I cannot believe that I have been at work for 2 weeks now, and I have been hitting things quite hard both at work and with a new initiative. The Christmas holidays feels like a distant memory..
Thank goodness for all these great pics I managed to take while I was on holidays.
The Gold Coast
There is a reason why they call this place ‘The Gold Coast‘ – and the pictures prove it.
My days were filled with early morning swims between 7-8 am and believe it or not, there were already a few people going for a swim. The water and the morning sun made the swim just right.
We managed to go to Movie World, which is one of the 4 major theme parks at the Gold Coast. Although we’ve been there before, we’ve always enjoyed getting on some of the rides (The Wild West ride still stands out as our favourite for its combination white water rafting and zooming around in a roller coaster). My son wasn’t game enough to try some of the other roller coasters and that suited us just fine.
We also managed to hit a fun house of sorts in the main strip which was a pricey but turned out to be one of the better fun houses I’ve been to so far (it had 5 levels of fun and it was packed with jump scares).
There are of course a lot of other things to do in the Gold Coast but our stay was short and we also had to spend time with one of my son’s old school friends who moved up there a while back.
By far my personal favourite day was our trip down Byron Bay.
The drive down to Byron should have taken a comfortable hour. But this was the holidays and there was a big festival at Byron during this time which made the home stretch a little bit longer than I would have liked (almost an extra hour in traffic).
But the highway drive made it worthwhile.
note: Photo credits to my wife and my son. The bridges and the landscape were spectacular! We would have stopped had we had more time.
Now Byron Bay itself is like Newtown on a beach. For all the non-locals, that means it’s full of artistic types, hippies, musicians, travellers (I heard a lot of European accents), actors (just missed Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth who were there a couple of days after we left) and the kind.
The main strip was busy, but that was to be expected.
The beach, on the other hand, was heaven.
The best thing about Byron Bay is that the water magically combines just enough waves to satisfy surfers and enough flatness to keep casual beach types happy (I was able to catch a wave or 2 body surfing).
You can also go a fair way out without hitting the deep end. Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast was different in that regard – it went deep quite quick (and the waves can get relentless).
And like you would expect, the water temperature in this part of the country was just right.
We really wish we could have stayed longer – so now we need to plan for our next stay in Byron. My man Dave referred to Byron as one of his favourite places in Oz too – good to see that we agree.
Other things to note
Some random things popped up in my head during the holidays:
- The Gold Coast seemed to be bigger than when were last here 3 years ago. There were more skyscrapers, more restaurants, bars, shops than there was when we were last here.
Managed to take a cool shot of this monstrosity right in the middle of the city.
- the Trams seemed like it was working well. We did not take it ourselves but we saw a lot of other tourists and locals on them. It managed to ease a lot of the traffic that was on the main strip from memory. On a side note, our friend that moved up there mentioned that a lot of locals are a bit disappointed that the tram is not stopping where they really want the trams to stop. I guess the trams were purposely built to cater for the high traffic areas of the shops and the local university (and not necessarily suburbia).
- Eating out will cost you, but the quality was great (on average). Went to a few random places on the main strip and the prices on average were an extra $30 over Syndey prices for a family of 3. The good news though is that quality was great and the they serve up a generous quantity as well (Bar Italia on the main road was a standout).
- The shops are enormous and well designed. There’s a lot of money sloshing around the city from tourism and it shows. Pacific Fair which is one of the main shopping sites in the area has grown so much since we were last there. The new section of the shops looks really good both from an architectural standpoint and from an interior design aesthetic.
- There are a lot of people here during the holidays. If you don’t like human traffic then it’s probably best to stay somewhere outside Surfers Paradise (the main area). But if you don’t mind bodies, then feel free to stay in the main drag – there’s always something going on somewhere for families and couples alike.
On a personal note, I am glad that I managed to keep my gym sessions alive (yes I managed to keep the record going). I made sure to do this before the family were ready in the morning (6 am gym, 7 am swim, back in the hotel for 8 am breakfast). Now reaching 200-day straight mark!
The downside to the holidays is coming back home, but it always had to happen.
I have a few more pictures of the holidays in my Insta account. Come and join me over there – it’s always nice to interact with others.
And so until the next post..
About this post
This is a post that I really needed to get out before the great memories start eroding.
I have been quite busy with a new startup concept so far this year and I’m having to do a lot of things to get it off the ground. I hope to one day share more of this great initiative with you.