Surf, Sun and Sunshine Coast Memories

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Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Tweed Heads
July 1st 2014
Published: July 3rd 2014
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This morning, we tried ringing Barry’s Aunt Connie in Brisbane several times to let her know we were heading there tomorrow and would love to see her but only got an answering machine with a mechanical voice. Barry also organised a big service on the Navarra, which was about due, and found a caravan park nearby for us to stay at.

After that we went into Tweed Heads to get information about the Hinterland and what was good to see, as that was what we had intended to do. Then Barry started telling me about holidays he’d had in the area as a boy. We decided to go to Greenmount for him to see if it had changed and to relive it. He had a lovely time remembering his Uncle John’s caravan where they had stayed and often met up with cousins, too. That had completely changed and was now all holiday apartments. He was happy to see that the beaches at Rainbow Bay looked almost the same and he told me all about learning to surf on the quiet beach and then graduating to the next beach with bigger surf. The water looked so inviting that I couldn’t
Childhood Memories at Rainbow BayChildhood Memories at Rainbow BayChildhood Memories at Rainbow Bay

Barry remembered holidays as a child and learning to surf at this beach. You can see Greenmount behind him.
resist paddling in it again.

We watched a few surfers having a go but the surf was pretty quiet there, although it was better around the other side of the Head near Snapper Rocks so there were a lot more surfers and they were finding some rideable waves. It was also lovely to see the waves crashing over the rocks as the tide came in. Someone had even painted one of the rocks so it looked like a huge green frog looking out to sea.

The Tourist book we’d been given with the guide to the Tourist Drives had a picture of a Causeway on the cover that said it was at Fingal Head. We spotted the sign to Fingal Head and decided to check it out, as Roz had mentioned it as being great. We asked at the General Store how to get there and were sent to a car park that led to the beach. We walked along to the formation but the tide was coming in and we couldn’t get to it properly. Barry scrambled up the side of the Head but I couldn’t get far and he still couldn’t see much anyway. We
Rainbow Bay, Tweed HeadsRainbow Bay, Tweed HeadsRainbow Bay, Tweed Heads

I couldn't resist paddling again. The water was warm this time.
gave up and decided to drive up the Head to see the Lighthouse at the top instead.

What a pleasant surprise we had at the top to find that we had a wonderful view down onto the Giant’s Causeway! The hexagonal shapes were very clear. They are formed when lava from Mt Warning cooled slowly creating the basalt columns, just like the organ pipes formations only seen from the top instead of the sides.

We also enjoyed watching a small pod of dolphins playing in the surf and then resting between the waves; and we saw a big splash out at sea, where a whale had breached (sadly too far away to see the whale though).

The Fingal Head Lighthouse is only small but has a range of 15 nautical miles and was built in either 1872 (the date on the side of the building in the blue plaques) or 1878/79 (the dates given on the information boards). Who do you believe? It was originally run on kerosene and needed a keeper to tend it. Then, in 1923, it was converted to automatic acetylene operation and needed no keeper. It is now
Rainbow Bay, Tweed HeadsRainbow Bay, Tweed HeadsRainbow Bay, Tweed Heads

Someone had painted one of the rocks so it looks like a frog gazing out to sea. You can see how big he is by looking at the kids climbing up to him.
electric, since 1970.

By this time it was too late to go into the Hinterland so we went to Kingscliff and had a late picnic beside the beach and then roamed in town. Barry noticed a barber that was still open and decided to be scalped (I like his hair longer but it annoys him – so off it comes!). On the way home we passed a sign for fresh home-grown vegetables and went in to find a man had set up his garage like a little stall and was selling potatoes, tomatoes, carrots and avocados that he grew in his own garden. I bought some – hope they’re good.

The sun was just setting over Mt Warning as we arrived back at the van and looked wonderful reflected in the water of the Tweed River.

Additional photos below
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Fingal Head Giant's CausewayFingal Head Giant's Causeway
Fingal Head Giant's Causeway

This amazing formation looks quite small until you realise that the tiny dot just to the left on the top of the mound is a surfer standing and holding his surf board, watching the waves.

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