Tag: Shoal Point

545. Sunday 26th March 2017. Coastal review and a cyclone comes visiting…

Monday 20th March

Well another week has rolled by without us going anywhere or being involved in anything exciting.

This week of relative inactivity can be used to show some of our coastal photos captured in our travels.

011 12apostles
Twelve Apostles or at least some of the eight still left. Look carefully and you can see seven.

The Twelve Apostles are located along the Great Ocean Road near Port Campbell Victoria. In living memory these limestone stacks have been called The Twelve Apostles most likely by an explorer or local identity with an overactive religious imagination. At least since the early 1800’s there were only 9 stacks with one stack collapsing in 2005. And then there were eight. In recent years, undersea explorers have found Apostle Cousins, undersea limestone stacks, in the waters nearby. Amazingly the undersea stacks are eroding at a slower rate than those poking above the water. We first saw the Apostles in late January 2006. Our first glimpse was on a stinking hot day of above 40° temps with an oven-like westerly wind. The next morning dawned bright and clear. It was such a nice sunrise we decided to climb down a steep staircase to the beach below for an in your face close-up view. Within hours the weather turned nasty with big black storm clouds rolling in from the Antarctic bringing strong icy winds, stinging cold rain and a drop in temp to around 14°. The Twelve Apostles is on our bucket list to visit again. Preferably sometime when the big ocean swells roll in from Antarctic storms where the waves crash against and rocket up the limestone cliffs.

012 broadwater gold coast
Gold Coast Broadwater.

The Gold Coast Broadwater Qld is one of my favourite coastal views. (actually I have so many favourite views I do not really have a “favourite”. I just enjoy coastal views) To the right in this photo is the Iconic Q1 building at Surfers Paradise. That is the building I climbed with Tyler when he was visiting from Canada in January 2017.It is easy to distinguish the Q1. It is on the far right and has a giant Lightning Rod which is visible along most of the Gold Coast and hinterland.

013 austimer1
Austinmer Beach

Austinmer Beach and Rock Pool NSW is a northern suburb of Wollongong located south of Sydney along the Lawrence Hargrave Drive.  We stayed in our motorhome on the beach at an inexpensive small camp ground operated by Austinmer Surf Life Saving Club. The Sydney to South Coast Railway Line runs along the narrow escarpment between the Great Diving Range and the sea. Sometimes the line disappears into tunnels at other times there is a breathtaking vista of the coast from high up in the foothills. The town really only got its beginning in 1887 when the North Illawarra Coal Company opened a new mine in the area. The famous Bulli Pass, a steep and winding road to connect to the main highway is located a short drive to the south. The less well known and less steep Bald Hill Road is a few Klms to the north. It also connects to the main highway at Helensburgh.

014 coles bay
Coles Bay Tasmania

Coles Bay on the south east coast of Tasmania has some awesome coastal views stretching for Klms. The bay is located on the sheltered side of the peninsular It is located on a narrow neck of land known as Freycinet Peninsular. The entire area is part of the Freycinet National Park and is home to many species of wildlife. The Swan River which begins somewhere in the wild mountain ranges to the west, drains into Moulting Lagoon, part of Coles Bay then drains into the ocean at Swanwick Bay.

015 eimeo qld
Eimeo Beach

Eimeo Beach Qld is a small tropical beach located in the Mackay North seaside suburb of umm err, Eimeo. The famous Eimeo Pacific Hotel is located atop a steep hill to the left of the photo. In the background can be seen the long stretch of Bucasia Beach to Shoal Point Headland and Little Green Island just offshore. Also visible is Blacks Reef also just  offshore.Although only a small beach it is patrolled in summer months and is used by the Sunset Bay Outrigger Canoe Club (formerly Ko Huna Outrigger Canoe Club) in its club premises shared with Mackay Catamaran Club.

016 horseshoe bay
Horseshoe Beach

Horseshoe Bay is located in Bowen Qld about 200 Klms north of Mackay. The bay is a delightful safe protected little body of water, ideal for family events, boat launching and retrieval but can be a nightmare in windy conditions. It becomes absolutely frightening in a cyclone. It can also be extremely hot and humid as when it is protected from the southerly winds it gets no breeze at all and is frankly, stifling. It is also a place subject to the deadly box jellyfish, Chironex Flexerii and the tiny but even more deadly Irukangi. Saltwater crocodiles are also seen from time to time. The coral sand bottom is also littered with ancient sharp coral outcrops. It is a place which is lovely to look at but I have never entered the water here.

017 kirra
Kirra Beach

Kirra Beach on the southern end of the Gold Coast Qld adjoins the other famous Coolangatta Beach. My first introduction to Kirra Beach was on a long car drive with three friends from Sydney. Arriving at the beach at 6pm with the sun sinking in the west we felt it was time for a surf after a long and tiring 1,000 Klm drive. I had never surfed in the dark before. I have not surfed in the dark since.

018 luna park
Luna Park

Luna Park is strictly speaking not located on the coast. It is located on Sydney Harbour NSW. Luna Park is an amusement park located at Milsons Point, under the northern end of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It’s super easy to get to by train, ferry, bus or car. Luna Park was opened in 1935 with the advertising slogan “Just for Fun”. It ran on weekends only until 1972 when it went full time usually 10am to 6pm weekdays and until 10pm Saturday. Keeping with the “fun” theme the park offers the following safety tip…For the safety of our guests, when the weather is funny some rides and attractions may need to close at short notice. Awww. Just writing about Luna park makes me want to go again and relive my childhood. Anyone for Fairy Floss?   http://www.lunaparksydney.com/

019 noosa1
Noosa Beach

Noosa Beach Sunshine Coast Qld. What can I say about Noosa which I have not already written about many times before. It is another favourite beach.

020 port fairy
Port Fairy

Port Fairy at the end of the Great Ocean Road Vic. It is located on the Moyne River and was named by the crew of a whaling ship, The Fairy in 1828. In some respects much of Port fairy still looks like it did 100 years ago and still maintains a sort of olde worlde charm. The town had an arm wrestle with its original name. A John Griffiths established a whaling station and called the town Belfast after his home town in Ireland in 1835. The Post Office already called the town Port Fairy John Griffiths was not to outdone and agitated to the point the town was renamed Belfast in 1854. The local population, few of whom came from Ireland agitated themselves and soon the town reverted to the name Port Fairy. That name still stands today. Incidentally whaling is no longer carried out here but the cold waters around the coast are ideal for squid and calamari fishing boats.

Sunday 26th March

Tropical Cyclone Debbie formed off the tropical coast of Queensland on Friday. It is expected to cross the coast as a Category 4 or worst case scenario, Category 5 about 8am Monday. Predicted path is to cross south of Ayr and the time of arrival is expected to be at the top of a King Tide. With a two metre storm surge expected there are interesting times ahead.



515, Sunday 23rd October 2016. Townsville, Mackay and home …

Grrrr! I forgot to post this blog last week. I now recall why. I was doing a backup of the laptop overnight and planned the post the next day. The backup failed overnight. I started the backup again…this time from scratch. For whatever reason, it took 24 hours!!! A backup which should have been completed overnight Sunday was finally completed on Wednesday morning. The blog post was fogotten.

Monday 17th October

Today dawned with the usual sunshine and temperature in the 30’s by mid morning.

Had dinner with Shelly, Dwaynne and the tribe. Thank you.

Dinner at daughter Shelly’s house.

Wednesday 19th October

While Donnis and Karen had a girls day out I had a final dinner with Shelley as Donnis and I are leaving tomorrow.

Thanks for dinner Shelley and thanks to the family for the time we spent together.

Thanks Karen for your hospitality. We enjoyed our time with you.

Thursday 20th October

We were on the road by 9am with our intended destination, Mackay, about 6 hours away. Originally we had planned to take the inland alternate route which would have meant less traffic, less towns, a longer journey, higher fuel prices and exorbitant accommodation costs. Most of the towns are involved with coal mining so most accommodation is aimed towards the mining and associated industries. Pricing is also aimed at the mining market.

Passing through Home Hill I recalled we have never been to Wunjunga and a little camp spot called “Funny Dunny”. The sign said it was only 15 Klms off the highway. We had a little time up our sleeves and decided to have a look.

Wrong move.

The access road is mostly fine powder dust across a dry flood plain and salt marsh.

Saltbush floodplains.

Funny Dunny when we finally found it was a disappointment.  We have seen similar “dunnies” and frankly they look the same.

This is the famous Funny Dunny known to many motorhome, caravan and camping travellers.
The small campground at Funny Dunny

The dismal excuse for a beach is really not much more than the aforementioned powdery dust covered in sea grass washed up and drying in the sun.

A dismal beach at Funny Dunny

What appears to be an island in the distance is really the peninsular called Cape Upstart which can be accessed by a powdery dirt road located at Guthalungra much further south, also through flood plains.

Looking across the bay to Cape Upstart.

The powdery dust somehow clings to everything including shoes. It does not simply fall off or brush off. It must be washed off. Luckily the car has dust seals but the dust is still hiding looking for a way to get inside. Rubber floor mats are like static electricity to this stuff. Stay away is my advice.

There must be a reason why people camp here in isolation year after year.

Maybe the reasons can be found here…   http://www.findacamp.com.au/camp-site.php?camp=1143

We arrived in Mackay well before sister Sandra came home from work. While waiting we drove to Shoal Point for a splash along the beach. I have spent many happy hours at Shoal Point.

Shoal Point Beach looking north to Cape Hillsborough.
Little Green island just offshore Shoal Point. At low tide it is possible to walk to the island.

Depending on the tide I would launch my Windrush 13’ Catamaran here for a sail out to Little Green Island for an hour of exploration. Of course the return sail back to Shoal Point had to be timed before the tide started to turn to low. Otherwise it was a long way to drag the catamaran across a Klm of sand flats.

Friday 21st October.

Somehow my original plan to stop along the highway and stay in a motel overnight got changed to “lets drive all the way home”. We took turns every two hours and changing drivers. This works fine in theory. The Co-Pilot – Donnis – falls asleep in the passenger seat within minutes. I on the other hand simply cannot fall asleep. I get comfortable and close my eyes but every time Donnis brakes, even lightly, my eyes flash open again. Perhaps I do manage to get a few minutes of sleep but mostly sleep eludes me. First stop for a change of drivers was at a place called the Flaggy Rock Café, 119 Klms from our start point. We have travelled this road and driven by this café hundreds of times in the past. We have never stopped before.   It has a man- made lagoon

Man made Billabong at Flaggy Rock

with a handful of ducks wandering around

Ducks at Flaggy Rock

and the buildings tables and chairs are a rustic log cabin style. We bought a coffee and sausage roll to take away and were soon on the road. The man behind the coffee machine did not look well. We discovered later he has blood cancer and the business is for sale.    https://www.realestate.com.au/sold/property-acreage+semi-rural-qld-flaggy+rock-113787375

The day continued this way every two hours when we stopped for fuel or food or a toilet break. By 7pm we arrived in Gympie 2 hours north of Brisbane. After a fuel stop and dinner at a new Indian Restaurant (the best popadoms and Naan Bread) we travelled along the M1 and arrived home at 11.30pm.  A long 15 hours on the road.  By the time we showered and crawled into bed both of us still heard the sound of the road in our heads.

Saturday 22nd October

A lazy day at home recovering from our long day on the road. We still only half unpacked.

Sunday 23rd October

Some rain rolled in last night and the temperature fell overnight. At 7am it was positively chilly at 14° compared to Townsville and Mackay where it was 30° by 7am.