Monthly Archives: October 2021
But delayed by a day. There has been a weather delay in completing the last 4 kilometres to Pt Danger. Allthego had to skip Thursday due to a rather bad weather forecast putting a dampener on the final leg. Friday morning though saw the weather ultimately clear to blue skies after some early morning downpours on the Gold Coast. So it was back to North Kirra Beach to pick up where the walk was called off a couple of days ago.
From North Kirra the walk closely follows the beaches all the way through Greenmount Beach at the southern end of Coolangatta Beach. Along the Kirra section of the pathway is a memorial to the sailing ship ‘Coolangatta’ which washed up on the beach in a storm in 1846. This was the origin of the name ‘Coolangatta ‘ for the small town that developed on the coast from about 1884. ‘Coolangatta’ is an aboriginal word meaning “Good Outlook” of “Fine View”. Quite apt! There are also a few sculptures along the pathway. Another one of the Koalas promoting Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary and the somewhat unusual ‘Nailing the Gold Coast’, a number of ‘steel things’ embedded in the grass to various depths resembling nails.
Coolangatta Beach was soon reached, lot of building work going on. The parkland between the main drag and the beach very green and attractive. The tide was out and there was quite an expanse of sand down to the water. Coolangatta and Tweed Heads is an old stamping ground for Homealone, she was born at Murwillumbah and lived at Tweed Heads for a number of years, enjoying Coolangatta Beach with her two sisters on many an occasion. The town has moved on a bit since then one suspects, there is an electric vehicle charging station right outside the Coolangatta SLSC. A Tesla was tied up to it getting a fill up, reminds one of the days when horses were tethered to rails outside hotels.
Allthego couldn’t resist ducking down a side street to have a look at the ‘wall’ Queen Anna has built to keep the southeners out, this segment just closed off the exits from the roundabout outside Twin Towns Services Club. A big sign there says ‘Welcome to NSW’, couldn’t see the ‘Welcome to Qld ‘ sign anywhere!
After checking the wall out Allthego returned to the main task and continued along the pathway around the Greenmount Headland, great views along the path here looking back down Coolangatta Beach. Rainbow Bay marks the closing stages of the walk as the path winds its way along the beachfront past the iconic SLSC on the hill looking back all the way to Surfers Paradise and beyond. On past the famous Snapper Rocks surfing locale the path heads up to Pt Danger and the view over the mouth of the Tweed River to the south and then back north past the Spit and Seaway.
That is the end. It has taken Allthego five mornings, about 3-4 hours of walking each day, to complete the 36 km from the Seaway to Pt Danger. It has been an interesting journey, a few things learned and to be remembered. Some do the walk in the opposite direction, Allthgo is not tempted!
Over the last three days Allthego has been notching up a few kilometres more than planned and as a consequence is ahead of schedule. This a good outcome because the weather is deteriorating and rain a threat to further progress later in the week. So the objective today is to try to do 12 kilometres and get to Point Danger a couple of days early and beat the rain. The forecast is similar to what we had yesterday, so there is a good chance. Gillian has also come down to join me on the trek and encourage the pace required.
We set off from opposite The Collective where we had lunch yesterday. It was a few more blocks of roadway before turning towards the beach and joining the pathway through the Palm Beach Parklands and along the back waters of Currumbin Creek.
Then back to the Highway to cross Currumbin Creek and head out to the mouth on the southern side. There is a sand pump going strong alongside a large sand bar near the creek mouth. The sand is being pumped several hundred metres north along the beach. The area we are in is known as Currumbin Alley, a top surfing spot. Not many in the water though on this dull windy day. We watched a kite surfer skipping along the surf line at a great rate, quite spectacular, against the backdrop of Broadbeach and Surfers Paradise.
Back on the walkway we headed past Currumbin Beach SLSC and Elephant Rock, a seventy step climb to look down to Coolangatta and Pt Danger away in the distance. At this point I started to wonder whether we would make it! The weather was closing in a bit too and we were soon stepping out in some drizzle that slowly got heavier.
We stopped a few times under Pandanus palms and Tuckeroo trees for shelter, Bilinga Beach had some welcome shelters next to the Surf Club. We had got a little wet and decided to call time at North Kirra Beach, some four kilometres short of the destination, having called Homealone for the pickup.
Temptation was too great though and the three of us had lunch at the Club while rain tumbled down on the tin roof! Timing is everything! It was then back to Broadbeach for a hot shower and warm up. Four kilometres in the final stage to Pt Danger, weather permitting!
Stage three of the trek is from Nobbys Beach through to Palm Beach, about 8.5 km. Nobbys Beach is apparently named after a local farmer’s cow that wandered down there back in the ‘old days’, it is a rather quiet place. The walk goes along the street past the surf club before returning to the foreshore on the way down to Miami Beach. The weather is not great, very overcast with the threat of some rain. But it is great walking weather. The beach scenes though are rather glum, the sky misty and a pervading ‘grey’ hangs around. It feels like a bit of a race to get to Palm Beach before the rain comes!
Miami is also rather laid back, it has a ‘residential’ rather than a ‘tourist’ air about it. There is a little family history here in Miami. Allthego’s father worked as a wool shipping clerk for a French company that owned a unit in the Coel-Na-Mara unit complex. For a number of years around 1990 the parents had holidays here at Miami in the unit and we dropped down from Brisbane to see them for a couple of days. The unit complex is still here today, but Miami is somewhat changed. Have to look back in the old photo albums for a comparison!
At the southern end of Miami Beach some steps lead to the top of Little Burleigh Hill giving great views north back over Miami to Surfers Paradise and south to Burleigh Headland. Up the steps and down Little Burleigh Headland proves to be the steepest part of the walk so far, but once down to the beach it is back on the level. The Boardwalk leads along the foreshore through the Burleigh township to Burleigh Headland NP. A little bit of drizzle sets in but fortunately stops as the walk goes up the headland into the National Park. Allthego chooses the coastal path around the headland which winds it’s way around to Tallebudgera Creek.
Once across the creek it is down the Gold Coast Highway to Palm Beach, there is though a short stretch of foreshore boardwalk to enjoy. More is planned but there is an ongoing planning battle with residents about the pathway and where it goes. One suspects the Gold Coast Council will eventually win out. Allthego wont wait!
So, the trudge down the highway from 27th Avenue to Seventh Avenue is necessary, a little bit of drizzle as well. Urban walking! There was temptation to stop for a coffee. The streetscape has that tired feeling about it. Revitalization is needed. Here and there the housing is getting a bit ragged and the 1960s and 70s gloss is fading. Some would say it has rubbed off and been replaced by nothing! Some of the old beach ‘shacks’ are going and redevelopment is going ahead. There seems to be a rear guard action being fought to stop the light rail coming south from Burleigh Heads. Unlikely!
Finally, just past Seventh Avenue Allthego spotted The Collective, an eating establishment he had read about. It was about 12.30 and time for lunch, it was getting a bit wet as well. So the call went out for Homealone to head off for the pickup and lunch.
Allthego can recommend The Collective. It is a ‘collection’ of themed eateries, like sidewalk windows of food! One sits down and can order from an IPad. The selection covers American alfresco foods (mainly hamburgers and the like), a woodfired pizza bar and pasta, Greek delicacies, some Asian fusion nibbles and something else I have forgotten. Played some 60s 70s soft rock and country music as well! And it rained cats and dogs while we ate! A wise stop indeed.
It was then back to Broadbeach and recovery time.
We awoke on Monday to the threat of rain for the rest of the week! This was a little disappointing but Allthego is setting off anyway. Rain is needed. The next section of the trek resumes at Narrowneck and extends 8km south to Nobbys Beach Surf Life Saving Club. The sun and blue skies have gone but the rain has held off. Had a short walk around Mackintosh Island Park, in the Nerang River. Very pleasant spot in the hurly burly of Narrowneck, some black swans had recently had newborns and the peacocks were showing their colours.
The walkway heads south and soon comes to Surfers Paradise. Capital of the glitter strip. There are a lot of information boards around documenting the history of the area from the 1950s. Memories of Meter Maids and that guy who went around rubbing suntan lotion on people, as well as surfing legends and the bikini lady, Paula Stafford. Cavill Avenue history also gets a run.
Major redevelopment is taking place to revamp the precinct, the 2018 Commonwealth Games mascot is still hanging around along the waterfront. Moving along from Surfers the next calling point is Broadbeach, plenty of building activity is taking place. The boardwalk ends here and Allthego needs to take to the streets for the long walk along Hedges Avenue to Mermaid Beach.
Hedges Avenue is a narrow street lined with private homes and the odd apartment block, generally low rise. It is known as ‘millionaire’s row’. The homes have title rights down to the highwater mark, making it difficult to put a boardwalk up between them and the beach. Spoil the ambience and property values. It is a mixed bag though, modern homes mixed with original ‘beach shacks’ from the 1950s and 60s. It is a slow stroll down the Avenue from number 270 something to number 1 Hedges at Mermaid Beach. Quite a nice Surf Club here and cafe precinct. But there are magpies. Allthego, politely minding his movements, was dive bombed by one of these characters a couple of times in the parkland opposite the Club.
It was then back onto the streets for the stroll through to Nobbys Beach Surf Life Saving Club. Homealone duly arrived with the transport and we headed back to Broadbeach to Kurrawa Beach SLSC for a thirst quencher, couldn’t resist a serve of potato wedges and sour cream overlooking the ocean!
We have come down to the Gold Coast for a week of fun in the sun. No van. Staying at Broadbeach in a unit opposite Pacific Fair and nearby the Star Casino. Queensland has survived another COVID ‘scare’, so we have escaped the Brisbane suburbs for the glitter strip. This is a trip though with a purpose as Allthego is preparing for a multi day walk in Tasmania in the new year. Some training is required, drop some kilos and loosen the legs. Homealone will hold the fort and act as a transport operative, and no doubt do some craft things in between!
The objective is to walk from the Seaway on the Spit to Pt Danger at the NSW border, along what is known as the Ocean Way. This is about 36 km along the foreshore bikeways and walkways. There are some segments where the Ocean Way does not exist and one has to revert to the streets. This particularly applies in some areas where houses have rights down to the high tide mark. They do not want the general populace wandering past their back door spoiling the ambience of the locale!
Allthego has got out the maps and believes that this is a leisurely stroll and can be comfortably completed in 5-6 days, retiring each night to the Broadbeach accommodation. Some would do it a lot quicker but would miss the photo opportunities and cultural experiences along the way!
Day 1 has been successfully completed, approximately 8km. The Seaway to Narrowneck, including walking out and back along the seawall. The Seaway separates South Stradbroke Island from the northern end of the Gold Coast. Narrowneck is the thin ‘strip’ of land that separates the meandering Nerang River from the sea, a couple of kilometres south of Main Beach.
Leaving the Seaway the walk meanders down what is known as the Federation Walk, a track behind and among the sand dunes passing through areas of remnant rainforest. There are lots of people around. It is a dog off leash area, including the beach between the seawall and the sand pumping jetty. There are more dogs than people. Dogs everywhere, it is Sunday, but a pleasant stroll through to Main Beach and then along the walkway to Narrowneck.
A bit weary so it was back to the unit for recovery. Further south tomorrow!