Friday 23 – Sunday 25th March
We’d met Karly and Mel on a ski trip to Zermatt years ago and cracked a glass of champagne when they had got engaged on a sun filled blue run and they’d really kindly offered to put us up for a couple of nights in their new home in Helensvale. But they work for a living and we are retired layabouts so as the weather wasn’t great we decided to really embrace the Gold Coast way of life and grabbed a couple of cheap tickets to amusement park Dreamworld with the next door water park White Water World included in the price.
It’s super cheesy and really quiet, so Wayne got to embrace his inner 9 year old self and go on lots of stomach churning rides. I managed a couple then a particularly unpleasant rotating thingy left me with my head between my knees and a definite chance of losing lunch… so having decided the park was filling up we escaped to the 30 degree heat we headed next door to the water park. Secretly I love a water park, we had a pool near us when i was a kid that had a small slide and a wave machine which I loved so this giant version was totally me and I insisted on going on every ride – swooping drops, ones with inflatables that we went down on together and a huge pool with a wave machine. Awe…some…
Reemerging from the water as grown ups we changed and jumped into the car over to Karly and Mels. They have a really cool house with a garden filled with tropical plants and a lovely sunken pool. The house backs onto a park so you really feel like you are sitting in a green jungle though the rains seemed to have produced giant starving mosquitos who really really wanted a cuddle.
We headed out for a proper Australian evening at the local bowls club, where beers are a brilliant $3 bottle and there was live music, food and pokies – why don’t we have these at home??
The next day after an epic Aussi breakfast in a local cafe, they took us up into the hinterland into the Tamborine National Park. Our first visit was to the Tamborine Rainforest and Skywalk which is a trail that runs through the rainforest with raised walkways and a canter levered platform that gives views of the trees from bottom to top.
We saw lizards sunning themselves, skinks and lots of butterflies, which we then attempted a really poor impression of… sorry butterflies!
Then on to 2 sets of falls, one with a really odd formation team of caterpillars – no idea what they were doing, before we took a potter around the town of Tamborine, stopping in for a cheeky wine tasting at Castle Glen Cellars and a beer tasting at the Fortitude Brewing company.
Really the only thing missing from the perfect day out was a British pub, but hey! they have one of those too, the fox and hounds, complete with a completely random Ukulele group practice session in the beer garden, and football scarves in the dining room.
Our lovely hosts cooked up an epic Oz BBQ that evening and road tested an odd device that scares off the killer mosquitos so we were able to sit out in the garden and drink our Castle Glen Shiraz.. a brilliant couple of days in the Gold Coast and thank you to Mel and Karly for showing us their stunning part of Australia.