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Archive for the ‘Beaches of Australia and New Zealand’ Category

Sea Glass Special! Wellington, New Zealand

Posted by Jody on November 21, 2015

It was a dark and stormy day… another absolutely perfect day at the beach for Greg and me! Oriental Bay Beach is Wellington, New Zealand’s most popular beach. And we had it all to ourselves! I’m guessing that was because of the weather (which pretty much only matters to us if there are lightning bolts involved).

Here’s a peek at what ended up to be a wonderful afternoon of sea glass hunting on Wellington’s beautiful inner harbor strand:


When I am asked, I often tell people that we have found the best sea glass beaches close to the older, often rowdy-ish, local bar scene districts. I wonder what the story of Oriental Bay is to have so much sea glass deposited on this stretch of beach. This sandy shoreline is probably one of the top three sea glass beaches we have ever come across!

It certainly was a perfect day at the beach for these two Beach Treasure Hunters!

Do you have an amazing beach for sea glass hunting? We’d sure love to hear about it!



Posted in Beach Treasures - Beachcombing, Beaches of Australia and New Zealand, Sand and Shoreline | Tagged: , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Wellington, NZ and the Storm Coast

Posted by E.G.D. on March 19, 2015

We made it to Wellington well before midnight. The commodore, (who has been captaining our ship since Sydney) wanted the ship to be safely tucked into Wellington’s harbor as early as possible.

It was a dark and rainy day. The morning started with an excursion to the aptly named Storm Coast. And was it ever a blast! We wound around the coast from Wellington to Eastbourne, viewing some really fantastic scenery and watching the Picton-Wellington ferry clash with the sea’s swells.  It was cold, wet, and sooooo windy (the kind of wind you have to lean into to hopefully stay on your feet). All in all, the perfect day for a visit to The Storm Coast, and travel into the section of the shoreline also known as The Shipwreck Coast.

The drive ended at a beautiful, hilltop sheep ranch where we were served tea (as in tea and treats). The ranch owner and his two faithful dogs gave us a sheep herding demonstration which was great fun. Then it was back to Wellington, along the same stretch of coast, as high tide approached the coastline. That, and the wind, made for fun photo stops at a shipwreck and a lighthouse beach along the return route.

After the tour, Greg and I headed into New Zealand’s capital city. We followed the seafront from the ship’s berth to Oriental Bay, about a three mile walk (The Maritime Heritage Trail). On the beach at Oriental Bay we found quite a bit of sea glass in brown, green, and clear colors. Along the way I was struck by the amount of public art Wellington has to offer. Every nook and cranny seemed to have some sort of purposefully designed public art to sit on, walk across, or simply ponder over.

No time for snooping around shops today. We had to make it back to the ship for our departure to Aukland. Now, even though Commodore Rynd has altered our course, this was the day with our roughest seas yet (but only for a short while)!

Have a wonderful yesterday! -Jody & Greg

Posted in Beaches of Australia and New Zealand | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Bob’s Bay: Picton, Marlborough, New Zealand

Posted by E.G.D. on March 17, 2015

Jody and Greg in Picton (I don't have any idea who took this picture, as Jody and Greg are both in it!)

Jody and Greg in Picton (I don’t have any idea who took this picture, as Jody and Greg are both in it!)

We had a lovely day in Picton, Marlborough, although our visit was shortened due to the impending weather. Picton was a substitute port for Akaroa which was threatened by the remains of Tropical Cyclone Pam. We had a fabulous time exploring this picturesque little community on the tip top of New Zealand’s South Island.

The locals were quite friendly and quick to give information and suggestions for a day in and around town. We started walking along the marina where we spotted many many-legged sea stars, a stationary carpet shark (they feed off the bottom), and a rather large ray gliding by. “Walking tracks” were all over the map so we headed out for a hike that followed the shore to Bob’s Bay.

Bob's Bay (Photo © Jody Diehl)

Bob’s Bay (Photo © Jody Diehl)

Bob's Bay (Photo © Jody Diehl)

Bob’s Bay (Photo © Jody Diehl)

It took most of the morning to enjoy the sometimes-challenging hike and be absolutely dazzled by the scenery of Queen Charlotte Sound. We returned by Upper Bob’s Bay Track and headed into town for a snack and a look around the shops. We had Hokey Pokey ice cream cones, a New Zealand specialty vanilla & honey comb concoction that was oh-so tasty.

Bob's Bay Tide Pool! (Photo © Jody Diehl)

Bob’s Bay Tide Pool! (Photo © Jody Diehl)

The day ended with a steady rain as the Queen Victoria headed for Cook Strait and our journey to Wellington. We experienced our roughest seas to date as the commodore attempted to outrun some much worse weather and expected high swells.

Have a wonderful yesterday! – Jody & Greg

Posted in Beaches of Australia and New Zealand, Tide Pools | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Manly Beach (Manly, Sydney Area, Australia)

Posted by E.G.D. on March 15, 2015

Welcome to Manly Beach! (Photo © Jody Diehl)

Welcome to Manly Beach! (Photo © Jody Diehl)

Many Aussies had recommended Manly, a seaside suburb of Sydney, over the touristier Bondi Beach for the more classic Sydney experience. Manly touts itself to be “seven miles from Sydney, a thousand miles from care.”

Miles from care! (photo © Jody Diehl)

Miles from care! (photo © Jody Diehl)

Truth in advertising! We crossed Sydney Harbor in thirty minutes and found lovely little calm-water beaches on either side of the wharf. We walked down The Corso (about two blocks) to the Pacific Ocean, changed, and headed into the sea. It was another beautiful day for the beach! Manly’s surf was a little less powerful than the surf we experienced at Surfer’s Paradise, but what surprised both of us is the clarity of the water between the waves. It was crystal clear! When we were done jumping over and diving into the waves, we walked the promenade, peeked into a few stores, and enjoyed the perfect weather. -Jody and Greg

Manly Lifeguard ^_^ (Photo © Jody Diehl)

Manly Lifeguard ^_^ (Photo © Jody Diehl)

Fun in the Sun (Photo © Jody Diehl)

Fun in the Sun (Photo © Jody Diehl)

Posted in Beaches of Australia and New Zealand | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

A Day in Surfer’s Paradise (Brisbane, Austrailia)

Posted by E.G.D. on March 15, 2015

In case you didn't know where you were, here's a sign ^_^ (Photo ©  Jody Diehl)

In case you didn’t know where you were, here’s a sign ^_^ (Photo © Jody Diehl)

G’day mates!

Our trip to Australia’s Gold Coast and Surfers Paradise was spectacular! We couldn’t figure out if the area was named for the golden sand or the big bucks the area obviously attracts.

Surfers Paradise was the absolutely perfect beach. It seemed to stretch forever. We got there by bus transfer from the Port of Brisbane. The ride was less than an hour and a half from the ship. Driving along the highway we were struck by all of the familiar businesses: IKEA, Target, and (of course) all of the fast food restaurants we generally see in Every Town, USA.

We also noticed all of the park lands and green spaces in the cities. The Gold Coast was loaded with beautiful green parks too. The Esplanade at Surfers Paradise was shaded with trees, grassy areas, man-made shade, and public art. There large sculpted, permanently installed lounge chairs on the promenade that served the sun bathers. We even saw an amazing treed park on top of a two story parking garage.

Greg in Surfer's Paradise! (Photo © Jody Diehl)

Greg in Surfer’s Paradise! (Photo © Jody Diehl)

We changed into our bathing suits in the cleanest public restrooms I’ve ever seen (especially at a beach!). Then we just dropped our beach bag on the sand and ran into the surf.

Sand n' Surf (Photo © Jody Diehl)

Sand n’ Surf (Photo © Jody Diehl)

The huge waves were crashing and had quite a powerful drag.

Life guards were plentiful and their stations were loaded with every type of equipment you could imagine (picture those beach  lifeguard/rescue  TV shows). I’ve never felt so safe – both for our personal safety and our belongings on the shore. It was a blast. We stayed in the surf for as long as we thought we wouldn’t get burned…

Lovely Surfer's Paradise! (Photo © Jody Diehl)

Lovely Surfer’s Paradise! (Photo © Jody Diehl)

All in all, it was the perfect day for our stop at the Port of Brisbane, Australia.

We hope all is well with all of you.

Have a wonderful yesterday! Love to everyone! – Jody & Greg

On to Sydney!

Posted in Beaches of Australia and New Zealand | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Australian Beach Holiday: 5 Must-Visit Beaches for an Enjoyable Vacation

Posted by Jody on March 26, 2013

Today’s Featured Guest Post Writer is Ella Rich.

Australian Beach Holiday: 5 Must-Visit Beaches for an Enjoyable Vacation

Bounded by the Indian and Pacific Oceans, Australia is one of the best places to enjoy a perfect beach vacation. Whether you are visiting the East, South and West coasts of the country or looking forward to a great surfing vacation, Australia is one place that will make your beach vacation unique and memorable. Check out some of the best and must-visit beaches in this amazing country.

Bells Beach (Photo by Chensiyuan/Wikimedia Commons)

Bells Beach (Photo by Chensiyuan/Wikimedia Commons)

  • Bells Beach – Hot Spot for an Enjoyable Surfing Vacation

If you thoroughly enjoy surfing and are looking for such a hotspot in Australia, then you must head to the Bells Beach. Your beach vacation will remain incomplete without visiting this beach. Nestled on the coast of Victoria, you will get a chance to witness the world’s longest running surfing competition – Rip Curl Pro Surf & Music Festival when you are here.

Byron Bay (Used with permission: Shot at Byron/Wikimedia Commons)

Byron Bay (Used with permission: Shot at Byron/Wikimedia Commons)

  • Byron Bay – Must-Visit for an Ultimate Beach Holiday

Being among the most renowned seaside hotspots, Byron Bay guarantees its visitors the ultimate beach holiday experience. Over the past few years, this sandy beach has been attracting people looking to take pleasure in fun-filled activities like deep sea diving and kayaking in the company of dolphins. Byron Bay boasts of pristine sandy beaches dotted with lush green surroundings. The cool coastal winds and mesmerizing beauty of the entire area near Byron Bay is one of the major reasons you must come here to spend your beach vacation.

Whitehaven Beach (Photo by Isderion/Wikimedia Commons)
Whitehaven Beach (Photo by Isderion/Wikimedia Commons)
  • Have a Rejuvenating Vacation at Whitehaven Beach

Nestled on the Whitsunday Island, this pristine beach possesses the purest form of white silica sand in the world. Immerse your feet into the sand and make your way slowly into the warm waves that gently lap the shore. You will wonder why people from all over the world never miss out visiting this amazing beach.

If you want to have a day trip to Whitehaven Beach you can hire ferries, yachts and power boats from Airlie Beach. Besides, luxury cruising yachts are also available to make your beach vacation memorable.

Cable Beach (Photo by Zoharby/Wikimedia Commons)
Cable Beach Before Sunset (Photo by Zoharby/Wikimedia Commons)
  • Wade Through the Pristine Waters of Cable Beach

Popular for its crystal clear waters, the Cable Beach in Western Australia is one of the most magnificent beaches in the world. Being cleaned up by tides that gently lap the shore; Cable Beach offers the perfect environment, allowing you to wade through the pristine waters, making your beach vacation relaxing. Enjoy the innumerable water sports activities available here and the sunset.

Cottesloe Beach (Photo by Michael Spencer/Wikimedia Commons)
Cottesloe Beach (Photo by Michael Spencer/Wikimedia Commons)
  • Snorkel at Perth’s Stunning Cottesloe Beach

If you want to indulge in sports activities like swimming, surfing and snorkeling, then the Cottesloe Beach in Perth is just an ideal spot for your beach vacation. Apart from these adventure activities, you can also enjoy a glass of wine or some refreshing beer as the sun begins to set. This spot is also ideal for a relaxed dinner.

The alluring beauty of this beach makes it stand out from other beaches in the city. Shady pines, smooth terraced lawns and pristine sands make this beach an ideal destination to spend a lethargic afternoon with family. Pristine waters make Cottesloe Beach a regular must-visit spot for swimmers and surfers. Snorkelers too enjoy hitting the water because of the presence of rocks and reefs. You can explore the city better with the help of guided walking tours of Perth.

Make your beach holiday experience unique and unforgettable by visiting these beaches in Australia.


About the Author: Ella Rich is a travel blogger and trip organizer by profession. She has great experience in indigenous tours. She loves traveling to new places and discovering exotic cultures and cuisines. Sharing her travel experience through blogging is her real hobby. 

You can find Ella’s latest work at


Posted in A Treasure of a Beach (Best Beaches), Beaches of Australia and New Zealand, Featured Guest Writer, Tallies & Tips | Tagged: , , , | 8 Comments »

Oreti Beach, New Zealand

Posted by Jody on March 4, 2013

Today’s Featured Guest Writer is Jo from Over the Edge of the Wild:

Oreti Beach (Photo by Brenda Cahill)

Oreti Beach (Photo by Brenda Cahill)

When people think of New Zealand, it’s often for the magnificent snow-capped mountains, the Lord of the Rings movies, the clean, green, nuclear-free image, or even the rugby. Given its proximity to Antarctica, however, it’s not necessarily the top of the list for a beach vacation.

Burt Munro Challenge (photo by Neil McKelvie)

Burt Munro Challenge (photo by Neil McKelvie)

Recently, however, TIME magazine named the Burt Munro Challenge one of its Five Festive Events You Won’t Want to Miss in 2013. The Challenge, a five day motorcycle rally, includes seven forms of motorsport racing, including beach racing along Oreti Beach, so it’s bound to see some more action this year.

Oreti Beach is a (roughly) 26km long stretch of sand, located around 10km from the city of Invercargill. Fringed with an endless expanse of sand dunes, the flat stretch of sand is solid enough to drive vehicles along (in most places, most of the time). This made it the perfect place for Burt Munro (eccentric local hero and holder of the 1000cc motorcycle land speed record at the Bonneville Salt Flats) to experiment with his hand-modified 1920 Indian Scout motorcycle and practice for racing in Bonneville. Even outside of Challenge week, visitors can walk, ride or drive along the beach.

The New Zealand Pacific Ocean (photo by Brenda Cahill)

The New Zealand Pacific Ocean (photo by Brenda Cahill)

As well as its real life role in Burt Munro’s story, Oreti Beach was also used as a set in the biographical New Zealand film The World’s Fastest Indian, which was based on his life.

Motorcycle enthusiasts are not the only ones to enjoy a visit to Oreti Beach, however. In the summer months of December to February (peaking in late January/early February), families head out for picnics and BBQs, to go for a swim, catch flounder, or soak up some vitamin D. The sun can be harsh in New Zealand, so remember your sunscreen, and the water is quite safe for swimming, but don’t expect it to be warm. Water temperatures in Southland peak at around 15°C in the summer months, and can dip below 10°C in the winter.

Burt Munro Beach Racing (photo by Neil McKelvie)

Burt Munro Beach Racing (photo by Neil McKelvie)

Kiwis (and Southlanders in particular) don’t like to let a little thing like the cold get in the way of enjoying themselves though, and Oreti Beach has been home to the Southland Mid-Winter Swim event for more than 20 years. This polar plunge takes place in June each year, when air temperatures rarely reach double figures. It’s cold, but it’s invigorating!

Aside from the cold, being at the bottom of the world does have its advantages. Only a few minutes drive from the city centre, after-work trips to the beach can last four or five hours before the sun goes down. The extended twilight hours stretch out into beautiful sunsets, and with only 50,000 residents in the city, you can be fairly certain of finding a quiet spot to yourself to enjoy those extra daylight hours on the sand.

Sunset (photo by Neil McKelvie)

Sunset (photo by Neil McKelvie)

About the author: Jo is one half of a Kiwi couple living in Darwin, Australia, saving money so they can see  more of the world. Jo and Aaron chronicle their travels on their blog, Over the Edge of the Wild, and have enjoyed taking the time to think about home and share this little piece of New Zealand with you all.

Special note: Jo, thanks so much for sharing such a wonderful place with us! I loved the movie and think it’s great to learn a bit more about the story and the area! Any reason is a good reason to visit the beach and the knowing something about history of the shoreline really adds to the experience for me. ~Jody


Posted in Beaches of Australia and New Zealand, Featured Guest Writer, Monday Miscellaneous, Sand and Shoreline | Tagged: , , , | 5 Comments »

Best Beaches Near Brisbane

Posted by Jody on November 13, 2012

What a wonderful list! The Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast, islands and park lands, whales and dolphins! What’s not to love about the Best Beaches Near Brisbane?

Thank you so much for sharing!


Brisbane & Beyond

Now that the temperatures are rising in Brisbane, we’ll all be thinking about a visit to the beach to cool down. We’re a bit lucky in Brisbane because we have the Gold Coast beaches stretching to the south and the Sunshine Coast to the north, plus the islands of Moreton Bay. With so many beautiful beaches within an hour or two’s drive, it can be difficult to decide where to go.  Here are a couple of our family favourites.

Bulcock Beach – Caloundra

This beach is sheltered from the surf and is great for little kids. There can be a strong tidal flow so you need to be in the water with young children. We like to use the flow for a free ride along the beach. You jump out, run up the beach and do it again. There are picnic tables and cafes nearby.

Kings Beach – Caloundra


View original post 566 more words

Posted in A Treasure of a Beach (Best Beaches), Beaches of Australia and New Zealand, Tallies & Tips, Whales and Dolphins | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Shed Your Cares in Cairns, Australia!

Posted by alainaflute on July 31, 2012

Kangaroos, the Outback, the Great Barrier Reef, and beaches galore – Australia is an adventurer’s dream! A country that’s also a continent must have plenty of shoreline to discover. Today’s tally comes from up north (and down under) in Cairns, Queensland, Australia, thanks to Down Under Online. The beaches of Cairns are perfect for aquatic fun and relaxation. The only question is, when are we going?

Regions of Queensland, Australia (Roke/Wikimedia Commons)

Yorkeys Knob, located approximately 8 miles north of Cairns, is a popular Far North Queensland beach holiday destination. Here you’ll find safe swimming beaches and a world class marina just a stone’s throw from a golf course, accommodations, shops, and restaurants. As we all know, “safe” is a relative term when it comes to swimming in the ocean. It’s important to watch for flag warnings and follow all lifeguard instructions. The beach has picnic facilities and bathrooms (with showers), and it’s a popular spot for wind and kitesurfing.

Yorkeys Knob Beach, Cairns, Queensland, Australia (riftreef/Wikipedia)

Beautiful Trinity Beach is another suburb of Cairns, about 20 miles from the city center. Enjoy a beautiful day at the beach in this relaxing tropical setting, but watch out for marine stingers and crocodiles! Oh, my. Well, those pesky critters won’t keep the most avid beach lovers from their sandy haven, will they?

Trinity Beach, Cairns, Queensland, Australia (Rehali2001/Wikimedia Commons)                                             Note the sign below… and put your dog back on his leash!

Yikes! Warning Sign at Trinity Beach, Cairns, Queensland, Australia (Photnart/Wikipedia)

Located on the shores of the Coral Sea, Clifton Beach is, according to Down Under Online, “described as having one of the finest beaches in Cairns. It is truly an idyllic setting where you can launch yourself into adventurous and exciting experiences or settle under the coconut palms to relax and unwind – either way, you’re in for a great holiday.

Clifton Beach, Cairns, North Queensland, Australia (Cape-york-australia/Wikimedia Commons)

Holloway’s Beach is located central to Cairns attractions. This beautiful beach is “growing in popularity as a beach to escape to, away from the crowds.  Even though a narrow beach, it’s a great place to soak up the sun, take a swim to cool off or watch the spectacular sunrises.”

Holloways Beach, Cairns, North Queensland, Australia (Cape-york-australia/Wikimedia Commons)

Last but not least, Kewarra Beach features its own beachfront resort. Described as being “away from the crowd, yet close to all local attractions,” you’re sure to find your own way to enjoy this tropical paradise between the rainforest of North Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef.

View of Cairns from Lake Morris with the Yarrabah Peninsula in the background. (Frances76/Wikimedia Commons)

Hoo roo, mate! We’ll see you at the beach!

Posted in Beaches of Australia and New Zealand, Tallies & Tips | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Sand, Surf, Sun and Kangaroos!

Posted by Jody on May 2, 2012

Pebbly Beach, Murramarang National Park, NSW, Australia (Photo: Klaus-Dieter Liss/Wikimedia Commons)

Sand, surf, sun, and kangaroos? Yes, kangaroos!  Eastern Grey Kangaroos (Macropus giganteus), also known as Forester kangaroos, hop about freely and mingle with the visitors on the beaches of New South Wales, Australia. I had no idea!

When I heard about these coastal critters, I just had to explore further. I haven’t been to Australia, so I don’t have any first hand experience with kangaroos on the beach, and somehow there doesn’t seem to be a lot of information about Eastern Grey Kangaroos on the beaches of New South Wales at official Australian travel sites. Maybe kangaroos on the coast are just accepted as common knowledge!

Eastern Grey Kangaroo, Murramarang National Park, New South Wales, Australia (Photo:Danielle Langlois/Wikimedia Commons)

According to the New South Wales official tourism website, “Murramarang National Park can boast some of the best beaches in Australia in idyllic settings. Pebbly Beach is just as well-known for its kangaroos as it is for its waves.”

The South Coast area of New South Wales lies along  the Tasman Sea, a segment of the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The South Coast begins about 65 kms (40.4 miles) south of Sydney. It includes Murramarang National Park and its famed pristine beaches spanning over 27 miles of stunning coastline. South tells us:“Pebbly Beach is already known widely as the home of the “surfing kangaroos” (a myth arising from a photograph of a kangaroo in the low surf – probably chased there by a dog). Although they will not be surfing when you visit, you will find a large resident kangaroo population at Pebbly quite happy to be patted or to pose for a photograph. The Pebbly Beach turnoff is about 10k south of Termeil and it is about 8k over a gravel road to Pebbly itself.”

Say “Cheese!”

From the videos I’ve seen, these furry residents of Pebbly Beach are very comfortable with people. Being the city girl I am, I’d probably take my time before giving them a friendly little under-the-chin scratching.

Hoo-roo &  Have a great day at the beach!

Posted in Beach and Coastal Wildlife, Beaches of Australia and New Zealand, Sand and Shoreline | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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