• 2016.12.13
  • Supermoon over the sea
The November 14 Supermoon was the closest one to the earth in 68 years. Unfortunately, I heard that rain made it impossible to see the moon from the Tokyo suburbs, but along the Gold Coast where I live, we got to see a gorgeous full moon thanks to good weather.

The Gold Coast is the eastern shore of Australia, so the moon rose out of the ocean here. It first peeked out at 5:50 PM local time. The days get quite long as we head towards summer, so we get to see the moon while it’s still light out during this time.

There were already people gathering to see the supermoon when we arrived at the beach before 5:30 PM. Some of them even had some serious telescopic cameras out… The city of Miami, where I live, is about 12 kilometers south from the tourist haven of Surfer’s Paradise, so we don’t have a lot of sightseers down here. Instead, we saw locals arriving on bicycles and skateboards or stopping by while walking their dogs. Those that live a little farther inland came in cars, and before we knew it they were parked bumper to bumper from the beachfront parking lot all the way back into the residential areas. I hadn’t seen this many parked cars even at the height of perfect midsummer beach weather. Back in Japan, a lot of people would still be at work at this hour, but the Gold Coast is home to a lot of skilled and manual laborers who go to work in the early morning hours and get home early as well. They also rarely put in overtime, giving them the freedom to come to the beach and go surfing after work. I’m getting a little off-topic here, but road traffic peaks early between 3:30 and 5:00 PM, and even the stores close between 4:00 and 5:30 PM aside from “shopping days,” which are Thursdays along the Gold Coast.

People gathering on the beach to see the supermoon. The faraway buildings on the left are Surfer’s Paradise. Crowds could be seen all up and down the coastline.

(left). Lots of locals gathered at the beach, making it livelier than usual.
(right). A man waits for the view with his telescopic camera. The free parking areas along the beach were packed with cars.

The moon was unfortunately hidden by cloud cover when it first peeked over the horizon. To be honest, though… I felt like I could barely tell whether it was bigger than normal or not. As the sunset gradually turned the sky pink, lots of locals showed up at the beach to see the supermoon. Neighbors were chatting, couples were sitting shoulder to shoulder on the beach, kids were playing in the sand, and the surfers were looking up at the moon from out on the water. A moment of peace descended, brought on by the quiet atmosphere. There must have been so many people out along this 57-kilometer stretch of Gold Coast…

People were still surfing and moon-gazing even as it started to get dark. A classic Gold Coast scene.


  • Chieko Suganuma (maiden name : Nagura)
  • JobCompany employee

She moved to Australia in 2000. She worked for a Japanese-affiliated travel agency, and then started her current position at a construction company in 2014.On her days off, she enjoys making soy candles that is a hobby of mine and walking on the beach.She hope to share rare lifestyle information from the local area with you.

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