Sept 11, 2000

Today, we decided to take a leisurely drive down the coast. We stopped in at Currumbin and walked along the beach. We were surprised to see many blue jellyfish stuck on the sand after the tide went out. Here is a picture of one, it is about 6 inches across. They also have a large bird sanctuary in Currumbin and we had planned to come back later in the afternoon, but we didn't get time.

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As we head south, we find out that the border between Queensland and New South Wales runs right through the middle of the Coolangatta Airport, the main airport for the Gold Coast. This raises the question if a plane crashes in the middle of the airfield, right on the border, in which state will they bury the survivors?

The Gold Coast is very commercialized as it has been the main tourist destination for Australians dating back to the early 1900's. It's effectivily one very long beach running past several towns including Miami and Palm Beach. You can't really tell where one town ends the other starts unless you're watching the signs as it's very built up. As we head south past Tweed Heads, the area becomes rural again.

Part of our mission today was to find some fruit stands and buy some fresh, local fruit. We picked up some bannanas, mandarin oranges and sweet pineapple. We noticed that the bannana trees all had bags on them surrounding the fruit and asked why. Apparently it's to keep small bats from clawing into the skins and making a mess of the bannanas. It's mostly for cosmetic reasons. See the picture below for the bags in the trees. In the Okanagan, they put bags around certain kinds of apples to prevent sun damage and this increases the value of those apples, especially in the Japanese market.

The fruit was delicious. We bought enough for several days.

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Next stop was Byron Bay. Close to where we parked the car was a staircase up to an observation platform where we took the picture below. We're going to walk out and around the point using the walking trails.

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We parked about 2 km from the lighthouse and took the walking trail. This picture is about 1.5 km from the lighthouse. Lots of stairs, up and down. The lighthouse itself is 100 meters above the ocean.

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Now we're near the top of the second hill and almost at the lighhouse which is 300 meters away. From this viewpoint, you can see the mostly easterly point of the Australian mainland.

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This picture is facing east from the same location as the above picture. This is the most easterly point.

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As we get back to the car, Jean noticed a small tree growing in between the other trees. The green tree (plant) with the wide leaves is an Elephant tree also known as Scheffleura. When we first moved to Fort St. John in 1979, Jean and a few of her friends from work drove to Dawson Creek and each of them bought one of these trees. Jean's is still alive in our living room. Not everything dies there.

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