A Winter’s Day in Bulli Australia

While staying in Austinmer to the north I decided to take advantage of the local bus for a day trip to Bulli, the final stop off on our virtual holiday on the Illawarra Coast. My only memory of this area was hair-raising trips down the notorious Bulli Pass, the steep mountain pass which links the top of the Illawarra Escarpment to the coastal area below.

After alighting from the bus I proceeded to walk east to find the ocean. Little did I know the coastal strip is much wider here than at Austinmer, and it was quite a long way before I saw any water. I was relieved to come across an afternoon soccer game at Bulli Park, with the Pacific Ocean behind it.DSC01212

As I approached the headland I could see parasurfers taking advantage of the waves off the point.

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Looking to the north towards Sarandon Point, the sun was gleaming on the water of the bay.

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A traditional Australian seawater pool looked lovely, but being mid-winter, no-one was having a splash.

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Instead, families were making the most of the nearby playground.

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To the south was a long sweep of beach towards Bellambi.

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A nice day to be out with the metal detector looking for treasure.

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This is how we do winter on the Australian east coast. I guess I am pretty lucky to live in such a temperate part of the world.

I found a bus stop and was happy to continue my day trip in the area in the comfortable, if infrequent, local buses.

Dusky Austinmer Beach

The Beach at Austinmer New South Wales is popular with summer holiday makers but on dusky winters evenings, it can take on a less welcoming character.

The steps down to the saltwater pool look like steps to nowhere.

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Some people are keen.
 
 
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From the northern most end of the beach I can look back at the pool and change sheds, not tempted to get wet myself this evening.
 
 
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The trees take on a spooky character in the dusk.
 
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On the way home the fish and chip shop beckons, a splash of colour and warm light.
 
 
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Some images from the Austinmer holiday have been selected for greeting cards available in the ImageChest Etsy Store.
 

Stormy Stanwell Park Australia

It seems like its time to come back home and take a look at some pictures of Australia. Today I am going to share some images of a small town called Stanwell Park, just south of Sydney. Stanwell Park has a lovely sandy beach, most famous as the landing place for hand-gliders which take the leap from Stanwell Tops.

On my way down to the beach, I encountered this fellow, a Sulpur Crested Cockatoo, who exhibited no shyness in front of the camera. One of these birds had a character role in the film Rio, as the main villain. I think this characterisation was a little harsh, cockatoos are not normally inclined to criminal activity, unless you have a laden fruit tree.

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As you approach the beach you find a river attempting to make its way into the sea. Sometimes it doesn’t quite get there, and forms a shallow lagoon. A good rain will sort this one out.

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You can see the cliffs which are so popular for hang-gliding. Since this was a wintery weekday, there was only a lone glider high in the sky. I met this man later in the beachside cafe. It was strange to see a dot circling in the sky gradually materialise as a real person.

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As I walked out onto the beach, the threatening sky began to assert its presence in the north east.

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While to the south it was still blue skies and fair weather. You can see the new elevated road curving out over the cliff edge.The old road had collapsed down the side of the cliff, cutting off Stanwell Park from the towns to the south until a new road could be constructed.

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Looking out to sea, a helicopter and a tanker.

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Tucked between the busy cities of Sydney and Wollongong, the beach towns of the Illawarra Coast have to reconcile tourism with industry.