Bilgola Beach, Sydney, Australia.

The view of Bilgola Beach from our Airbnb.

I joined our niece, Lauren, together with two of my daughters and four grandchildren, in Bilgola Beach, a suburb in northern Sydney, Australia. Lauren was enjoying a respite, during the school holidays, from the freezing winter in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, where she is currently living.

Our party numbered 13 in all. Lauren, her two boys and stepdaughter; we seven, plus a friend of my granddaughter, Shannon; and Gail, an old friend of Lauren’s, with her daughter, Mia. Lauren had booked us all in to a three-story Airbnb, so we could catch up and enjoy some beach time. Fortunately, the house was big enough to accommodate all.

Bilgola Beach is in a bay between two cliffs

Our first day at the beach

Australian beaches are generally safe as long as you only swim between the flags, where there are lifeguards on duty. But, just to be safe, Tatum (pictured centre in the sea) was with the children, while the other adults relaxed on the beach under Jainy’s tent.

Casey and Jordy playing cards

One day a violent storm came through, but the children managed to amuse themselves by playing games and watching television.

Finley watching TV

One morning, Jordy was up early, and was fascinated by the birds that came to perch on the balcony.

Here is his favourite photo of a Kookaburra

All the other kids thought that his photos were cool, so they started looking out for the birds, too. Sarah has a cockatiel at home, so when she saw a cockatoo, she wanted to feed it.

Sarah and Jordy feeding the birds

Two rainbow lorikeets being fed by Mia.

Even though these were wild birds, it seemed as though they had adapted to city life, and were happy to accept gifts from the children. It certainly kept everyone amused.

Thank you very much! Yummy!

We were constantly amused by the cockatoos

Each day more and more birds turned up. Lauren posted a video on Facebook after we left, showing, at least, 9 cockatoos, and numerous rainbow lorikeets, making a racket and demanding food. Probably a good thing they were all leaving the next day!

The storm passed, and everyone was able to enjoy the sea again.

Lauren and a freezing Finley, coming back onto the beach

Sarah and Shannon enjoyed the beach so much, they didn’t want to leave

Casey found another use for his surf board.

A photo to remember, when they all look back on their youth

We all had a wonderful time at Bilgola Beach. Many thanks to Lauren for organizing our few days together. It is a memory we shall all cherish in the years to come. Perhaps we can have another one next year? Just a thought!

Elizabeth Coughlan


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