Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Gold Coast


The day after our son's wedding, Saturday, June 25th, the family members who were in Australia for the wedding traveled down from Brisbane to the Gold Coast.  We had a fun day together and enjoyed the scenery, but I was not impressed with the crowds and the commercialism of the area.

We visited a number of places starting at Burleigh Heads where we hiked some of the trails and ending in Ballina where we watched the sunset from breakwater near Ballina Head.  At one of the places, Byron Bay, it was so busy that we did not even stop, but drove on.

Driving down from Brisbane, then, we stopped first at Burleigh Head National Park and walked the trails there.  Though it was early morning the park was very busy with a lot of people on the trails and along the water, not surprising on a warm Saturday, but a bit crowded for me.

the coast north of Burleigh Head


Mother-of-Millions
(a garden escape and noxious weed in Australia)



hibiscus bud


the coast to the north




unidentified tree


along the coastal trail







the coast to the south


Screw-pine trees and fruit








wrecked boat


leaf


Palm Beach


Herman


seagull


From Burleigh Head we went on to Byron Bay where we had lunch before driving to Cape Byron to see the lighthouse.  It was so busy there that we could not find a place to park and after taking a few pictures we drove on along the coast to Lake Ainsworth in New South Wales.

Weeping Paperbark




Cape Byron Lighthouse


Byron Bay




Lake Ainsworth is very near the coast and is one of the tea-tree lakes with its water stained by tannins from the Swamp Paperbark trees that grow on its shore.  We wandered the shores of the lake and then the beach nearby, enjoying the sunshine and the beautiful weather.

Lake Ainsworth


"tea" water


Crested Pigeon


Swamp Paperbarks






Australian Wood Ducks


Silver Banksia




 the beach




Australian Magpie


Magpie-lark



Carpet Python


Continuing south we arrived at Ballina and walked out on the breakwater where we spent the rest of the evening until sundown watching whales spouting in the distance and the porpoises riding the waves and fishing at the entrance to the harbor, a quiet ending to a busy day.

coast near Ballina



Australian Pelican


waves















 sunset