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We’re Sally & Craig & we have 3 kids, Alannah (14), Keira (11) & Caelan (9). We’re from Australia & love to travel both locally and overseas with our kids in tow. As we do not fit the 2 adults & 2 kids category, travelling can be expensive, especially overseas. The aim of this blog is to share our discoveries and tips on how we manage to do what we do on an average yearly income. We are not full time travellers, we both enjoy our jobs and I am lucky my job allows above average…
Over the June long weekend, I was lucky enough to snag my brothers holiday house at Gough’s Bay. Gough’s Bay…… I can hear you all saying. Gough’s Bay is a lovely little town on Lake Eildon about 20 mins from Mansfield. Why is it the perfect place, because it has the best of both worlds! In summer you have the lake, great for boats, water ski’s, skiing, swimming, fishing & anything else you can think of. Then during winter its 40 mins drive to the nearest snow fields, Mount Buller.
We had our last buffet breakfast in our usual table looking out to the lagoon & a quick swim in the lagoon pool before packing & heading back to the airport.
Our breakfast view
It was a wonderful experience & I just loved the Great Barrier Reef, I would recommend everyone to go up there at least once in their life’s. When flying back home to Melbourne, the pilot took off from Cairns airport & went straight out over the Great Barrier Reef & followed it down the coast for a good half hour. I had my nose stuck to the window the whole time & managed to snap a couple of good photos.
Views from the plane, awesome.
Like the other trip I went on without the kids, all I could think was how much the kids would have loved it there! Maybe next time we will take them with us!
Until next time, keep traveling.
This morning we headed into Port Douglas to buy some gifts for the kids and my mum & my sister for looking after the kids whilst we were gone. We found there wasn’t much in town to buy. There was souvenir type gifts & that was really it. We walked onto the marina & looked in the shops there, not much was different from town & they were all similar prices. We went to the Mirage Marina & had lunch & a couple of drinks then headed back to the resort to spend a couple of hours in the pool.
The view from Skase’s Bar at the Marina
Beer o’clock at Skase’s
That evening we decided we couldn’t go home without having eaten at Nautilus. Many people we had spoken too had advised this is the best restaurant in town, we couldn’t miss out on that. Nautilus is an outdoor restaurant set in tropical gardens surrounded by palm trees. When entering it feels like you are walking along the beach, it has a fine dining atmosphere in an outdoor setting. Its a pricey restaurant but we felt with the surrounds & exceptional food, it was more than worth what we paid. Wine list is extensive & pricey.
After dinner we went to the Courthouse Hotel which had a live band. We listened to a few songs then headed back to the resort on the shuttle bus they have running between the resorts town.
Home tomorrow 🙁
We had booked a trip to the outer reef with Quiksilver Reef Cruises. I was warned to take seasick tablets as the ride out could be a little rough. I heeded that advice, many didn’t & paid the price. I wondered when we left the dock, why the cruise staff were standing around with airline sick bags, I soon found out!! Luckily not for us!! It was pretty choppy & I was glad to get out to the reef. It takes approximately 1.5hrs to get out to the outer reef.
Day 2 was our anniversary, Craig presented me with the diamond ring I had purchased for myself in Hong Kong earlier that year! I had also bought him a new titanium watch as the watch I bought him for a wedding gift had seen better days! I had organised a surprise trip in a helicopter to go over the Great Barrier Reef. This was our first sight of the Great Barrier Reef & it was breath taking.
There were a couple of problems in relation to the time that we were to do the helicopter flight. Nothing that was the fault of the organisers or ourselves, just a bit of miscommunication with the 3rd party involved, turned out fine though. We spent the morning by the lagoon pool & at 3pm the team from GBR Helicopters picked us up from the hotel for our ride over the Low Isles & Batt Reef.
I had never been in a helicopter & it was much smaller than I had envisioned & noisy!! Craig took the front seat seeing as it was my surprise to him. We took off over the Sheraton Mirage so we could get an aerial view of the resort then out to the Great Barrier Reef.
It was everything I had expected it to be & more. The views were beautiful, just like you see in all the magazines. I was so jealous of the pilot thinking he has the best job in the world. It was truly breathtaking. I have always wanted to go there & have heard so many people talk about it but nothing compares to seeing it yourself. The pictures below speak for themselves.
That evening we went to Aqua, the restaurant at the Pullman Sea Temple Resort. It is a little further out of town than the Sheraton Mirage but I would have to say it is much nicer. The Mirage is getting quite old now & could do with a renovation. We were told that it had recently been purchased and the owners are planning on renovating during 2014. The Sea Temple is a very open plan resort, it reminded me a lot of the resorts in Asia.
The waiter gave us a glass of bubbles on the house to start off our celebratory evening. The food was amazing, perfectly cooked. There was a solo guitarist playing in the corner, it set the mood in the restaurant. It was expensive but not over the top & the food was worth what we paid for it.