Daytrip to Redcliffe
Trip Start Dec 03, 2008
1Trip End Dec 03, 2008
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While we fought a losing battle against the sandflies, I was in time to save JM from enmeshing himself in a Garden Orb spider web. It stretched across the boardwalk - at head height! I was touched to receive an appreciative grunt from my only-born in recognition of my blinding reflexes.
We happened upon a bird hide, which promised a lot but delivered, well, zilch. Apparently, Moreton Bay is a vital link in the chain of habitats along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway. From September to April more than 50 000 migratory waders stop over in Moreton Bay, arriving from as far afield as Siberia and Alaska. They must have been somewhat delayed when we entered the hide on tip toe. I didn't see any. My son tried to spot a Big-Breasted Tit, but apparently he too was disappointed.
Thoroughly drained from our physical exertions, we stopped at a shopping centre near the Nudgee Road turnoff from the M1. This modern oasis is flush with Uncle Tony's Kebabs, McCafe, Red Rooster and Coles Express. JM bought two donuts from Krispy Kreme - and got a box of 12 cream-filled chocolate donuts for free!
Onwards towards Redcliffe, the Shorncliffe pier provided scenic views of Redcliffe and the Moreton Bay islands. A coast-hugging walkway heads north towards Sandgate, but we availed ourselves of motorised propulsion to view the old world Town Hall. Missed the Post Office - damn!
Even my usually languid teenage son, who would in most instances only sneer in condescending contempt at momentous world happenings, exclaimed in wonder at the marvel of the Hornibrook and Houghton highways stretching across the blue waters of Bramble Bay towards Redcliffe peninsula. While Hornibrook has been closed for traffic since 1979, it remains a popular cycling, walking or fishing destination.
Coming face-to-face with the rusting hulk of the Gayundah was quite an experience. Scuttled in 1958 to form a breakwater, Gayundah served a long and distinguished career. Launched on 13 May 1884 at Newcastle upon Tyne, England, the gunboat - armed to the gunnels with 200mm breach-loading 12 tonne and 152mm 4 tonne guns - arrived in Brisbane on 28 March 1885: and promptly triggered the first mutiny in Australian naval history!
Loath to relinquish his charge, ship captain Townley-Wright moored in Brisbane river and threatened parliament house. A Queensland police boarding party soon restored order and the Gayundah embarked on a seven year stint of active duty.
Having sated our camera's memory cards, we proceeded towards the first in a string of narrow beaches kissing Moreton Bay. Scotts Point and Margate Beach is obviously a favourite among Redcliffe's octogenarians. We saw quite a few old codgers plunging into the whitecaps. Good on 'em!
Suttons Beach was a different kettle of fish. Verdant grass lawns, white sand and calm water makes this an ideal location for the family with adorable little snotty-nosed angels. My angel no longer has a snotty nose, which has migrated from his bowser to his attitude and he sat in isolated splendour on the gritless grass while I ventured onto the gritty sand.
Refreshed, we drove on to the Redcliffe jetty: a weird looking construction with a sheltered rotunda midway and two mooring appendages jutting into the bay. A human made breakwater forms a protective sheath around the point of the jetty, providing a safe haven for watercraft.
Our last stop before heading back for Brisbane was the red cliffs of Scarborough off Landsborough Avenue. Lovely isolated beach with rust-red cliffs rearing towards the blue sky...
Son proved he really loves his Old Man by driving us safely back to Brisbane, keeping up a lively banter while I spilled his pineapple juice all over mommy's treasured 4WD. Oh, what a wonderful world!
UPDATE 4 December 2008: I have red blotches all over my arms and legs. I am itchy! Anti-histamines and creams only help a smidgen. I HATE MIDGES!