While growing up a lot of our family holidays were to the Gold Coast so I’ve got nothing but love for the place. Trips to the coast meant getting some sun, picnics, fish and chips by the beach, boogie boarding (they’re called body boards now?) and most important to little Julia were the theme parks. The only good theme parks in Australia are in Queensland so it’s pretty safe to say that every little Aussie kid almost peed their pants at the chance to get some theme park action, or at least that’s how I felt.
Needless to say that when I travelled to the Gold Coast with a family member a few weeks ago, theme parks were still at the top of my to do list. Yep, I’m one of those people who make ‘travel lists’ of things to see, do and eat. Travel lists may sound dull or un-spontaneous but they’re actually really handy for making sure you get to experience the full effect of a place. Too many times have I gotten back from a trip only to discover I’d missed a huge attraction, local delicacy or famous sight- never again! I was determined for this trip to be different, and it was.
To kick of our days, for breakfast pretty much every morning we walked down to a local cafe and had killer Acai Bowls with fresh banana, strawberries and coconut. I could eat Acai all day long and still not get sick of it so this was perfect for me.
Sadly I don’t have any snaps from Movie World or Dreamworld because their main attractions are basically the thrill rides so I decided against bringing my camera. Being whirled around like a rag doll on rides doesn’t exactly leave much time for photo ops. I also didn’t really trust leaving my camera in one of the park lockers…I feel like my DSLR is my baby and would a mother leave her baby in a locker? God I hope not. To give you more of an idea, think Gollum and his ring when you think of me and my camera.
Luckily for the sake of blog photos Sea World is a marine animal park that’s far less ride based so I was taking snaps left, right and centre.
Aside from the shining sun that day and the beautiful but clearly not natural bright blue water, my favourite part of Sea World was seeing a polar bear up close. I’d never seen one before so that was definitely a new one.
Side note: does anyone else get a little depressed seeing animals behind big walls of glass? It was really nice seeing the polar bear but to be honest I just wanted to let it free…
As the days came to a close, each night before dinner we’d go for walks along the ridiculously picturesque beach, I mean just look at that sky!
When we weren’t walking along the beach we were walking around the city, visiting Ripley’s Believe It or Not, going to night markets, eating frozen yoghurt (the perfect 8pm treat by the way) and doing some shopping because you know, priorities.
Queensland is known for its seafood, so for me it just wouldn’t have been a proper Queensland holiday if we didn’t visit George’s Paragon a few times (or five). George’s is a top notch Greek style seafood restaurant and probably one of the only restaurants that everyone in my family enjoys. I never eat seafood at home so the fact that I ate calamari almost everyday at George’s really says something.
If I wasn’t too busy eating I would’ve taken a picture of the view. The restaurant overlooks the water and a tonne of boats and multi-story yachts that probably cost the same as several houses. Walks along the pier after lunch to digest everything was a must before making the hour long drive back to our hotel.
Our last few days were a little more relaxed. We spent time shopping, walking, squeezed in a couple more trips to George’s and hunted down all the Jurassic Park movies on dvd because sometimes you’re just in the mood for dinosaurs, am I right?
On the night before we left, between frantically packing my suitcase I spent a good chunk of time just sitting on the balcony, admiring the view and appreciating the city lights.
I don’t know when I’ll next get a chance to go to Queensland but for the sake of not depressing myself I’m just going to assume that I’ll be back sometime soon; if not for the theme parks and beach then for the calamari alone (I wish I was kidding).
Are there any travel destinations that you make you feel happy just thinking about them?