Eleven hours north of Sydney is the beautiful Gold Coast, and where I was lucky enough to be able to spend a long weekend in March. Friday, the 19th was my birthday, which consisted of packing for my trip, followed by a lovely dinner out, with my exchange partner’s parents. Even though I didn’t get to be with my family, I felt spoiled and cared for – as the birthday girl should! 🙂
I flew into the Gold Coast Airport on Saturday morning, at sunrise – it was perfect timing! I got to see the incredible stretch of Gold Coast beaches, alight with the day’s first touch of colorful sunlight. This inspired me for what was ahead – a hike up Mt. Warning! (over 9 km) This is one of the highest peaks in the state, it was used by Captain Cook as a lookout for trouble. And it’s a blessed and sacred place for the Aboriginal people. Mt. Warning is also the rainforest that inspired the movie, Fern Gully: The Last Rainforest. I was soon to find out that this mountain is also an intense and splendorous hike! I got to walk through the rainforest and see plenty of interesting animals…bush turkeys, lizards, eagles! The last portion of the hike was an incredible challenge – it was steep, slippery rocks, with only a chain for assistance! I finally got to the summit, saw two eagles soaring overhead and spectacular views – all my hard word had payed off!
Sunday started out with a lovely beach cookout, on a black-sanded beach with intense crashing waves. It was a beautiful start to my day, and heading to the Curumbrin animal sanctuary after breakfast made my day even more magical! We went to the kangaroo home first, and we got to walk around with the kangaroos! I made a few little Roo friends by petting and hand feeding them!
Monday we slept in, then Tasha and I headed to Coolangata, which is farther up the Gold Coast. We explored Captain Cook’s Lookout and were able to enjoy the beaches. I went with Barb, the new friend of mine who lives in Murwillumba (and exchanged to Colorado Springs two years ago!), to observe at her school. That night we had a delicious Thai dinner on the river, the perfect ending to my weekend on the Gold Coast!
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