Published: August 31st 2012August 31st 2012
Friday 22nd June 2012.
Quiet start today, no need to rush we did not have to be out by 10am like normal caravan parks and was only a mere 80 odd km drive to our next stop in Queensland. We knocked the required km's quick smart and arrived in sunny (hopefully) Queensland, we were staying in a park in Palm Beach which is not far from Coolangatta airport.
We checked in and were given our site number and we drove to it to discover that the site number we were given was occupied by someone else, as we were trying to work out what was going on an old geeza wandered over and told us that even though they give you a site number everyone else just finds a site and parks there. We found a nice site and just near the amenities block, as we still had the “no poop policy” enforced in the van so, being near the facilities is a bonus.
We got setup, had some lunch and shortly after Mandy’s dad, Ray, arrived he had recently retired and was doing a caravan trip as well; he was also staying at the park. We caught up about where
we had been and what we had done. Whilst Ray was keeping the kids busy Mandy and I ducked up to the office to grab some pamphlets to figure out what we were going to do as we were staying here for 10 days. As we were thumbing though the plethora of stuff Mandy’s Uncle (Rays brother) Terry arrived, he lived up the road and come over to catch up. Anyway we caught up over the obligatory beer or two, well Ray, Terry and I had beers, Mandy and the kids had………something, I was too busy drink.… um catching up.
Terry invited us back to his place for dinner, so we got organised and headed off. Since I had done so much driving (and catching up) I decided that I should let Mandy do some, anyway after stopping to pick up some more beers, and knocking a few off on the way, we arrived at Terry’s humble abode. Though it was not very humble and not so much an abode but more of a beautiful home on the river, with a pool that over overlook it and a nice boat sitting on his private jetty. Nice change from sitting a
cramped caravan with four other people.
After the grand tour we ordered pizza and had a few more refreshments. We had a great time catching up with Terry and Ray, eating pizza, and watching the footy. Mandy was happy that her dad was doing so well, and the kids were glad to see Pa and I think he was glad to see them too.
Anyway after enjoying a beer or two, no it was at least six, well that’s when I stopped counting we decided to call it a night, as the kids were getting ratty and Mandy thought I had had quite enough for one night. We arranged to catch up again the next day, Terry was going to take us in his boat for a cruise around the canal of Surfers.
Saturday 23rd June
It was a quiet start to the day, which was good as I was a bit rusty, as mentioned before Terry invited to take us out on his boat for a cruise around the canals, he said to give him a ring after lunch, as in the morning he and Ray had to pick up a dry dock for his boat and set
At the Rowers
Talya enjoying her $5.50 burger and schooner...of soft drink.
We took the opportunity to get some washing done, as well as get some supplies, we used an iphone app to see where the nearest Aldi was and according to it was only a few kilometres away, so I plugged the address into Kevin the GPS and Mandy and Maddy took off. Thirty minutes later I got a call from Mandy, I thought that she was ringing to see if we needed something or that she had seen something on special, no she told me that they had just got there the Aldi ended up being 30 kilometers down the freeway, I thought that I must have read the address wrong or something so I checked the app and it still read 2 km away, guess the apps are a bit slow up here, bit like the people.
Anyway due to the slight detour Mandy and Maddy arrived home a little bit later than we thought, but Terry and Ray were still mucking around with the dry dock so we still had a bit of time before we had to head out, so we packed all the groceries up had a quick bite and then headed back
to Terry’s. Once there we loaded up the boat, stocked the onboard fridge with a few travellers (that’s important), put some life jackets on the kids (that’s also important) and headed off, Terry’s dog Occy came along for the ride.
As there is a strict speed limit in the canals we just cruised, we checked out all the beautiful homes/mansions that backed onto the water with their boats bigger than our caravan moored out the back, nice to have money. Terry took us to the Rowers Club which sits on the canal, so we just tied the boat up out the front and sauntered in, they had a Saturday afternoon special, hamburger and a schooner of beer for $5, normally a schooner is $5.50 so it was the bargin of a lifetime. We order a burger and beer for everyone, and as Mandy doesn’t drink beer and the kids weren’t allowed, we divided their beers amongst the menfolk, much to Tayla's displeasure.
So as we waited for our burger we sat and looked out over the canal and enjoyed the afternoon sun, sipping our beers, and soft drinks for Mandy and the kids. When the burger arrived they were delicious,
Wet n Wild
Chloe and Tayla
not that it mattered at that price, I polished mine off then helped Tayla finish hers off. After finishing up our drinks we decided to go, Chloe had not eaten much of hers so we grabbed the meat out to give Occy who had to stay in the boat, with the bun and salad still sitting on the plate Terry said “watch this” he picked up part of the bun and threw it out the window and into the water near the jetty, the water came alive as fish swarmed and devoured the bread, so we all grabbed some scraps off of the plates and headed back down towards the jetty we looked in the water and there were hundreds of small bream just swimming under the jetty we all took turns in throw the scraps into the water and watching the fish eat them. After that was done we all jumped back in the boat to headed off.
On the way back the kids took turns in driving the boat, we were about halfway back when we heard a horn blasting we all looked around to see if there was another boat in the vicinity, no, then the horn
Wet n Wild
Water slides and Aqua loop.
sounded again, it was Chloe she had found a button to push and it just happened to be the horn. The sun was going down by the time we got back and it was getting a little cooler, well to us Melbourne people it was a little cooler, to Terry an arctic front had moved in and we were experiencing subzero temperature, bloody Queenslanders.
We finally arrived back to Terry’s and to his joy, his girlfriend Donna was there and she had turned the heaters on and the house was nice and warm. By this time the kids had had enough so we said our goodbyes, and got back into the car and headed back to our little home on wheels.
Sunday 25th June 2012.
Today was out first theme park outing, we had purchased a 3 park pass that got us unlimited entry to Wet‘n’Wild, Movie World, and Sea World, and since it was warm day Wet’n’Wild was first on the list, Ray had also got a pass and was accompanying us in order to spend some time with the kids. We got our swimmers on, packed some lunch, snacks and drinks and headed off.
When we arrived we
Wedged Tailed Eagle
were pleased to see that, even though Queensland school holidays had started there were not a lot of people there, so that means that there will be minimal waiting in lines. We set up ourselves, lathered up in some sunscreen and then we were off, well…. the kids were off, well not all the kids Maddy and Tayla were off, as they started off at the kids water park area which was for kids 12 and under, Daddy had to sit back and watch and they went up and down the little waterslides and splash about. Chloe was content with splashing about in the kiddie pool, think she was still a bit intimidated with the whole waterslide concept.
After a while I decided to check out the bigger slides to see if they were ok for the kids to go on, whilst Mandy watched the kids I ran up to the top like a little kid and zoomed down, I was still not sure if the slide were appropriate for the kids so just to make sure I went down all four of the big waterslide, after that I decided that the kids should be fine, so I went and
Cute and cudly koala with her joey
grabbed them from the kids area and introduced them to the real waterslides. We raced up and down for a while, then after seeing that they were ok and not having any problems so I went and checked out the other slides, strictly to see if the kids met the height/weight requirements and just to give them a test run in case they were a bit scary.
First was the Aqua-Racer, which is a eight lane slide where you race others down to the bottom, both Maddy and Tay were tall enough to go on this on so I had a quick go on it just to make sure it was safe.
Next up was the Aqualoop, this one looked the goods, now the kids were too short and not heavy enough to go on this one, so I just went on it because it looked awesome, and it was, basically you strap a little board on your back, get put in a tube standing upright and then the floor drops from underneath you and you hurtle down the slide at what feels like a hundred miles an hour then before you realise what has happened your at the bottom.
Tayla feeding a kangaroo
I checked in on Mandy and Chloe, and then I went and asked the girls who were still going up and down the waterslide to see if they wanted to come on the Aqua-Racer, Maddy was keen, Talya less so, so Maddy and I went on the Aqua-Racer, I had to carry the mat up to the top of the stairs for her but once we got to the top she was ok she raced down the slide, we had a few more goes then it was time for lunch.
After lunch we decided to check out the rest of the park, we went to the wave pool, Chloe liked splashing around in the waves, we also went on some of the other rides, all of which involved going down different types of slide on blow up tubes, it also involved me carrying up said tubes to the top of the slides multiple times. We went on the Kamikaze, the Tornado, The Black Hole (even got Mandy to go on this one), and the River Rapids. The kids had a ball, don’t think I’ll ever forget the look of utter fear and shock on Tayla’s face when we went down
Chloe feeding a kangaroo
the near vertical drop on the Kamikaze, though to her credit she did back up and go on it again with me.
Soon it was time to get dried and dressed and get organised to head home, though not before I snuck in a few more goes on the Aqualoop. It was a very quiet ride home as the kids were pretty tired after a big day of waterslide fun.
Monday 25th June.
Today we went to Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, we were able to get free tickets as Mandys Aunty Dianne worked there, we were also able to get discount photos with all the animals something that we made use of straight away when we got a family shot of all of us with a koala, and since I was wearing an t-shirt and Mandy was wearing a jumper she had the job of holding it, but we all got a pat.
After that we jumped on the little train that runs around the park and headed to the bird show, they had a demonstration of all different carnivore birds such as, kites, hawks, and falcons etc, they showed how the caught their prey, as the birds
Tayla and Chloe holding a baby croc.
flew around they flew very close to our head and especially which gave the girls a bit of a fright. After the show Tayla and I got our photo taken with a wedge-tailed eagle, it was quite intimidating the size of it when up close.
We then looked for a place to have some lunch we found a table the overlooked a little creek and sat and enjoyed our lunch, soon it was off to the snake show, Maddy and Mandy were not so keen on this one not sure why after the show you could get up and have your photo with one of the snakes, Tayla, Chloe and Ray were keen, they got a photo and Tayla got to hold it however in the photo according to the look on Rays face he may not have been as keen as he made out.
As the there was a bit of time before the next show started, we headed to the kangaroo and wallaby enclosure, we brought some feed and the kids had a ball hand feeding them, after running out of feed we made our way to the croc enclosure, I had been looking forward to this all
Tayla and Chloe with the aboriginal dancers.
day, however I was a little bit let down due to the cold weather the big croc was not so keen to come out and put on a performance he was content to sit at the bottom of his heated pool. After the show the kids got their photo taken with a croc though this one was significantly smaller than the one in the pool
By this time it was getting near the end of the day but we had one more show to go to, the aboriginal dance show, it was quite entertaining as they showed off their traditional dances and played their instrument. The kids got a photo with the performers after the show.
We then made our way to the train and caught it back to the main gate, we viewed all our photos and purchased them all (at family discount rate), we caught up with Aunty Di, thanked her for the tickets and made our way home, exhausted after another big day.
Tuesday 26th June
Another day, another park, today we headed to Movie World, it was a bit rainy which I thought might deter some people from going but it
Kids with Bugs Bunny
was pretty busy so I knew that there would be some queue waiting today.
After getting in we made our way to the Hollywood Stunt Car show, I remember seeing this when I went to Movie World when I was a kid, I loved it then and it was still loved it, the wet conditions made it even better and the cars slide around doing their tricks, make you appreciate how good a drivers they are.
After that we heading to the Looney Tunes area where we watched the live Bugs Bunny show and then the kids wanted to go on the small Road Runner Roller Coaster, they made the cut in regards to the height requirements so off we went….to wait in line, we waited for approximately 20 minutes or so but it in the end it was worth it the kids screamed and laughed as the cart flew around the track up and down, and then coming to a sudden stop at the end. The kids then went on a few of the tamer rides, ones that Chloe could go on such as the carousel and Tweety cage ride. During this time the rain was getting heavier so
Chloe with Marvin the Martian
after the rides we made our way to the Town Square are which was under cover, where we had some lunch, after lunch all the characters started to come out so the kids had their photos taken with Marvin the Martian, Bugs, Sylvester, and Tweety, while I got my photo with Marilyn Monroe.
The two older kids wanted to go on the Scooby spooky coaster, so they went with Mandy and Ray, it was going to be at least an hour wait, so me and Chloe just walked around checking out the various things, and we got our photo taken with a few of the super heroes wandering around, or as I like to see it a few dudes dressed up in funny outfits had their photo taken with a super hero, namely me. By then the others had finished their ride which the girls said was both terrifying and the best thing ever so I guess they enjoyed it. We then went to the Wild West log ride which Maddy, Tayla and I went on, after the big plunge at the end we all got soaked, well the kids had they rain jackets on, so they got a bit
Maddy and Tayla with Marvin the Martian
wet and I got soaked. But they had a new innovation/money spinner for a mere payment of $5 you could stand in a booth and warm air is blown over you to dry you out, I’m a bit old school and a bit of a tight arse so I kept my $5 and let mother nature dry me out.
We made our way back to the Main area for the parade, so while the kids, Mandy and Ray waited and watched the parade, I took the opportunity to go on the Green Lantern ride which was pretty cool, I then met up with the others and the kids used some of their pocket money to buy a Tweety back pack. The rain had then come back and it was pretty heavy so we decided to call it a day, but before we left we brought some tickets to the Outback Specaular as we heard that you could pick up discount tickets at Movie World the only catch being that you had to use them within two days, so we had planned to have a quiet day tomorrow and go tomorrow night. We then made our way back to the car
One of the world most famous sex icons, the other person is Marilyn Monroe
and back to the van, all theme parked out.
Looking forward to a quiet day tomorrow.
Wednesday 27th June
Quiet start to the day, it was good that we did not have to rush off to anything, but we were going to the Outback Spectacular that night. We needed some supplies and the girls and I were in much need of a haircut, so we headed off to the local shopping centre. We located a hairdresser and the kids and I all lined up for our haircut, I had brought my clippers along so that Mandy could do mine but we never got around to it so it was a bit too long for her to do, so we thought we’d leave it up to the professionals.
After the haircuts we did our shopping, we also picked up an electric fry pan so that we could cook outside using the parks electricity rather than our gas, and I finally brought my sunglasses after spending most of the holiday so far trying to find the right pair, lets hope I don’t go losing them in any dolphin pools or the like.
After shopping it was getting near lunch so we
Kids with Tweetie
decided to grab some Maccas to eat for lunch, we decided to go drive through as we needed to get back to the van so the girls, more so Chloe, could have an arvo sleep as it was going to be a late night. As we were exiting the shops the rain started, it was bucketing down, I had to run and grab the car and pick the girls up from out the front. We drove to the Maccas, drove through put or order in and paid, as we were driving off Mandy checked the order and found a few discrepancies, well not a few discrepancies I think half the order was wrong, I went out in the rain and inside the restaurant, the chick that served us tried to tell me that we had changed our order, I begged to differ and told her that I wanted the rest of the order and a replacement for all the stuff that was now getting cold in the car, she reluctantly got me the rest of the order, plus a few extras when I finally got back into the car, we ended up with that much food it was not funny
Kids with Sylvester
we all had a huge feed of Maccas, and still had a few burgers left over to throw in the fridge for later on.
We went back to the van managed to get Chloe to have a sleep while the older girls played their DS’s on their bunks.
The Outback Spectacular was well worth it, the food was good though the portion size left a lot to be desired, lucky we had a huge Maccas feed for lunch, and the beer delivery service was a little slow, you get that when you have an all inclusive food and beverage package. The show itself was the reason we went and it was very entertaining, the theme they had was Phar Lap, the kids loved it, the horses the riding and action and the general tomfoolery. The kids managed to be part of the show, they got to go down out onto the arena and have a pony race against a few other kids.
After the show the kids brought a small horse souvenir each with their pocket money, they also wanted to get the DVD of Phar Lap though at a price of $40 we told them that we would get
it cheaper elsewhere. We all then hopped in the car and I think the kids were asleep before we got out of the car park.
Thursday 28th June
Today we went to Pacific Fair Shopping Centre, the weather was still a bit ordinary so thought we’d do something indoors. We intended to buy Chloe some thongs she has been trying to walk around in Maddy and Taylas after checking out a few surf shops and much debating and tooing and frowing much of it coming from Chloe we got her a pair of “big girl thongs”, I also picked up a new pair as my old ones were a bit worse for wear.
After that we walked around and did a bit of window shopping. Whilst in Kmart we picked up a few DVD’s Phar Lap (significantly cheaper than the $40 they wanted at Outback Spectacular) as well as a Looney Tunes DVD with 3 hours on the old Looney Tunes cartoons for like $10 think I was more excited about this one than the kids.
When we got home the kids wanted to watched the Looney Tunes DVD can’t blame them as I probably wanted to watch them as much as the kids, it took me back as I grew up watching as a kid. Whilst we were laughing at the antics Mandy was packing her bag as she was heading back to Melbourne for a few days as she is going to her cousins wedding. So for four days it’s going to be just me and the kids.
This will be interesting.