Cooly Rock On Event, Surfers Paradise. Queensland. Australia.

Each and every day we are blessed with on this Earth begins with one. We may not yet be awake, and it is sometimes hidden from view by cloud, but it is there nonetheless.

The sun-rises each day so a missed alarm is no excuse to miss the sun at its finest. In my city of Brisbane, there’s a hill we call Mount Coot-tha, which is about ten minutes from the CBD. You can walk up to the summit, down the other side and back up and down in around an hour and a half. For those ninety minutes, you bathe in a eucalypt forest. I made a detour before heading to Coolangatta. Mt Coot-tha is the best place to watch the sunrise in Brisbane.

 The Mount Coot-tha Lookout gives absolutely breathtaking views. The best time to get there is at least 30 minutes before the sun rises. It’s especially magical if there is a blanket of fog covering the city. Easily the most popular spot to see the sun rise, Mt Coot-tha offers a panoramic view of the city and Brisbane surrounds. Many people up early to see the city radiate in a golden glow as day breaks and the bright globe rises behind the city skyline. Sunrise photography is all about light, which depends on the weather to a great extent. You need to learn how to plan to get the best sunrise landscape shots. Typically, I prefer a partly cloudy sky. I wouldn’t bother with less than 30% cloud cover for a general sunrise landscape.

There are, of course, different scenarios. For instance, for a waterfall or a forest, I would prefer a clear sky to increase the chance of getting sun rays beaming through the trees. Sunrise, in my opinion, is the most magical time of day, when we can reconnect with nature in full. I’m always keen for a new exciting sunrise photography adventure even if I have to wake up at 3.30 am. Set your next alarm clock early and try it out!

After a few shots I headed on to Cooly Rocks On, Coolangatta. Established in 2011, Cooly Rocks On™ has evolved to become Australia’s largest rock’n’roll and nostalgia festival and a signature event on Queensland and Australia’s event calendar. Set on a combination of outdoor stages and venues within the beachside streetscape of iconic Coolangatta, the highlight of Cooly Rocks On™ is the destination; the spectacular Southern Gold Coast beaches, the relaxed and friendly hospitality and family-friendly atmosphere for which the Southern Gold Coast is renowned for and an event I look forward to each year.

 This year, Cooly rocked with an incredible entertainment line-up that featured headline artist direct from Los Angeles, California, Marcel Riesco who has toured world-wide with his blend of Roy Orbison inspired music paired with the best Rock’n Roll of the 50’s and 60’s. There is so much to savour at Cooly Rocks On™ 2019 with cars, live music, dance displays, parades and markets, all set on stages, streets, parks and venues within iconic Coolangatta.

Hundreds of cars were displayed in what is the most beautiful and iconic location for a Show ‘n’ Shine anywhere in Australia. There were more car clubs participating than ever before and will underpin the classic culture. Show’n Shine cars can be manufactured up to 1979 which incorporates the heady days of the ultimate muscle car era blending perfectly with the colourful classics. The vibrant colours, costumes and crowds seen at festivals  can make them a photographer’s dream come true. The spectacle, colour and crowds that are the hallmarks of festivals around the world make them a great subject for travel photography.

They offer the chance to see a completely different side to the people of the place you’re visiting.

Many people dress up for the event, either in their best 60/70’s clothes, or just for fun in whacky gear. You also find people are generally more relaxed, in high spirits and very happy to be photographed. Take advantage of the crowds and festive atmosphere to mingle with the locals and get in close to the action. The showers stayed away and I left just before the crowds packed the streets.

A sunrise is one of the most majestic spectacles we can ever witness. Its beauty is a powerful force, one capable of imparting its warmth on the most hardened of souls. It inspires, it energizes, it renews, it gives hope. And this is why sunrise is so fondly spoken about. It hints at the possibilities that exist for us if we should reach out and take them. It reminds us that time is moving ever forward and that change is a constant of life.

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