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A great Australian tradition is to get away for a weekend, particularly a long weekend, because we do get a few of these in Australia. It is something that I love to do, but if it involves travelling too far, then forget it! I prefer to jump in my car and drive no more than an hour away from the Gold Coast where I live.
Fortunately there are many gorgeous places within an hour’s drive of my town and here they are:
I know Coolie is only 15 kms from Burleigh Heads, where I live, but it is like a sea change for us. You almost get that feeling that you are stepping back in time to the seaside holiday of old. Beautiful wide sandy expanses of beach, a bay protected from the southerly by Greenmount Point, water the colour of azure blue, beachside fringed with parklands and shady trees plus a good array of accommodation, shopping and places to eat or drink.
Where I Stayed: Mantra Coolangatta in a studio apartment. But look for off-season specials to get a good deal.
Budget Hotel: Kommune Resort & Beach Club have a one bedroom apartment with sea views from $130 per night.
A village located on the Tweed Coast only 16km across the border is dominated by caravan parks along the beachfront. An extremely popular place for families to holiday during the Summer months as everything is within walking distance. Kingscliff offers lots of fantastic places to eat, sip coffee, listen to live music, browse the trendy shops and undertake an array of water activities. Cudgen Creek is a popular place to paddle a kayak, stand-up paddle board, throw a line in or swim.
Where I Stayed: Kingscliff Beach Caravan Park in our caravan for $35 per night
Cabins: If you don’t own a caravan you can rent a fully self contained cabin for $125 per night
Hugely popular as having one of the best surf breaks off Cabarita Headland, Cabarita which was once a sleepy little village, has become very trendy. The beaches here are pristine and relatively uncrowded and there are a few restaurants, cafes and shops in town as well as the local Surf Club.
Where I Stayed: Cabarita Beach Caravan Park in our caravan for $35 per night. Caravan Park is now closed.
Holiday Units: The Beach at Cabarita Beach have two bedroom apartments for just under $200 per night. So share with another couple to get value for money.
The river town of Brunswick Heads on the Brunswick River is a small fishing village on the northern NSW coastline 53km from the Gold Coast. It has two caravan parks situated on the river and one on the creek, and attracts lots of holidaymakers all year round. Here it is all about the great fishing and boating down the river, but it also has a lovely beach with a Surf Club. The town is sometimes referred to as “Little Byron” because of its similarity to Byrons ‘hippie’ culture with quirky little shops and healthy eateries. The big drawcard however is the retro Brunswick Heads Hotel with its massive beer garden set amongst shady trees and offering good value counter meals and live bands every weekend.
Where I Stayed: Terrace Reserve Caravan Park on Simpsons Creek in our caravan for $45 per night
Cabins: You can stay in a fully self contained waterfront cabin at the Caravan Park for $145 per night
Everyone has heard of Byron Bay, the most easterly point of Australia. It is only 66km from the Gold Coast and is frequented by visitors of all types and ages for its easy-going, laid back and relaxed lifestyle. I adore Byron Bay as it offers so much to do and see but at the same time instantly makes you feel relaxed and removed from the fast moving pace of the Gold Coast.
Where I Stayed: Clarke’s Beach Caravan Park in our caravan for $53 per night
Holiday Unit: Apartments Inn Byron in a studio room for $210 per night
Holiday House: Ayana Beach House in a huge luxury home that sleeps 10 people for as little as $190 per couple per night.
For a cool change and some clear mountain air it is great to escape the Gold Coast and travel 42km to Tamborine Mountain. It is hard to put in words the beauty and tranquility of this plateau with a host of natural and man-made attractions, local arts and crafts, award winning wineries and top-class restaurants, country markets and magnificent rainforest walking trails. Accommodation choices include romantic couples’ cottages, hotels, cabins and B&Bs.
Where I Stayed: Guesthouse style room at the historic St Bernard’s Hotel which is surrounded by ten acres of beautiful, rambling gardens including a waterfall and creek and with sensational views over Guanaba Gorge.
Cottage Accommodation: The Cottages on Mount Tamborine are self contained cottages nestled amongst 10 acres of lush gardens. Some cottages sleep up to 12 people for as little as $260 per night.
The Broadwater at the northern tip of the Gold Coast is a fantastic waterway for boaties, sailors, anglers and water sports enthusiasts alike. A great way to see this expanse of sheltered water is to cruise around in a hired houseboat and island hop from one island to the next. You can cruise to destinations such as Wavebreak Island, South Stradbroke Island and North Stradbroke Island or venture down the waterways of the Coomera and Pimpama Rivers.
Where I Hired a Houseboat: Coomera Houseboats Holidays can sleep up to 12 people and they have a bathroom, 2 x toilets, living/dining area/kitchen downstairs, upstairs BBQ and sundeck. This can work as cheap as $200 per couple for three nights on the weekend for a relaxing laid back holiday on the water cruising the spectacular waters of The Broadwater.
So next time you are looking for a weekend escape use your imagination and look around you. Some short break destinations can be very affordable for those on a budget and they are guaranteed to help you return to work on Monday reinvigorated and batteries recharged!
Linking up to Travel Photo Thursday
Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.
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