We’re not beach people, really. Sitting around on the beach is fine for a while, and eventually it’s a bit boring. The Sunshine Coast promises sun, sand, sea and surf; the fun version of a day at the beach. When you imagine stereotypical Australia this is the image; golden sandy beaches stretching for miles, huge waves breaking ashore dotted with surfers and sparkling in the sunshine, the lifeguard post with toned men in red shorts (concentrate, Jo), red and yellow flags fluttering in the gentle breeze. The temperature display at the top of the Surf and Lifesaving Club reads 29, and they still have the audacity to call this winter.

We dragged ourselves away from the coffee to go for an easy run through the waves along the beach. On the way back we went into the water for a dip to enjoy being buffeted around by the big swell. Waves are fun! We hadn’t used enough suncream so looked quite the lame white British couple swimming in our t-shirts. We’re not really beach people.

This afternoon we had our first surfing lesson. The instructor was exactly who you would expect; thick accent, big energetic smile, bouncing around the beach and full of silly rhymes to remember what to do. If you’re tall you fall, if you’re low you’ll go go go! Derriere in the air! Surfing’s not all that difficult, until you’re in the water faced with metre-high waves breaking towards you and you have to remember a sequence of five or so steps to get up onto the board. Then it’s pretty tough. We both managed to get upright briefly, but not for long and not consistently. We’ll try again when the waves are a bit calmer, that must have been the problem. We’re not beach people, but what a cracking way to spend an afternoon.

It actually rained for some of the morning, providing brief respite from the glorious sunshine. There were the obvious moans that we’d brought the bad weather with us from England. Because we’re not beach people. Honest.