Back from Queensland

We’ve just returned from another short break on the Gold Coast. b-)

This time we stayed at a child-friendly holiday resort at Surfer’s Paradise, which was fantastic. As part of the package, we were able to pack Charlotte off to Kids Club for four hours each day, giving Sara and I some time to relax by the pool or go out for a nice, quiet meal. With a couple of water play areas on site, we didn’t even bother visting the main Theme Parks this time:

The hotel is pretty central, just five minutes walk from Surfer’s Paradise and only a block away from Southport beach:

And, to make sure we all got a good night’s sleep, we tired Charlotte out by “night swimming”:

We hired a car and drove up to the Sunshine Coast to visit Australia Zoo, about an hour’s drive north of Brisbane.

Founded by the famous “Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin, it’s a fantastic place; small enough to be able to see everything properly in three or four hours, but large enough to have a good selection of animals in generously sized, natural enclosures:

They also encourage interaction with the animals. Why watch a zookeeper feeding an animal when you can do it yourself? Charlotte had a great time feeding fruit and veg to Siam the elephant, but she wasn’t happy when we wouldn’t let her bring a real baby giraffe home (even though she explained where it would live and how she would look after it) — she had to settle for a stuffed toy instead.

On the way back home we took a small detour and visited Spice Avenue, an English-owned Indian Restaurant in Brisbane that we’d seen on a TV programme recently. It was absolutely brilliant, just like back in the UK, we’ll definitely go back next time we’re in the area:

Sadly the holiday was over all too quickly and I’m straight back to work. Hmm, I wonder if Spice Avenue will deliver…