You may find this fact difficult to believe when you scroll down and view the images below, but it is the middle of winter here in Australia at the moment. But in this vast and beautiful country, winters vary considerably depending on the location. And the location I am concentrating on for this blog, is the Gold Coast of Queensland. Southport, to be precise!
My husband and I drove down to the Gold Coast to watch one of our grandsons play Rugby League for his team, The Redcliffe Dolphins in Burleigh. And because it was such a beautiful day, we decided to have a drive around after the game to appreciate the scenery and the sun.
We were not alone. Anyone who had the time and the inclination were out and about, taking advantage of this wonderful winter weather. Admittedly, I did start the day with wearing a thick scarf and a warm jacket but as the day progressed, I quickly discarded these garments, as they were quite unnecessary by lunch time.
The people in the photo (below) didn't need jackets or scarves or shirts. Shorts and a sunhat were sufficient.
Southport is located near the mid point of the Gold Coast. Originally, it was called Nerang Creek Heads but was later renamed 'Southport,' because it was the southernmost port of the colony of Queensland.
Southport is known as the central business district of the city of Gold Coast and it used to be the entertainment hub of the area until it spread further into the heart of the Gold Coast. Southport has continued to experience increased tourism and extraordinary growth with many new high rises being completed in recent years, with many more, currently under construction.
The stretch of water which flows from the eastern boundary of Southport is called the Gold Coast Broadwater. The Southport Yacht Club and a few marinas on the southern bank of the Nerang River is known as Main Beach.
As you can see from my photos, this area is popular for fishing, boating, and water sports. Opposite Southport (where you can see the high rises) and towards the far side of the Broadwater on The Spit, is the theme park Sea World.
Many people swim here (as I have done on previous holidays) because I prefer the calm side to the surf beaches (for swimming) and Surfers is only six minutes from here. This choice of mine has a lot to do with the fact that I nearly drowned in Surfers Paradise once when I got swept out to sea by strong currents.
Surfers Paradise is famous for its high quality beaches and one thing that is greatly encouraged, is for people to swim between the flags in controlled areas. There are plenty of life guard stations situated along the wonderful stretch of beaches to help swimmers who get caught in tidal rips.
As I owe my life to a special life guard, I applaud their volunteer efforts because I know from first hand experience that they are willing to go to great lengthes to keep these beaches safe.
As we walked towards the marina, I lingered for long moments over the array of yachts and boats moared not far from the shore and imagined myself on board, heading out to sea. This one (below) looked particularly appealing.
All manner of sea worthy vessels rested along the waterfront, waiting for their turn to be launched into the clear blue waters.
The parklands adjacent to the river are very pictureqsue and there are BBQ's and picnic tables availble for the public to use and lots of shady areas, courtesy of the beautiful mature trees.
This pine tree looks as though it is competing with the sky scaper behind it from this angle, but the tall apartment building has won the prize for the most lofty position.
The tree trunks of these pine trees cast criss cross shadows across the lawn, creating an interesting pattern.
Another very impressive boat caught my attention.
I loved the shape of it and I'd also love to know what it looked like inside.
I zoomed in to see if I could read the name and when I did, I realized that 'Vegas' had come to the Gold Coast! Time to party!
A yachtsman prepares to take advantage of the sea breezes.
We turned around and moved back towards our car and of course I couldn't resist taking more photos.
The fishermen family on the sandy shore still had their lines in the water. I hope they caught some fish to take home. But if not, I'm sure they will have gone home very satisfied with their day.
As we drove out of our parking spot to go home, a flash of colour on the wall of the public toilets caught my eye. Someone had painted a beautiful lorikeet on the front of the building. I'd put my safety belt on but luckily I still had my camera in my hand and was able to get this shot as we passed by.
I will leave you with this delightful bit of Australiana to finish up my blog.