Our daughter Katie decided to belatedly celebrate her 30th birthday by escaping Canberra’s cold winter weather and exploring the Gold Coast theme parks, so Katie and her fiancée Mick arranged a 3 bedroom apartment at Kirra Beach (near Coolangatta/Tweed Heads) for a week. We were invited to join them overnight for dinner and a catch up, as Maroochydore isn’t all that far from Kirra Beach. Not really wishing to make the trip in Bertha we hired a car for a couple of days and set off on our short Gold Coast adventure. We’d never driven an X-Trail before and it was a very nice car to drive!
Mid-morning we made our way from Cotton Tree to the Bruce Highway and south towards Brisbane. First stop was at Caboolture for a quick lunch and to pick up some supplies for dinner. Then it was back onto the highway and over the Gateway Bridge. We’ve been over it before and I’ve posted photos in this blog before, but there is something about it that intrigues me so sorry but you’ll have to put up with yet another photo.
Not long after arriving on the South side of Brisbane we were engulfed in some pretty heavy smoke, and the speed limit was reduced for quite a distance. It turned out that there was a controlled burn-off beside the highway in preparation for warmer bushfire weather.
Just past the theme parks at Coomera the traffic slowed again. This time the delay was caused by a multi-car pile-up going North on the highway so of course South-bound traffic slowed as well. There were police, tow trucks, ambulances etc in attendance and the highway was completely blocked. The police were getting cars to reverse back to the previous off-ramp as it didn’t look as though any-one was going to get through for quite some time. We didn’t want to imagine driving Bertha in a situation such as this – wouldn’t be much fun at all.
A lot later than expected (I didn’t mention the roadworks did I?) we finally arrived at Kirra Beach. Mick and Katie were staying at the Wyndham Resort and had arranged an undercover car park for us, which was great, and helped us carry our gear and supplies up to their apartment on the 9th floor. Their friends Bec and Leigh from Melbourne were also staying and it was great to see them again as well. As it was too late to really go for walk, we all decided it was time for happy hour on the balcony watching planes take off at the nearby Coolangatta airport and watch the sunset.
Happy hour then morphed into a delicious dinner, with Mick and Leigh heading downstairs somewhere to a BBQ where they cooked up some meats while the girls put together a delicious salad. Dinner was fantastic and after loading up the dishwasher we settled down to a hilarious board game called “Concept”. It’s a bit hard to describe and none of us had played it before, but it’s a bit like “Pictionary” except that players have game cards with various icons to describe the clues instead of having to draw pictures. I hope that makes some sort of sense – either way it was heaps of fun!.
Next morning after a very inviting and healthy breakfast we said our farewells to the kids (well they’re all around 30, but it’s a relevant term) who headed off to their first theme park for the week, while Ann and I decided to take the scenic route back to Cotton Tree.
First stop was to walk along the actual beach at Kirra Beach. Looking back from the beach this place has certainly changed since we were last here some time ago. Then we headed north along the “beach road” into the ever expanding sprawl that is the Gold Coast.
We stopped for coffee at a very nice little coffee shop in Burleigh North and a quick walk before heading back to the X-Trail.
At some point we had to re-join the main road through the Gold Coast. Ann remembers Surfers Paradise from the late 60s but could hardy recognise any of the buildings from that era. Even though there are different suburbs listed on the map really it all just seems to be a constant contest to see how high buildings can go and how close they can be built together. There are a few older standouts, and we did see a very nice war memorial, but it all seems to be high-rise buildings and even more development which sadly results in less sunshine.
The Spit at Southport was a nice relief after Surfers and surrounds. We’ve been here several times before and feel quite at home. After a drive around we found a scarce carpark at Mariners Cove and went for a good long walk to stretch our legs and work up an appetite for lunch. There are all sorts of boats and yachts here. We saw a very nice looking motor cruiser for sale at $1.8 million, reduced by $600K – a real bargain!?! We also saw an interesting “church” cruiser before stopping for lunch at one of the several cafes and restaurants at Marina Mirage.
All too soon it was time to head back to the car and continue our journey home. Back past Australia Fair shopping centre; back over the Gateway Bridge; past Aussie World and the Ettamoga Pub; and finally we were back home in Bertha.
It was great catching up with Katie and Mick, and to see Bec and Leigh again, and we certainly had a very enjoyable trip back from Kirra Beach exploring places we hadn’t been for quite some time.
But, the adventure wasn’t all over just yet! Ann had a bit of a surprise for me as we still had some time before we had to return the X-Trail hire car. Look what Ann found – Adults Only Car Shop specialising in classic cars, muscle cars, and more. A great end to our Gold Coast adventure.
Still thoroughly enjoying the motorhome experience (even if we didn’t take Bertha this time)!!