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Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Coffs Harbour, Brisbane and Christmas

Coffs Harbour
From Sidney we have a day’s drive up to Coffs Harbor where we have our eyes set on one last camping day. Both Coffs harbour and the Holiday park we selected Park Beach Holiday park did not disappoint. The weather was perfect to the point of being very warm into the late evening.

Ocean Beach

Coffs Harbour is a smaller town situated on the east coast of Australia and Coffs Creek creates a beautiful backwater entry into the ocean with a sandspit that Park Beach and the Holiday park and surroundings sit on. It is such a beautiful spot with warm shallow water and the holiday park sparkled it was so clean and well outfitted, and, it was one of the last low season days so prices were reasonable and there were few people there.

The RV park desk recommended the Parks Beach Bowls Club ( for supper as we were tired of the day’s drive and wanted to maximize our stay there similar to Kiama. While it did not have the elevated view that Kiama had, it was 100 meters from the RV park, right off the beach, and had excellent dark ale! I ordered the pork roast and Sandra a shrimp, Chorizo and pasta dish and both were excellent and reasonable in price, and, given the temperatures of 34C, air conditioned! Did I mention the excellent dark ale?

Then on to Brisbane which has become our home away from home on this trip. This is still a 375 kms drive from Coffs Harbour but we get an early start, kept exactly to the speed limit, and enjoyed gaining 1 hr. due to a time zone change.

The Back yard is full of birds every morning

Our first couple of days back allowed us to spend time with Abbey as the rest of the family went to N. Stradbrooke Island with another family for the weekend. It was a great opportunity to focus on Abbey, the pool, and prepping for Christmas.

I got in a mountain bike ride on Jim’s Giant Fathom 29er;  a 5:45am start on the Saturday morning up at Daisy Hill Park. First I was shocked to find the parking lot full before 6:00am. You see Queensland doesn’t adjust with Daylight Savings Time (DST) like other states on the east coast, so sunrise is before 5:00 am at this time of year.  My reason for being there was likely the same as  all of theirs, it’s the coolest part of the day at around 23-26C on days that are now getting into the mid to hi -30’s C. One side benefit is that I picked a track in the park that had 2 Kangaroos on it, so I actually get to see them in the wild! They hopped away as I rode in their general direction.

Later, together we all made perogies for Christmas dinner.

 Shannon had had Sandra try a dress from a local shop. It looked great and we were able to do some Christmas shopping and I bought a beautiful dress for Sandra for Christmas from that same shop. My gift was the America’s Cup sailing experience back in November!

Sandra wears it Christmas eve while playing Bocchi!

Sandra and I win at Bocchi, must be the distraction!

Once they returned from the weekend getaway and we waited for Blair and Sandie to return from Cairns, we spent an evening in downtown Brisbane watching the Christmas Parade and light show. They were both excellent and something we haven’t seen before even in larger centres.
Waiting for the Start

First Marchers!

Beautiful Angels

Close Up

Actual Camels and they do this every night for 10 days


Amazing Movie Projections

And more, they tell a Christmas story!

Next, we all headed to the Gold Coast for 3 days at a beautiful resort (Xanadu) just across from Main Beach on the coast. The rooms and view
North Main Beach from room

were exceptional and Shannon had been able to get, again, some great off season pricing so we all laid back, enjoyed some bike riding,
Riding to the Spit on the Gold Coast

Little Nippers in Training,
Young life guards put through their paces.

Look at the beach foot traffic, all before 7:00 am! and the training!

long walks on a beautiful beach, and a wonderful pool and tennis court. Jim picked a nice Italian restaurant for one great dinner out, and we returned to the Surf Club for an excellent lunch as well.

Our final 3 ½ days are spent back at Shannon and Jim’s with their great pool and surroundings.
Just Relaxing!
The weather is sunny and hot and we spend virtually as much time in and around the pool as possible.

For Christmas eve, in addition to potato, onion and cheese perogies, and sauerkraut ones Sandra decides to take on baking her first Pavlova,
Amazing Pavlova!
a traditional Christmas dessert in Australia due to the bounty of fruit available at this time of year. I will let the photo speak for itself. Truly a talented baker among other things!

Later on our drive Boxing day to the airport I comment that it is the 1st day in nearly two months that I haven’t bathed in SPF 50 sun screen. 

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