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26 March 2023

Its Friday morning and a couple of us had a relaxing drive to Sydney Airport to meet another very excited participant. We shared a lovely chat while enjoying fresh Sushi and pasta for lunch, a healthy start to our adventure. Once onboard it was excitement and nerves for both participants as the plane took off up into the sky.

On arrival at the Gold Coast we collected our luxury vehicle and drove along the Gold Coast Highway. Taking in the many apartments and high rise buildings, with the summer vibe of the Goldie, it was hot, busy with people walking, riding, carrying surfboards, skating, shopping and enjoying coffee or lunch in the many cafes. We passed through well know suburbs such as Currumbin, Palm Beach, Burleigh, Miami, Mermaid Beach, and Broad Beach before hitting Surfers Paradise. We drove along the Esplanade to take in the vibe of the beach and could not believe how many people were out and about enjoying the sunshine.” This is awesome” one participants said ‘I love it here”.

Next stop The Mantra on view, 100 meters from the beach, and the main back streets filled with cafes, restaurants, shops and entertainment. I was a perfect location for our holiday.

We settled in and meet up with two more participants who were enjoying a swim in the Mantra spa pools before joining us. They were very happy to see our faces after experiencing their first holiday ever together on their own, before we arrived.

One participant in particular had all the goss on the Theme Parks and was enthusiastic about sharing every bit of it with the group over dinner at the Sand Bar, thanks Dave. The Sand Bar is situated on the Esplanade across from the beach, has a laid back atmosphere with live music, delicious food and an array of beverages. It was a lovely start to our holiday.

Saturday morning and we enjoyed a buffet breakfast at the Mantra before driving to White Water World for some slipping and sliding fun in the sun, the water was welcomed by everyone on this very hot 30 degree day. There were so many great rides but the favourites were the Hydrocoaster, The Green Room, little rippers, Triple Vortex and a relax in the wave pool after lunch on the pool chairs.

 Back at the Mantra, it was a soak in the spa for some and a rest in the room for others before heading out to dinner. There were so many choices but it was a nice little Asian restaurant tucked away in an arcade between two main streets that grabbed our attention. The aromas were inviting and the food was plentiful and absolutely delicious. After dinner we enjoyed the warm Queensland air while strolling along the bustling streets filled with tourists, and returned to our rooms to take in the great view of the city lights. Over looking Calli Beach club we were entertainment from our balconies with live music, colourful lights, fire dancing, and in the distance we could see the Sling shot. One participant in particular absolutely loved the atmosphere, the vibe and caught the attention of some young ladies below. He thought it was fantastic.

Sunday morning we enjoyed our favourite buffet breakfast together again before a stroll down to the shops and then stumbled upon Thai massage so it was decided to have a 20 minute relax, a perfect way to start the day.

We then enjoyed a lovely walk to Sky Point, the tallest building in surfers, 77 floors high, 230 meters above sea level, 360 degree views, it was just breathtaking. We sat for lunch at Sky Tower in the lounge Bar while enjoying the magnificent view.

Afterward we wandered back along the streets, did some window shopping and purchased some souvenirs before returning to the Mantra to relax in the Pool Spa.

Tonight, we took a short drive to Broadbeach to experience the popular Chiangmai Thai Restaurant for dinner. It was so authentic, the food, the music, the furnishings, the service, it was just a beautiful, relaxed atmosphere.

 Wednesday, the day everyone has been waiting for has finally arrived. It was hot but overcast, a great day for some fun at Dream world. Everyone is upbeat, dressed and ready to go. We enjoyed breakfast and a good chat about which rides to go on along the way.

On arrival we secured a locker, off loaded our bags and lined up for our first ride on the Sky Voyager. There were lots of ‘wow did you see that”, “look at this”, “I love this ride”, it was very much enjoyed by everyone. After this we boarded the Dream World Express for the scenic trip around the park. It was relaxing. Not everyone went on every ride but the rides most enjoyed were the Sky Voyager as mentioned, Steel Taipan, The Gold Coaster, and the Escape Coaster. A couple of us went on The Claw, but gee did it swing us high and make us feel nauseous, that ride was definitely not on our favourites list, but if your not scared you must give it a go. During the day everyone was very excited when we ran into Belinda and Kenny the famous Koalas and had the opportunity to get some great photo with them. They are such friendly Koalas.

To top off a great day The Boys dined together at Karen’s the worlds rudest restaurant while we girls enjoyed a more relaxed quiet dinner at Little Bali Street Food. Again it was very authentic, Balinese music was playing, the aromas were amazing, we ate traditional Sate sticks with rice while sipped on a Balinese style drink and met the owners. It really felt like we were in Bali. We each had a great night. Ally mentioned this being one of her favourite moments on this trip, “girl’s night”, and the boys raved on about how much fun they had at Karen’s Diner. It was such a lovely way to finalise our Gold Coast holiday. Everyone was in great spirits.

Until next time Surfers Paradise, we will all be back.