So what is all about? Well... hopefully, by the time we are done, it will be a comprehensive journal about a family of 5 who have travelled around Australia to see the sights and also do some volunteer work around the country! In Mid 2010 we started thinking about what it would take to fulfil a life-long dream... We wanted to bundle up our 3 kids, pack-up the house, jump in the car and hit the road - probably for about 12 months. It sounds so simple ... At the start of January 2013, after almost 15 months on the road; we finally completed Our Big Aussie Road Trip. We hope that you enjoyed following our adventures, trials and tribulations as much as we enjoyed having them!

30 November, 2012

The Gold Coast

We arrived on the Gold Coast on Monday 5th November, and we were all pretty excited because we had told the kids that we would go to a theme park or two!  We decided to check into a caravan park just over the road from Movie World and Wet & Wild so that we would be close to 2 of the parks we planned to visit.  When we looked into the pricing of the theme parks, we found out that it would be cheaper to buy a season pass (with unlimited entry) than to go to 2 theme parks individually!  Therefore, we bought an unlimited entry pass for each of us and figured that we’d try to get the most out of it that we could.  Monday afternoon was quite hot and so we decided to head to our first theme park - Wet & Wild for the afternoon.  The kids loved the rides (but not the queue’s so much) and it was a great afternoon.

On Tuesday 6th November We went to Movie World, and we were there all day.  Mike thought that we should do a ‘whole family’ ride first, so we went to the log ride, and unfortunately this was definitely a wrong move.  Both Natalie and Sam really didn’t like being in the dark and were petrified the whole ride.  Josh wasn’t too thrilled about being by himself in a seat either!  Needless to say, none of the kids wanted to go back on that ride!  However as we explored the park, the kids found lots of things that they did like doing.  They all loved the dodgem cars.  Also there are lots of kids rides in the ‘kids world’.  Natalie’s favourite was the RoadRunner Rollercoaster and Sam’s favourite were the mini dodgems because he got to steer it himself.  Mike and Liz were able to tag-team to go on some of the ‘big people rides’ which were a bit scary but lots of fun.
About to enter Movie World

Natalie and Josh on the Tweety Bird Ride

Waiting for the Hollywood stunt driver show to begin

The Hollywood Stunt driver show

Bugs and Lola in the Street Parade

Josh and Sam on the 'Tweety and Sylvester' ride

Liz and Natalie rocket past on the Road Runner Rollercoaster

The Flash and The Green Lantern were lucky enough
to have their photo with Sam and Natalie :)

Sam loved sitting with Bugs and Marvin

Liz and Josh on the Road Runner

Cheeky Sam!

Sam and Natalie on the mini dodgems - Sam's favourite ride

The Carousel got quite a workout from the Masons!
By Wednesday morning, everyone was very tired, so we had a quiet morning around the caravan park (including a ride on the BMX Track) and then went to Sea World in the afternoon.  Sea World was probably our favourite park of the three we went to.  There is so much variety in the park and we all loved the mix of rides, animals and shows.  We enjoyed our afternoon at Sea World so much that we went back there all day on Thursday.  Thursday was a little wet to begin with, but then it cleared up and didn’t impact our day too much.
Sam splashing around on the BMX track

Josh liked to jump over the ramps at the track

Entering Sea World!

These Emperor penguins were very cute

The Seal Show was great

We couldn't believe how big this Polar Bear was

Part of the 'Imagine' Dolphin Show

This was a huge playground that the kids absolutely loved exploring

Josh, Natalie and Liz getting soaked on the 'Battle boats'

The people on land could squirt the occupants
of the Battle boats with a hand operated water canon

Watching the Jet Ski show was amazing
On Friday the 9th November we went back to Movie World in the morning and then went to wet and wild in the afternoon.  As we drove back to our caravan park on Friday afternoon, the car started making a horrible noise from the front right wheel!  We called a nearby mechanic (5 mins walk away from the caravan park) and got Bruiser booked in for Saturday morning to try to work out what was going wrong.
So on Sat 11th Nov we put the car into the mechanic, and then stayed around the caravan park.  That afternoon Julia and Warwick (Liz’s mum and dad – also known as Nanna and Pa to the kids) arrived at our caravan park.  They were doing a trip around outback Queensland for a month and were on their way back south and thought that they’d drop in for a few nights.  We heard back from the mechanic that they couldn’t find the problem easily, so we would have to re-book it back in on the Monday (which was the day we were planning to be driving south) but we didn’t really have any choice.  The caravan park we were staying at was fantastic.  It had a heated pool (complete with a great waterslide), a Jumping Pillow, a BMX Track, a fantastic café and other great facilities.  So if you had to be stuck at a caravan park for a few days while the car got fixed – this was definitely the one you would want to be stuck at!  It was also walking distance from Movie World and Wet & Wild too!

On Sunday we spent the day with Nanna and Pa at the caravan park.  We enjoyed all the facilities at the park and we ended the day with a beautiful meal at the café by the pool.

This Pool and spa was definitely the best that we had seen on our trip!

Sam having a chat with Pa

All the kids loved the waterslide

Enjoying a meal with Warwick and Julia at the Cafe by the Pool

On Monday morning, Mike dropped the car to the mechanics at 7:30am to try and get it fixed.  Warwick and Julia were due to meet some friends that day, so we got them to drop us at Movie World on their way out so that we could spend the day at Movie World and Walk back to the caravan when we were ready (or when the car was ready to be picked up).

The mechanic found that the front wheel bearing had collapsed and so they changed both front wheel’s bearings and inspected the rear bearings.  Bruiser was then as good as new – which meant that we were ok to drive south on Tuesday 13th November to stay at Mike’s brother’s house with Rich, Naomi and their 3 kids.

We said goodbye to Nanna and Pa and then packed up the caravan to drive to Rich and Naomi’s house in Eltham.
Saying Goodbye to Nanna and Pa

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