We checked out and ate breakfast at the (dairy free) "clean eating" place over the road. I do think that calling this whole diet style "clean" implies that all other food is dirty which isn't really my cup of tea. The food was delicious though, and you do feel quite virtuous eating it.
I have since read that the restaurant has closed down as it wasn't doing too well, except for perhaps in it's target demographic of lycra clad diet/exercise obsessed young Gold Coast women. It's a shame as we all quite liked the food.
We bought some treats to go and headed into Brisbane to see the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art before catching our flight home. It really is a very cool place, I'd love to go back there.
They had a wonderful kids exhibition on with lots of interactive things to do.
Then it was time to navigate the rental car back to the airport and head home. We made a silly mistake of letting the boys have a coke zero (long story involving duty free bourbon and excess coke) and the youngest spun out big time. I had to resort to getting him to count and recount floor tiles at the airport just so I could fill out the departure cards in peace.
When we got back to Auckland at 1130pm we had all of our bags x-rayed and fully searched by the customs guys. Despite them reassuring us that it was just standard procedure, it definitely wasn't. One of the guys actually said "you're the 12th family we've had through today at $700 each", which made us suspect they were looking for a family smuggling something in.
We spent our final full Gold Coast day back at Dreamworld (and Whitewater World). We'd done most of the rides on the first two days so wanted to check out the Aussie wildlife area and then go on a few of our favourites again.
There were lizards like this one just roaming about the place.
Luckily the crocodiles weren't free to roam! They were big and powerful and a little scary. It made me think of the late great Steve Irwin and his croc handling family. It was cool to watch them being fed.
This baby one was more manageable... it's jaws were tied shut for the photo session.
The koalas were lovely and the keeper's talk pretty interesting too. The boys posed for pictures with a koala, a croc, an owl and a snake. We also got an old fashioned family photo done (a Wild West theme) which I'll have to photograph and blog here later.
Look no hands!
We finished our day with fish and chips on Mermaid beach. Our plan was to go to the Clean Kitchen cafe but they'd changed their hours so that they weren't open for dinner any more (boo). So we had greasy rather than healthy food. It was pretty good even though it got dark, and a bit cold, on the beach very early.
After two days of theme park fun we were all in need of a bit of chilling out so we hung out at the resort for the day. B and I went to the spa for massages while the boys watched a movie in the free resort cinema.
The rest of the day was spent playing mini golf and swimming in the pools.
B and I enjoyed a pre dinner drink at the pizza bar while the kids swam and it went right to my head (in a good way). Once we'd wobbled back at the apartment B cooked dinner while the boys and I lay on the bed and watched the rodeo!
We had an awesome day of hydrosliding and swimming, followed by more rides at Dreamworld (right next door). Tragically I wrecked my calf sprinting away from zombies (in the laser tag maze!). They'd even just warned us not to run... obviously I didn't listen! When you're faced with a group of people pointing laser guns at you of course you run! B had to hire me a wheelchair and push me around for the last couple of hours. It was pretty miserable really but I was so pleased that we'd done the water rides in the morning which had required a lot of stair climbing.
Kenny and Belinda spotted the boys as it was getting to closing time and snuggled up for a photo.
The day began with the new holiday routine... Mum and Dad laze about in bed, the boys eat cereal while watching the Cartoon Network. They never watch morning tv at home so it was a lovely treat for all of us. Shortly afterwards we headed to the courts for a game of tennis. All was going well until I sprinted for the ball and pinged my calf muscle. I limped sadly back to our apartment and iced it for a while, hoping hard that it'd fix it and I'd be fine for the theme parks the next day.
The accommodation included four movie tickets. We thought that they were for the resort cinema (24 seats, plays family movies 4x a day), but no, turned out they were for the hoyts at the local mall. Once again we were pleased that we'd rented a car rather than taken the buses (our original money saving choice). So we went to see Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 2 and I sat with my leg up for as much of the film as possible.
We ate our packed lunch at the mall, then headed through an afternoon thunderstorm, to Brisbane where our friends Steve and Suse live. The hail and storm were amazing. Apparently they get them a lot.
Sadly wee Daisy was miserable with an ear infection so Suse stayed home and Steve took the rest of us to Southbank. They have a wonderful artificial city beach which we had a great swim at. It was crazy weather but still pretty busy. We swam through thunder and rain promising that we'd get out if there was any lightning.
Dinner was a BBQ back at their place. The boys watched Elf while we hung out, chatting, eating and drinking. Sadly we didn't take any photos of our visit with them. I often find that I forget to take pictures when we have company and regret it later.