I was born in Brisbane so visiting this part of Australia was always going to be special to me.
We decided to spent most of our time however on the glorious Gold Coast. I remember fun weekends there on the beach as a family and was really keen to show Matt, my fiancé, what it had to offer.
The Gold Coast Tourist Corporation were kind enough to put us up at the stunning Mantra Circle on Cavil, which comprises of two residential towers, one of which stretches 69 storeys high. It has the most superb central location, which is literally a few minutes walk to the beach and could be seen from our apartment. It’s also fantastically located next to the shopping district and provides direct access to the chic Circle on Cavill shopping prescient.
Our apartment was a luxurious two-bedroom apartment that had floor to ceiling windows providing panoramic views on the one side of the ocean and on the other the river. The apartment was by far one of the best we’d stayed in during our ‘4xfour’ adventure.
The Gold Coast is just stunning.
Anyone who's ever been to Australia and explored what the country has to offer will tell you that the Gold Coast is one of the countries best assets. What’s not to love about a bustling and modern beach district that combines incredible surfing, fantastic shopping and dining with a fabulous nightlife? It really has everything.
We did so much during our stay; from visiting ‘Dream World’ Australia’s answer to Walt Disney (they even have their own koala version of Mickie and Minnie mouse) to Wet n Wild, the water theme park, to driving to Australia Zoo; home of the late Steve Irwin to spending a day indulging in movie magic at the Warner Brothers theme park, we had the most superb time.
One of the best things we did was visit ‘Draculas' – Australia’s longest running and most successful dinner theatre. The reviews and recommendations were so strong; we just had to try it out. Wow, I am so thrilled we did, as it was absolutely incredible. I’ve never experienced anything quite like it. Located in a ‘haunted house’ the evening comprises cocktails, a superbly cooked three-course meal (which was genuinely mouth-watering and not the typical ‘chicken in a basket’ meal you might expect from such an event) entertainment in the form of cabaret, singing, dancing and a full-blown theatre performance with ‘at the table’ performances and antics from the waiters who seemingly doubled up as entertainers; a truly unique experience.
Up next on our journey was something I had personally been looking forward too for quite some time; our motorhome adventure which we did in partnership with Mightycampers.
We travelled between Brisbane and Sydney in one of their newest vehicles and it was a fantastic experience. Unfortunately for us we had Cylone Oswald on our tail, which created horrendous driving, and camping conditions. We literally were racing down the coast trying to beat Oswald before it hit the next stop.
It rained continuously from the moment we left Brisbane until the moment we arrived in Sydney and I’m not going to say this didn’t dampen our experience (excuse the pun) of course it did. It meant that instead of enjoying the driving experience we had spent so long looking forward to and maximised the facilities of the Big 4 holiday parks we had booked into stay at, we literally were soaking wet the entire duration of our motorhome experience, but that doesn’t mean to say we didn’t enjoy it – if nothing else we had such an adventure and never laughed so much…you try getting up at 3am to hot foot it the nearby camping toilets in your PJ’s during a tropical cyclone!
Drowned rat doesn’t begin to describe what I resembled throughout this entire week.
On the plus side I was really quite surprised by how compact our vehicle was, but I was more amazed by how much was packed into that one vehicle. There were little compartments and storage facilities everywhere – there wasn’t a single space that hadn’t been converted somehow into a storage option and it really was a confortable vehicle.
I’m really disappointed we didn’t get to spend more time at the Big 4 holiday parks as you could just tell how amazing they’d be if the weather had been on our side. We stayed at the Big 4 Shaws Bay holiday park in Balina, the Big 4 Saltwater holiday park in Yamba, the Big 4 Koala Shores Port Stephens Holiday park in Lemon Tree passage and finally the Big 4 Lakeside in Sydney were we both camped out in our vehicle, but also returned after our Indian Pacific journey and stayed in one of their new cabins, which was a brilliant experience and provided us with a different perspective of staying in a holiday park.
What I particularly liked about this park was it’s close proximity to Sydney which was only a short bus and ferry ride away. This is fantastic for those looking to save a few pennies by not staying in the city centre, but also for families who don’t want to be cooped up in a hotel room and want some space for their children to play outside.
I was extremely impressed by both Mighty Campers and Big 4.
How can I sum up our experience in Australia?
It was certainly an adventure and one I’ll never forget. I saw parts of my home country I’ve never seen or experienced before and for that I’m extremely grateful. I’ve visited Australia many times before, but through the connections we made planning this trip, the tourist boards, hoteliers and tour companies who supported us, the entire experience surpassed my expectations and I’d like to personally extend my thanks.