Gold Coast, Springbrook National Park, Brisbane

Guess what I’m supposed to be doing right now? If you guessed “my actual paid work so it’s completed in time for our upcoming trip to Brisbane and the Gold Coast” you are one hundred percent right, and also slightly freaky unless you’re someone who knows me personally. Unfortunately, the husband is yakking away in my ear on some sort of conference call, which makes it really hard to concentrate – but I think I can just about remember the holiday plans instead:

Intended for: one 2yo, one 5yo, mum, dad, various members of the extended family and also some friends and colleagues.

Overview: Family and friends catch-up, conference for mum, one or two side-trips, and home for tea.

Strengths: Whirlwind tour means we hopefully won’t outstay our welcome  (as does splitting our time between households). Travelling in July gives us (ie, me) a chance to get out the winter coats and boots for once (ah, winter boots).

Foreseeable difficulties and mitigating strategies: Because we don’t have a lot of free weekend time, we have a big catch-up day immediately following our landing via the red-eye flight. It’s a teensy bit insane. Our mitigating strategy is basically to fall back on the grandparents at the point where our speech becomes slurred and our posture, prone. We’re hoping the kids will sleep moderately well on the plane and run on excitement, novelty and chocolate paddle pops for at least a few hours at the other end. I’ll let you know how that all goes.

Estimated Price Bracket: Moderate. Low end. We get a lot of cheapies travelling to see family – like accommodation and transport – but we are smarting from having to pay four airfares for the first time. Ouch.


Day One

  • Pack, rest the adults and have someone else run the kids ragged (thanks, R)
  • Taxi to airport, check in, dinner
  • Sightseeing at Changi Airport – one of our favourite wet weather destinations, even if we’re not flying
  • Fly to Brisbane (overnight on plane) (8hrs)

Day Two

  • Arrive Brisbane, family pickup at airport, quick shower and change at Nanny and Pa’s house
  • Family and friends day!
  • Aunty M arrives from Melbourne just in time to perform one of her Godmotherly duties – parenting in the absence of capable parents. Good luck with that, Aunty M.
  • Crash in big whimpering heap at as-yet undetermined point in the afternoon
  • Overnight at Grandma and Granddad’s house

Day Three

  • Mum and Aunty M have work stuff, and possibly also coffee if we can swing it (if we can’t, I’m sure we can still tee up a bottle of wine)
  • Dad and kids have rest day
  • Overnight at Grandma and Grandad’s house (P wants to sleep outside in their caravan)

Day Four

  • Free day – any thing could happen! except not for Aunty M who has work stuff again
  • Overnight at Grandma and Grandad’s house

Day Five

  • Drive to Gold Coast with whomever we can rope in (1.5hrs)
  • Itinerary under discussion, but I’m gunning for Springbrook National Park with glow worm tour and star gazing after dark. I did suggest stand up paddle boarding, but I got incredulous looks. Guess we’re not polar bears.
  • Overnight on Gold Coast

Days Six, Seven, Eight

  • Mum attends conference on Gold Coast with Aunty M
  • Dad and kids drive back to stay at Nanny and Pa’s house where, together with the rest of the family, they’ll get up to who knows what antics (probably at least one agricultural show and I’m guessing there’s a 50/50 chance each of a visit to the Gaythorne RSL and the Brekkie Creek Hotel, and an 80% chance of fish and chips at Doug’s Seafood Cafe – no reason for the plugs other than the frequency of past visits – the last being combined with a ramble around the foreshore at Sandgate)
  • Overnight Gold Coast/Nanny and Pa’s house

Day Nine

  • Fly Brisbane to Singapore (8hrs)
The big one is the Ekka (Royal Brisbane Show) in August, but the Samford Show is nicely kid-sized, as we found out in 2011.

The big one is the Ekka (Royal Brisbane Show) in August, but the Samford Show is nicely kid-sized, as we found out on this 2011 visit.