Brisbane/Goldcoast/Sunshine Coast – Part 4

On the way up to Sunshine Coast, we stopped in Brisbane for lunch and to pick up a friend. 

The drive up to Sunshine Coast took longer then expected. The mistake was trying to do it on a Friday afternoon, when many others were probably exiting the city and doing the same. We eventually arrived at Sunshine Coast late on Friday evening. 

We spent Saturday morning at Strawberry Fields at Palmview. PYO season was open and there were many red juicy strawberries on the patch. There’s a cafe and playground on site as well. The strawberries are a lot more expensive then what you would get in the supermarkets ($16/kg) but I guess you are paying for the experience.

Next stop, Maleny. We wandered along the Maple Street which was the main street of the town. Lunch was at Maleny Food and Co which had the thumbs-up from us. Dessert was their award-winning gelato. 

We joined the 230pm tour at Maleny Dairies, which ended with a tasting of a wide range of their products. Theirs is a twice-award winning milk, making them the best milk in Aussie. Bring a cooler bag if you are planning to buy some back to your apartment. Ice-blocks are complimentary. 

Stop at the McCarthy’s lookout for a view of the Glasshouse Mountains before leaving Maleny. It’s a 10 minute drive from the farm. 

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Brisbane/Goldcoast/Sunshine Coast Part 3

We spent day 3 at Sea World. I must preface by saying that we are not big fans of theme parks, but had decided to give Sea World a chance. Overall, we were disappointed. The park was aged and didn’t seem well-maintained. On top of that, the kids were also not that into the rides. 

The main highlights for us were the Affinity  Dolphin presentation, Shark Bay and the water playground and sky fortress at Castaway Bay. 

In contrast to Sea World, the kids had a blast at Southport Broadwaters Parklands. We spent the morning splashing about in the rockpool. This is conveniently located hear the carpark and toilets with shower facilities. About 200m south of the rock pools is anothe playground and a giant bouncey pillow. Loads of fun, even for the adults. 

Pacific Fair is a sprawling mall in Goldcoast. Even if you are not into shopping, there is plenty of beautifully landscaped areas to lounge and spend the afternoon. We of course could not resist picking up some LEGO sets (cheaper then Singapore) and stationery from Kikki K. 

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Brisbane/Goldcoast/Sunshine Coast – Part 2

We decided that we would go off the beaten theme park track to visit Springbrook National Park. If you are planning to visit, do check the park website before leaving for any important announcements such as road closure. On the day we visited, one of the roads was closed due to a landslide. 

A suggested itinerary would be as follows:

1. Natural Bridge

This is a ridge away from the rest of the lookouts. So I would suggest doing this first. It is a grade 2 track that goes in a circle. There are stairs to climb so bring the baby in a carrier. Go clockwise to minimise the number of steps to negotiate. 

Turn left here to go clockwise

2. Wunburra lookout 

I would recommend stopping at this lookout on your way to the Best of All Lookout. The lookout is just off the Gold Coast–Springbrook Road going towards the Best Of All Lookout, which is a one-way road along that segment. We didn’t manage to get to this lookout as we found ourselves on the wrong side of the road coming back from The Best of All Lookout. 

3. Picnic lunch

We stopped for lunch break at Apple Tree Park which has benches and toilets. We noticed that there were several other Parks along the way which had playgrounds which would make good stops for the kids. 

4. Best of All Lookout

The small lookout is an easy 350m walk from the carpark, with lovely views of the hinterland. 

5. Canyon Lookout

This is right next to the carpark with views all the way to the coast.
Before heading back to Goldcoast, have tea at the Dancing Waters Cafe. Note that most of the cafes are closed on Tuesdays. 

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Brisbane/Gold Coast/Sunshine Coast with kids – Part 1

We took the afternoon Emirates flight from Singapore. The upside to this arrangement was that we arrived for a good night’s sleep (our kids don’t do well on overnight flights). The tickets are significantly cheaper as well. The downside is that you will arrive past midnight and will have to prepare to make your way to your accommodation by cab or Uber. There will be no airport shuttles or trains at that time.

It is worth mentioning that Emirates has a child-friendly policy with activity packs and toys for the kids upon boarding. We also had a couple of Polaroid photos to commemorate the flight, courtesy of the airline.

We arrived in Brisbane past 12 midnight. Clearing customs was quick at this hour. After collecting our luggage, we were on a cab to the Brisbane Pullman Airport Hotel. Do note that the hotel is NOT walking distance from the international terminal. There is an airport shuttle to the hotel available during the day and evening.  

We booked a room with two double beds which we joined up to get a huge bed which the kids were delighted with. The hotel room was modern and spotless. There were also attentive and provided a portacot. The next morning, we enjoyed breakfast at the hotel cafe. It had a small but reasonable selection of hot and continental breakfast choices. The breakfast was included with the room. Otherwise it would be pretty pricey on it’s own. However, the service was brisk and excellent. 

The domestic terminal car rental services is a stone’s throw from the hotel. We checked out of the hotel and picked up our rental car. And off we go to Goldcoast!

Our first stop was lunch at Charis Seafood. There’s no seating inside the shop. But plenty of tables in the park surrounding. There’s also a sheltered playground for the kids. Pelican feeding happens behind the restaurant at 130pm daily. 

We stayed at Rhapsody Sea Resort at Surfer’s Paradise. Pay a little additional for the room upgrade to a high floor ocean-facing room. It is worth it! The views were phenomenal. In addition, the hotel has a deck on the roof (level 41) with great views of the surrounds. In fact, with such great views, we decided we didn’t need to go to Skypoint in the end. The room was clean and has a well-equipped kitchen. The only downside was that sponge and detergent was not supplied. So we had to clean everything with the dishwasher. 

We finished the day with grocery shopping at Woolies and dinner at Betty’s burgers (they have officiall outranked Grill’d as our favourite burgers in Australia). 

View from the apartment at level 37

Waking up to great views of the Pacific Ocean

Cross the road and you’re on the beach

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Perth with an infant and pre-schooler – Day 9

We spent our last day in Perth with a visit to Swan Valley. We started our day at the Kinky Lizard Espresso in East Perth where we picked up a a coffee and did a stroll along around Victoria Gardens and along the river lined with upper middle class housing.

From there, it was a 50-minute drive to Bells Rapids Park. We visited after a weekend, and sad to say, the weekenders had left quite a bit of rubbish behind. Also, the weather was turning warm (spring to summer) and we kept being attacked by flies. I would imagine that if the weather was nicer, and there were no flies, it would have been a beautiful place for a hike.


Bells Rapids Park


Bells Rapids Park

Lunch was at the Broads Restaurant Upper Reach Winery which served up a delicious tapas style Mediterranean spread.

After lunch, we headed off to the Margaret River Chocolate Company. LB1 was delighted with the free tastings of milk, white and dark chocolate. Next to the chocolate shop is the providore where you can also sample oils, jams and relishes to help you decide on what souvenirs to bring home.

On the way back home, we stopped at the Woodbridge Riverside Park, another spacious suburban playground, followed by an ice-cream at Junction Ice-creamery.

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Perth with an infant and pre-schooler – Day 7

We did a day-trip to Mandurah, which was an hour’s drive south of Perth. Our main aim was to see the dolphins. We took the dolphin cruise which brought us along the waterways. It was pretty sad, because we saw a grand total of 2 dolphins on the entire cruise. What you will get to see are canals lined with rich people’s houses.

We had initially planned to a go a little further to Lake Clifton to see the thrombolites, but Daddy Bean was not feeling so well, so we headed home early. While Daddy rested at home, Mummy brought the LB1 and LB2 to the playground at John Oldham Park opposite our apartment. It really saved the day, for there we found a well-kept secret. Possibly the LONGEST SLIDE in Western Australia! And lots of birdlife in the evenings.



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Perth with an infant and pre-schooler – Day 6

We took the scenic West Coast Drive up to Hillary’s Boat Harbor. Along the way, we stopped at Reabold Hill. It is an easy (stroller-friendly )10-minute walk from the car-park for sweeping views of the surrounding area.

After coming off the West Coast Highway, we turned onto the West Coast Scenic Drive. This brought us along the beautiful coastline until Hillary’s Beach. Hillary’s Beach is  a perfect place for little ones to spend the day out. Soft clean sand, a safe lagoon area, a sheltered playground (for cover from the blazing sun) and a toilet nearby. Lots of dining options around as well.


Lunch at Hurricanes Grill at Hillary’s Boat Harbor

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