On Saturday, my wife said she’d like to go out for an hour or so. What she meant by that was she wanted all of us to go out as a family for four or more hours.
“No.” I said. “I’ve got to do the gardening.” “Do it tomorrow!” she said. So off we went.
Rewind about 18 months and I would have put up a bigger fight. Because 18 months ago I lived in an undistinguished part of Essex. Local attractions were Basildon, Lakeside Shopping Centre, Southend seafront or if you wanted to get all historical, Chelmsford. As 90% of the time it would be cold, or raining, or windy, or all three, a shopping mall would often win the debate on “what are we gonna do?”
Things are a little different today. Choices of “what are we gonna do?” are now much wider and a good deal more interesting. For example, within an hours drive we could……
- Have a picnic on Mount Nebo.
- Go to South Bank and hang around the lagoon.
- Go to Mount Coot-tha and the Botanic Gardens.
- Visit Mount Tamborine Tropical Rainforest
- Go to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary.
- Visit any one of a number of beaches.
I had a quick look at the map. “We’ve never been to Nudgee Beach, anything there?” I asked. We didn’t know, so we went to find out…..
Difficult to imagine, but Nudgee Beach is only about 20 minutes drive north of the city. It took us about 45 minutes to get there from our house. It was truly magical. It reminded me in some ways of Griffiths Island in the way it felt so calm and relaxing. We had caught it at the best time, when the tide was out.
My daughter, to her delight, was allowed to strip down to her knickers and go wading in. We spent a wonderful couple of hours there. Apart from the beach there’s also Boondall Wetlands and the mangrove. I can only explain what a mangrove is by having read the informative sign on the subject by Brisbane City Council. The mangrove refers to “the whole habitat, the trees, soils and tidal waters that shelter an enormous variety of wildlife”.
And Nudgee Beach refers to another fabulous surprise and instant reminder of how wonderful it is to live in Australia.
We got back to the car, popped Elizabeth’s dress back on and hung her knickers out of the window as we drove to Samford Village (which I’ll tell you about in another post). By the time we got there, she was able to dress respectably for dinner.