Grange to Henley Beach Walk
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A Coastal Walk
If you stand on the end of the Grange or Henley Jetties
, on a calm clear day, and look seaward you will see a definite line where the water becomes a deeper shade of blue. The obvious reason for this demarcation would seem to be water depth. However, this is not the case. Although the water is deeper further out to sea, it is the growth of seagrasses that ultimately creates this blue line.
Grange Kiosk and Jetty
I am walking between Grange and Henley jetties and exploring many different aspects of this coastal environment including the importance of seagrasses
, birdlife, diverse architecture and where to get a good meal or a cup of coffee on your walk.
Red Mullet amongst the seagrass
Back to the Seagrasses; they once grew closer to the shore but polluted water run-off killed these inshore growths and even threatened the remaining seagrass meadows. Seagrasses are a nursery area for many fish species and the main habitat for others. They also increase nutrients, subdue wave action and oxygenate the water.
Different mollusc shells
Walking along the beachfront is one way to travel between the jetties. When the tide is out there are shallow pools and, in the winter months, piles of dead seagrass. Hence, a little beachcombing can be quite enlightening. Look at the different sizes and shapes of shells and try to guess what it tells you about the lives of the Molluscs that lived in them. Also, look for crabs, sponges, and different algae (red, green and brown).
looking across the wave-shaped seating in Henley Square
For many people, buildings and structures and their stories, are fascinating. The jetties themselves are steeped in the state’s history. Try Googling their origins before or after your visit.
Art deco styled building
It is also interesting to compare some of the different buildings along the shoreline like the Marines at Grange, modern, glassed beachside homes and older art-deco-styled buildings. Together, these elements of structure and form make a walk along the shoreline quite the voyage through history.
Pacific Gull adult with an unfortunate crab
Without venturing under the water or counting ants and other insects in the sandhills and scrub, the most visible wildlife group along the coast is birds. There are the usual urban varieties of species such as Australian Magpies, Willie Wagtails, Starlings, Mudlarks, Rainbow Lorikeets, and Spotted Doves, to mention just a few. However, there are also the typical coastal species which include: Silver Gulls, Pacific Gulls, Common Terns, Singing Honeyeaters
, Australian Pelicans and even the occasional bird of prey such as the Nankeen Kestrel.
A little information about the sculpture
These are just a few of the observations worth considering on a walk between the two iconic jetties. You could equally take note of the plants and bushes amongst the sand hills, enjoy the coastal artwork, or put on a mask and flippers and look at the sealife under the jetty. However, it is equally worth the effort to just walk, cycle or jog this interesting section of our shoreline to simply enjoy the sea air and smile at others you meet along the way.
This is an easy walk which is quite suitable for families and seniors with public toilets, parking and other facilities nearby. It is dog-friendly with some beach restrictions.
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