Coloured Sand Cliffs of Cooloola National Park: Brittle Pink

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The high dunes of Cooloola have been accumulated in past ice age eras and then partially eroded and sculpted into high sand cliffs during the higher sea-levels of inter-glacial periods.

This site is an especially fragile piece of the ecosystem, built on these ancient sands. The sands have been consolidated and eroded to reveal the subtle colours created by iron elements dyeing the quartz and orthoclase grains of sand.

Some of the iron binds the compressed sand such that it is brittle and fractures as shown by the sharp edges and cracks.

This is the beauty and fragility of Cooloola National Park.

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Comments (19)

bdeh on October 24, 2013

What a very nice close up from those beautiful coloured cliffs Ian. LIKE! Greetings Berend

Ian Stehbens on October 28, 2013

They are colourful, awesome and majestic!

Thanks for the appreciation. I love them, Berend. But o they are so fragile!

Warmest greetings,


Liang Cao on November 1, 2013




*goran on November 3, 2013

OMG This is unbelievably amazing shot! L

Erik van den Ham on November 5, 2013

It's almost hard to believe this isn't man made. The colours blend like a water painting. By capturing this fragile beauty you insured it to be saved for future watchers.

Cheers, Erik

Ian Stehbens on November 9, 2013

I am delighted with your appreciation of this image, cao liang. Thank you. It is an especially fragile piece of the ecosystem, built on ancient sands. The sands have been consolidated and eroded to reveal the subtle colours created by iron elements dyeing the quartz and orthoclase grains of sand.



Ian Stehbens on November 9, 2013

O Goran - you would love this landscape both on a broader scale as well as in its detail. It is a paradise for photographers!

Warm regards from Queensland,


Ian Stehbens on November 9, 2013

Hi Erik. You have said it perfectly: the colours blend like a water painting for that is what it is. The satuarted sand mass has been dyed by iron and other elements moving through the weakly consolidated sand mass.

As the back of the beach the base of these fragile cliffs of sand is attacked and so sand collapses, breaks and slips to reveal the inner blended colours of the water painting.



JeO112 on November 18, 2013

Me gusta, ☆☆☆Like☆☆☆,
Saludos desde "La isla del encanto"
Puerto Rico....JeO112.

Ian Stehbens on November 19, 2013

Thank you, Je0112. I am so pleased that you appreciate it, for today I hung this image in my gallery. I have had it printed on metal - float-mounted and infused on aluminium! And my first viewer said, "Wow!" I love it too.


Hazel Coetzee on November 26, 2013

Hello dear Ian. As always, beautiful photo's to thrill and cheer your Panoramio friends. Thank you for your visit to my little gallery and kind words, much appreciated. I am afraid I find Pano very difficult to decipher nowadays with its light print and so I have been avoiding it. The macular degeneration keeps me from doing a lot of things I enjoyed so much in years past, but I promise to try to visit and always think of you all with great affection. God bless and keep up the beautiful photographs. Kindest regards to you and Margaret. xx PS We have "downscaled" to a very comfy cottage in the northern suburbs and are very busy getting the garden to look like our little piece of heaven. ;))

Erwin Woenckhaus on November 27, 2013

Nice tones... and very interesting place.

Erwin Woenckhaus on November 27, 2013

... interesting information also, thanks for sharing! :)

Ian Stehbens on December 16, 2013

Dear Hazel,

I like this image very much, also, and it has been printed to aluminium and hangs in the gallery. I was delighted when my 5 year old grandson identified it as one of his favourites in the gallery.

If once in a while I share an image that you appreciate too, then I am very pleased, for you have such artistic ability and an appreciation of colour. But, it is difficult to accept that a friend is losing her eyesight (in your case) and another, in Amy's case, is losing her hearing. We need to be fit to handle aging! In the case of Panoramio's new design, it is clear that we live in a young people's world.

If ever you were able to make the flight east, I would be keen to take you to this spectacular beach - Rainbow Beach.

Christmas blessings,


Ian Stehbens on December 16, 2013

Thank you Erwin. It is one of nature's gems.



Marilyn Whiteley on December 18, 2013

Beautifully received photograph, Ian - and thank you for the information.


Ian Stehbens on December 19, 2013

Thank you, Marilyn - this is certainly a gift received!

And it hangs in the gallery.

Christmas greetings & blessings,


miru3po on January 20, 2014



Ian Stehbens on January 22, 2014

"Abstract composition that conveys mystery and the colour is wonderful."

Thank you miru3po for your special appraisal and compliments. They are appreciated. Greetings from Australia.


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Photo details

  • Uploaded on October 23, 2013
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Ian Stehbens