I will never take Australian beaches for granted. I still get a thrill when I'm approaching a new one for the first time, along an increasingly sandy path through coastal scrub, with the sound of surf getting louder. There are so many almost ten-out-of-tenners – and I haven't even visited most of them yet. If you're a person who regularly seeks solace by the shore, then you're bound to think, what on earth will I do when I haven't got beaches on my doorstep?
Where will I... get wave therapy to soothe a troubled mind, blow the cobwebs away, monitor the weather, photograph art, collect shells and other treasures, study rocks, conduct sand analysis, scan the horizon for huge and mighty creatures, talk to gulls, feel the power, and stand on one of the planet's most intriguing boundaries. In which golden temples will I worship?
Meanwhile, back in Far North Queensland, beaches like this one lie right by the Captain Cook Highway, often with no name.
Here are a few more we called in at on the drive from Daintree to Cairns.Rocky Point
Pebbly Beach is, of course, pebbly, and the only one of its kind I've come across in Australia. Mixed in with the pebbles in one small area were hundreds of tiny delicate shells. I stalked a bird I spotted sneaking about on the rocks (there were rocks as well as pebbles, but 'Rocky' had already been used, right?). I only realised when I looked at my photographs later that in fact there were two of them. I think they were Wandering Tatlers.
There is another hazard on the beaches of Far North Queensland, however, as well as stingers and salties. Getting hit on the head by a falling coconut would not be funny. And, by the way, they're not for harvesting.