Day 9: Time to Return Home

All good things must come to an end.  Sadly we say goodbye to the heat and sunshine and must fly back to NZ where Storms, Rain and snow occupy front and centre position on all news bulletins.  The news is not all bad however as we have been advised by Air New Zealand (Worlds Best Airline) that we have been upgraded to Business for the journey home.

So we packed our bags, had a final breakfast with Rodger and Carolyn and were delivered to Brisbane airport well in advance of our departure time.  Checked in and made our way through security to the Koru Lounge where we enjoyed the hospitality of Air New Zealand and eagerly awaited boarding.

View from Koru Lounge Brisbane

Note the Blue sky. This was prevalent every day of our time in the Gold Coast.  We tucked a wee bit in our pocket hoping to bring some back to NZ.  Eventually we were called to board the plane and for the first time ever Jeanette went through the door and turned left – not right!  Wow!  We took our seats and were immediately fussed over by the wonderful Kiwi Staff.  Bubbles and Hot Towels to Start – Before Takeoff.  Great views as we took off over the city.

Brisbane City

Then once we were settled into the flight path, along came the food and beverages.  The beverages seemed to be never ending and the food was three courses selected from a Menu

The Wine just kept on coming!
Jeanette Enjoying the Experience

Jeanette could not have much of the Airline Food but was well looked after none-the-less.  After a much too short flight we arrived in Auckland to Rain, Clouds and Freezing temperatures.  We breezed through customs but had to wait in the rain for 45 minutes for the every 15 minute inter-terminal bus.  This made us very late for our flight and no one would take our luggage.  We eventually dropped it off at the Oversize Checkin with no guarantee that it would make the flight.  Then we discovered our flight to Palmerston North was delayed so had time to de-stress after the very late bus ride.

Made it to Palmerston North with hardly a bump in the air and so did our bags. Fantastic. Finally a Taxi home which turned into a disagreement between me and the driver as he tried to double charge us the flagfall. The 2.3km journey would have been nearly $18.00 if I had relented but ended up at $15.00 even.

So good to be home but missing the Heat and the Weather already.

No long now until our next adventure in England and Wales.

Day 8: A day off – Reward for Hard Work

Had an early start today.  As all the work was done we decided to take a day off and do some exploring and have an adventure.  Neither Jeanette or I had ever been to Byron Bay so after Showers and Breakfast we set off in the trusty Merc for the Sunny Shores of Byron Bay. The journey south took less time than I expected with our arrival being only 1.15 after our departure from Bonogin (or as Jeanette cheekily calls it Boganville).  The place was just like many other beach communities with Surf Shops, weird clothing stores, young people, and quirky coffee spots.  We found a great little Java shed called Slo Mo Joe’s.

Slo Mo Joe’s

The food looked great (But we didn’t have any) and the coffee was fabulous.  After the caffeine hit we strolled the township. This only took  20 minutes as the town is not large and there was very little that interested us.  Strolled back to the beach which was so inviting, but a little windy today so we resisted the temptation to swim between the flags.

Byron Bay Beach

From the beach we spied a lighthouse on the top of the hill so decided to go explore and see the view.  Drove the short drive up to the top where $8 parking fees applied.  Well worth it for what we found there.

Byron Bay Lighthouse

The Lighthouse had a walkway around the point which was well worth the journey.  At the end was a downward stretch to the point while from the top we watched Wales passing by, Giant turtles attempting rock landing and a Wallaby eating lunch.

The point at the end of Byron Bay Lighthouse Walk
Panorama of the area
Wallaby Lunch

Part way along the track we found ourselves at the most easterly point of Australia.

Australia’s Most Easterly Point

While here a nice couple offered to take out photo. Was good cause they didn’t run away with our phone. We then returned the gesture and also gave them back their phone.


Back to the Lighthouse, this time walking uphill. Was a really hot day reaching 29 degrees.

Jeanette on the way up

And back to the lighthouse.

Byron Bay Lighthouse

Time to leave Byron Bay and find some lunch.  Decided to try the coast road.

View of Byron Bay from the Lighthouse

On the way Rodger received a business call on the Car Phone which distracted him somewhat leading us to a dead end turnaround after 10 minutes on the road.  Carolyn drew from her knowledge of the area and determined that Kingscliff was the place to be for lunch. So we passed through small settlements like Brunswick Heads to get to our lunch destination.

Brunswick Heads

In quick time we made it to Kingscliff which is a seaside town in New South Wales.


We chose a wee eatery called ‘Kettles On’.  What a great choice.  Sitting in an outdoor terrace with the sun shining, with amazing food and a nice cool beer to relax with, we had a fantastic time.

Kettles On

By now it was mid afternoon and we were expected for a BBQ dinner with Ryan, Ana, Spencer and Jackson.  Joining us there was Tarlei, Freddie and Malia.  Went to Pimpama (About an hour North) and had a fabulous last night in the Gold Coast.  Back to our lodgings for the night with no desire to return to New Zealand’s Freezing Cold Weather and Rain!.


Day 7: Work done – Time to wind down.

Today saw the work for our company completed, all reports produced and a meeting scheduled with the accountant.  This entailed a trip to Coolangatta for an early lunch.

Welcome to Coolangatta

Found a beach side eatery where we filled the tank.  The location was good, the food was average and the service was sloppy. A place called Bellakai on Marine Parade.  It is rated better on trip advisor than I rate it and it could just be a mid week aberation.  After lunch while the workers went to the meeting, her ladyship strolled the beach and enjoyed the sunshine.

The beach when school is in!
Jeanette in her Happy Place
Paddle in the Ocean

Then back to the Office to install updates to the Latest version of Basis Software ready for the New Financial Year Ahead.  Delicious Leg of Lamb in the slow cooker for dinner then an early night as adventures awaited on Wednesday.


Day 6: Work for Him / Play for Her!

Today was a day of contrasts. Alan spent the day hard at work with Rodger working on the end of year accounts for the Business while Jeanette and Carolyn played the part by abandoning the boys and going off on some adventures.

The Best Professional Audio Company in Australia!

The big adventure for the girls wa ‘Girl Time’ Talking and Eating.  No great discoveries; no photos; just a long and much anticipated chin wag.  They did however venture into JB Hifi and purchased a new device here in Aussieland that we introduced them to. Its called Chromecast. We promised it would revolutionise their Netflix experience moving it from their phones and iPad’s to the big screen.

This was installed and immediately put into action watching Kiwi Thunder Jason Young power down numerous rivers in his World Championship winning CX Class jetboat.

Dinner was our responsibility. Procured some cedar wood planks and proceeded to cook Smokey Salmon on the BBQ.  Smoke Everywhere and wondrous flavours resulted.  Perfect.

Master Chef McGrath in charge!

The resulting meal was fabulous and enjoyed by all.


So because the day was a little uneventful we thought we could add some photos of previous days. So here goes.

The ‘Ocean Platter from Black Angus’ for 2 people
Jeanette Relaxing in the Sunshine
Contemporary / Classical Music at Black Angus
Sun Tan – Where are You?
A Day out – Finally
Interesting Clocks
At the Mall
Tarlei – Malia – Fred and Freddie (Hedger Projects)

Day 5: On Holiday at Last!

Today was the first real day of holiday for me.  Started with a much deserved sleep in to 8:00am.  The Beautiful day beckoned so up we got and got ready for the day. Opened the door to a wet path from overnight rain.  But that is all we saw of the rain. The sun came out, Breakfast was completed and off we went for the day. Rodger at the helm looking for adventure. 

Traveled north to Hope Island where we strolled amongst the rich and famous. Saw a couple of beautiful cars.

Rolls Royce
Aston Martin DB9

The area is definitely for those with many dollars to spend but we found our restaurant ‘Black Angus‘ which was highly rated on Trip Advisor.

On the balcony at Black Angus

It was great to be out in the sun and enjoy a nice glass of wine.

Pear Tree Pinot Gris

Jeanette and I ordered a modest eye fillet steak each but Rodger and Carolyn decided to share the Seafood Platter.  Wow!

Our weeny Steaks and the ‘Ocean Platter’

The balcony overlooked the marina where the previously mentioned Wealthy parked their weekend boats.

View from our table

After lunch we went for a stroll and found a delicious Ice Cream Shop. Rodger am I enjoyed our ice cream immensely.


Then a stroll around the Marina. Found this little beauty but couldn’t quite make the deposit. only a Million or two short.

Who will lend us the Money?

Had to take a pose photo for posterity.

Me and My Dream Boat!

Fully Satisfied we moved on to another area of the Gold Coast. Marina Mirage.  Pulled in to the underground carpark under what looked like a mall and went up an escalator for coffee.

One Big Coffee Cup

Went outside this mall and found ‘Glasses‘ another Waterfront bar where we decided to enjoy the view and a beverage. Note the continual sunshine!

Glasses Waterfront Bar

A spectacular view and excellent restful surrounds.  I treated myself to a local Cerveza. Tim Love would also have enjoyed this one.

White Rabbit


Finally a visit to the best Fish Shop on the Gold Coast ‘ Peters‘ where we procured Salmon for tomorrow night’s dinner.







Day 4: Bring on the Weekend

So happy to be where the sun is shining. Had to break out the sun cream this morning before a walk in the neighborhood.  Found the ‘GutBuster’ hill. Really got our motor running.

Leading the way…
This hill just bust my gut
Catching me up..









Time for a spot of lunch before we embark on our afternoon excursion in the sun. Can’t wait.

So after lunch we embarked on a shopping trip.  Went to Harbour City mall. Essentially an entire mall of clearance stores. R M Williams became the first beneficiary of our Aussie dollars with size 36 (a miracle) jeans for Alan. Nothing else grabbed us so a wee drinks break was required. Then off to the BBQ store for smoker box, wood chips and cedar planks for treats on the BBQ. I got to drive the A250 Merc. What a treat but disconcerting when there is no gear stick or handbrake!

Wonderful day with Jeanette finished with BBQ porterhouse steak. Awesome.

Aussie Angus Porterhouse

Sadly I broke my wine glass – what a mess but thanks to the team who sorted it out.

Day 3: Glad we found great weather!

Friday 14th July 2017

Wow are we glad to be away from Balmy Palmy.  Have seen a video of the Rain Floods and even snow in Palmerston from Yesterday. So happy to be missing out on making snow angels. It is 7:30 in the morning here. Blue sky with an expected high today of 22.  No jumper or jacket required.

Jeanette is out killing it every day with badges and trophies awarded by her fitbit  but sadly I will be in the office working on our companies books here in Australia.



The area we are in is Bonogin – We could be bogans from Bonogin. Just to let you know where this is here is the map. We are in the Bottom left corner!

In the Gold Coast south of Robina

Takes about 20 minutes to get to the beach from here and is cooler than at the ocean but still way warmer than Palmy!

First order for the Day: Breakfast and coffee on the deck.

Jeanette went out for a wander and took a few pictures around the estate / Area.

Round the Corner
Over the Bridge
Taking a Break with Carolyn Jackson and Ana






The big adventure was Anthony and Jeanette competing for a work week steps challenge.  This pushed Jeanette to the limit doing over 25000 steps in the day and 76900ish for 5 days. But Anthony pipped her at the stroke of midnight by 121 steps!  Should have let his mother win. She is twice his age however it appears he inherited her competitive nature. Kudos to Anthony. Commiserations with Jeanette

Day 2: Sunshine.. Sunshine.. Warmth

Awoke this morning to a beautiful, still, warmish day (Compared to reports of Storms, Huge Waves, Closed Airports and Snow back home.  Started the day going with Rodger into Robina to drop the Van off for servicing. While there was tempted with the wonders of Mercedes Car Porn on the lot!  C Class AMG got my motor running for sure.

Beautiful Creature


Jeanette and Carolyn have gone shopping (in her A250 Merc!) while Rodger and I set about the end of year reporting for the Best Professional Audio Company in Aussie land Sound Choice Pro Audio.

Have broken the back on the accounting work, will continue this tomorrow.  Jeanette has spent time with Ana and her two beautiful children Spencer and Jackson and walked quite a few steps chasing them around the shops.

Spencer – Freddie – Rodger – Malia and Jackson

Jeanette and Carolyn then decided to go to the beach. This would be Jeanette’s happy place.  Hearing of the Rain and Snow around Palmerston North we thought some local pictures might cheer our friends up.

Rain and Snow in Palmy… Meantime …
Down the Boulevard
Only 23 Celcius.

Jeanette had a great time with Ana, Spencer (Spenny) who really must get nailed to the floor. If it is vertical he will climb it!, Jackson and Carolyn.  Thinking of all our friends who are freezing back home (and chuckling a little at the same time).

Dinner is upon us. Slow Cooked corned beef with veges. More Later

Day 1: Balmy Palmy via Auckland to Sunny Brisbane

Bags are Packed: All preparations are complete:  Air New Zealand NZ 8112 from Palmerston North on time, thankfully, as we only had a 90 Minute layover in  Auckland before continuing on NZ 136 to Brisbane which was delayed half an hour.  We book Seat and bag as there is no food available to suit Jeanette’s dietary needs  ie Citric Acid Free (Allergic) and Gluten and dairy Free (Intolerant).  Would be nice for us loyal Air New Zealand (Gold Elite) passengers to get complimentary Movies but that is not to be. You want them. You pay for them.

Air New Zealand Airbus 320

Flight was good.  Watched four episodes of the TV Show ‘Training Day’ on the plane and made sure we got our 250 steps each hour even though we were in the air. Brisbane Customs was easy and even our bags came out quite quickly.

And there to greet us were out wonderful friends Rodger and Carolyn.  We had already booked a the Little Truffle Restaurant in Mermaid Beach for Dinner and started the week away with a great night out.  The food was fantastic. My Quail & Mushroom Risotto followed by Braised Beef Cheeks with Gnocchi, finishing with a Wee Fig & Cheese plate was perfect. Jeanette had Poussin with Duck Fat Potatoes. The service was very slow with the whole meal taking almost three hours

Then to Bonogin where we will reside for the duration.  Settled in to our Guest Cottage and went to bed to adjust to the time differential.

Great to be where the sun shines and the overnight low is greater than Palmy’s daytime high.



Gold Coast 2017

Almost time for our annual pilgrimage to the Gold Coast of Australia. Each year in July we take off for Sunshine for a short break after our busiest time of the year, January to June.  Tickets are Booked. Airport collection from Brisbane is arranged. Accommodation with our friend Rodger & Carolyn is getting made ready.  Already Booked the Restaurant for our first evening after arrival at Little Truffle in Mermaid Beach.  Let the fun begin.

Little Truffle.PNG