This time last year, when the only Corona we knew about was the dubious-tasting Mexican beer and social distancing meant logging off Facebook for a few weeks, a wonderful UK family were getting ready to visit their son, brother and uncle on the other side of the world: that would be me in Australia.
They hired a beautiful ‘bungalow’ (English for ‘house with no upstairs’) on Airbnb, “booked it, packed it” [English comedian, Peter Kay reference here] and flew off on a holiday of their dreams.
Two and a half weeks in paradise – and it certainly was. We stayed together on Monaco street, Broadbeach (above), in a spacious four-bedroom house with an awesome swimming pool. It was a visit of two halves: my parents enjoyed lazy days by the pool, wanders on the beautiful Gold Coast beaches, short ventures to the wineries of Mount Tambourine and the odd trip to Pacific Fair (mum’s favourite). Here we are with the beautiful backdrop from Mount Tambourine:
My sister, her husband and the kids visited every possible tourist attraction this side of Brisbane – I have no idea where they get the energy from but they didn’t sit down for 17 days. Here is my niece, Lucy, on a Jetski with her dad!
From watching the enchanting waterfalls at the beautiful Springbrook National Park, riding jet skis on the ocean, braving every possible roller-coaster at Dreamworld, dining out at Moomoos, Broadbeach, and going ‘out out’ in Surfers Paradise (everybody has to!), they experienced all the Gold Coast has to offer – and then some! Broadbeach has the advantage of being in the centre of the Gold Coast and makes surrounding areas so very accessible. Over the Christmas period, we were lucky enough to have my partner, Jade’s, parents come to stay. Having everyone together was an invaluable and unforgettable experience that none of us will forget.
Christmas Day was spent around the pool, throwing shrimps on the barbie and opening our Secret Santa gifts, in our silly Christmas outfits! The kids were well and truly spoilt – as indeed they deserved to be!
One of the many highlights of the holiday was the requisite trip to Currumbin Wildlife Park where everyone enjoyed patting the koalas… and feeding the kangaroos…
After a hot morning in the sun, we wandered a few hundred metres down the road to Currumbin Beach Vikings Surf Club for a ‘feed’ with a fantastic view and hydrated ourselves with a few schooners (or pints, for the English among us).
New Year’s Eve was spent at the amazing – and very cosy, Lupo’s Restaurant – in Mermaid, where the Gnocchi is quite simply out of this world!
I think I speak for every single one of us when I tell you that Christmas on The Gold Coast was so bloody worth it.
Have a Christmas you’ll never forget in 2020 – go to the Goldie!