Beaches!!!

Being from Canada and having grown up nowhere near the ocean, going to the beach is always a treat for me, especially when the weather is warm and the water is not numbingly cold. So, one of my requests to my boyfriend for my Australian trip was to visit as many beaches as possible while I’m here.

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The first beach we visited was on the Gold Coast, Kira Beach. The sand was very fine and almost blindingly white, and made a satisfying squeaky noise when you walked on it. The waves at that beach were pretty big in my opinion, but my more experienced boyfriend thought they were just ok.

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We got takeaway lunch at one of the many fish’n’chips shops lining the beach, and headed down the road to Burleigh Heads, where there was a surfing competition underway.  The Gold Coast is a prime example of the Aussie surfing culture. My boyfriend mentioned that surfing can be chosen as an elective in Physical Education classes in some high schools along the coast!

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My next experience with Aussie beaches was during our trip to Sydney. We had organized a mini-reunion in Sydney with a few of our old work colleagues from our time in Japan.  We stayed in an eastern suburb of Sydney called Randwick, near Coogee Beach. Our hotel was a 20 min walk from the beach, so the day after we arrived in Sydney was a designated beach day.  It was a beautiful, hot sunny day, and the beach was full of sunbathers. We were surprised however, to see that no-one was swimming!! There were plenty of lifeguards on hand, but no flags had been put up ( in Australia, you are only allowed to swim in designated areas marked by red and yellow flags).  We soon found out why: one of the lifeguards announced that the beach was closed for swimming due to dangerous conditions (at least it wasn’t due to a shark attack or sighting). We decided to lay out on the beach anyway, and only waded up to our knees in order to cool down, and eventually they opened a narrow area for swimming.

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A few days later, we did the Coogee-to-Bondi coast walk, which is a beautiful walk (about 2km long) along the coastline of Sydney connecting some of the city’s beaches. The views were breathtaking, and I was happy to get the exercise, after having eaten big breakfasts everyday at the delicious cafe near our hotel.

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I have to say, I think Sydney is my favourite Australian city, the city itself is great, there are some really cool areas, like Surrey Hills and Randwick, and it has something like 17 beaches!! You just can’t get much better than that (sorry Melbourne).

Our next mini beach holiday was to the sunshine coast (or Sunny-coast as the Aussies call it). We stayed one night in Maloolabah (I think that is how you spell it), and one day in Noosa, before driving back to Brisbane. Maloolabah had a nice beach, but it was affected a bit by erosion due to recent storms, so the beach itself was not very wide.  We made an effort to wake up early to see the sunrise, and got a few sunrise shots.

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Noosa was a pretty town, very touristy, but classy-touristy. The waters were calm that day, and we could feel little sea mites biting us from time to time. It was still a great day at the beach.

A few weeks ago, we traveled to Melbourne for a week to meet up with some of my boyfriend’s friends, to see the ANZAC day AFL game, which is one of the biggest games of the year, and to visit the wine country outside of Melbourne.  In Melbourne, we stayed in the suburb of St-Kilda, so we decided to visit St-Kilda Beach (I also wanted to get a photo of Luna Park, but it was undergoing renovations).  While the beach was nice, I learned that hardly anyone ever actually swims there, as the water is too cold (its the great southern ocean).   So this beach was a little disappointing.

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The following Saturday, we drove to the Victorian countryside, where we had rented a holiday house for the weekend, and where bf’s friends had organized a winery tour.  The house was located in the small town of Rye, and was close to the beach. Getting to the beach was another story. While we knew that the beach was very close (we could hear the waves), we didn’t know exactly how to get there. A group of us set out for a walk to find it. There were so many windy roads and dead ends, that it took us nearly 30 minutes to find the beach! It was well worth the effort though, as the beach was amazing, and we arrived there just in time for sunset ❤

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A couple of days ago, we decided to make a day trip back to the Gold Coast to visit the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. On the way, we picked up a fish of the day from a local fish’n’chips shop, and stopped off at a beach called the Spit, which happened to be open to dogs. It was so cute to see the dogs running along the beach, playing in the water and chasing the seagulls.  It was a nice sunny day, but a little too cool for a swim myself, so I was happy to just watch the happy puppies.

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Next up, Cairns, Port Douglas, and the Great Barrier Reef ( our upcoming trip this weekend, I can’t wait!!!)

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