Top Beaches: Nielsen Park, Australia by

Journal Notes

One of the best beaches I have ever been to is definitely Nielsen Park. I remember waiting to be seated at the charming cafe, that has an amazing view of the harbor, when a pair of the most colorful birds I have ever seen landed about a foot away from me. They both had deep green wings with a bright blue face and a brilliantly red and yellow underside. Growing up in southern California, these birds seemed incredibly exotic to me and added to the wonder of the place. There was a gorgeous cliff that I felt I could stare at for hours and not get tired of. It was a leafy, rocky, beautiful thing and I was amazed at how nature could create something like that. What I was seeing was a result of just the right amount of time and waves. There were a couple of guys surfing right next to the cliff just outside the line they placed in the water telling you where the sharks couldn't get you. It was August, so the middle of winter for Australia, and I couldn't imagine why they would be doing it. I wanted to tell them to get out and grab a hot chocolate at the cafe before they were pulled into the cliff or eaten by a shark, but instead we let ourselves wonder why and took a stroll through the park. The trees that lined the walkway felt like they were from the enchanted forest of a storybook. Their branches were thick and sinewy and intertwining. My parents and I had a great day at Nielsen Park, and it will always be one of my favorite beaches in the world. I want to go back when it's warmer, but I like having the memory of it being just us and the surfers.

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