I have lived on the Gold Coast for 2 years and I got to know the place more intimately. It's not just the seedy Cavill Ave which only awakens at night and sleeps in the day; or the bikies causing havoc over their imported businesses (yeah right); but watching the place grow up from a small city into a modern, high rising city, catering for everyone from locals to travellers.
When I moved back to Sydney, I knew I would visit the Goldie regularly as my parents stayed on to retire. I didn't think I'd miss this place until my parents moved to Maryborough, 335 km or 4 hours drive north from the Goldie.
I was a little disappointed they moved (again! my parents have the 7-10 year moving itch) to a town further away. No more cheap flights tickets to GC throughout the year. So I'm being a little selfish because my parents moved into a an old Queenslander home with a big yard and walking distance to the shops, RSL and aquatic centre, compared to a little villa not close to the shops and having to pay $$ to body corp. I guess I will miss the last minute plans to jump in a plane and see my mum. Oh boo hoo me!
Now I have heard of the World Hertiage listed Fraser Island, the world's largest sand island a place you can 4WD and camp or stay in a cottage or resort. An ideal place for everyone's budget. Hervey Bay is where you launch off to the beautiful island or go whale watching (mid-July to mid-November).
Because of the lack of time over Christmas and the summer heat (and the fact I'm pregnant and can't tolerate 30*c plus humidity), we didn't visit Hervey Bay or Fraser Island... yet! This is on our list to visit this year.
The best flights for a family is direct. With a 31/2-year-old in tow with very little patience, we didn't want to stop over in Brisbane. Perhaps with better planning and the silly season over, we will stop in Brisvegas to see friends and sights of this city for an overnight stay.
After 1 hour and 40 minutes, we arrived on Hervey Bay turf and it was hot! Like you can cook an egg on the tarmac hot or hot like watching Magic Mike hot. It took a 30 minutes to shuttle bus it to Maryborough. Ah bless the A/C. Driving through the town was really lovely. I never knew the town has so much history with old homes and buildings to match. More facts and info later.
Above: Miss Cheeky enjoying the inflight entertainment. How cold is it onboard!
Below: On the day of our arrival, my parents booked us on a Christmas lights bus tour. We got to meet some of the home owners who offered us food and treats. Great way to start our Christmas break.
Below: We stopped by a Vintage Christmas exhibition showcasing these beauties. Mince pies and homemade lemon aid was served free!
My dad still uses his 1 tonne sewing machine.
Christmas morning with two of my favourite people. Sitting in the coolest part of the house. The heat was overwhelming, I waddled around with heavy, swollen feet with my mouth open like a bird. Elsa dolls were sold out so Cinderella saved Christmas. Phew!
Christmas Day. Miss Cheeky working hard for a bit of water fun.
Below: Boxing Day at the Maryborough aquatic centre. Dad slip, slop and a slapping, no wonder she hates sunscreen on her face. For me passionfruit slurpies while sitting in the kiddy's pool was the best mix to cool down a pregnant gal.
Our proudest moment, Miss Cheeky swimming underwater. Here she is commanding dad to go further back.
Practicing her vertical diving or walking on water!
One proud mama. I learned to swim alone when I was 8! My parents aren't strong swimmers and I never knew any of my friends back in the 80's who took swimming lessons.
Below: Second last day of our holiday, we took a visit to the City Hall to see the Explore-a-saurus. We enjoyed it more than the Dino exhibition at Sydney museum.
No queues and no big crowds here. We loved the camouflage photo set, maybe I enjoyed it more than everyone. As for the exhibition, we were very impressed, it's on until April 2105.
Shhh! Where did they go?
An activity room for kids and 3 year olds crafting out Dino masks.
O.k my last camo shot. Born to be wild.
Our last day amongst family. Miss Cheeky took this photo just as the shuttle bus arrived.
2 Facts and website info on Maryborough:
1) This is the best one, did you know Mary Poppins creator Pamela Lyndon Travers was born in an existing building in Maryborough in 1899? To get to know more on Pamela, you must watch Disney's Saving Mr Banks. I saw the movie in cinema last year and I loved it. You will see Mary Poppins in a different light.
2) Brisbane beat Maryborough to become capital city of Queensland. During the 1800's Maryborough was a port of entry to immigrants arriving as the city sits on the Mary River.
More info on where to stay, what to do (so much to do!) check it out here
To finish up on my trip : 6 days wasn't enough but I'm lucky to be able to go back and visit my parents. My hot trip to Queensland was worth it and I'm excited to discover more of this historical city in the near future and visit my lovely parents again; I'm hoping this is their last move.
Lastly, I want to send my thoughts out to people in South Adelaide who are going through such hardship from the bush fires. I will donate to help out those in need and who lost everything. If you like to donate please click here