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The Rocky Road Trip: The First Leg- Mount Coolum

After leaving the Gold Coast, I stopped in Mount Coolum on the northern end of the Sunshine Coast for a day to spend time with family before embarking on the Rocky Road Trip. I was joined there by my Mum, who had been living in Yeppoon for several months prior to my own relocation there, and who was helping me with the big move from the Gold Coast.

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11 km north of Maroochydore, Mount Coolum is a residential suburb whose boundaries enclose the Mount Coolum National Park (north section) and the topographical mountain (207 m). The name is thought to derive from an Aboriginal word describing the blunt or cut-off summit of Mount Coolum. The craggy mount contrasts dramatically with the lowland heaths and wetlands.

Land selection around Mount Coolum began in 1871, including the future adjoining suburbs of Marcoola, Yaroomba and Coolum Beach. All had swampy parts, but drainage schemes during the 1910s-30s produced land for cane farms and dairying. A cane tramway from Nambour and Bli Bli included a passenger service, bringing visitors to the area. Among various beach-subdivision proposals there was the idea of tobogganing on Mount Coolum.

Coolum Beach’s surfing and fishing were more realistic attractions, and the beachfront population came to a few thousand by the mid 1980s. Developers turned their eyes to the mountain’s subdivisional potential, but a successful preservation campaign instead brought about the national park. Land south of the national park had already been acquired for a golf course (1976), to which Mount Coolum is a stunning backdrop.

Mount Coolum has a stretch of beach further east.

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Mount Coolum beach from Point Arkwright

 

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Sunrise at Mount Coolum beach

 

Well-known authors from the Sunshine Coast include Emily Bulcock, Kathleen McArthur and Nancy Cato.

Emily Bulcock became a well-known poet and was awarded an OBE for her services to literature. Emily was a foundation member of the Queensland Country Women’s Association and a member of the Queensland Authors’ and Artists/ Association.

Kathleen McArthur was a gifted wildflower artist and author and, in 1962, co-founded the Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland. Kathleen’s home in Midyim, near Kings Beach, was named after the native sandberry, and was the first native garden in Caloundra. In 1967, the first Wildflower Show was held in Midyim and continued there until 1971, when it outgrew the space and was moved to Coolum.

A friend and associate of Kathleen’s was the acclaimed Noosa author Nancy Cato. Nancy was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for services to literature and the environment and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters in 1991. She wrote for more than 50 years, producing a vast amount of work includign an accalimed environmental book titled The Noosa Story first published in 1989.

In 2017, local author Jess Townsend was dubbed the next J. K. Rowling with her first novel Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow touted to be the next generation’s Harry Potter.

Join me next at Gympie- the first stop on my Rocky Road Blog Tour!

 

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Books By The Beach: Paid To Dance at Currumbin Beach

Welcome to Currumbin Beach, stop no.11 on my Books By The Beach tour!

Stretching from Currumbin Creek in the north to Wyberba Street in the south the area is easily identified because of its headlands that project into the beach. At the beach front, Elephant Rock and Currumbin Rock enclose a discrete surf beach. Currumbin Alley is a popular surfing site formed on the bar of Currumbin Creek, particularly for longboards.

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Samuel William Grey wa the first European to acquire land in the area. The first hotel in 1910 overlooking the mouth of Currumbin Creek. During this period tourism and industry significantly increased in the beach side and valley areas of Currumbin, and many of the houses at Currumbin date from the period of later subdivisions in the 1920s. The area also contains a number of ‘fibro’ beach houses.

Generally the area contains more natural vegetation than other areas of the coast due in part to the difficulty of building on the steep hillsides and in part to the presence of the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary- a long-standing icon and landmark at the Gold Coast. The Sanctuary comprises a substantial area of land on both sides of the highway adjacent to Flat Rock Creek.

In 2013, Currumbin was named Australia’s cleanest beach. At an award ceremony at Coogee Beach in western australia, the national organisation Keep Australian Beautiful crowned Currumbin with the prestigious title.

In this post I’m sharing with you about the Paid To Dance series.

Spanning three books, the Paid To Dance series provides a comprehensive insight into the stripping industry, from its origins to its modern day evolution.

The first installment, Stripping Past & Present, is a collection of stories from women who have worked as exotic dancers in Australia and overseas.

The second and third installments, Asha’s Story Part One and Part Two, focuses in on one young woman’s experience working as an exotic dancer in Brisbane and Melbourne.

The series was published between 2016-2018, after many years of ongoing research and writing.

PLEASE NOTE: At the end of this video there is information about purchasing the Paid To Dance books on Amazon/Kindle. My books are not currently available on Amazon/Kindle. Instead you can download FREE PDF Excerpts in the coming posts.

I hope you have enjoyed your time here with me at Currumbin  Beach. Next stop, Tugun Beach!

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Books By The Beach: A Kind Gesture at Burleigh

Welcome to Burleigh, stop no.8 on my Books By The Beach tour!

Burleigh Heads is a suburb that extends north to Miami Headland, and south to Tallebudgera Creek, Palm Beach. The centre of the neighborhood is James Street, which consists of cafes, delis, hairdressers, retailers, chemists, restaurants and charity stores.

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Burleigh Beach

 

Burleigh Heads’ surf break attracts surfers from the Gold Coast and beyond. At the headland of Burleigh, locally known as “The Point”, is a popular vantage point for surfing spectators. On Sunday afternoons, bongo drum players gather in Justins Park for a jam session, which attracts a crowd for a picnic dinner in the park. Many also practice acrobatics, juggling and hula hooping to the beat of the drums.

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Burleigh Beach

Indigenous Australians inhabited the area of Burleigh Heads for thousands of years prior to European settlement. The Indigenous tribe were known as the Kombumerri clan, who had named the area ‘Jellurgal’. The Jellurgal Aboriginal Cultural Centre is based at the foot of the Burleigh Headland, alomgside the pristine Tallebudgera Creek.

In 1840, James Warner was commissioned to survey the coastline near Moreton Bay. Warner named the Headlands near tallebudgera Creek ‘Burly Head’ because of its massive appearance. Decades later the name was adapted to the more genteel spelling of ‘Burleigh Heads’ and was declared a town reserve by the Queensland Government in 1871.

Burleigh Heads has a number of heritage-listed sites, including the David Fleay Wildlife Park located on Tallebudgera Creek Road. Burleigh Headland is part of a wildlife corridor connecting coastal forests south to the Queensland New South Wales border ranges.

The Gold Coast skyline can be seen in the distance from Burleigh Heads. The north-east facing beach is protected by the point to the south and offers one of the best swimming, body boarding and surfing beaches on the Gold Coast. A mature stand of Norfolk Island Pines form a backdrop and are home to native birds.

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Burleigh Hill, with a view north of the Gold Coast skyline

The Quiksilver Pro, an event on the World Surf League, is often contested at Burleigh Heads when the surf is not contestable at Kirra or Snapper Rocks.

A Kind Gesture is yet another short story that put me through my paces. Loosely based on true events, A Kind Gesture tells the story of Stuart, a lonely divorcee who picks up a young hitchhiker on a cold night in Chicago. As their encounter progresses, it becomes obvious that neither is who they seem.

PLEASE NOTE: At the end of this video there is information about purchasing A Kind Gesture on Amazon. My books are not currently available on Amazon. Instead you can download a PDF version of the story for FREE HERE: A Kind Gesture

Thank-you for joining me here at Burleigh! See you next at Tallebudgera Creek!