We've just returned from the most amazing week away in the Gold Coast, Australia!
For years my Dad & Mum have talked of taking our 4 kids and us over to Australia for a week of theme park fun. Finally, during our NZ term break, the dream came true!
My Dad has had a crazy year health wise, so the fact we could still all go despite, and the fun time we had together as a family was very precious before he continues into some quite intense treatment ahead.
Thank you so much Dad & Mum for such a fun week away. I know the kids will remember this time forever - so many amazing memories were made and first time experiences were had!!
Our trip started with 3 of our 4 children experiencing flying on a plane for the first time...
We left New Zealand (and a very wet week) behind us and arrived to the most amazing weather, and breathtaking views from our apartments in Biggera Waters...
Symon's big brother Maurice, wife Sandra and family live in Brisbane, so it was wonderful to be able to catch up with them too while we were on holiday!
We had tickets for 3 theme parks for the week (Wet'N'Wild, Sea World and Movie World).
Firstly, we visited Sea World - the perfect place for all ages, with lots of fun rides for the family, animals and activities to fill our day with.
Our penguin-obsessed girl in her happy place...
So much fun, especially the Sponge Bob rides...
The highlight of our day would have to be the dolphin show. Our eldest daughter had been talking about this show for months - she had heard the usually someone was chosen from the crowd to pat and feed one of the dolphins during the show, and she totally believed she would be the one. Being the faith-filled mother I am (*cough cough), I gently encouraged her not to get her hopes up, but still to pray and see what happened.
To cut a long story short, our girl was chosen out of around 2,000 people to interact with the dolphin!
A pretty cool and emotion experience (a few of us had tears in our eyes, including the main guy in charge of the show!). FYI this dolphin is called Kiama and was rescued at the Kiama blow hole.
Highlights of Sea World would have to be the dolphin show, the rides (especially Jet Ski Rescue and The Storm Coaster), patting the sting rays, the Sponge Bob zone, and seeing our eldest enjoying the Dora show (hehe).
The next day we hit Wet'N'Wild, and had so much fun! So many extreme rides to keep the older boys happy, as well as a lot of fun for the younger ones (and us adults). I did try a few extreme slides and rides, but by the end of the day felt a tad nauseous! Absolutely loved this place and so did the whole family.
That night we checked out the Surfers Paradise Beachfront Markets. We really enjoyed checking out the different stalls, with the kids buying a few fun items and also having the opportunity to do this...
Slightly cheesy pics but a pretty cool opportunity for all of the kids!
This night was one of the highlights of the trip for one of our children. There was such a neat atmosphere as we walked along together at night - highly recommend checking this out if you are in the area.
We had a break day the next day, which included a road trip and doing a bit of shopping. A few people had recommended checking out the pelican feeding at Labrador. These birds are so massive and fun to watch as they gobble up the fish leftovers from Charis Seafoods.
The next day we decided to visit Movie World! This place is amazing - like a mini movie set with heaps of thrill rides, shops, shows and a great area for younger kids as well (don't tell anyone but I quite enjoyed the kiddie roller coaster after screaming my head off on the Superman Escape ride earlier in the day).
The boys loved Arkham Asylum (eeeek), Superman Escape, The Batwing Free Fall and The Green Lantern as well as many of the other rides!
The girls loved the parade, getting to be annoyed by The Joker, and the shops!
The next day Symon and the two boys decided to check out Dreamworld to overindulge in more thrill rides while us girls and Nan & Pop visited a shopping mall and more of Surfers Paradise!
The rest of the week included us re-visiting some of our favourite theme parks again, checking out more shops and ending our trip with a delicious all you can eat dinner at Southport Sharks Food Frenzy Court. I may have ended up becoming a Southport Sharks Aussie Rules club suppporter so that we could save some money on our meals (shhhhh - don't tell anyone).
We have had the most amazing holiday with so many memories made - times like this I am so thankful for photos to help the memories stick (just be thankful I haven't posted them all here!).
Thanks again to my parents for taking us all on such an amazing holiday experience.
We loved our time in Australia - but it's always so good to be home!