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A Detour to Tambourine Mountain

Monday 14th September 2015

sunny 24 °C

Sadly it was time to leave our lovely Balinese style accommodation in order to make our way north west towards Tambourine Mountain. As if to say goodbye a water dragon joined me in our little back garden whilst I was having my shower.

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It was a journey of less than 100 miles and if driven direct would have taken less than two hours. Given that we needed to be out of our accommodation by 10am and couldn't check in to the bed and breakfast until after 2pm we had a bit of time to spare and decided to do some en-route sightseeing.

The first part of our journey was uneventful as we continued to follow the Pacific Highway northwards. As we approached the Gold Coast the feel of the towns changed and there were more high rise buildings and expensive looking houses. The demographic seemed to change as well, in line with what we were told later about where people of our age go once they have outgrown Byron Bay. We arrived at our mid-point destination Burleigh Head just before lunch. Initially we weren't sure where to go to get into the National Park and what the provisions were for parking. In the end we struck gold finding a space in a small car park at the busier northern end of the Head. This is real surfing territory and so the fact that it was free which was an added bonus. There are two main walks at Burleigh Head, one that runs near to the ocean and the other which is a circular walk on higher ground. Given that we were only wanting to stop for an hour or two we took the easier route which still gave us great views of Pacific and Palm Beaches to the south and Burleigh Beach and the Gold Coast proper to the north.

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There were signs warning that the path might be closed in wet or stormy weather due to the risk of rock fall. We were amused by the wording which said "rockfall area ahead, walk through without stopping". I am not sure that I was particularly reassured knowing that I was less likely to get hit on the head by falling rocks if I was on the move than if I was standing still!

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As we neared the end of the path it ran alongside the lovely Tallebudgera estuary beach which looked like an ideal place to swim if you wanted to avoid the rougher water out on the main beaches.

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We continued round to the cultural/ visitor centre in the hope of a coffee before making the return route back to where we had left the car. There were some display boards and interactive material inside the aboriginal centre and after we had drunk our coffee we got talking to one of the Rangers who told us about her cultural heritage as a member of the Yugambeh people and the importance of the mountain they know as Jellurgal. Her family had aboriginal and Polynesian heritage although her mother was British, as one of her earlier ancestors on her fathers side may have been. She spoke to us about trading with other Yugambeh people living further west and also about some of the symbolism behind aboriginal art. Red is generally considered a male colour and yellow female, red also represents the earth and yellow the sun. She told us that earlier art works were made using a crosshatching technique and that dot paintings are thought to have come about as a result of missionary influence. It was really interesting finding out more about the Yugambeh people and we ended up spending much more time there than we had originally intended.

We set of back doing the same walk but in reverse, enjoying the slightly different perspective this gave.

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At one point a kukkaburra came and landed on a branch right next to the path and it was great to see it that close.

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Once we got back to the car park, we got our picnic and joined many others having their lunch on the grass overlooking the beach, watching the surfers as we ate. Once we had finished eating we got on our way, driving up the busy roads through the Gold Coast.

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It was interesting to see the buildings and the man made waterways but it confirmed my decision not to stay there. To be honest it was a relief when we turned westwards and started heading towards the Tambourine Mountain and it surprised me how near it was to the Gold Coast, but how very different. We easily found Avocado Sunset where we were staying for the next two nights. Our room was lovely and our balcony, indeed the whole house, had amazing views onto the garden, the rainforest and the landscape beyond.

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I was feeling a little tired after our walk and travelling so had a short nap. Having had a look at the information provided about local restaurants (many of which were closed early in the week) we decided to give the Irish bar and restaurant called Clancy's a go as it was recommended by Cheryl and Richard our hosts. The food was delicious and I had mine with a glass of Guinness, something I hadn't tried since we were in Dublin. We didn't stay long once we had finished eating and were happy to return to the comfort of our room for the rest of the evening. I took the opportunity to take some photographs of the vegetation in the garden in nightlight before we went to sleep.

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Posted by Gill's Travels 06:39 Archived in Australia Tagged beaches sea australia kukkaburra

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