THE GOLD COAST

It seemed the most obvious place to go next after Sydney. That’s the good thing about travelling, there isn’t anything tying you down, you have the freedom to be spontaneous.

Just a 1hr 20 minute flight from Sydney it wasn’t long before I was looking out of the window and taking in the aerial view of what I call the ‘never ending beach’ below.

We thought after our two week road trip and crashing out at friends houses, why not treat ourselves. What the heck! Let’s go crazy and book a super host Airbnb. Ok so not quite ‘let’s jump out a plane crazy’ but just go with it. We booked one week at an apartment in the Magic Mountain Resort in Nobby’s Beach and boy was it beautiful.

3 pools, hot tub, spa and gym. It felt like a holiday. I kept forgetting that we’d be back on the road again in one week. We spent most of our time relaxing at the pool. Not because we were lazy but we just couldn’t get enough of the view… Come on, I think you’d agree? Even though we liked to spend most of our time at the pool, we were in the Gold Coast, a whole new city, we had to go out and explore!

We found the cutest little cafe in Nobby’s Beach, Forreal Kitchen, which it’s safe to say we became regulars at. Why wouldn’t we though, they serve Nutella banana pancakes and the most delicious smoothies. That, and the staff are super friendly and the prices are reasonable. Just look at those pancakes though…YUM We actually found a lot of gorgeous places to eat and drink in the Goldy. Two favourite past times of ours, eating and drinking. The Surfers Paradise Beach Cafe, House of Brews Steampunk, Seaduction, Mexicali, Borough Barista and Hurricane’s Grill & Bar just to name a few.

What’s great is that I found a lot of places offer an afternoon ‘happy hour’ or ‘hours’ of some kind, be it on food or drink. Personally I think it can be expensive dining out, especially when there’s no money coming in, so I always look for the places with the offers. $4 wine don’t mind if I do.

Enough about food and wine, what about the never ending beach! When I first heard of the Gold Coast, Surfer’s Paradise immediately came to mind. Trust me, there is a lot more to the Goldy than that!

Don’t get me wrong, Surfer’s Paradise is lovely, very touristy and a tad overrated, but lovely. It’s worth a visit (mainly so you can get that cliche photo under the sign), however the beach itself is no different to Main Beach, Broadbeach, Mermaid Beach, Nobby’s Beach or Miami’s Beach. Technically it’s just one long beautiful stretch of beach. In comparison to Surfers, the other beaches were so much quieter, a lot of the time it felt like you had the beach to yourself! When we heard the Quiksilver Pro Surf Competition was on we headed over to Coolangatta Beach to watch the experienced surfers take to the water. Not that I know the first thing about surfing but it’s awesome to watch and it’s something you don’t see everyday! As well as the surf, we explored Rainbow Bay and Snappers Rocks. Both beautiful spots but make sure you were shoes on Snappers Rocks! I won’t lie, we spent most of our time either at the pool or on the beach. Lazy buggers I know. But when the weather took a turn we ended up shopping (another favourite pastime of mine) at Pacific Fair. So many great shops, a number of restaurants and even a cinema so if you’re in need of some retail therapy, Pacific Fair is your answer. I didn’t realise but Farley is worse at shopping than I am. Can you believe it, he seemed to find something to buy in every shop! Is anyone else’s partner like this?

Speaking of believing, we visited Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum in Surfer’s Paradise. I didn’t really no what to expect. It’s weird and wacky, but at the same time quite cool. I think it’s overpriced but it provided a good couple hours of entertainment and made me feel like a big kid. I definitely think it’s a place for a family! Towards the end of the week our travel plans were thrown up into the air. Since being in Australia we had made the decision to complete the 88 days regional work for a second year visa when the right opportunity came along. Well, something cropped up and we had been accepted for a farm job in Queensland that was too good to turn down. They wanted us to start in two weeks time.

Because we had loved the Gold Coast so much we had already booked and planned to stay another week at an Airbnb over in Labrador. We then had flights booked to Perth and planned to stay with family for a while but the new job meant we had just one week in Western Australia. I believe that everything happens for a reason so we went with it and we made it work.

The second week in the Gold Coast was a little different. Whilst the city was getting ready for the Commonwealth Games, I was frantically getting ready for what felt like my own games. You can’t wear a bikini on a farm can you, so it looked like a whole new wardrobe was in order. Damn, more shopping, oh no…

Don’t get me wrong we still had time to relax on the beach, go shopping, eat out and even feed Pelicans on Labrador Beach (I’ve never seen anything quite like it, they will not stop for anything to get that fish). The biggest mission of all that week though was ‘operation buy a car’. I couldn’t tell you how many we looked at, it was a lot. I reckon we covered the entire Gold Coast just looking at cars. It didn’t help that neither of us knew the first thing about cars, so each time I would think we were being taken advantage off. Every seller, I thought in some way or other is trying to sell sell me a dud car.

After weighing up our options, and taking into account we will be heading into the outback, lots of dirt roads, lots of kangaroos, emus etc, we made a grown up and executive decision. Meet The Hound… A 1998 V6 Mitsubishi Challenger. Yes it’s an old car, but I have always wanted a 4×4 so it’s a dream come true really. I’m just hoping, praying and crossing all my fingers and toes that we have not been fooled by the dealer.

With just a few days to go until our flights to Perth and with our new found sense of freedom (honestly I don’t know why we didn’t buy a car sooner) were better to do a road trip to than to the beautiful Byron Bay?!

Chris Hemsworth I’m coming for you.

The Gold Coast has been one of my favourite destinations in Australia. I wouldn’t hesitate to go back there. It’s beautiful. I can see why people would choose to live there and raise a family. There are a lot of things I’d still like to see and do in the Gold Coast, so I am sure I’ll see it again soon.

Catch you in Byron Bay

Miss Health & Safety aka Steph

P.S don’t worry there’s a glass wall behind me.

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