Mangaluru, despite being a part of Karnataka, feels like a distinct place in itself thanks to the multiple cultures prevalent here. The cuisine, language, architecture, customs, and traditions are so markedly different from the surrounding regions, a visit to South Canara (now divided into Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Kasargod districts) is imperative to catch the drift.
“The sky is an infinite movie to me. I never get tired of looking at what’s happening up there.” -K. D. Lang
The easiest way to get to here is a boat ride from Om beach but I don’t recommend it as the boat usually won’t stop here for more than 15 mins. Moreover, the place feels a lot more sweeter after you break a sweat to get here. The trek is easy and takes between 30-40 mins.
The itinerary of the 1770 LARC Paradise Tour I opted for, included a day-long drive on a unique vehicle from the Vietnam war era- basically a groovy pink ‘ship on wheels’, along the discovery coast, to the Bustard Head lighthouse and back.
If you are wondering where on earth is this paradise… One can find it on the Heron reef which is visible even from outer space (how cool is that?!), in the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef, 80 km northeast of Gladstone. You could spend days in this- less than 500 Mtrs- island (that can be walked around in 20 mins) and yet return home longing for more. I think it is ideal to spend at least 2 whole days here if you want to experience all that this natural World Heritage- listed Marine National Park has to offer.
What Cook failed to notice in 1770, Matthew Flinders did in 1802, kickstarting what then went on to become marked events of history. Despite having been welcomed by hurling stones and rocks from the local Goengs, Flinders explored Port Curtis for 12 whole days. The intention to establish North Australia as a prisoners’ colony only lasted a short while, where Port Curtis served as the capital. Port Curtis is now called the Gladstone Harbour where I was about to spend a good 3 hours touring Queensland’s largest multi-commodity port.
Food, music and beach… A perfect way to spend your weekend.
He held out a large black rounded lizard towards me – an adult Shingleback Lizard from Southern Australia…being keen on exploring regional Queensland, I knew I had come to the right place.