Written by stomps on 09 Sep, 2006
After enjoying a wonderful homemade gelato at Oceanic Gelati, I still had 45 minutes to kill before my bus left for Dunwich. I decided to head slightly along the Gorge Walk to Norm’s Seat, since it is supposed to be one of the best lookout…Read More
After enjoying a wonderful homemade gelato at Oceanic Gelati, I still had 45 minutes to kill before my bus left for Dunwich. I decided to head slightly along the Gorge Walk to Norm’s Seat, since it is supposed to be one of the best lookout points in the area and I completely missed it on my first trip around the gorge. Plus, as it was very close to the end of my stay in Australia, I just wanted to sit somewhere and take it all in so I could have a nice, serene scene to think about when computer science took over my life again at uni!The short trip did not disappoint. Before I even made it to the beginning of the path, I spotted a whale’s blow in the distance. After doing a bit of acrobatics, he swam on.I made it to the first bench on the walk when I spotted gray shimmering in the waters very close to the cliffs below. Dropping my stuff, I moved as close to the edge of the cliff as was safe (there are no barriers and some of the rock is loose, so be careful!) and got a closer look at the pod of dolphins below. At first, I could only see a few, but they soon seemed to multiply. Ah, to be as carefree as a dolphin. As I looked on, they did back flips over each other and seemed to play a game of tag. Once they bored of that, they literally started surfing the incoming waves. At one point, at least nine of them lined up and surfed just underneath the surface of the wave until it broke; then most of them did a back flip over the remains of the wave, swam back to the next one, and did it again. It was quite a show to watch!There bottlenose dolphins are actually native to Straddy, part of a 700- to 1,000-member strong pod that never strays more than 1km from Point Lookout. According to the information sign, this is the largest dolphin population in the smallest area in the world! As for the whales, I have written about the southern humpback in detail in my Hervey Bay journal. They are definitely not Straddy natives, but rather, they are the same whales that play in Hervey Bay, only they are a few days further in their migration home to the Antarctic summer.The whales weren’t going to let the dolphins easily outdo them with their tubular moves, and soon I didn’t know where to look. Directly in front of me, a whale was breaching more than all the other whales I’ve ever seen combines. His enormous hulk would launch from the water and then plunge back into the sea, leaving only a huge splash in his wake. I think the dolphins got jealous of the attention we were paying to him because they soon moved around the cliffs, toward the gorge and more attentive people.As the waning light left Straddy bathed in an ethereal glow, the whale gave me a wave of the tail and moved on. I, too, had to move on and start my journey home. I felt incredibly lucky to have the local animals give me such a sendoff, which was a perfect ending to such a perfect day. Close
Written by nmagann on 17 Mar, 2005
Straddie, as the locals refer to this island, is a 1-hour ferry ride away from the Cleveland Train station, which is a 20-minute ride from where I stayed in Manly Harbor. Arrival is in Dunwich from where you take a local bus running…Read More
Straddie, as the locals refer to this island, is a 1-hour ferry ride away from the Cleveland Train station, which is a 20-minute ride from where I stayed in Manly Harbor. Arrival is in Dunwich from where you take a local bus running every 30 minutes to Point Lookout or be dropped at various drops along the way.
Point Lookout is on the windward side of the island and offer dramatic cliff views and crashing waves. A path along the north gorge is quite breathtaking and only takes about an hour. I was able to see turtles swimming down below. Colorful lorikeet birds and goannas seemed to ignore my presence along the meandering path letting me loose myself completely in deep thought.
The path ends up on the main road again nearly across the street from the Stonefish Café, which I was told quite popular with the locals. After having an incredible vegetarian sandwich made with cheese, hummus and beets (which I would normally not eat), I realized what made this place so popular. Unusual menu items that are made with fresh ingredients definitely satisfied this hungry walker.
After enjoying a meal and watching the waves, I was ready for a walk down the path to Cylinder Beach which I had heard was the best swimming beach on the island. Indeed it was, a nice cove with fairly shallow warm was a nice break after another hour long walk along more bluffs. Shade trees and picnic tables made for a good place to snooze after showering off.
A short walk up to the main road, cross the street and here I pick up the bus that will return me to the ferry dock. I was so surprised to see how fast the time went. Now I realized why the ferries kept running into the evening. What a great way to spend my last day of vacation.