After the Great Barrier Reef experience, we’ve been making our way towards Sydney. This is going to take a few days with stops along the way.
First though, we had a few hours on the beach at Alex Head. It will come as no surprise the beaches are superb in Australia. They seem to fill up early and then the crowds dissipate as the day goes on.
Southport (Gold Coast)
We stopped on the Gold Coast at Southport in the terribly glamourous hotel called Meriton Suites and it was pretty sumptuous, I can tell you. We acquired a really cheap deal and thought it might be a dump haha. Think it’s the poshest place I’ve ever stayed in. Like a penthouse suite and with a most spectacular view from our balcony..
Unfortunately, the surrounding area was a little bland so it shows you need to check the location too. However, we enjoyed getting out and about to a local craft beer bar on the tram. The place is called House of Brews and had the most beer taps, I’ve seen for a long time.
We also ventured out in the car, during the day to Tamborine Mountain. This is a beautiful area, with a picturesque road full of individual houses as unique shops, galleries, cafes and restaurants. We wandered around and my husband bought a shirt, then went back and purchased two more.
The Tamborine Skywalk followed this shopping expedition. Oh wow, what an eco adventure offering a thrilling exploration through the rain forest. You walk 300 metres up on steel bridges and it is a bit scary when it wobbles! A magnificent walk seeing tumbling creeks, rock pools, various plants/trees, butterflies, birds and such a great way to explore the rainforest canopies.
Just before we headed home, we went for a stroll towards Curtis Falls. The trail goes off into a woodland and I was worried we might become lost or disoriented. It had good directions though and was a great walk through the Aussie natural environment. We also met a chap with family at the falls and he took our photo. This was well worth doing as the falls are stunning and gave us some much needed exercise too.
Byron Bay (Gold Coast)
Onwards towards Sydney, and we stopped at the famous Byron Bay. Oh my goodness me, another Utopian feeling came over me. So we clamoured out of the car, we looked towards the sea and saw a bloke singing and strumming a guitar, as you do, in the middle of a parkland area, over looking the most glorious coastline. The sea is so blue. We chilled out and enjoyed the ambience then wandered around the bohemian type shops. I purchased a couple of summer dresses and chatted to the friendly Aussie who was born in Spain but raised in Melbourne and gave us a glowing account of New Zealand.
So off we went again. This time we stayed in a hotel at Cotts Harbour which was ghastly. Tiny, faded, dirty, no plug for the sink although the bed was ok. After, the last place, it was dreadful. The same company’s hotels in Europe, are always basic, but the decor is good and has everything you need. Not here and never again, but we’ve learnt from it. You do need something more than a bed when travelling hundreds of miles.
At least the pub was fine and we had a decent curry in the local town. Looking forward to some home cooked meals again though. Hopefully, we can acquire a unit in Sydney for a few days. (Units are small flats/apartments with kitchen facilities.)
Oh, and we sat in the pub wondering why they shut at 9pm, and suddenly realised New South Wales are on a different time zone to Queensland. Oh, the fun of travelling.