Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Burleigh Heads - Tranquil Shores of the Gold Coast

Nestled between Coolangata and Surfer's Paradise is the suburb of Burleigh Heads characterized by serene coastlines, pine trees and pandanus palms, and a National Park. It's roughly 13 kilometers from Surfer's Paradise so it was a leisurely 20 minute drive from the hustle of Cavill. The site gracefully curves as it moves southward. From the coastline, you could see the skyscrapers of the nearby town.

We sat down on the descending shoulder of the hill leading down the boulder-filled beach. Nearby, we could see the almost abandoned Mermaid Beach just south of Broad Beach. The headland was sculpted by volcanic activity and the aborigines used to gather here to fish and celebrate. These days, this is still possible. The breezy spot has picnic and barbecue areas overlooking  the ocean famous for tubular waves, though not this particular season.

Less than a dozen steps from where we sat was the start of a trail that punctuates the National Park. The trail is well marked, eventually leading to Seaway and South Stradbroke Island.

The morning sun was gone and the weather was downcast. From a distance, the skycrapers were a blur, like pencil sketches on a gray canvas.

If I had the time, this would have been a pleasant trail to explore. We managed to get through Rainbow Bay, Currumbin Creek and Tallebudgera Creek but finally decided to head back. We had somewhere else to check out.

Burleigh Heads is the birthplace of the modern professional surfing competition. The first man-on-man competition was held here due to its unique ("hollow") waves which weren't on view then.

I would have loved to stay; watch the sea in delectable silence with just the lapping of the waves as they break to the shore. But it was time to go.

This is the Eye in the Sky!

We could see Mermaid Beach from there. Further away was Surfer's Paradise. 

Follow the trail.

Gorgeous adventitious roots of the pandanus palms.


Ramakrishnan said...

Captivating images all. Why is it named the Gold coast? Any legend behind this ?

eye in the sky said...

Hi Ram,

I was curious about the name too. I thought it had something to do with finding gold or a gold rush of sorts. But the explanation's rather unromantic: in the olden days when the region was young, real estate developers thought they'd strike gold with the influx of revelers to the coast, and it was ripe to offer the lands to moneyed people. Thus Gold Coast. :)