Patricia Newell-Dunkley Photographs Reginald J.Dunkley

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downloadGreetings from down-under where we are still having summer weather and high temperatures. With all travel cancelled, now is a good time to plan your next holiday and be ready for when the world is back to normal.  Put them on your bucket list.

A great favourite is The Gold Coast, Queensland, which is the name given to a fifty-seven-kilometre-long stretch of coast in the south east corner of the state capital Brisbane, and immediately north of the border with New South Wales.

Affectionately known as ‘Goldie’ and famous for its laid-back beach lifestyle, is a surf haven, with breaks for everyone from Pro Champions to absolute beginners, surf schools abound, as well as both family-friendly and pet- friendly beaches.

The ‘Goldies’ dining scene is all about barefoot sophistication. You can eat at an outdoor restaurant with water views, take breakfast at a breezy café, or dine at the best fine-dining al fresco. Alternatively, you can have a beer odyssey through breweries, pubs and rooftop bars.

For a total change from the beaches, you can discover the lush Gold Coast Hinterland, Springbrook National Park and the stunning Purling Brook Falls.

downloadLamington National Park and the spectacular Moran water falls, or simply hike through sub-tropical rainforest and walk beside meandering creeks. Set up your tent and camp under the stars.

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is a Heritage-listed Zoological Garden, it is world famous for its feeding of free-flying wild rainbow lorikeets, which come to the Sanctuary to feast off the special mixture the lorikeets eat.

Take a one-hour sightseeing cruise from Surfers Paradise, and see the Gold Coast in all its glory from a different perspective, with dolphins accompanying you alongside. You can enjoy morning or afternoon tea and nibbles, or a glass of bubbly with the sun on your face and a beautiful sea breeze.

If the relaxing nature of a traditional cruise is not for you, try a state-of-the-art Jet Boat ride down the gold coast. You still get the views of the same landmarks-Sea World, The Versace Hotel, Surfers Paradise, Southport Yacht Club, and Wave Break Island, with high speeds and daredevil tricks in between. Lifejackets are provided for the utmost safety, and prepared to get wet.

Wave Break Island is a fantastic site for snorkelling. This is an ideal location for both the beginner, and the advanced, with over fifty different species of fish. You even get the chance to hand feed them. Many of the fish school in hundreds making a spectacular sight, and provides a perfect opportunity for underwater photography.

Stradbroke Island is another must see and is known as ‘Straddie’. This sub-tropical island is the world’s second largest sand island. It is the perfect spot for a holiday, a short break, or a day trip, with great fishing, dolphin encounters, amazing bushwalks, fresh-water lakes, National Parks, beautiful gorges, fabulous beaches, and up-close wild-life experiences, and to top it all stunning sunsets. The Island has a timeless beauty and a natural environment.

The traditional custodians of this land, are the Quandamooka People, who ask you to take nothing but photographs, leave nothing but footprints, and kill nothing but time.

There is so much to do in Queensland the best idea is to move there.

Here at Shelly Beach all is fine with the birds flying in as usual for their hearty breakfast, Princess Pixie the Pomeranian is still on the prowl in the garden.

I think the best thing for everyone to do during these difficult times, is to have a feast of chocolate, forget the waistline and have a chocolate binge. This delicious sweetmeat is both comforting to eat and drink, and for those that have no health problems it is sheer bliss.

My books “Letters of a Travelling Lady, Wallis the Woman I Love. The Complete Guide to Painting and Decorating Porcelain” are available on Amazon or Xlibris.

Stay safe. Cheers Patricia.