Every now and then our family, my parents, Colin and Jenny; my sister, Jodie; my 2 gorgeous nephews, Joe and Charlie and I often meet somewhere in Australia for a week during the school holidays. Jodie and her boys live in Melbourne, so it’s nice to meet up midyear somewhere warm and good fun for old and young kids alike.
We’ve met in Broome, WA a few times; Cairns, QLD; Forster/Tuncurry, NSW and this year has us all up on a house boat on the Coomera River near the Gold Coast
We started the trip at the Gold Coast Holiday Park right smack bang in the middle of all the Gold Coasts “Worlds” – Dreamworld, Sea World, Movie World, Wet & Wild. With one free day before before getting on the houseboat, we hit Wet & Wild.
It was a beautiful day; just warm enough sit in the sun, but with a lovely breeze so she wasn’t too hot. Perfect! The boys hit the water slides whilst the ladies sat – basking. Because we were staying in the motel section of the holiday park we didn’t have the facilities to make a picnic lunch and decided that we would just work it out when we got there….. What we weren’t counting on were the 2000 other people who had the same plan. We were also not counting on one of the two fast food eateries being closed meaning that 2000 hungry revellers lined up together for over an hour each to order their very expensive, very tasty burgers and chips.
That’s right, you read that correctly – Over. An. Hour! Jodie and Joe took the first shift standing in line before I took over the second shift finishing strong with Joe – this boy has stamina! Some people in the line were only lining up to refill their never ending refillable cup of soft drink. Unbelievable!
Boat day needed a tight schedule of logistical manoeuvring. We had 6 people, 1 motorhome with 2 seats = (1 driver + 1 passenger only), Plethora groceries to buy for 1 week on the boat and an assortment of luggage to move from point A to point b – for boat.
But after much discussion and suggestion as to how we would organise ourselves, the day just fell into place and the timing was impeccable….. until we got on the boat and the boat hire bloke had to do his briefing with the Captain – me Dad and the First Mate – me. Now, for those of you who don’t know my Dad knows boats and for those of you who aren’t aware, I very recently obtained my skippers ticket. Hiring houseboats doesn’t require you to have a skippers ticket or a licence of any kind, which seems very odd, but thems the rules. It’s also the rules that when you do hire a houseboat, no matter how many years of experience you’ve had and no matter how many times you tell the bloke that you know boats, you still need to listen to every word of the briefing. This includes going through each and every possible place you might think about stopping and a list of reasons as to why this is a good stop – lots of fish, great for crabbing, perfect swimming spot, etc….. It was at this point – 2 hours into the briefing that Col and I let him know that we weren’t going to remember all these fascinating details and that perhaps we could finish up? He then went over the safety features again with me in written form.
I get that you need to be safe on the water and contrary to popular belief, I’m generally a stickler for the rules, so I feel that this was a bit of overkill. Then again, he doesn’t know me or what I’m a stickler for and really, how many blokes would get on and say “I know boats!” when they really don’t? – Not saying that my dad is one of those people – he definitely knows boats…… he knows ALL the boats!
As we finally left the marina doing our maximum 6 knots we were overtaken by boats fanging up the river doing anything from 20 to 30 knots. Clearly there are no other sticklers here on the Coomera River – perhaps they could have done with a briefing?
Because they were running a bit late getting the boat ready and the briefing took 16 hours to complete, we ended up leaving with about 30 minutes of sunlight left in the day.
We cruised for about 20 minutes and found the perfect spot for our first night. We downed anchor, cracked our first 5sies and watched the most beautiful sunset.
Well done Coomera, well done Gold Coast and well done Queensland.