'There's nothing like jumping for the sheer joy of living with the sun, sea and sand around you at Surfers Paradise.'
Holidaying on the Gold Coast with her extended family was “like a dream come true” for Lilly, a busy Malaysian college lecturer.
“It had all the ingredients of my perfect holiday - sun, sea, sand and surf, plus my loving family with me…I also had great difficulty getting leave for five days and am unlikely to get permission to take five days’ leave during semester time again, so that holiday was doubly precious.” Lilly said.
Lilly and seven other family members stayed in Surfers Paradise, in an apartment “a stone’s throw from the sea”. From here they discovered many of the Gold Coast’s myriad of attractions; including the theme parks that Lilly’s ten-year-old nephew was eager to see. Lilly took two rides on the Superman roller coaster at Movie World, an experience she describes as “adrenalin-pumping for someone my age”!
Also on the itinerary was a day trip to Brisbane, where the family met up with a couple of Australian friends and took in views over the city from the top of Mount Coot-tha. Another day was set aside for Mount Tamborine in the Gold Coast hinterland, where the family soaked up the panoramas from two lookout points and did the breathtaking skywalk through the rainforest canopy. They also browsed the shops in North Tamborine and visited a vineyard with a man-made glow worm cave.
“I was so awed by the glow-worms...they were like pinpoints of stars and it made me realize how wonderful nature is,” Lilly said.
The family returned early from Mount Tamborine to spend more time on the beach, where Lilly captured this photo of her family members jumping together in unison. It was a shot she said “symbolizes the fun and joy we had as a family.”
While on the Gold Coast, the family also visited Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, where they watched the “incredible” eel-feeding, met a Tasmanian devil and stroked the soft fur of a koala. They spotted dolphins and three sleepy whales on a whale-watching tour and spent a fun afternoon wandering the Carrara weekend markets. The family indulged in lots of fresh seafood, including “the best salt & pepper squid in a restaurant in Brisbane’s Chinatown.” Lilly who “loves the variety of flowers in Australia” also discovered her namesake plant - the Lilly Pilly – on this holiday.
“This holiday has left a great impact on me…the togetherness of an extended family and the joy that comes when every single member is in sync with one another, despite the little differences,” Lilly said
Back in Malaysia, Lilly is now busy researching and “visiting places virtually” for her next Australian holiday. Uluru, Melbourne and the Great Ocean Road and Tasmania are all on the short-list, but Lilly is most eager to see Sydney.
“I love collecting Australian stamps and I would love to see the Sydney Opera House in real life rather than seeing it on a stamp,” Lilly said.