Alexandria Bay

I returned to Noosa in Queensland, Australia for Christmas with my sister and mother. While there I walked from the southern end of Noosa National Park along the coastal track to Alexandria Bay where I had a swim with the jellyfish and enjoyed the relative solitude of a beautiful beach on the Pacific Ocean.

Northern end of Sunshine Beach

The coastal track leads from Sunshine Beach across a couple of small headlands to Alexandria Bay:

Looking north across Alexandria Bay

Its an unofficial nudist beach. The official one is over the next headland to the north,

There were quite a number of these large brown jellyfish washed up on the beach. I haven’t been able to identify them, and not sure if they differ from the blue blubber jellyfish in the following photo, because they have eaten brown algae.

“Brown” jellyfish (or maybe a blue blubber jellyfish that has not eaten lately?)

The blue blubber jellyfish gets its name from the blue-green algae that it eats, and that give it the blue colour.

Blue blubber jellyfish

Huge numbers of blue bottles were washing up also.

Blue bottles are common on Australian beaches and are a small cousin of the Portuguese Man-O-War. They are siphonophores and are actually a colony of several individuals known as “persons”. They have an irritating sting. I met a person on the beach who claimed to be Australian, but did not know what they were and was afraid to go in the water. I was suspicious that an Australian of middle age could exist who did not know about blue bottles.

You can see them in this wave. I told the frightened “Australian” that they were not a big deal, just added a certain “zing” to your surfing experience.

Blue bottles in the surf

This is an upside down “big brown”. It was still alive, and the circular structure pulsed when I touched it.

This may be a blue blubber. The dark spots are concentrations of the algae it has eaten.

Heading back south after a jellyful swim.

Coastal bushland along the track


Canoeing in the Noosa Everglades

While visiting Noosa in July, I took my two boys on a kayak trip into the Noosa Everglades.  Located in the Great Sandy National Park, the upper reaches of the Noosa River are a network of waterways, rivers, lakes and marshes and are best explored by kayak or canoe. The Everglades are situated in the Noosa Biosphere, which is one of Australia’s most diverse ecosystems and includes more than 40 per cent of the country’s bird species.

We drove about 20 km from Noosa to Booreen Point on Lake Cootharaba and crossed the lake in a larger boat to the mouth of the Upper Noosa River, where we changed to canoes, and continued into the Everglades by canoe. Lake Cootharaba is one of three large lakes connected to the Noosa River, the others are Lake Cooroibah and Lake Weyba.

Lake Cootharaba

The banks of the river are a mix of swampy grassland and subtropical forest, with patches of rainforest. There are lots of banksia trees and tea-trees. The tea-trees stain the water a deep brown colour from the tannin in their leaves. The Tea Tree, Melaleuca alternifolia, is an Australian native plant, and its leaves are also used to produce tea-tree oil, prized for its it’s anti-bacterial and anti-fungal prowess.

Upper Noosa River

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Hot and cold: from New Year in heatwave Australia to mid-winter Geneva

Somewhat belatedly, a few photos from a quick trip to Australia in the New Year break 2016-2017 to visit my family in Noosa on the Queensland coast.  Flying from the midwinter Geneva around zero C to heatwave in the middle of summer – middle 30s C and then back to a cold spell at -4 C. Around 35°C temperature drop from my last Saturday on Sunshine Beach to the first day in Geneva.


Even though it was hot, there were some stormy days and some dark clouds on Noosa Main Beach. It was much more crowded when the sun was out.

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Surfing at Noosa


This Easter, the boys and I went to Noosa on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, Australia to visit relatives. Apart from heavy rain storms the first couple of days it was hot and sunny just like mid-summer. We went to the beach every day and the boys had some surfing lessons (boards). I also did a jet ski trip with each of them out to the open ocean to jump waves at speed.

Weekly photo challenge: Joy-Beach Christmas


Beach Christmas