Tradition in Australia I think is that in the winter, the birds (and cold people) fly (or drive) north for the sun and beaches.
And so did we (and thanks to winning a radio competition)!
We stayed in Burleigh Heads in a 2 bedroom apartment (or condo), just a stones throw from the beach.
On the balcony overlooking the ocean, we soon discovered how friendly the local lorikeets were. Our quiet breakfasts soon were enveloped by the welcoming chirrups of these birds, who boldly visited our breakfast plates if we let them. We soon discovered they love milk!
There is an absolute tonne of stuff to do around here, but with only 5 full days, we were forced to choose.
Day one of free day was dedicated to the kids. Movie World!!
I have learned to love the coasters, number one benefit of becoming a parent is initiation into the world of rollercoasters. (if you were a bit shy of them like me), for there is nothing more that will spur you beyond your comfort zone than a child with tears brimming begging “I need you next to me!!!”
Day two, we ventured for some quiet into natural surrounds.
The area is rich with places to go, and I do wish we had more time, regardless we did a lovely scenic drive of Lamington and Springbrook National Parks, going to the lookouts and some of the easier walks. At the time, due to drought, the water flow was not strong, but the backdrops still impressive.
We had a picnic, again fending off friendly birds, this time a kookaburra going after our tuna.
When one thinks of the Gold Coast, immediately what springs to mind are the towering apartments on the beach and the night club scene, but that is just a small aspect of this district. The beauty of the hinterlands, the low rise townships and the relaxed people were indeed a welcoming surprise
What is terrific about this district is the variety of walks one can undertake. Ranging from very accessible and non challenging, through to full on hikes, the scenery is stunning.
Then, we were back for more theme park action, this time, WetnWild. The day we visited, it poured almost the whole day, but that was ok, because it was still warm, and no adjustment was needed between wet n dry. We just stayed wet the whole time!
It was totally awesome, and the boys had a ball! Not so much the employees I think!
With the weather remaining questionable, the following day we chose a day of driving, in search of the sun. Driving just a little south of Burleigh Heads to Coolangatta, we were presented with the most fabulous views taking in the city of Surfers Paradise in the distance.
There were a few surfers taking advantage of the conditions, being a weekday it was quiet.
We continued south across the border into New South Wales (about an hour's drive time in total), to Byron Bay Lighthouse.
On completion of the tour, another storm washed in, but there was a little cafe in one of the historic buildings, and there we headed, ordering coffees and watching the rain.
Afterwards, we managed to take in the beauty of the coast before the drive back to Burleigh Heads.
Having never had the gold coast region high on my list, I was fully blown away by the scenery, and look forward to returning again as soon as possible.