Gold Coast

Today’s adventure took us on a leisurely roll along the beautiful beaches of the Gold Coast from Mermaid Beach down to the state border at Tweed Heads then back again.

(Photo: Tony Ryan)

Darb and his family were staying at Mermaid Beach so Adam and I waited on the beach for him to show up.

Adam’s big fat green tyres attracted a lot of attention as he did wheelies while we waited for Darb.

Beaches are fun places, perfect if you enjoy watching people.  Everyone is happy.  Couples strolled quietly along the sand, kids were engrossed in their play, swimmers splashed in the water…

…and everywhere we rode we received curious glances from people interested in our bikes.

Darb and I have ridden parts of this are previously during a wild storm.  It was good to return and experience it in gentler weather.  The soft breeze and cloud cover gave us a cooler-than-usual day: perfect for riding.

Rather than clamber over South Nobby Head, we took the easy option and rode around it.

(Photo: Tony Ryan)

As we rolled back onto the sand on the other side of the headland, we made a mental note about the tide level.  It was falling.  In  a couple of hours when we returned, the tide might be low enough to let us to ride around the headland on the sand.

We continued south towards Burleigh Heads.

This was another headland we would have to ride around.

We followed the footpath up the hill towards the headland.

Burleigh Head is a national park. In today’s cool weather the path to the park was crowded with walkers.

As we neared the National Park boundary, we decided it would be best not to ride on the walking tracks.

But it was still good to enjoy the view from the top of the hill.

Some Chinese tourists looked curiously at my bike.

“The fat tyres are good for sand,” I said.  He nodded.

“They’re good for snow too,” I added.  He nodded.

“You don’t understand a word I’m saying, do you?”  He nodded.

I don’t speak Chinese, but with a few hand signals, I managed to convince him to hop on the bike so I could take a photo.

Sometimes you don’t need words.


(Photo: Adam Lynch)

We followed the road around the back of the headland and over Tallebudgera Creek.

Most kids who went to school in South East Queensland will have fond memories of the National Fitness Camp.  We had a couple of fun school camps here.

Riding along the creek brought back old memories.

We left Tallebudgera and continued south along Palm Beach.

In the distance, yet another headland loomed – Currumbin.

Currumbin sits near the Gold Coast Airport.

Huge jets roared overhead as we rode south.

We couldn’t wade across Currumbin Creek.

It was the middle of the tide.  Water rushed quickly out to sea.  Paddlers had to work hard to make any headway.

(Photo: Adam Lynch)

We hopped over the rock wall and followed the shore of Currumbin Lagoon west.  Eventually, we’d be able to get over the creek.

(Photo: Adam Lynch)

My bike impressed me with how easily it clambered up rocks and sand.

I gave myself a mental “high-five”, secretly admitting to myself that the success of this stunt had more to do with the bike that the rider.

Those fat tyres are wonderful!

(Photo: Tony Ryan)

We followed a boardwalk west, and eventually found a bridge which allowed us to cross the creek.

A strange-looking pedal-powered boat sat on the sand.  Adam couldn’t resist.

Those yellow pontoons are the wrong colour, Adam 🙂

(Photo: Tony Ryan)

On the other side of the creek, we followed it back out to sea.

“Currumbin Rock” stands sentinel at the mouth of the creek.

We rode out onto the rocks and watched the waves roll in.

This is a pretty place.

Adam looked intently into a rock pool at the unusual animals.

Curiosity is contagious.  Soon he had an audience.

I love the way our soft bouncy tyres allowed us to roll effortlessly over the rocks.  This sort of riding would be unpleasant on a normal mountain bike.  It was fun on 5″ treads

The Currumbin SLSC sits out on the sand.  Adam tells me at high tide the water can sometimes wash around the entrance.  It’s a good thing it’s built on rock.

We continued south past Tugun Beach and past a surf lifesaving competition at Kirra.

Rows and rows of banners and boards lined the beach and groups of eager contestants waited for their race.

(Photo: Adam Lynch)

Eventually, we had to leave the sand once more, and follow a path around Kirra Hill and Greenmount.

(Photo: Adam Lynch)

In the distance, a large white pavilion stood on the sand at Snapper Rocks. I think there must have been an international surfing competition here during the week.

We followed the beach to Snapper Rocks then climbed the hill…

…to Point Danger.

This spot marks the southern coastal tip of the State of Queensland.  Go any further south and you’d have to wear Blue instead of Maroon on Origin night.

Ahead of us lay the Tweed River.

Captain James Cook sailed by here in 1770. He named Point Danger, and Mount Warning in the hope it would alert mariners to the dangerous reefs which extended out to sea from this point.


There’s a huge memorial to Captain Cook which marks the state boundary.

(Photo: Adam Lynch)

We turned around at this point and began the northward leg of our ride, down the hill and through Coolangatta.

Back on the beach, we watched as contestants dragged their boards out of the surf.

Ahead lay the concrete spires of Surfers Paradise.

We now had a tailwind, which let us ride quicker.

The downside of a tailwind is you no longer have a breeze in your face to cool you down.

As we rode over Currumbin Creek, groups of paddle boarders floated around the lagoon.

At South Nobby, the tide had dropped enough for us to ride around on the sand.

(Photo: Tony Ryan)

Tides are powerful things.  It always pays to include them in your plans.

(Photo: Adam Lynch)

When we returned to Mermaid Beach, we pushed the bikes off the sand, and returned to the cars.

I felt tired.  This was more difficult than I had anticipated.

Total distance: 47.1 km
Max elevation: 38 m
Min elevation: 4 m
Total climbing: 452 m
Total descent: -441 m
Average speed: 13.44 km/h
Total Time: 04:13:51
More data

We rode just under 50km in a little over four hours including breaks.

During that time I burned about 2,700 kcal.

For most of the time, this was a leisurely ride in perfect conditions, although I started to tire towards the end.

I’ll rate it 7 out of 10 on the tough-o-meter.

Thanks, Darb and Adam for another fun day at the beach.

(Photo: Adam Lynch)

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