Midweek Stroll: Cabarita Tide Pools

Cabarita Beach Late Afternoon

This beach, Cabarita Beach, is “our” beach.  My husband grew up nearby, we were married here, and we return often.


If you’ve been reading 3 Hour Past for a while, you know I find the summers in Queensland physically challenging.  I get insomnia, migraines, become extremely restless and, well, go crazy.  Like that time I chopped off all my hair two years ago when I was too hot one afternoon and thought I had bugs on me.


This summer, we added regular trips to the beach (soft late afternoon light) to my coping strategies.  For the first time since I jumped the equator, I haven’t had a January meltdown.  This is a big deal, I dread January for 11 months of the year.


As a mindfulness exercise, I take walks with my camera to capture the natural world around me.  I took these a few weeks ago and returned to them today in the middle of a busy work week.


My husband, the native, points out interesting and poisonous creatures.  He’s my guide.


I look close and wonder “why?”  Why so beautiful?  Why green on black?  Why the garlands of barnacles?  Why so soft and so sharp? What breathlessly gorgeous creature might live in this brilliantly carpeted crevice?


Natural beauty is extravagant and complex- unexpected, unselfconscious.


When I stop and really look, everything else fades away.

what is this? Any clues?  I don't know.

a chiton

“Nature is full of genius, full of the divinity; so that not a snowflake escapes its fashioning hand.”  ~Henry David Thoreau, journal, 5 January 1856

We stood in a rock pool and spotted tiny purple crabs- I caught one on video.  He’s completely unconcerned by the changing water and what pretty purple and white claws! (and quick, we couldn’t catch him)


I hope you enjoyed our stroll along Cabarita Beach!  Where do you go to be in nature?

Today’s Giveaway Winner:

Picture 4


  1. Absolutely stunning photos! We’re lucky – in Spain I just walk out my front door and up the track with the dogs and I could be the only person in the world. In England I like to walk on the beach when no one is around and the waves are a little wild (which is most days!).

    • Wow! How lovely! :) I’ve never been to spain, but I have seen a few pebble beaches in England. Just wonderful, if cold, they are…

  2. Beautiful photos Steph. In the mid 80’s, my husband and 2 littleones moved to Townsville and I had similar meltdowns. I am originally from Christchurch in NZ and I really missed the mountains and the green bush. So we would drive several hours north to Mission Beach for me to revive in the beautiful rain forest up there for several days. It was heaven.

    • Oooh townsville would be even “more so” in the summer, I can commiserate! I thought I was crazy or something, but I talked to enough immigrants who would get similar symptoms in the summer, so I figured it had to be environmental… Which was nice, it meant I didn’t think I was insane anymore..

      The rainforest up north is spectacular. I still like to sit and remember it. And the quartz beaches!

  3. Here in Illinois it is dead winter but we finally got some fluffy white snow in the past week to brighten things up a bit. But I too used to get a bit crazy in the winter. Now I make it a point to go for a walk in nature at least once a week. Unfortunately I am too far from the lake for beach walks but we do have a river and I also find being near water soothes me (Must be the Pisces that I am!) But also trees and open fields and looking for the small overlooked details reconnects me to the earth and to what is important and to who I really am. When it is too cold to go outside I also have made yoga a regular practice so I can inside myself and look at the little details and reconnect that way.

    • How pretty- white and fluffy…. Yes, I understand it gets quite dark in the winter, too.. That’s exactly what I do- I go out “looking for beauty” and the funny thing is that no matter what kind of awful mood I’m in, once I start looking I see so much… When I’m out at the beach or in nature, I try to remember remember remember so that later I can close my eyes and picture it when I’m stressed. Definitely helps.

  4. Oh, the pictures are beautiful. Years ago I used to do much more photography, and I found it so cathartic. The way it makes you start looking at the smallest details, or soaking in a vista; the mindfulness is wonderful.
    Thanks for this. It helps, as I sit inside out of the cold here in chilly Ottawa, I miss the time outside.

    • Yes! I started doing these walks as a way to work on my photography and discovered it was incredibly relaxing for exactly that reason.

      I’d love to experience a deep, cold, big winter sometime…

  5. Thanks so much for sharing! My dad’s side of the family is from Maine so I love rocky beaches! I’m not generally a big fan of nature but I do love being on or near the water (not so much in though….) Too bad I live hours away from the nearest beach!

    • I like them, too… I grew up near wide sandy beaches and the warm Gulf Stream current, it was nothing like these wild, rocky beaches with their icy cold water…. I like getting in, to, swimming with an against the waves… :) We’re about an hour and a half away from Cabarita.. I wish we lived closer to the coast.

  6. How beautiful.

    It’s sort of the flip side of winter that had us buying snow shoes two years ago. My husband would get so grumpy with the cold and annoyed with the snow and ice. He thought about how fun winter was as a kid when it meant tobogganing, skating, snow ball fights, snow forts… Buying snow shoes and getting out in the winter was our way to make it fun again. Sadly it’s been too warm to really get out this winter.

    • Yes! That’s exactly the same concept or something… I never thought I was a beach person, but it was a way for us to do something together and get out of the city for a little bit in the summer… It gets dreadful.

      Show-shoeing would be such fun! I’d like to try that someday.

  7. Reading your blog today was just what I needed. I get so caught up in my thoughts and ruminating that I forget to be in the present to enjoy what’s around me. Being mindful has helped me tremendously in the past and I forgot about how much until you reminded me today to just be not do. I thank you. Have a wonderful day!

  8. It’s a chiton. A multi-plated curved back we beastie that looks like he/she is bearing up in the tide pool just waiting for the tide to return with the lunch counter floating by. The natives here eat them but they take some skill in preparation for them to be tender enough to consume.
    I can’t imagine living away from the beach. The ocean is life, and there’s lots of it here on the West Coast of Canada where many of us spend time in it, on it or walking beside it. That will help you chill out from the blazing summer of January. I’d have a lot of difficulty with that too as it’s the cool rainforest here.

    • I love your description! :)

      Ooooooh, I haven’t been to W.Canada but I’ve seen enough of the Pacific NWest to know it’s a special place. I agree, the ocean is life… I like how small it makes me feel, I like staring out to the horizon and picturing all the life that lives under the waves… the sharks, the dolphins, the clouds of fish, the sea turtles… Dear me, now I want to go snorkeling…

  9. What beautiful pictures! I’m always so jealous of all you gals south of the equator when it is winter time here, but I can only imagine that if I was in your place I might get a bit crazy as well. I think I would have a VERY hard time adjusting to reversed seasons (though I do like to dream about it when I watch the news in the US these days).

    • It’s very different, I still haven’t switched over and probably never will. I keep plotting about taking my husband over to the other side of the equator for a few years to see how he likes it…

  10. Aw, gorgeous pictures, I’ve never seen anything like these! Thanks for sharing.
    The picture of your husband peeking up from the water looks odd, if only because I thought the picture was a much larger scale, and then suddenly noticed the GIANT HEAD IN THE MIDDLE OF THE LAKE and oops, realized that it was much smaller scale than I initially thought. :D

    • I never saw anything like this either until I came out here the first time… Sometimes I suspect I fell in love with the coast nearly as much as I did with my husband… ;)

      Hahaha it’s a tide pool. I was standing in the channel in water up to my waist and had to wait for a lull between waves to take the shot. The water rushes in, the water rushes out. It was almost like a little spa bath. At some point, he warned me about blue ringed octopus, who apparently love tidepools and are gorgeous and also very poisonous…

  11. That’s a great beach for a quick rejuvenation. The little crab is pretty, and I laughed when I heard you say “Can you paint him?” I smell a crab dress coming on… Barnacles are weird. Pretty, but weird. Thanks for sharing your photos with us. Now, I’m going to go out in the snow and will probably manage to spot a cat and perhaps a seagull while I’m out. The seagulls congregate around our rivers.

    • hahaha I think “can you paint him?” is a bit of a constant refrain around here… I have some plans… :)

      Oh, snow. I have to really work hard to convince myself snow exists…

  12. This looks amazing! I was recently out in California visiting and was able to go to the seaside and see some little tide pools there… I was obsessed for hours. If I had something so amazing near to where I live I’d be there everyday without fail!

    Love all of your pics and the purple crab video. :)

    • Yes! I like to sit and watch, too… If I sit still, I can see little crabs and fish and oh everything… I *wish* I could get out there every day, but a few times a month is nice too. If I lived on the coast, I think I’d be as happy as Snow White, singing and having pelicans and so forth landing on my outstretched hand… ;)

  13. It’s a good thing I’m coming home soon. These pictures make my heart ache. We don’t get beaches like this in Tasmania and although it is very lovely here there’s no place like home, as I’m sure you know only too well! Very soon Molly and I will be having our daily walk on that very beach! Do you ever go down to Wooyung? There’s never anyone there and I like it best of all. Hope I get to stroll with you there some time.

    • I suspect that at some point, I’ll feel the same looking at pictures like this…

      No, haven’t been to Wooyung, but might try it next time, thanks for the tip. :)

      I think we shall. You’ll be back soon and I find it very hard to resist Byron’s charms. (we have a lead on a husband job there, if you can believe it.. with the council, fingers crossed…)

  14. Cabarita Beach is stunning — love that light sandy – black – bright green palette! I’m quite enchanted by the little purple crab! Wish I lived closer to a beach — it’s not too far in actual distance, only about 15 miles, but because of the terrain / winding narrow roads / access it takes a couple hours to drive to the nearest one. I can’t complain too much though since I live in the redwood forest at the tippy top of northern California and get to spend at least 90 minutes almost every day hiking in the woods. It’s certainly a truly amazingly awesome part of the natural world, and even though I’ve lived here my entire life, it’s beauty still makes my breath catch regularly.

  15. I love cabarita beach too :) I spent a few months working up there on the pacific hwy upgrades and during the week I lived in Cabarita. I’ve got some amazing memories of borrowing a bicycle from my accomodation owners and riding along the boardwalk down towads casuarina and kingscliffe in the beautiful evening light… and of course walks along the beach. Thanks for sharing :)

  16. Must be something like the lack of light in winter that makes us ‘down under’ dwellers freak out in a cold winter environment. I can’t imagine being anything but happy in summer; the sunshine, the rain, the beach, BBQ’s – pure bliss!

  17. I find beaches very good for the soul. We don’t live near one but I’m always thrilled when we visit. I especially love beaches in winter when there are less folk about. Your beach is stunning.

  18. Pingback: Midweek Stroll: Treasuring Hunting After A Storm « 3 Hours Past the Edge of the World

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