Category Archives: Travel

We Filipinos have this superstition that when you have a mole on your feet, you’re a traveler. And so it’s been said that when I was a baby, my grandmother noticed a mole on my left heel and predicted I’d be warang (our dialect for wanderer) when I grow up.

Fast forward to two decades and my lola was right. I have become a wide-eyed wanderer who loves going places and discovering the beauty of the Philippines and the world one destination at a time.

Gold Coast: Hinze Dam

While this vast embankment and ungated spillway across Nerang River’s primary function is to provide water security and flood mitigation to Gold Coast, it has also become a popular destination for locals and tourists alike because of its stunning views as you can see from the above photo.

This Open Space was my first view of it as seen from the coffee shop that’s above the parklands and the lake.

While my friend waited for our breakfast, I headed to where the walking trails were and was utterly charmed by these views.

So pretty.  And the weather’s perfect for walking.  (I was in Gold Coast during winter, so it was still cold despite the sunny weather.)

I lingered here for sometime to read a couple of signage that tell the history of the place, and found out that the dam was named in honor of the Hinze family who lived in the valley that got flooded by the dam.


Don’t get confused by the Little Nerang Dam in the above signage as this forms part of Hinze Dam.

When I felt my tummy grumble, I headed back to the café to eat.  I’ll share more details about my dining experience at View Café in a future post.  In the meantime, here’s a teaser photo of my latte.

After my filling breakfast, I headed to where the dam itself was.  On my way there, I got sidetracked by the information center, which was still closed when we arrived.  I spent some time here too learning about Hinze Dam’s design and operations.

While the views by the circuitous pathways were lovely, the views along the top of the dam wall were just as pretty.

The views were so picturesque I felt it’s worth a selfie shot.  Te he.

I was so in love with the views I have dozens of photos from this spot.  Here are some of my favorite pictures.

Blue happened to be my favorite color, and it was just so relaxing to watch the tranquil vivid-blue waters against the paler blue sky and the cottony white clouds and lush mountains.

From the same spot, I could also see the village and parts of the dam.

I’ll end this post with a panoramic shot of the dam taken while I was on the bridge.

It’s definitely one of the prettiest sights I enjoyed in Gold Coast and among my many travels, so if you do find yourself in GC, make sure to include Hinze Dam in your itinerary.

Sunset at Neddy Harper Park

I could tell from the way the sun shone above Nerang River at Neddy Harper Park that the park would be a perfect spot for sunset watching. And so after spending half my afternoon at Cascades Gardens, I headed back to Neddy Harper Park to catch the sunset.

I love sunsets (and sunrises too) so wherever I travel, I make it a point to include sunset-watching in my itinerary. And as always, I wasn’t disappointed.

Just look at how this perfectly rounded sun looked like a full moon.

As the sun descended, people at the once busy park stopped what they were doing to admire the sunset, like this guy who stopped skateboarding to enjoy the views.

I sat behind him, all the while envious of his prime spot. A lady stopped jogging and asked if it was all right to stand on the bench I was sitting on so she could get a better view. I said yes, sharing that I did the same thing a while back. We both laughed.

Surprisingly, skateboard guy left and because I was nearest him – and faster in moving, so I’d like to think, te he! – got his prime spot!

Don’t you just love the view?  Too bad we couldn’t get to the dock as it’s roped off.  I bet the views there were better…

Behind me, the lady took a call and apologized that she would be late because she got sidetracked by the stunning sunset. I couldn’t blame her. I myself was supposed to head back home too, but the views were too pretty to miss.

Here are some zoomed-in shots of the setting sun.

The above was one of my favorites as I loved how the trees provided a nice backdrop against the fiery sky.

As usual, I’m ending this post with my most favorite photo from this set.

As Beau Taplin wrote, “Sunsets are proof that endings can often be beautiful too.”

Gold Coast: Cascades Gardens

The trees with the pink flowers were what attracted me to this garden. I first saw them while on the tram to Broadbeach, so I made a mental note to come here for a closer view of the trees that from afar looked so much like Cherry Blossoms.

Cascades Gardens is one of GC’s most popular parks because of its family-friendly facilities and scenic views.

Here are photos of my “Cherry Blossoms,” which turned out to be a Pink Trumpet Tree (more photos about this lovely tree in a separate post).

Aren’t they beautiful?

One of Cascades Gardens’ picnic areas was dedicated to firefighters Fennel and Watson as I found out through this signage, which was near the bench where I sat.


Across was the Queensland Korean War Memorial.

Cascades Gardens also has a rainforest, and it even has a Flying-fox Colony. After reading that some flying-foxes carry a virus that is potentially fatal to humans (this was in the signage), I hurriedly left the area. Better to be safe than sorry.

One of the reasons Cascades Gardens has scenic views is that a section of it faces the Nerang River.

These two were some of my favorites from this set because of the Australian White Ibis that I think made the photos more interesting. I especially like the one in which its wings were outstretched.


Here’s a close up shot of the same Australian White when it perched itself on a pole near me.

And here’s another bird I found at the park.

Some random photos taken at Cascades Gardens (click to enlarge each photo).

I’ll end this post with my favorite photo from this set.

It was nearing sunset and because it’s the golden hour, I loved how the sun bathed the trees in light.

Gold Coast: Views from Neddy Harper Park

While Neddy Harper Park is just one of Gold Coast’s smaller parks, it became one of my favorites because of its views.

It afforded me views of not just the calm waters of the river, but of Gold Coast’s skyline as well.

The building on the far right of the above photo is Q1 or Queensland Number One, which is the tallest building in Australia and the Southern Hemisphere.  It is currently the seventh tallest residential tower in the world.

This is my favorite spot in Neddy Park. I spent the whole afternoon here just reading a book or watching people do yoga, exercise, or walk their cute pets.

I did some bird-watching here too.  I saw about 3 other types of birds, but they were too elusive to capture.

Pardon the photo quality since these were zoomed-in shots.

Here’s a photo of Q1 from my favorite spot.


And a photo of some houses by the river fringed by lush greenery.

More random photos of my views this time taken near the river’s edge.

Too bad the docking area was roped off.  I bet it would grant me a better view of GC’s cityscape.

I thus opted to just take a closer of the houses as seen from the park.

I’ll end this post with this panoramic shot.

So pretty.

Gold Coast: Views from Chevron Island Bridge


I didn’t know until I worked on this post that Australia’s Chevron Island is a man-made island. It was constructed in the 1950s and is now a stylish residential and business area.

I just walked from Surfers Paradise Boulevard to get to Chevron Island, but I didn’t mind the 15-minute walk because of the views.


The above is the bridge that connects Surfers Paradise to Chevron Island and all of these photos were taken from the bridge.

I had to go to the island since my friend and I wanted to try Boom Boom Burger as it claimed to be one of the top 10 burger joints in all of Australia.

Here’s a zoomed-in shot of some houses by the river.

All photos taken with a Samsung Galaxy Note 5.