Gold Coast Drive
Friday 13th January 2017
Having spent the day yesterday using the car to get jobs done – amazing how much you can achieve in a day with a set of wheels to get around in! – we set off this morning for a leisurely drive south to take a look at the popular stretch of coastline that is the Gold Coast. We had previously not ventured beyond Southport, the furthest we can get in one bus ride, and then always to achieve some task rather than for leisure. So it made a nice change to take the coast road and see why it is so popular.
The beaches along this stretch of coastline are indeed beautiful, with golden sand, but of course that also means that the shoreline is congested with buildings to house the visitors as well as the permanent residents. This area is popular with retirees from further south, who move here to avoid the colder winters of New South Wales or Victoria, as well as the hoards that holiday here in the summer. There is good surf along this coast, so it is popular with surfers too. So we were not surprised to find the most popular spots crowded, like any seaside town on a hot, sunny day.
At Southport we drove out to The Spit and had a look out over the Gold Coast Seaway through which we had entered, with some relief after the Coffs Harbour storm, the calm inland waters of the Broadwater and then the Coomera River, last June.
Looking out to the sea end of the Gold Coast Seaway. The land end of the seaway, into the Broadwater.
Between the popular spots, like Surfers Paradise which was heaving, there were long stretches of untouched beach. There were clear efforts to conserve the beaches in some of these areas, where the forces of nature were clearly attempting to shift the sands.
Vast stretches of almost empty beach, here with stakes being used to keep the sand from moving.
Approaching the high rises of Surfers Paradise.
As far as possible we avoided the main roads and instead followed the roads that hugged the shore all the way to Burleigh Heads, a popular seaside town, where we thought we would stroll a while and get a bite of lunch. How wrong can you be! We drove around town twice searching for somewhere to park, avoiding the bucket-and-spade mob who appeared to think the roads were part of the beach and therefore didn’t need to look before stepping out into them. Eventually we gave up and drove on in search of a quiet spot with no crowds and a beachside cafe where we could relax over lunch.
About 10km further down the coast we came to Elephant Rock. This was a large rock jutting out from the beach at Currumbin, and better still, sitting on top of it was the Currumbin Beach Vikings Surf Lifesaving Club, where we gazed out at the shore while we enjoyed a very pleasant lunch.
The view back up the coast from Elephant Rock. And to the south towards Tweed Heads.
After lunch and a stroll along the seafront to work some of it off, we turned the car around and headed north again and back to the boat, pleased to have seen this lovely stretch of the beautiful east coast up close.