“I can’t do this,” cried T1 as he attempted to peddle his bike along the cycle track around the lake at the Novotel Twin Waters Resort on the Sunshine Coast. I hung back with him, watching his brother steam on ahead, trying to offer encouraging words. Within five minutes he’d got the hang of the pedals on his hired bike (he rides a balance bike at home) and was zooming off ahead of us all. Taking out the bikes gave us a chance to explore the whole resort and see the lake from every angle. The kids had the best time, ever. Now that they’re growing up, I can’t wait to do more things like this and make the most of living in such an amazing place.
We followed our hour-long bike ride with a trip out on the lake in a catamaran (included for guests staying at the resort) and a swim in the pool, before Husband went off to try his hand at archery. After that we had a quick break before dropping the kids in the kids’ club for the evening for dinner while we had our first adult evening out in about a year! Phew – and that was all just one day of our holiday!
When we decided to move to Australia, I was most looking forward to taking the kids to the places we visited when we were backpacking six years ago. The East Coast is packed with some fantastic holiday destinations, and Brisbane is blessed by being right in the middle of the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast. It’s just an hour to get to either and both have so many beaches and attractions, it hard to know where to begin. Over the Christmas holidays we realised we had three clear days in Husband’s shifts so decided to make the most of it before the kids started school. We wanted a family friendly resort where there were plenty of activities, a kids club so we could grab a break, attractions for days out and also somewhere that wasn’t too far away as we planned to leave right after hubby finished work on Sunday afternoon. A little bit of research and I knew the Novotel Twin Waters Resort was exactly what I was looking for.
We booked a lagoon view suite. It came with a huge superking bed, a sitting area, dining area and a small kitchen with fridge and microwave. The sofa turned into a bed for the boys and we also had a fold out bed for E (not that she stayed in it for long before sneaking into our bed each night where she slept horizontally in between us – it’s a good job the bed was so big!) The chilled bottle of wine waiting for us in the fridge was the perfect touch and was just what we needed after our drive.
We had a balcony overlooking the lake, which was a lovely view to wake up to in the morning. It also meant at night we could sneak out for a drink while the kids were asleep as you could access it from our bedroom as well as the living room.
The accommodation was simple, clean and plenty big enough for our family of five. We were only a short walk away from the main resort with its big pool, buffet restaurant, bar and coffee shop but it’s a great idea to bring scooters for the kids as it’s the perfect place to scoot!
The buffet breakfast was a big hit with our kids as there were two pancake machines so you could press a button to receive freshly made pancakes. A total novelty. The staff chatted away to the kids in between clearing tables, and the boys loved going down to tell them what our plans for the day were – it made us feel really welcome. I particularly loved the fresh coffee stand where you could order proper coffee in a take away cup (which meant you could take a second cup with you on your way out for the day). Every morning we ate until we could barely move and then it kept us going until dinner, with the odd snack or ice cream in between.
Everything we needed was on site so we didn’t need to leave, but as a freelance travel writer it’s in my nature to explore. We spent one day at the Ginger Factory. The kids LOVED seeing bee hives and learning where honey comes from. (T1 still tells everyone that will listen that girl bees do all the work and boy bees are lazy.) It helped to be able to weave in the learning experiences with fun rides like the train and boat ride too. Oh and more ice cream. And gingerbread men too 🙂
We shopped til we dropped at the Eumundi Markets (where I bought E a fabulous Elsa dress which she now has to wear every time she watches Frozen – which is at least twice every day). We also explored Noosa – somewhere we loved when we were travelling around Australia in our camper van six years ago.
I would have loved to have browsed the shops but knew I’d need a child-free day for that. And a new credit card. And possibly a new husband that was happy for me to spend all of our money 🙂 Instead, we spent some time enjoying Main Beach, writing our names in the sand and having a paddle which was just as much fun.
As it was the school holidays there were special activities running at the Twin Waters Resort while we were there. On our last day there was a bouncy castle (known as a jumping castle in Australia – I still can’t get used to saying it). The kids bounced off their breakfast even though it was unbelievably hot at 10am. When I told them it was time to leave, the boys started to cry and told me they were staying and I’d have to go home without them. T2 even stomped off out of sight to find “somewhere new to live”, but a minute later he peeped around a bush to make sure we hadn’t really left him behind. I had to make them a promise that we will come back again, and next time for a much longer break. Three days was great, but to really recharge I think a week or two would be much better as I wanted to spend more time enjoying the resort as well as exploring the local attractions.
Now that we live in Brisbane, we don’t need to travel far to find incredible scenery, gorgeous beaches and fabulous weather. It’s all right our on doorstep, so we’ll definitely be back soon.
*I received press rates for our stay to review Novotel Twin Waters. I also received complimentary bike hire. All opinions are my own.