Edward Parry Motel, Tamworth.

P1060147_800x600

I was pleasantly surprised to receive an SMS confirmation from the motel about 2:30pm as we were driving from the Gold Coast to Tamworth. What a genius idea, to check in with your guests via SMS. I have noticed in Australia we are way ahead of the rest of the world with things like SMS appointment confirmation and SMS reminders. The SMS mentioned what time reception closed and to call if we would arrive after that time. I replied with our GPS ETA and received a reply wishing us safe travels. It was a lovely welcome before we even arrived.

I knew from the previous reviews to expect excellence and the team at Edward Parry did not disappoint. The owner was welcoming and helpful. The room was spotlessly clean though on first glance I did not realise just how clean it was.

That surprise awaited me when we returned back to the motel after dinner and I took my bare feet into the bathroom – after 6 nights of dirty tiles on the Gold Coast, the perfectly clean floors in the bathroom here made me incredibly happy. The cleaning staff here clearly know what they are doing and they are very good at doing it. The carpets were also spotlessly clean, as was every surface in the room.

There was another surprise of a small pool which I had not seen mentioned in the reviews. It looked gorgeous and I wish we’d had enough time to be able to experience it.

After an excellent dinner at the Longyard, we returned back to those great beds. There were 3 of us travelling together and this was the first time we shared a room on the trip, which meant for a slightly less good sleep than usual. That was not at all the fault of the beds, just due to people unused to sharing a room together. The beds were great and the pillows very comfortable.

The one tiny negative moment was the green soaps leave a rather scary looking splodge in the sink when dropped. Someone else managed to drop the soap in the sink before me and I saw this green substance and wondered if someone in our group was getting a cold. I carefully removed the substance with a tissue and then proceeded to wash my hands, and then I managed to drop the soap myself and make an identical stain in the sink. This was good news re nobody getting a cold! But I wonder if perhaps a different colour soap might be a better choice for the future?

The morning shower was great, perfect water pressure for me, and again everything was so clean. You do not realise how much that matters until you experience unclean, which we unfortunately just had experienced at our previous accommodation.

We were not here for long enough, is all I can say. We would have loved to spend more time in Tamworth – we had family who lived there for several years and visited the town many times. However we had to keep going and this was just a short overnight stop. Next time, we will return for a longer stay and a swim in that inviting pool!

Snoskred Travels 2016

Gold Coast To Tamworth

P1020463_800x534
Having spent much of the previous evening packing, organising and cleaning, and once again waking at the crack of dawn, we were on the road by 7am. This actually broke part of my plan. I had wanted to stop at the Thursday Plantation near Ballina on our way down the coast, but it was Sunday and they did not open early enough for us to visit. We had 635km to drive today so we were glad to be on the road early.

P1020621_800x534

We did not stop until we got to Grafton around 10:30am. We went to the information centre just for a quick bathroom break. This turned out to be a great choice because there was an artist there painting Jacaranda trees onto magnets and they were selling them as well, so Sephyroth grabbed one of those to take back to the US with him.

We planned to have lunch in Coffs Harbour. I had a few great local options but in the end we decided on Mcdonalds. Sephyroth wanted to try the create your taste menu and I had not ever made one of these myself in the several years they have been doing this.

P1020705_800x534

When we arrived we all went to separate screens to order our orders. Somehow mine – with loaded fries and no drink at all – ended up at nearly $17AUD. I forgot to take a photo of my burger – the one you are seeing belongs to Sephyroth. I’ll be honest – after eating Grill’d twice in the past week this burger was very average and I would not create my own burger a second time. I’d much rather have a Quarter Pounder with cheese, or a Big Mac.

P1030027_800x534

Our next stop was the Dorrigo Rainforest Centre. We did the free skywalk and part of the walk down into the forest as well.

P1030077_800x534

Dorrigo was gorgeous and we spent about an hour here but it could easily have been a day trip by itself.

P1030141_800x534

After leaving Dorrigo we got stuck behind a Blue Holden Cruze whose speed was all over the place and they were often driving partly on the wrong side of the road. I can’t remember exactly but it was one of two things – either there was nowhere to overtake legally for over an hour though vehicles behind us did get impatient and overtake illegally – OR anytime we would get to a place where you could overtake, they would suddenly find the accelerator as a surprise to themselves. I believe it was the first one.

P1030327_800x534

We passengers did not mind so much because the scenery was beautiful, but I know The Other Half was getting annoyed with the inconsistent speeds. Finally at 3:31pm we managed to get past them, at long last.

I’m going to do a separate post for our Tamworth Motel, next week. Spoiler alert – the floors were SO CLEAN! After 6 nights of unclean floors it was sheer bliss.

Snoskred Travels 2016

Gold Coast Day 5

purplesnowtrees

On our final full day on the Gold Coast, we mainly wanted to go for a walk around the Grand Prix track, and get ready to leave early the next day.

whale

In the morning, we saw whales from our apartment balcony. That was pretty cool. ;)

p1020163_800x534_600x400

We also ended up doing a beach walk. The weather was gorgeous as always, and we had a lovely few hours out and about, wandering.

p1010952_800x375_600x281

At some point this morning while we were getting ready, I said maybe we should try to organise a helicopter flight for today, as it was one of the “things you do” when you are on the Gold Coast, and it was something Sephyroth had never done before.

p1020178_800x534_600x400

I called Seaworld Helicopters and managed to organise a flight for 4pm that afternoon. We very nearly missed out entirely, though. This was the only opening they had for the day.

p1020179_800x534_600x400

It was fantastic. Those folks over there have everything running like clockwork, they know what they are doing and they are excellent at it. You can take as many photos as you want while in the helicopter, and they even have a spot where they get you to stand for a picture of yourself with the helicopter just behind you.

p1020282_800x534_600x400

You do not have to pay for theme park entry – they have an office at the side of Seaworld, and a staff member comes and gets you and takes you to the helicopter area.

p1020363_800x534_600x400

Here we are, coming back in to land. It felt like a great end to our Gold Coast holiday. But our trip was not over yet – we still had a night in Tamworth and two nights in Bathurst on the way home, plus almost two weeks more of time with Sephyroth before he flew back to the USA, during which we had a Canberra overnight trip planned to see the Doug Anthony AllStars, and my aunts and uncles were coming in from Adelaide for a local concert.

Next week – Gold Coast to Tamworth, with the most expensive hamburger lunch ever known to man, and a very annoying blue car with no place to overtake it, for over an hour.

Gold Coast, Snoskred Travels 2016

Gold Coast Day 4

rooby

Sometimes you have an experience that you will forever remember, and today at Currumbin Sanctuary was one of those times. I will never, ever forget one particular moment from this day. But more about that shortly.

Our original plan for today was to go to Dreamworld, but they were closed still and would in fact remain closed for over a month. So we decided to go to Currumbin Sanctuary instead – not a place I would have chosen myself but we did have an American Tourist with us, and I thought maybe he should get to experience some of those classic Australian experiences that you never forget. Like holding a koala, and/or a snake, even though said American tourist was a little afraid of snakes.

p1010570_800x534
There you have a water dragon sitting on top of a freshwater crocodile.

Me, I completely am not scared of snakes. Once upon a time I was, but then I became a zoo volunteer and somewhere along the way grew to absolutely love them.

p1010405_800x534

As always, getting up at 5am tends to get the day started very early and we were in the car by 7:40am on our way to the place, whch opened at 8am. The place was already chock full of students from places like Japan and China, who had arrived early for the bird feeding which happens just at the entrance to the park, and they were now queuing to get into the park. Luckily this was a quick process.

p1010485_800x534

We wandered around the park mostly trying to avoid the other people while still getting to see the animals. That photo above is two male kangaroos having a bit of a fight. That is pretty normal behaviour for them – the volunteer nearby was a bit worried about the tourists getting too close.

p1010590_800x534

In trying to avoid the other people we actually stumbled upon my favourite experience of the day, the one moment I will never forget. We had found a place to sit slightly up hill near the crocodiles and were relaxing when two Eastern Water Dragons decided to have a bit of a territory fight right in front of us. Nobody got hurt but the posturing and circling was Quite A Thing To See.

rumble

We decided to take in a couple of the shows – the free bird flight show was great, and the snake show even better. While waiting for these shows we decided to purchase some photo opportunities – The Other Half got a photo with an owl, and Sephyroth and I got a photo with a snake, plus koala holding photos for everyone. You get to hold a koala, and you get to hold a koala, everyone gets to hold a koala for a very reasonable price which I cannot recall but it was all packaged together for us very nicely.

koala

And there you see our new koala friend just about to be handed to Sephyroth. I have to tell you, I had a special moment with that koala. We talked. It was a thing of beauty.

p1010823_800x534

All up we spent about 4 hours at Currumbin. We were not sure what to have for lunch, nothing there appealed to us. We threw around a few options, then those zucchini chips called us and we decided to visit Grill’d at Pacific Fair again on the way back to the apartment. On the way back to the car, we visited HoneyWorld and bought some honey – which I have been mixing into my Greek Yoghurt for a good couple of months now.. There was also SurfWorld but that did not tempt us. Everything is a world, on the Gold Coast.

If we had gone to Dreamworld this day, we had planned to stop at NightQuarter on the way back. This was our one and only planned eat out at dinner time meal, so we decided to head out to Helensvale and keep our appointment with some Cronuts, which I had read about in advance. Cronuts are a cross between a croissant and a donut. They are awesome.

p1010867_800x534

But before one ate the sweets, one had to eat the dinner. That is a thing, apparently. There were samples of various things given out – Sephyroth and I ended up with two things we sampled, calamari and juice which happened to be right next to each other, while The Other Half went for a curly sausage of some kind.

p1010878_800x534

Both of these things were extremely delicious but so filling we did not have space for the cronuts. So we bought them and took them back to the apartment, where we cut them in half and shared different flavours.

p1010887_800x534
Cinnamon
p1010886_800x534
Salted Caramel with Chocolate

All in all, this was probably my favourite Gold Coast day. Though tomorrow, we did something pretty cool, which I will tell you about next Wednesday!

Snoskred Travels 2016

Gold Coast Day 3

p1010053_800x450_600x338
The colourful feet of Snoskred and Sephyroth.

The Thursday plan was – Tambourine Mountain – Skywalk – Tea and Niceties Lunch – Gallery Walk

p1010021_800x600_600x450

Again we were awake at 5am. By 9am we were breakfasted, showered, dressed, and out the door. We headed up to Tambourine Mountain which is just over a 40km drive from the Gold Coast – probably the last 25km of that drive is quite windy and curvy.

p1010103_800x450_600x338

I had done some research into bushwalks we could do here, there were quite a lot of free options. In the end given that Dreamworld was cancelled for us and unlikely to be reopened during our stay we decided to go for the “up money” option at just under $20 per adult which is Rainforest Skywalk.

p1010167_800x450_600x338

We spent nearly an hour and a half walking, taking photos, and checking out the small but perfectly formed gift shop.

p1010261_800x450_600x338

Lunch was at Tea and Niceties which I had also researched. For food I chose the BLT and added egg and cheese. Om nom nom!

p1010251_800x450_600x338

For drinks the boys had an iced coffee. I forget what I chose – probably a cappucino – because their iced coffees were super memorable.

p1010283_800x450_600x338

The gardens here were gorgeous and some lizards surprised us during our lunch.

p1010285_800x450_600x338

p1010260_800x450_600x338

Lunch was super delicious however there was a bit of an ordering drama which meant only one pie was delivered to the boys who had ordered one each. We had to wait a little longer for the second pie.

p1050785_600x450

After lunch we took a walk along Gallery Walk. For me personally there were only two shops here that were worth the effort but I am super spoiled having Berry within a short drive of home. There was a glass studio which had gorgeous jellyfish paperweights sitting on top of LED spinners – and I still wish I had bought one.

p1060330_800x534_600x400

I did buy a lovely bracelet from Crystal Mountain. It is the one with the round beads you can see in between my watch and my Swarovski bracelet. You can’t see it in the photo but it has gorgeous gold flecks in it.

With the boys having had enough of shops, we headed back to the Peninsula around 2pm, where we tried to come up with a plan for the next day. We decided on Currumbin Sanctuary – a place none of us had ever been before. It turned out to be one of the best days of the trip.

You will have to wait two weeks to know more about Currumbin, though, as I am taking a Christmas break next week. :)

Gold Coast, Snoskred Travels 2016

Gold Coast Day 2

p1000928_800x600_600x450

The original Wednesday plan –
If weather forecast for Wed/Fri=good & did not go to Dreamworld Tuesday –
Dreamworld –

If we did go to Dreamworld Tuesday –
q1 – morning view
Pacific Fair OR Harbour Town
q1 evening view
DINNER – In @ Peninsula

p1000869_800x534_600x400

With Dreamworld now being closed, it was Pacific Fair for us today. Again we were up at the crack of dawn, 5am. We sat around for a bit just enjoying the beach views, had breakfast, got up and dressed. We were in no rush to go anywhere and just enjoyed hanging out and chatting. Around 10:30 we headed downstairs and went to the local owl store – the one who had the door problems the day before. When we got there, people were actually working on the doors. I guess the day before fix was only temporary. The Go cards cost us $10 each and meant we could ride as many times as we wanted for the day.

We decided to go towards the university and hospital end of the track first. Trams appear quite regularly and it was not a long wait before we could board. The strange part is the tap on and tap off. I would expect that to be on the tram itself however the tap device is actually located on the stations, not the trams. The tram is fun to ride. It goes pretty fast at times. The best part is being able to sit, relax, and watch the world go by out of the windows. It took us about an hour to complete the full tram ride and end up at Pacific Fair.

p1000877_800x534_600x400

Recently Pacific Fair has experienced a refurbishment. They have put a lot of work in. However part of the charm of Pacific Fair – and the International Marketplace on Oahu in Hawaii – was the “market” feel of the outdoor area. That is all gone at *both* locations – the International Marketplace has undergone a massive overhaul just like Pacific Fair and both locations have added in a lot of “high end” Up Money type stores.

p1000879_800x534_600x400

Our lunch destination was Grill’d. We really love their “healthy” burgers. On the way there, we discovered one of the few Australian locations of Bath and Body Works. It is quite a bit more expensive than the US version. It was the perfect time for lunch time, just after 12:30.

20161026_121547_600x338

I chose the sliders – Classic Slider has grass-fed beef with cheese, mustard, pickle, tomato sauce & egg mayo. Vintage Slider grass-fed beef with aged cheddar, Spanish onion, relish & herbed mayo. These were both pretty good, but my personal favourite has to be – Beet Chick Slider which has chicken breast with beetroot, mint & herbed mayo.

20161026_121551_600x338

We also got the tasting plate of chips to share. I had never considered Zucchini chips as a concept before but wow, they were pretty incredible.

p1050652_600x450

After lunch we wandered around. It was a super hot day and quite a bit of the new Pacific Fair is outdoors without much in the way of shade, so going into the airconditioned stores was a welcome relief from the heat. Eventually all the hot-cold-hot plus the fact the boys sat out in the sun waiting while I went into places like Zara or Topshop or H&M ended with some cranky people, people feeling a bit unwell, and people feeling a bit blah overall.

I think we were all feeling a bit depressed about Dreamworld, the constant news coverage up there did not help us to cheer up, either. We were unsure what we wanted to do next but I felt like something sweet, so we headed to Cowch for a treat.

p1000893_800x600_600x450

This place was cute, with all the cow udders hanging from the ceiling. It was kind of like a cow themed Max Brenner. I ended up choosing a cappucino because it was afternoon coffee time, the boys went for milkshakes.

20161026_134454_600x338

After this, we decided it was time for one last lap of the shopping centre and then back to the tram to go home. The trip back to our hotel was around 15 minutes on the tram and we headed upstairs for a rest and to do the potatoes for dinner.

For dinner I wanted to put some cheese on the potatoes but discovered we did not have any. So Sephyroth and I went for a walk to Paradise Centre to get some cheese from Woolworths. This was the first time we had walked in this direction.

p1000917_800x600_600x450

After dinner I remembered that there were night markets on the beach, so off we went for a quick stroll. Mostly it was “tatt” as my Mother would call it – people selling fake opal jewellery and pretending like it is real, general junk I would not want to buy. However there was also a guy making glass creations right there in his tent, and a few bits and pieces worth looking at, so it wasn’t a complete waste of time, though we did not buy anything.

After we were done, we headed to Gelatissimo for an icecream. It had been a very hot day. I chose the chocolate sorbet which is so delicious and icy cold. I can’t remember what the guys chose. We then did a walk around the Cavill Mall area, then back to our apartment for an early night. Because clearly nobody would be getting any sleep ins anytime soon. ;)

Next week – Thursday @ Tambourine Mountain.

Gold Coast, Snoskred Travels 2016

Southern Gateway Centre & Gelato Emporium

p1060439_600x450
View from behind the Southern Gateway Centre & Gelato Emporium

It is nearly the time of year where many Sydney residents pack their families into the car and drive to the South Coast for a holiday. If you are planning to do this there are several different routes you can take to get here. The simplest and easiest looks like this –

jervisbay1

If you choose this route, my recommended stop is Gelato Emporium and the Southern Gateway Centre. You can’t tell as you approach it on the highway but there is one heck of a view from out the back. There are more parks than you can see at first, just keep going.

gelato

They have clean toilets, a visitor centre where you can pick up information on things to do on the coast and most importantly, very good gelato. Almost Gelato Messina levels of good. My apologies, it was so great I did not take a photo of it! I had the salted butterscotch.

p1060441_600x450

Also in Gelato Emporium, you will find coffee, a selection of cakes and treats..

p1060442_600x450

..a wall filled with treats some local some from far away..

p1060444_600x450

..a large range of make your own gelato..

p1060443_600x450

with instructions so simple even a child could manage it, providing they had a freezer or an ice cream machine of some kind.

20161112_150623_600x338

If you don’t have time to stop and enjoy a gelato cone or cup, you can choose two flavours of gelato and have them made into a shake for the excellent price of $8. It will be very large, and it will be extremely delicious, and if the weather is hot it will cool you down perfectly.

p1050890_800x249_600x187

The views are excellent. There are some tables out the back where you can sit and enjoy your treats while watching the view.

food, travel

Gold Coast Day 1

p1000748_800x600_600x450

On Tuesday morning (25th October) we were surprised to wake up just before 5am. We really had no choice in the matter, as the moment the sun rose, there was too much light to sleep. Our today plan looked like this –

Tuesday
If weather forecast for Wed/Fri=bad –
q1 – walk from our hotel – sort Dreamworld passes.
Dreamworld
Aldi on way home – Southport Park
DINNER – In @ Peninsula

If weather forecast for Wed/Fri=good
q1 – walk from our hotel – sort Dreamworld passes.
Harbour Town
Aldi – Southport Park.

p1000776_800x600_600x450

Once we got up and went out to the lounge area to sit and wake up, the weather was absolutely gorgeous BUT we discovered that our American friend had not had a very good nights sleep. Which made the today plan very clear. You cannot go to the theme parks sleep deprived, it just will not work out well for anyone. So Harbourtown it was.

I had a quick shower then I went down to the local convenience store to get some milk for breakfast while the boys had their showers. As I approached the store I saw someone in black behaving very strangely and when I got to the store, it turned out this guy had abused the shop owner and then broken the doors to the store.

I could not get inside until the owner figured out a fix. He told me what happened and that he does not understand why people have to act this way, this is not the first time he has had some trouble. I bought some more expensive milk than I had intended, just because the guy was having a not great day. It was the Paul’s farmhouse gold which they add cream to, so it kind of looks like real cream on the milk.

p1000705_800x534

We decided to go to Q1 to sort out our 7 day passes then Aldi, then see how we were doing. Just a note for those who are wanting to do 7 day passes etc, you can get these sorted out at Q1 rather than having to wait until you get to Dreamworld. They give you basically a ticket, which is valid for 7 days.

At Q1 I discovered that my previously known about vertigo has become a lot worse. While I loved the views from up there, I had a lot of trouble when I got too close to the windows and held onto the poles in order to feel safer and less like I was going to fall. The views were fantastic and we spent quite a bit of time up here taking photos and working out where things were and what we could see from up here.

paradise

A quick trip to Aldi – we had to detour around Paradise Island due to a poor lane choice. We just drove around it. This was not the only time we had to do this during our visit. I have to say the accommodation here looked quite interesting and I understand one of the resorts there is especially great for kids.

Managing to sort out our route, we went via Chevron Island to Aldi at Southport. Traffic was surprisingly heavy until we realised it was essentially peak hour – it was only 8:30am or so. It felt like we’d been up for hours. And we actually had. Thanks Queensland!

p1000772_800x600_600x450

The apartment is self catering, so we knew ahead of time there is only a small amount of things like toilet paper supplied. On this occasion, unlike previous stays, we had no dishwashing powder or tablets supplied and no washing powder. I had brought our own from home. We went to Aldi in Southport and got paper towel, toilet paper, all the extra stuff one needs in a self catering apartment. We had our own car so this was easy for us to do.

For our dinners, the plan was to bbq each night with one exception, providing the BBQs seemed ok. Our second option was to use frypans in the room we were staying in, and that is the one we ended up going with. The BBQs were not especially clean at the Peninsula. I do recommend if you want to BBQ, bring along a BBQ mat..

We decided to use the large frypans in our apartment to cook our “BBQ” each night. I got two bulk packs of chicken which we cut up and I placed into a ziploc bag with lemon and lime juice and garlic infused olive oil to marinate.

p1000865_800x600_600x450

I had brought Masterfoods pepper steak to shake onto the chicken, it is our favourite. Each night we would just take out the amount of chicken we needed. We also got some steak and sausages. I would parboil some potatoes and sweet potatoes and then put them in the oven either as roast potatoes with some spices I blended myself and/or with butter and cheese. I would cut up an avocado which we would have as the salad. Super simple but very tasty.

We went back to Peninsula and dropped off our groceries, had a quick lunch (sandwiches for some, protein shakes for others) then headed out to Harbourtown. WE LOVED THIS PLACE. It truly had something for everyone. The facilities are great, we went to the visitors lounge and got the discount card, I left the boys there to have coffee while I went to find the bathrooms which were beautifully clean.

p1050650_600x450

From airplane models in the window of one of the lesser known worlds in Australia “Cuban Cigar World” to half price Swarovski bracelets to discount sporting team apparel at stores like BLK and ASICS to very reasonably priced books to Lindt chocolate where you can also get a coffee or shake, there really is a great variety of stores and items to be found here.

We could have easily spent a whole day here exploring the various stores. As it was, we spent a couple of hours happily browsing and found some great bargains. I did get a half price Swarovski bracelet.

swarovski

My American friend who happens to be into Australian cricket found a bargain official Australian cricket t-shirt and a book of Formule One circuits. I found an Adelaide Crows training t-shirt for my Dad. We needed to pick up a good chopping board as our apartment did not have one, and we found a huge one for $15 at a kitchen place. It returned home with us and I wish I had picked up a couple more, it is great.

cricket

When we returned to our unit, we did some food prep for dinner, cutting up the two bulk packs of chicken, peeling potatoes and putting them on to boil. We decided a swim was in order. It had been a very hot day. We all got into our swim gear and headed down to the pool about 4:30pm, leaving our electronic devices safely locked in the unit safe.

As we walked into the indoor pool area, I heard a woman say to their child “Something happened at Dreamworld”. I mentally filed that away as something to check out later, and we enjoyed our swim, starting in the outdoor pool and then going into the indoor pool for a while. We were there for well over an hour. When we returned to the room, there were several somewhat panicked messages from my Mother on both my phone and my other half’s phone, asking were we all right and had we gone to Dreamworld.

p1000729_800x600_600x450

We turned on the TV to find out what was going on and heard the very terrible news, that 4 people had been killed on one of the rides. My poor mother had been thinking it could have been us for a good couple of hours there, because she could not get in touch with us and our original plan had been to go to Dreamworld that day.

If we had gone to Dreamworld, that ride is definitely one we would have gone on. Though we would have chosen to ride it earlier in the day, we may not have been able to because there was a problem with it. They were saying the park would be closed Wednesday, and to be honest I do not think we would have wanted to go if it was open.

p1000711_800x534_600x400

We were kind of in shock, that this could happen, and that it had happened on a ride two of us there had been on many times before, and that we could have been in the park queuing for – or even *on* the ride – when this happened. There was a small element of “this could have happened to us”, which was certainly something to think about.

We spent the rest of the evening cooking dinner, watching the news coverage, and trying to make a new plan for Wednesday. We decided to get Go Cards in the morning and then take the tram all the way to both ends of the track, then visit Pacific Fair and have lunch there.

I will tell you about Wednesday NEXT Wednesday! ;)

Gold Coast, Snoskred Travels 2016

Peninsula Apartments, Gold Coast

pen2

A note about the accommodation – We had considered many different properties for this Gold Coast stay, but our family have long been loyal customers – since the 80’s – at the Peninsula Apartments for several reasons – we love the views from this building, we love the location, we like the fact that you get 2 bathrooms in a 2 bedroom apartment, and we love the pools here.

Oh, we have occasionally strayed for shorter stays – we tried out the Marriot because of the snorkelling lagoon, a couple of times we have been placed elsewhere for a work conference which was not our choice. But if we are here for a week or so, the Peninsula is our preferred option.

pen1
The Peninsula next to Q1

However I had been reading the reviews across the web and they were quite mixed. I was well aware that this is partly because the building is made up of apartments owned by different owners, so the decor, furniture and facilities vary greatly from apartment to apartment. They also have two levels of apartment – the deluxe and the basic. So that can cause the review variation as well.

As we arrived late we had to retrieve our keys from the night box, which was easily done. The keys came with directions to our carpark including a map. Even so we struggled to find it because we did not understand there are two levels and we were looking on the wrong level. It had been a long day, and everyone was getting tired. We did eventually figure out where we needed to go, found the carpark, unpacked the car, and headed up to our room, 13F.

20161024_200207_600x338

We had hoped we would get a great apartment, but what makes up a great apartment? The one we did get had amazing views even on the 13th floor. As I sit here typing this on the lounge, I can see ocean and beach from every window. Does that make up for the fact that the furniture is probably as old as the building, which was built in 1982?

p1060097_800x600

Does that make up for the fact that the cleanliness is not exactly optimal? The floor needs a good steam mopping as a matter of urgency. Someone needs to walk on the tiles with bare feet, otherwise staff will not realise how sticky and awfully dirty they are.The carpets desperately needed to be replaced in our room. The bathrooms are functional and perfectly fine, though they are getting on in years too.

20161025_051656_600x338

The kitchen was functional but very old. The appliances were also very old, except for the fridge and cooktop which was younger than the other appliances. The laundry had a new washer but a very old dryer that only dries half the amount of the washing – 7kg front load, 3.5kg dryer.

p1060101_800x600

There were no blackout curtains. Every morning we woke with the sun. On the one hand that is fantastic because we are on holiday and would like to be up super early. On the other hand, Queensland does not have daylight saving. When we stayed we woke up 5am on the dot every morning. It has taken us 2 weeks to get back to waking up at a more normal time.

20161024_200053_800x450

The beds and pillows were comfortable. The bedroom set was very old. There were two large leather couches in the lounge room, when in the room this is where we spent much of our time as the view from them was spectacular.

The dishwasher is definitely from 1982 – it is an old dial dishlex which is so old even the dishlex logo has vanished. On our second day we put the dishwasher on when we went out – as our one experience with it thus far taught us this thing was incredibly noisy! – and returned home to find the floors were covered in water. It seemed to us like the dishwasher seals had failed.

20161025_171407_800x450

Now I want to make it very clear and make sure they receive the praise they deserve – the staff here are fantastic and trying to do their best with the property they have. Every interaction with staff was a positive experience. Well done team, you are awesome. Every day when we went through reception they were burning some gorgeous scented candles there, it smelled amazing.

When we discovered the dishwasher was malfunctioning, I went to the front desk and saw Sharon, who immediately followed me upstairs to check out what was going on, and she called out the appliance guy to attend the next day. She brought along some towels which we placed in front of the unit so we could still use it without water going everywhere.

p1000697_800x534

That night we found someone had removed the arm from the middle shelf of the dishwasher which was sending a large stream of water directly to the bottom of the dishwasher. They had put the arm in the under sink cupboard. Once we replaced it, the amount of water leaking out reduced significantly.

The appliance guy felt that someone had used dishwashing detergent in the unit which was causing a lot of sudsing to occur. Well I hate to be the one to tell you this, appliance guy, but my personal suspicion is, all that stuff is what the seals are meant to keep inside the dishwasher. If they were functioning. It was not all sudsy water coming out, we were getting a lot of plain water too. Which given the unit is 34 years old, it has done extremely well to last this long, but there comes a time when the owners need to just buy a new one.

p1060094_800x600

We kept the towels in front of the unit for the remainder of our stay. The dishwasher was still leaking but it never was as bad as the first day.

p1000701_800x534

The BBQs were a bit dirty, so if you were going to cook on them I would recommend using a BBQ mat.

There is an IGA a couple of streets over towards Cavill Ave, and there is a Woolworths in the Paradise Center along Cavill Ave, for people who need to pick up extra items.

p1060095_800x600

With all that said, no amount of old appliances and unclean floors can take away from the great location and the amazing view. You can just put some socks on and enjoy the view. We did see whales from the balcony.

Even so, it is probably time for us to try out a new Gold Coast Home Away From Home. We will be sad to move on, because we have loved staying at the Peninsula for so many years.

Gold Coast, Snoskred Travels 2016