The Great Wall… of Hervey Bay

I have very fond memories of the Urangan sea wall. As kids my brother and I would sit on the wall and let the water splash over us, or jump into incoming waves.

Until recently it was almost impossible to imagine such scenarios. The tide barely made it to the bottom steps of the wall, let alone offering up enough water to leap into without doing oneself an injury.

In October 2012 when I was looking at the apartment that was to become my home, the Real Estate Agent told me that the Fraser Coast Regional Council was planning to fix the sea wall (which was looking a little worse for wear). I knew it meant I’d have to suffer through some noise and disruption, but was basically pleased the iconic wall would remain.

IMG_4312I had a big moan however, when the Fraser Coast Regional Council finally started work on the Urangan sea wall back in December.

“Why on earth would you block off part of the esplanade at one of the busiest times of year?” I wondered. Aloud. And in a ranty way.

Unsurprisingly no one listened and work commenced a few weeks before Christmas.

IMG_4946Cyclone Oswald (officially Ex-tropical Cyclone Oswald… or as I like to think of it: the Tropical Cyclone formerly known as Oswald!) and king tides put work on hold for a few weeks, before Council staff got back to work with a vengeance.

As someone who lives across the road I’m trying to be patient. And sympathetic. And patient. (Oh, did I mention that?!)

BUT IT HAS BEEN BLOODY NOISY! From my expert eye I’ve noticed worker using a jack hammer to dig up the old wall; a big drill-thingy to dig holes in the concrete for the new wall supports; chain saws to presumably chop up the old wall; as well as many other noisy implements.

When all are unleashed at the same time it’s a nightmare for those trying to sleep work across the road.

But, I’ve tried to bear it bravely with only minimal (*ahem*) moaning and groaning.

IMG_4976The wall already needed replacing before the advent Cyclone Ossie (I’m allowed to call it that as we go way back!) and its wild winds which washed* concrete bricks out of the old wall.

I’m not overly sure that the new wall is the most aesthetically pleasing one that could have been chosen, but… that’s all water under the bridge (or over the wall).

I’ve seen no point in whingeing to the Council workers out there doing their job about the noise. Not when I can moan and groan on Twitter instead.

And – weather permitting – another month or so the noise will be a distant memory; I will again have my gorgeous ocean views (sans ugly fencing and road barriers) and – hopefully – the next Cyclone or high tides won’t result in chunks of the wall floating across the road.

Do others have fond memories of the sea wall, I wonder?
Or perhaps you’re as frustrated as I am about the disruption. (Albeit a necessary one!)

* apologies for the accidental alliteration. But now it’s there, it’s staying!


Life in a Tourist Town

(First published 5 February 2013)

Three months have passed since I moved into my esplanade apartment at Hervey Bay, and I have just survived my first holiday period as a local* amongst a throng of holidaymakers.

viewThe biggest fear I had about my choice of ‘home’ was that – my esplanade view and lovely modern accomodations would be counteracted by living in an apartment complex which would possibly be home to noisy holidaymakers on a regular basis.

I’m not, you see, the most (ahem) tolerant of people… so I had visions of myself screaming at drunken tenants partying at 1am or devil-possessed children frolicking about our complex pool.

But, I have to confess – it hasn’t been as bad as I expected.

Sure there were the guys in the apartment below me trying to channel Freddy Mercury before dinner one night; and there were a few badly behaved children in the pool – torturing siblings or crying hysterically about some world crisis or another. (Bloody little sooks!) And of course, the place in general has being busier than usual with overflowing caravan parks and beachside apartments.

But, on the whole… it was quite pleasant to see my new home AND hometown being enjoyed by so many visitors.

The people-watching is surprisingly interesting and has the potential to be quite exciting. Like Hotel. Or Adventure Island. Or Melrose Place. Or similar.**

poolI got a giggle out of a couple of oldies who seemed to strike up a bit of a romance friendship at the poolside. And smiled every time another guest headed off to the local pier with his fishing rod and supplies (and came home empty-handed); proud that my new hometown offered such simple pleasures.

And then there’s the opportunity to chuckle in a smug superior manner when visitors do those silly things that cause we locals to roll our eyes. “Tourists!” we groan.

And now… school’s back in and the Vacancy signs are again littering the esplanade as the holidaymakers have headed back to their own part of the world.

Although I haven’t been too disrupted by our visitors, I must confess I much prefer having the place and the town to ‘ourselves’ again.

There’ll be no more queueing for a table at the Boat Club for a while, no need to book at pub down the road and no need forpatience at the overflowing playgrounds. And the supermarkets will again (mostly***) belong to we locals.

* I grew up nearby so feel I can call myself a local despite having only lived here for thee months!
** There could be a TV series in this!
*** I say mostly because I DO live in a beachside town so there are always a few overseas tourists and weekend vacationers here.

PS. Am showing my age and channeling The Dream Academy’s Life in a Northern Town in the title. In case you didn’t get the way-too-clever reference!

And your thoughts…Tourists: love em or hate em?