjlbr00Q


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