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Monday, November 02, 2009

Balnarring Coast and Coolart Woodlands

On Saturday October 31, 2009. I went down to the Balnarring Beach Foreshore, (also known as Tulum Beach) about 80 km south of Melbourne, on Westernport Bay.

From the main carpark, I walked along the beach, reaching the unsigned boardwalk/footrack leading to the bridge over the Merricks Creek Estuary.

This took me to the signed Woodland Walk, then along the north bank of the Estuary, then uphill to the boundary of the Somers Camp for Children.

From there, I continued to the big Suspension Bridge over the Estuary, then back along the beach to the carpark, a total distance of about 5 km.

A weird natural phenomenon had occurred along the beach. This was a massive grey fog, which had blown in from the direction of Phillip Island. I have never seen anything quite like this before! A gale force wind accompanied the Fog, reducing visibility to about 50 metres!

Strangely, the fog vanished at the western end of the beach!

It was a hot day, around 30 degrees, with many visitors swimming, paddling, beachcombing, sailing in small boats, or working powered craft.

There was excitement along the beach, due to Land Boarders and Kite Surfers with their colorful kites.

Kitesurfing (also known as Kiteboarding) is a surface water sport that uses wind power to pull a rider through the water on a small surfboard or a kiteboard (similar to a wakeboard). Generally kiteboarding refers to a style of riding known as freestyle or wake-style, whereas kitesurfing is more "wave-riding" oriented. These two styles usually require different boards and specific performance kites.

A kitesurfer or kiteboarder uses a board with or without foot-straps or bindings, combined with the power of a large controllable kite to propel the rider and the board across the water. In 2006, the number of kitesurfers has been estimated at around 150,000 to 210,000, with 114,465 inflatable kites sold that same year.[1]

The sport is becoming safer due to innovations in kite design, safety release systems, and instruction. Riding styles have evolved to suit riders and conditions, such as wakestyle, waveriding, freestyle, jumping, and cruising.

Land Boarders sit on a wheeled "board", using the wind and kite as the power source. This activity is usually done on flat beaches, or over snow!

See the full set of Photos of my visit!

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