After the Horizon’s Unlimited event, I didn’t have any specific plans…the only thing I had scheduled was the shipping of my bike from Brisbane to Auckland, which isn’t until the 21st. So, my friend Peter, who I met at the Horizon’s gathering offered to show me around North Stradbroke Island (or Straddie, as they call it).
Peter’s friend Lucas lives out there, so we stayed at his place a couple days.
Lucas has a koala living in one of his trees
And a bird named Mr. James Brown that the neighbor kids love
Today there is a North and South Stradbroke, but until 1896, it was a single island. In 1894, a ship called the Cambus Wallace ran aground. Most of the cargo on the ship was salvaged, but there was a large amount of explosives that were left behind, and they were later detonated. The explosion damaged the beach and surrounding vegetation, and in 1896, when a cyclone hit, it washed out a channel between the two islands. At this point it was about 20 feet wide, but after two years of exposure to currents and changing tides, the channel grew to a width of about 1.25 miles.
Brown Lake retains it’s water due to the leaves lining the bottom of it. Were it not for the leaves, the water would leach through the sandy bottom and the lake would dry up. The tannins in the leaves give it a dark brown color, although it is still very clear…it looks very similar to tea.
The Aboriginal tribes in the area regarded Brown Lake as very sacred, due to the water’s healing powers. Only women were allowed in the area, and in order to keep the boys out, they told them of spirits that lived in the lake that would take them away if they snuck in.