Friday, November 8, 2013

Sun and Sand in Southport (Gold Coast, Queensland)

On my second day in the Gold Coast, there was a buzz in the air. I would have to spend the day on my own because Girlie had to work. The plan was to take me to the central business district (CBD) which is Southport, just north of Surfer’s Paradise. Then I could explore. I was quite excited how I'd find the place, spend my first Australian dollar; meet the locals, and wrestle with the accents. There's so much to do. In this suburb, there are several beaches, a parkland, the waterways, Sea World and shopping malls, particularly the aptly named Australia Fair.

I was dropped off at the colorful children’s trampoline called "The Jumping Pillow" (left) then walked eastward to the coast. Compared to Surfer’s Paradise, the sand bar was narrower, and almost deserted, except for a few people running; a couple playing football, a grandfather taking his tots for a ride, etc.

The park had a variety of features that it was hard to get bored even when you’re alone. The ANZAC Park had a solitary statue of a soldier representing those who enlisted during the Great War of 1914 to 1919. Other features: a lagoon, a play area, The Spine, The Rockpools, a Visitor’s Centre, the Southport Pier, Urban Wetland, a Mangrove Walk and the Pandanus Point.

I was mesmerized by a sunny day cloaked under a blue, almost cloudless sky. But something enchanted me more. I sat by the foreshore facing west just gazing at a crane sweeping down the sky and into the Broadwater, scooping what my eyes couldn't see. The mechanics of nature was as appealing as any other man-made pleasures.

What’s curiously absent: little shops to buy drinks for when you’re sun-drenched and need to hydrate. Being Australia, there are no ambulant vendors here. If this were anywhere Asia, I’m sure there’d be touts selling la variety of stuff. The solution to this was just to head west, cross the road and go to the nearby mall.

A flower-filled garden called The Old Seawall Park carried an explanation about soil erosion that had subsequently moved the nearby sand bar by 4 kilometers north from its original 1918 site. Another of its interesting features was an ascending land mass called The Hill which we’ll feature separately on our next post. For now, this post will bask on the sun and the sand of Southport.

This is the Eye in the Sky!

The beach has a great view of the Broadwater and Southport Spit.

Further north is Runaway Bay

Southport Spit has its share of high rise. The Spit divides the salty Broadwater from the Pacific.

Pandanus Palms

At Pandanus Point (above and below)

Southport Pier

When getting a tan looked painful...

Having fun with grandpa.

For the soldiers in the Great War of 1914.
The soldier at ANZAC Park. This photo only courtesy of wikipedia.

Going towards the shopping malls.

The Hill

Southport population: 28,500
Southport. The park we visited is located at the inland shores (right side of the photo) separated from The Spit by a bridge and the meandering Broadwater, a sea water that's part of the Pacific, but got caught within the sandbar. The open sea (left) is the Pacific.

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