It can be a thin strip of dirt carved out through years of use by locals or a solid board-walk created with care by a local government authority to provide the optimum experience for tourists. Either way, the coastal walk is an important part of any journey in a country like Australia which, as our national anthem states is bounded by sea. When I walk between earth and sea its as though I am are unifying agent of both forces. I feel more balanced in my soul but after all, I was born in the sign of the crab, that curious creature which makes the threshold between land and water, its home. The crab is that unusual mixture of Yin and Yang, hard outer shell, soft insides, impelled towards life yet retreating from it.
These crustaceans are just one of the life forms you can encounter on this type of walk . Each element, air, water and earth, produces vibrant life forms some of which are only found on the coast, but many are migrating species, travellers just like us, who remind us of the smallness of our world
Then there is the type of vegetation found by the sea which is different to that inland. I love the trees which have allowed themselves to be sculptured by the wind which is always a key actor in defining and sculpting the sea walk landscape
It always surprises me that although you are on solid ground-and earth offers as much variety and beauty as any element-your focus as you walk, becomes the sea and horizon.
Being an island continent,Australia has such a variety of stunning coastal walks. From those around Sydney Harbour, the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, the coastal walks of the Fleurieu peninsula in South Australia and those majestic and ancient cliff walks in Western Australia.
But I have my favourites. These are places where earth not only meets water but my soul also infuses itself in the experience.These walks remain memorable for the connection with the deeper parts of self. Point Addis, just at the beginning of the Great Ocean Road on Victoria’s coastline, will always be one of these special places for me. The first time I walked along its wonderful indigenous track, I was affected by its lonely beauty. The second time, well I can only say that I entered into a conversation with the spirits of the land in a very special way.
The walk can turn into a cycle when Local Councils provide a bike path. When staying near Warnbro, in Perth’s Southern suburbs, I cycled daily into the regional centre. With Penguin Island , a nature reserve opposite, I was frequently blessed with seeing dolphin pods at sea and throngs of Pelicans as they flew by.
You can take the high road along the headland or the low road around the beach when the tide is low. Each choice will give you a fresh and different perspective on the elements that constitute this amazing coastline
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