Every now and then I like to walk around like it’s the first time I’ve visited a location, to look at it with new eyes. This is what I did at Broadbeach, pretending that I had just stepped out from one of the high-rises and gone for a stroll. I must look like that a lot of the time, because people keep asking me if I want my photo taken.
I strolled across the road and headed for the beach, the first thing I see is the sheer expanse of white clean sand contrasting against the deep blue ocean. To my right I spied an usual palm like tree framing my photo.
Later I will learn this exotic palm is called a Pandanus or ‘Screw Pine’ the whole appearance of this tree is fascinating, I walked over and saw long tubular roots anchoring into the beach sand.
I’m not prepared for a beach walk so I continue along the concrete pathway of the foreshore, the bushland is dense with all sort of shrubs and trees, the butterflies float on the air from shrub to tree.
I gazed into the bushland and suddenly my attention is draw to a small tree, the leaves of this tree look like fine lace, but on closer inspection the leaves have been eaten by insects into an usual pattern, the sun streams through its holes. Gazing up I see an amazing sight… dozens of small beetles resting on the top of a leaf, examining the tree further there are hundreds of them… the mystery solved, the culprits found.
Some of the beetles are a vibrant blue, quite beautiful, I will later find out they are Harlequin Beetles and the blue ones are the males. I take a couple of photos and a short video; my companions won’t believe me unless I do.
Glancing across the road I notice a building some distance away, triangular in shape surrounded by trees, looks interesting I thought. I head through the Mall and decide to climb the set of stairs to a flyover walkway; from here I take a number of photos of Broadbeach Shopping District. To the left the Monorail snakes it’s way to the station. Will I take a ride or walk? I’ll take it on the way back, I want to experience the Gold Coast on foot, I thought.
Artwork in the Park
Descending the stairs I head along Victoria Avenue to the park; I saw a piece of artwork through the trees on the overpass that I wanted to check out. Arriving at the park, I see a beautiful steel statue a stallion majestic and ready to gallop off its concrete mounting. I walked around the huge horse once to check out details of the sculptor or name of this structure, none were found.
Moving on, I decided to cross the Highway, with the Monorail thundering above me, I would take a ride on the way back, if I sit at a window seat I should get some great photos.
On the other side of the highway the parkland was lush and green, a huge tree envelop the whole area with its shade.
Jupiters Hotel and Casino
At the waters edge I realised the building was Jupiters Hotel and Casino. The setting looked very tropical and the noises coming from the large trees over the other side of the small creek were fascinating. Wildlife so close to all this activity was quite intriguing.
Following the pathway around to the bridge, I was now on Broadbeach Island, I stopped and listened to the entire ruckus, suddenly realising that they weren’t birds at all but bats! Their black bodies were hanging precariously from the trees over the small canal below, it occurred to me that this area was probably wetlands at some point in the past.
But it was still teeming with life. I would later learn that there was another walk I could take to a bat colony just a short distance away at Cascade Gardens.
I eagerly took my photos of the scene, the contrast of high-rises, hotels and wildlife was something I had never encountered before in such a diverse setting and only a few hundred metres east was open beach.
Map of my stroll around Broadbeach
Continuing across the bridge the shade of mature trees was inviting, the approach to this hotel was world class. You could have been at any one of a number of locations, Fiji, Asia or even Florida. Time for a break perhaps a coffee, but I was disappointed the hotel was swarming with people, there must have been a function on.
I headed for the Monorail Station but saw to my left a set of stairs disappearing into gardens. It had been over an hour since I left my accommodation, a few more minutes’ wont matter. Descending the steps I headed right along the pathway and could see where I had been standing a while before on the other side of the creek. The gardens where groomed beautifully, the lawns after the rain were a bright green and trees I didn’t know the name of cascaded along the path. I soaked in again the contrast of luxury and wildlife and headed back to the station.
Getting onto the monorail I made sure I was sitting on the right hand side and next to a window, I wanted photos to send home of this place, of the buildings and waterways it was such a perfect morning stroll, I had to tell someone. Who would have thought that a stroll could be so rewarding. There was so much more to see in Broadbeach, time to hit the shops and restaurants.
Sometimes we take for granted the small things, the everyday things that we see and know so well… these very things whether it’s a Harlequin Beetle on a native Hibiscus leaf or bats hanging from a tree… fascinate visitors. It’s not always about the Theme Parks, shopping and other tourist attractions, its about everyday things, that add to their experience.
Experience the Gold Coast on foot…