Monday, 28 February 2011

Great Barrier Reef Low Isles

A fabulously beautiful place to swim and snorkel, which we did in October 2008. Luvin' the stinger suit (not!!)

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Noosa Main Beach

Noosa Main Beach is a lovely haven, a little more protected than some of the more open and "wild" surf beaches of the Sunshine Coast.  This is the last of the photos from our January 2011 Queensland holiday.

Friday, 25 February 2011

Caloundra Pool

This beachfront tidal saltwater pool is at Kings Beach, Caloundra. The day I visited the water was murky from recent discharge of floodwaters which had affected many Queensland beaches after the floods of January 2011.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Plantation Resort, Rainbow Beach

I am rather partial to a resort pool, even where the beach is a stone's throw away. I spent most of Australia Day 2011 lolling around here, hearing music from the pub next door.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

The fight to save Bexley Pool ....continued

Bexley Pool running out of options

22 Feb, 2011 04:00 AM
PLANS for the redevelopment of Bexley Pool could be thwarted because of the location of Sydney Water infrastructure.
A Rockdale Council report outlining progress on the proposed redevelopment will be presented to the March 17 council meeting.
The council resolved in December to commission TompkinsMDA Architects to investigate the feasibility of reconstructing the 50-metre pool, 16.5 metres to the east.
Feasibility studies and design work will cost $80,000 using money from the council’s Bexley Pool redevelopment fund.
However, in a report tabled at a council meeting last week, Sydney Water says its policy will no longer allow building over its assets on the site, which includes sewerage and stormwater pipes.
The council report says Sydney Water’s position had serious implications.
It would preclude relocation of the pool to the east, or even its replacement in its current location.
‘‘It precludes the reference group proposal of an indoor centre south of the 50-metre pool,’’ the report says.
A council resolution in December was for TompkinsMDA Architect’s to be commissioned to prepare concept design plans and costings for a two-stage project, involving relocation plus a new indoor heated 25- metre pool and program therapy pool where the existing amenities and an office building are now located.
A report was to be provided this month concerning Sydney Water’s sewer and stormwater infrastructure, and a program for including the work in the council’s 2011-12 operational plan.
Resident Brian Wilson said the council’s reports on the redevelopment of the pool were ‘‘unnecessarily negative’’ and could be a ‘‘spoiling strategy’’ to derail the project.
He said shifting the pool east to avoid Sydney Water assets was only one option in a feasibility study by
TompkinsMDA Architects.
He said residents were frustrated it took two years for a feasibility study to be done, and the council should reaffirm its commitment to the redevelopment and commit funding for the first stage in the 2011-12 budget.
‘‘This was based on a brief, not a fully detailed request for tender, and it was not a full, public tender process; rather it is the case that the brief was only circulated to a limited number of companies,’’ Mr Wilson said.
Labor councillor Shane O’Brien said it was important the council explore all necessary options for upgrading the site and suitable designs.
‘‘Pool users can be assured the council is progressing, it’s come a long way down the path — we need to make sure we are getting the best quality facility and the most cost-effective,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s an important piece of infrastructure, it’s important that it gives the community what they want.’’
Greens Cr Lesa de Leau said it was important the community continued to look at the detail of the council’s reports.
Independent Yvonne Bellamy said the younger and older generations needed a heated pool to learn to swim and maintain health, and such facilities were in great demand in other areas of Sydney.

Driving and picnicking on the beach

On the Fraser Coast in Queensland (and other places), driving a 4WD along parts of the beach is part of the lifestyle. Nevertheless, beach driving is controversial. I must admit it bemuses me somewhat - how you can imagine diesel fumes add to beauty, and why you would want to spend a picnic in the shadow of your car. It is also a bit disconcerting as a beach walker to have to watch out for traffic!

I am interested to hear what others have to say.

Above: evidence that you are never really alone on the beach, and could get mown down at any time! I went for a walk along Rainbow Beach just after 7am, and had to watch out for vehicles. Mind you, one driver regretted his decision - the rescue would have proved very costly!

Below: King of all he surveys

Below: Peak hour

Below: Where there is driving, there are road signs. This makes a particularly unattractive backdrop to the beach!

Below: Mind you, you had better heed the signs, cos the local coppers patrol the beach. They also set up breath-testing, probably to nab drunken picnickers on their way home from a day down the beach.

Below: Heavy traffic!

Pictures below: Australia Day, Rainbow Beach. Not, in my view, a particularly inviting way to have  a picnic: turn a beach into a car park. Others no doubt disagree.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Rainbow Beach walk

Probably misplaced on a "Swimming" Blog - but occasionally swimming is replaced by walking. Join me on a morning walk along Rainbow Beach. It's 26 January, Australia Day, 2011. The next post will show what the beach was like later in the day. For the moment, it is relatively peaceful...

Below: Early morning cars setting up at Mudlo Rocks for the circus the beach will become later

Below: Some people even brought their own furniture....

Below: Oops! Now that's a bummer of a start to the day! The Rainbow Beach website has a tally of the vehicles which have come to grief here. The Rainbow Beach website shows a tally of the vehicles which have come to grief here:

The notorious Mudlo Rocks have claimed many an over enthusiastic 4WD adventurer over the years. This is captured and monitored below in the official Rock Toll as a warning to those who dare try to conquer the ever-changing rock formation situated directly in front of the Rainbow Beach Township.

To check conditions make sure to check our beach report HERE and our live Rock Cam HERE before venturing out.

Year    Toyota     Nissan      Landrover      Mitsubishi       Holden      Misc        Total
2000       23          12              7                    14                  8             11            75
2001      14             9            10                      6                  3             14            56
2002        3             0              2                      3                  2               4            14
2003       13            1              5                      3                  1               2            25
2004       14            6              1                      5                  2               5            33
2005         9            5              1                      0                  0               7            22
2006       10            9              2                      8                  4               4            37
2007         8            2              4                      6                  8               4            32
2008         8            7              7                      2                  5             10            39
2009         9            3              5                      2                  1               8            28
2010       12            8              3                      6                  0               9            38

Below: Coffee rock - it's not really rock, but compacted and cemented sand and humus - a sort of prehistoric mud.

Below: The lookout at the end of Phil Rogers Park, next to the Carlo sandblow. It was named by Captain Cook after one of his crew members.

Below: Carlo Sandblow from the beach.

Below: Carlo Sandblow from the top, looking towards Double Island Point

Below: Part of the coloured sand cliffs which give Rainbow Beach (formerly called 'Back Beach') its name.  Rainbow Beach started as a town servicing the sand mining industry. The sand cliffs get more spectacular than this, but I didn't keep walking.

Below: Watch out you don't get run over!

Below: Water runs out from Carlo Sandblow

Below: Looking over the beach from the lookout a Phil Rogers Park

Below: After the walk, a contemplation of Rainbow beach with one of the best smoothies I have ever had.