We left the last blog with me in Esk and Jenni still in the Netherlands on business.
Esk is a beautiful place night and day.
I think I experienced all Esk had to offer and it was time to leave.
After leaving Esk I drove to Stradbroke Island. More accurately I drove to Cleveland and caught the ferry to Dunwich on Stradbroke Island then drove to Adder Rocks.
The ferry journey takes about 45 minutes. Stradbroke Island is quite beautiful.
We are (hard getting used to vagabonding on my own) I am on the island for a friends birthday party. Jenni was supposed to be here too but work got in the way again.
I had 2 nights “glamping” in Adder Rocks as Cylinder Beach camp site, where I wanted to stay, was booked up. It’s school holidays. After the school holidays were over, on my 3rd day on the island I moved from Adder Rocks to Cylinder Beach and set up camp under a tree in an idyllic spot near the beach. The camp site was almost empty.
The camp site is right on the beach and the weather forecast said overcast with thunderstorms due. I was looking forward to seeing how the new tent set up fared in a proper thunderstorm.
On cue the thunderstorm with very heavy rain rolled in and the new tent performed perfectly well. No leaks and no issues. The tent of the 3 young female campers on the spot next door collapsed due to the weight of water pooling on the roof. Rookie mistake. As luck would have it, the 6 young lads who set up tent beside the 3 young girls seemed happy enough to help them sort it.
I had a visitor. This cutie was under the window sheets when I was opening the tent up one morning. He scurried away never to be seen again. He’s probably in my sleeping bag for all I know.
It wasn’t the only deadly creature to come terrorise me. in the tent.
I also had a little nocturnal visitor or two. Didn’t see them directly but they made their presence felt.
There’s a very good reason why Straddie is popular, it’s quite beautiful. The weekend I was there they held the Straddie Assault Surf competition.
The Straddie Assault is Australia’s longest running teams surfing competition. It is a unique event that is “invitation only” and brings together 16 of Australia’s premier clubs that are based between Noosa and Lennox Heads. I was lucky to witness the spectacle.
The headland overlooking this beach is a popular spot for wedding photographers. While sitting on the deck of the Surf Club I saw two different weddings try this suicide shot.
In the Point Lookout Surf Club I spied my name on a sign.
Although I was supposed to be there for a friend’s birthday celebration work got in the way for me too. I had to leave and fly to Sydney for two nights for a presentation.
I got back to Straddie, fortunately in time for the party, then had to leave a day early as my presentation was so good we got shortlisted and I had to go back and present to another group.
Going to be sad leaving this place, it is a delight day or night.
After Straddie and a hop in/out of Sydney I had a catch up with a good friend Steve in Brisbane who graciously put me up for a few nights. The weather picked up and the sun found it’s best hat and was wearing it for the duration of my time in Brisbane. The spectacular Jacaranda trees were out in bloom.
Jenni’s home and the Walligans are back together again.
I was staying in Brisbane just a few days while waiting for Jenni to fly home. I was looking forward to driving to the airport and seeing her after a very long break. We had arranged for a “decompression” break after Jenni got home. First stop Lennox Heads for one night only.
Next stop, Broken Head where we would be staying in a Forest Retreat for 3 peaceful nights.
Broken Head Forest Retreat
The retreat was better than we could have expected. It feels good to write “we” again in this blog. It was right in the middle of the forest but not a great distance from the beach. Once Jenni rested up for a few hours we went to explore the region. The lady who owned the place told us of a small secret beach called Bray’s Beach, not on any map and only accessible by a boat or a difficult forest trail. Sounded too good to miss. The next day we went to find the elusive Bray’s Beach.
Most of the narrow path through the dense forest was a steep descent. All I could think of was the ascent afterwards. That and snakes. Soon it levelled out and we saw blue sea through the thick brush.
Through the trees we stumbled onto this remarkable beach.
It wasn’t long before Jenni got in the water.
After making a pact to return for a longer stay we reluctantly left the forest house and not reluctantly at all, drove to Kingscliff for a night with Jenni’s dad John and Ingrid to celebrate their 39th wedding anniversary.
Apart from the obvious celebrations another reason we were visiting was to catch a glimpse and hopefully a picture of the new bird that has come to stay near John and Ingrid’s house. A breeding pair of Rainbow Bee Eaters. But before that fun we went to spend the morning in the glorious sunshine on Kingscliff beach.
If you recall from a few blogs back when we were previously in Kingscliff we saw some Sea Eagles or Osprey in a nest at the end of the beach feeding their young.
While relaxing in the sun I spied an Osprey sitting on a pole at the end of the pier not far away. I grabbed my camera and ninja’d across so not to scare it off. It was the young Osprey, the baby in the previous picture. It turned out it couldn’t have cared less about my presence and I was lucky to get very close. Got this shot, which is one of my favourite bird pictures that I have taken so far.
As it turned out our Kingscliff visit was to be replete with birds and wildlife. After the beach we drove to John and Ingrids place. We went out for a celebration dinner in a new restaurant called the Taverna. Very delicious Greek inspired sharing plates and great wine. If you are ever in Kingscliff try it out. But book it, it rarely has a spare table.
The next day we went for a walk around the lake that’s at the end of John and Ingrid’s garden. John said there was a fruit bat colony at the other side of the lake and you could see them hanging sleeping from the trees. But, before we set off the Rainbow Bee Eater made an appearance.
We were lucky and the male was out catching flying insects for the lady who was in the nest minding her eggs.
Off we set for our walk around the lake.
The lake is full of wild birds from many species. Here are a few we saw on the loop around the lake.
We didn’t find any fruit bats but the rest of the walk easily made up for it.
For the next two weeks Jenni and the rest of the team will be working hard progressing all the new business we have secured over the last few months. To support this we have booked a nice comfortable Airbnb in Brisbane. After that we have our annual team meeting in the Sunshine Coast. With a cyber business with staff members scattered all across the globe it’s important to get together at least once a year.
I would drive 50,000 K, and I would drive 50,000 more…
And finally – after 734 days on the road, the week we passed our 50,000 kilometres vagabonding milestone. That’s nearly 31,100 miles in old money. I won’t be doing a look back yet, I’ll keep that for the end of the year, which isn’t very far away.
Till next time.