Family time in the Gold Coast

We’ve now been up to the Gold Coast three times — first with just me and Justin before we were married and now twice with the girls. This most recent time we took our wonderful au pair, Lucy. It is an amazing and super relaxing week away with kids. Here are some highlights.

Flying with two young kids

It is a super easy flight from Melbourne to the Gold Coast (about 2 hours). Now that Juliette is 3.5 and Ariana is almost 2 years old, the iPad did wonders to entertain them on the flight — and Qantas even gives free snacks and a little activity pad. Needless to say, we had a great flight!

And the benefits of early family boarding…empty plane!

Two hours was super easy, and here we are. We made it!

Where we stayed

The first two times we stayed at Airbnb units in Q1 — Australia’s tallest building and one of the tallest residential buildings in the world. It was a block from the beach and super spacious. This time we picked a 3br Airbnb at the Mantra Crown Towers, still just a few blocks from the heart of Surfers Paradise and two blocks from the beach. But the best part was their pool. Huge pool with a “beach,” awesome shallow kids pool with pirate ship and water slide and even an indoor pool and whirlpool. Going down to swim everyday was a highlight for all of us!

I also never imagined I would be the mom who put their kids in matching clothes but I couldn’t help it with these swim suits!

Hard to believe this is the girl who used to be scared to take a bath. Go J!

What we did

The girls were finally old enough to enjoy an amusement park! We went to Dreamworld and it was amazing. There was a huge kids section (complete with Wiggles-themed rides…which Juliette and Ariana are obsessed with at the moment) and other fun rides like a flying donkey from Shrek and a carousel. There were no lines so we just kept getting on each one with no wait!

It was amazing to see Juliette getting old enough to do some “real rides” like the bumper cars!

We did get to go on a family car ride, which was fun, but obviously we couldn’t go on any of the adult rides…so the next day when Lucy was with the girls, Justin and I had a grown up day out back at Dreamworld. Again…no lines so we had a blast!

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

Last time we were up here we weren’t able to make it to the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary so we were so excited to come and see so many animals and this great sanctuary. We saw all the Aussie animals (even fed kangaroos), took in a great bird show and walked through a cool dinosaur park.

And sometimes you just need to sit down on the ground to take a break and have a snack.

The best part of the wildlife park was the Rainbow Lorikeet feeding at the end. For a donation you can get a tray of honey water which they love (watch out for them peeing on your head…which might have happened to one of us :).

Other highlights

Last time we came to the Gold Coast, Justin and I rented bikes and biked up and down the coast for the day. Most days we’ve been there it has been a bit windy on the beach for fun sand play but we still got some nice walks in.

This time we had a great date night out at a delicious Thai restaurant across from the beach and then stumbled into some axe throwing — us novices aced it!

The next day, we took advantage of a rainy day to go to an indoor play centre called Chipmunks. It was a blast!

Overall, this was a great trip. Super easy shot from Melbourne and great with kids (even more to do when they get older). But for now, some of us need a rest!

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