East Coast of Australia: Brisbane & the Gold Coast

We arrived back into Brisbane early evening, returned the hire car and dropped our bags off at our accommodation. We decided to stay in Nundah again, in another Air BnB. We have enjoyed staying in Air BnBs whilst travelling in Australia and we are always guaranteed a better nights sleep than a hostel! It also gives us a chance to experience living like a local 🙂

We caught the train from Nundah into Brisbane city centre. Brisbane is a modern city and has a really good social vibe. We had dinner at a steakhouse before crossing over the bridge to south bank.

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Steak for $10!!

The public footpaths in Brisbane have lanes for people walking in different directions. I loved this idea… just wish they had included an overtaking lane too.

We reached south bank and walked along the river. It was a week until Christmas and the Christmas markets were open. Australia seemed to be lacking in Christmas decorations so the Christmas markets were really enjoyable and we had started to feel a little bit Christmassy.

We wandered around the markets and because we were in the Christmas spirit, went for a hot chocolate, even though it was 20 degress celsius outside. We stopped by ‘Chocolate by the Bald Man’. A chocolate lovers heaven! The hot chocolates were delicious. I wish we had this cafe at home!

Gold Coast: Mermaid Beach, Burleigh Heads and Point Danger lighthouse

The Gold Coast is only an hour by train from Brisbane. We made our way to Mermaid Beach to stay with Sam’s friends for a few days. When Sam mentioned we were in Australia they kindly invited us to stay for a few nights. Free accommodation – every travellers dream! 🙂 We were hugely grateful and really enjoyed our stay. It was nice to have a few days where we weren’t on the road and could just chill out. We were having a holiday from travelling! 🙂

We went to the local shopping mall: Pacific Fair, we spent time on the beach and we enjoyed some nice food at local cafes and restaurants. We were so relaxed we ended up staying for four nights and in return cooked dinner and made some mulled wine as a thank you. Australia don’t sell mulled wine so we made our own which Sam’s friends really appreciated! It was delicious. Thank you Jamie Oliver!

We bought some Christmas hats, took some pictures and made Christmas cards to send home to our families and friends. We had lots of fun taking and selecting the pictures!

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The chosen photo for the front of our Christmas cards

It was Christmas Eve morning when we finally packed our bags. We spent our final morning in Burleigh Heads. It’s one of the nicer towns on the Gold Coast with some lovely shops and a beach. We walked through Burleigh Heads national park, enjoying the sunshine and the views.

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The view from Tumgun Lookout

We passed a large lizard on our way through the park.

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A few miles down from Burleigh Heads is Point Danger lighthouse, also known as the Captain Cook Memorial Light. It marks the border between Queensland and New South Wales.

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Crossing the border between QLD & NSW

We crossed time zones and lost 1 hour as we made our way down the coast to Byron Bay where we would be spending Christmas!

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