Happy Birthday to Me =)

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

It's official, I am now 24 years young! And as any twenty-something should, my birthday weekend was spent lounging about on a stunning Aussie beach, sipping cocktails by the pool and cuddling koalas (... wait what?!).

Instead of the usual drinks and clubbing to celebrate a birthday, my ideal "party" is a little more relaxed. Don't get me wrong, I love to dance the night away to good music with great company, but I also love having real experiences with my friends and making memories that will last a lifetime! So this year we decided to pack up the car, hop on the highway and head down to Coolangatta in sunny Queensland on the Gold Coast!

The beach!!!! With Winter finally on it's way out and some warmer temperatures on the horizon, our first stop was the beach to catch some much needed rays and squeal in the still freezing surf. We started out at Rainbow Bay with it's incredible views from the lookout, then headed down to Greenmount Beach to watch the surfers and enjoy the sun. Coolangatta Beach is also incredibly stunning, and at this time of the year you pretty much have the place to yourself! This is Australia though, so be sure to slap on that sunscreen or risk being turned into a beetroot by our overzealous sun! And for the ladies, our Aussie surfers lads don't disappoint and are already running along the beach "Baywatch style"!

There are plenty of cute little coffee shops and restaurants all along the beach front to meet anyone's budget. Sip a coffee on the sand or enjoy a margaritas at the beach bar, Coolangatta has it all! Highly recommend grabbing some takeaway fish and chips and finding a cool spot to relax, although you'll probably end up fighting off the seagulls! There's a great spot at Greenmount Beach with benches in a little shady glade right by the beach.

Accommodation wise, there's everything from backpackers, beach houses, hotels and penthouse apartments, all within walking distance of the beaches. Shop around for a good deal and remember to use TripAdvisor and other review sites over the "yes incredible but probably 50 years old" hotel photos. We stayed at the Mantra Twin Towns in an apartment overlooking the beach, which for 4 of us was only approx. A$60 each a night, perfect for a weekend getaway! Our apartment was literally a 2 minute walk to the beach and very close to all the amenities so I'd recommend checking it out!

There are plenty of things to do in Coolangatta, other than lounge about on the beach! There are trail walks, lookout points, surfing, skydiving and so much more. Less than a 15 minute drive away is also the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, which for international visitors is a must! Currumbin is home to some of Australia's most iconic animals, including koalas, kangaroos, dingoes, wombats, echidnas, crocodiles and other amazing creatures. There are presentations and interactive shows throughout the day, and you have the chance to cuddle a koala, feed the kangaroos and get up close and personal with baby crocs! I must say, even as an Aussie, cuddling a koala is one of the best experiences, and being able to pat the kangaroos and wallabies and have them eat out of your hand is truly incredible! Check with your hotel to see if they can get your discounted tickets :) See if you can spot my kangaroo selfie below (I swear we are making the same face!!)

So if you're up for a weekend of adventure, beach time and cuddles, be sure to add Coolangatta to your itinerary. I had the most amazing time with my girlfriends and the best birthday! The Gold Coast never fails to disappoint, and this less touristy spot is by far one of my new favourites spots!

Til next time!

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