Picture by Nathan Barro: Lake Nagu Nagu, Queensland, Australia

Monday, 30 September 2013

A Quick Trip to Kirra - What We Got Up To

On Friday when school was out for our 2 week spring holiday I decided to do a bit of internet surfing and came across a great deal with our vacation company, Wyndham, for a few nights at Kirra Beach on the Gold Coast so I jumped right in and booked it.  The kids and I had the week free and it was the perfect short break.  The only thing was that Anthony was at work so it meant a solo trip for me and the kids which I was a bit concerned about but really was nothing to worry about at all. 

(Our resort)

Day 1
When I booked I said that we would be parking the car and spending our time between the  beach and pool.  Unfortunately when we arrived the weather was grey and windy and cold so this idea didn't seem like it was feasible.


  

There is a beautiful shared pathway all along the coastline so we spent the afternoon walking and checking out the area.  We had a good pie from the local bakery and the kids played in the park.  Then we headed to our unit to check in and warm up!

Day 2
Luckily when we woke the next morning the day was glorious and the view from our balcony looked like this.


Of course, as with most holidays we go on, my plans of beach and pool went out the window when the kids decided they really wanted to go to Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. We have never been there before and our resort had a 50% off deal so we decided that was for us.  It only took us about 5 minutes to drive there from our resort so that was a big bonus.


Can you tell that my kids love to act out their photos?  Here they are being prepared for eating by a big python!

The animals were lovely here, it is a really great place to see Australian animals, they are plentiful.  I personally don't like kangaroos much and I'm never a fan of going to feed and pat them.  I find them a bit scatty and they often scratch and jump up at little ones etc.  BUT, this was an excellent enclosure, they had volunteers wandering around and helping tourists to do the right thing around the animals and in return they had very friendly and relaxed kangaroos.  We spent a lot of time in this enclosure.




Nathan went on the parks new attraction which is a high ropes course.  I paid $10 extra and he got fitted up and off he went.  He completed three different ropes courses all with different difficulties.  He loved it and was gone for 90 minutes or so.  The value for money was excellent and I had one very happy little boy! (if you arrive unprepared like I did you can hire closed in shoes and socks etc there)



During our animal sightings this was one of our favourites and this little echidna was super friendly too.  The kids had a little pat.


At Currumbin they have quite a big hospital unit where they help sick and injured animals.  You could walk right around it and watch them working on animals and they had some interactive stations too.  Here you can see Nathan bandaging up a koala and Emma is preparing to stitch up a snake.


We also measured our wingspan at the hospital.



Another great section of the park was Wild Island where the kids got to dig for fossils, climb and play in a great playground and ride on a flying fox.  They were very happy in here.


Luckily the day was nice and hot and sunny so when we got back to the resort we packed our bags and headed across the road to the beach.






The kids boogie boarded and played in the sand while I sat and read my magazine.  The best bit about Kirra Beach is that it is nice and quiet.  Just around the corner is Coolangatta which is super busy but here you almost have the  beach to yourself and you still are lucky enough to have life guards etc.

Day 3
On our last full day we had a lazy morning watching the skydivers landing on the beach in front of our resort.


We had quite a lot of games of putt putt which was at our resort.



And we hired some bikes from our resort (they cost $5 per hour) and rode along that beautiful coastline on the shared pathway.





We were able to ride to Coolangatta and back in 15 minutes so it shows you how close it is to there.  

We ended our last full day with some swimming in the pool until it got dark and we had to have some dinner.


Day 4
On our last morning before check out we visited the roof top viewing area of our resort to check out the view one last time. 



One really good thing about our Wyndham resorts is that check out is at 12 noon so you always have a bit of time on your last morning to do something.  The kids went to kids club too on our last day and had a great time, for $2 each they made sock puppets, played ten pin bowls and played other grass games.

Sometimes those impromptu short breaks turn out to be the best ones.  If you are thinking about a trip down to the Gold Coast, look up Kirra it is close to everything and yet still quiet and not too touristy.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

A Great Christmas Trip in Brisbane

Christmas is always a big deal in our house, we do lots of special things and count down the days until the man in the red suit arrives.   Last year on the last weekend before Christmas we headed into Brisbane for the weekend to celebrate.  I found a really great deal at the Royal on The Park for a family (which is available again this year, details below) and booked it straight away.


We checked in on Saturday at lunch time and headed into the city (which was a short walk) for lunch and to visit the Myer Centre and have the kids photo taken with Santa there.  We walked over to Southbank and the kids had fun swimming in the beach. Then we headed back to our room to get ready for our evening out.  We took the kids to Southbank for dinner at the turkish restaurant.  


We caught a ride on one of these (below) back to the other side of the river.  The kids thought it was awesome! They laughed and had so much fun.


We got dropped off at King George Square where we got to see the giant Christmas Tree which was gorgeous.



Then we headed on foot to The Queen Street Mall and lined up to see the Myer Christmas window. It was such a good story last year and once again the kids loved it. 




On our way back to the hotel we were lucky enough to come across some real reindeer in the street and get a photo.


On Sunday we got up and spent the morning at Riverside Markets before we had to checkout at 12 noon (we also had time to swim in the pool and enjoy a delicious breakfast).



We had the best weekend, and it was really good value for money.

I saw on the Royal on the Park website (link HERE) that they have the same offer available for summer holidays this year which you can book now.  It includes breakfast too which was super delicious and I would highly recommend a weekend just like ours.

*This post is not sponsored by Royal on the Park, just a good experience had by us*

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Travel Tip Time: In case you lose the kids!

When travelling with kids you are always extra cautious.  I always make sure I pay extra and take the 'well known tour' etc. because I need to make sure that we are really safe because we have the kids.    Losing the kids is always a big worry, especially when you travel to places that are crowded or if you have a child like me who likes to wander off!  

So I have found something which I think is great so I am sharing it here.  


Temporary tattoos that are custom made for you!  How good is that?  You put them on your kids, they can come off easily when you don't need them and if the kids get lost if someone finds them they can then find you.  You can order them HERE.

I haven't ordered mine for our upcoming trip yet but I will be soon.  I am actually still deciding what to put on mine.  Do you have any ideas?  We are going to be in Asia, visiting 4 different countries.  We won't have our mobile phones on global roaming due to the fees.  So what number do we put on our tattoos?  I'm thinking my sisters phone number back home as she will know our itinerary and where to contact us.  Can you think of a better solution?  Please let me know if you can.  If not I may have to succumb to taking the mobile phone.

Anyway I hope this tip helps you.  These are even great to have for trips you do from home like to the beach or museum or anywhere really.  

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

1770

We stayed in 1770 for one night on our way home from Airlie Beach so we didn't get to do a lot of things there but I can tell you about what we did get up to. You can click on the link HERE for more information about 1770.

We were in our caravan on this trip so we stayed at one of the caravan parks in the area - Captain Cook Caravan Park.  It was a bush setting and the beach was a walkway away so it was in a good spot.  

We headed along the coast road and visited the spot where Captain James Cook first landed in Australia. 




We then drove a bit further along (until we couldn't drive any further) and came to a lovely walk that took us to the Joseph Banks Conservation Park and lookout.  It was sunset by the time we got there.  The scenery was beautiful and you could see the boats coming in.






After dark we were treated to a really great experience.  A couple of possums came down to visit near our caravan sites.  They were so friendly and we fed them a few bits of fruit.  The kids got to feed and pat them and they didn't even seem bothered by the flash of the camera.  I'm sure they are very well fed possums and visit plenty of campers on their travels.  They were super cute and really made our day.







And to finish our day off we had a little play around with some sparklers.  You know it is not easy writing or drawing with a sparkler so that it turns out in a photo.  We did have a lot of fun trying though, this was the best go we had, Emma with her heart.



Notes:  
* We payed $51 a night for our powered caravan site.  
* The caravan park has a really good Indian Restaurant on site for dine in or take away.  We got take away and it was delicious!