Looking north towards Double Island Point the clouds that were so threatening in the early morning were disappearing eastward.
Looking south the beach stretches all the way down to Noosa. Even at this season - which is early winter here in the southern hemisphere- there were vehicles all down the beach.
I really enjoyed driving down the beach. With the windows down the sound of the ocean is so close and the breeze is fresh and salty. It's a long time since I have driven like this right beside the sea. As a young child we lived in the far north of New Zealand. Back then, there were a number of places where the only road was the beach. This beach from Noosa up to Rainbow Beach and along to Inskip Point has been used for driving along for many many years. Locals and tourists alike would vehemently protect their right to continue driving along it. I enjoyed it - but - I also know that sand compacted by many vehicles does not contain the same amount of little creatures.
There were 50kph signs prominently displayed at intervals down the beach. There have been a number of deaths on the beach when drivers have hit wash-outs before they could slow down. I saw small streams seeping out from the sand cliffs all the way along the beach. There is a huge amount of water in the water-table below ground level in much of the Park. The darker mineral sands left patterns as the fresh water washed towards the ocean.
There are different colors of sand in the cliffs above the beach and my friends wanted me to see the place called Red Canyon. This is just above the beach and so different from what is around it.
Camping is permitted in most places beside the beach. However, you must bring everything you need to keep your environment clean. I was surprised at the number of campers we saw - but was told that in the summer there are camps and vans side by side all along the beach!
Many of the campers were there for the fishing.
Wherever there are people fishing you can be sure there will be Gulls hoping for a quick and easy feed. These are Silver Gulls.
I did not want to stop for close photos of Silver Gulls - they are common! So I went back in to my photo archives for these. The second photo shows an adult and juvenile with the juvenile hunched over and begging!
I also saw a few Terns flying low over the water. Apart from these, this is not a beach suitable for shorebirds. The beach appears to shelve quite quickly and deeply. Also the tide comes right up to the edge of the sand-hills so there are no places for roosting birds. Shorebirds much prefer the still waters of the bay and the great expanses of sand and mud where they find food at low tide.
Once again thanks to Sarah and Graham for such a great day!