Two weeks too short… I flew home for Christmas and spent two weeks with family, soaking in the good company and enjoying the traditions I’ve had for years now. It was a very busy holiday, even by my standards, because there was so much to do for Christmas/ New Year’s Eve and seeing family and friends for the first time in six months. But I managed to visit a lot of my old favourite places, and while many of these places hold sentimental value for me, they’re still pretty awesome places to visit if you are in the area.

If you’re like me, you want to make the most of your holiday! None of this ‘lazing by the pool’ business… Let me break my holidays down for you.

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Burleigh Heads

I’ve spent many holidays at Burleigh as it never used to be as busy and hectic as the more central parts of the Gold Coast. But those are days of the past. Burleigh has a relaxed-hipster-surfer vibe these days, with lots of boutique shops, cafes and of course the beach! The beachside bustles with energy and Burleigh Hill is always packed with people picnicking and watching the sunset. But it’s holiday-busy… everyone is there to have a good time. It’s always nice to have a swim, find a place for lunch, then wander down the arcade for a browse. Or, if you want a little more exercise, do the Burleigh Headland walk!

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Currumbin

I spend a week at Christmas with my partner’s family at Currumbin each year, with this year marking the fifth time I’ve stayed with them. Again, this location is chosen as it is less busy than the central Gold Coast areas, but it is also becoming more busy, with it becoming harder and harder to find a park! Fortunately there is enough beach for all, and then some! Currumbin Creek opens to the sea here and it is considered a good place to learn to surf, to swim with littles away from big waves, and to go snorkling. We saw many fish, a sea cucumber, little crabs and even a sting ray!

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Tugan

If you ever fancy a break from the beach (though why you would want that, I don’t know), then take a walk along the beach down to Tugan. There’s a few little shops crammed in there, a bakery and IGA, restaurants for dinner… I cannot recommend the Indian restaurant enough! Although that brings back so many food-coma memories. You’ll need the walk back to the hotel after that meal!

But dinner aside, I love going into Tugan for the op shop and the acai. I might do a post on what I bought at that Vinnies, though if you go to my instagram (@angie_.v) you’ll see most of my good finds under the ‘eco friendly’ highlights. I found they had a lot of very nice, quality items there for reasonable prices, obviously not super cheap given it’s location but months later, I’m still very pleased with my purchases.

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And in the morning before it gets too hot, it’s nice to take a walk down to get acai and eat it on the way back. I’ve missed good dragonfruit acai, and that was one of my culinary checklists for this holiday (this list included avocado, seafood pasta and basically everything at Christmas lunch!).

And of course, see if you can find the angel wings. They’ve added a smaller pair now!

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Brisbane

We also stayed with my family for a week in Brisbane! I forced the family dog to endure lots of cuddles and kisses, but since you can’t do that to her, I’ll also mention that we visited GOMA.

GOMA is a place of fond memories for me. I visited here with school, spent my sixteenth birthday with my friends being silly, came back when it became a convenient meeting place to meet my partner for our dates in the city, caught up with old friends…

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The current exhibit is the 9th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, and it is a bit interesting. It’s promoting art from Australasia/IndoPacific regions, and this time seems to be focusing a lot on current and previous problems caused by settlement/colonisation (some would say invasion) and exploring identities and traditional techniques. I would recommend going but I just wanted to give a heads-up to anyone expecting the sticker room or the ribbon wishes (gosh, remember those? I have one slowly falling apart on my suitcase. It reads ‘I wish my drawings would come to life’). GOMA is a little more serious this time.

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In particular, one artwork stood out and we stayed and watched the entire video. It’s illustrated but the people on it have acted in front of a green screen and placed over this painted background; it’s very clever. It’s about the colonisation of an island and how the traditional people greeted the settlers, and it slowly changes into scenes of subjugation and PG violence. It’s such a gradual reel of everyday life changes that it’s rather captivating.

And last but not least…

Noosa

Good old Noosa. I’ve had a yearly trip to Noosa the past few years to help with a scout camp, but I missed that this time. Packed to the brim with tourists, it’s home to some seriously delicious ice cream and acai. You can also visit Eumundi Markets while there but we didn’t do that this time. My family, partner and I did the headland walk! There are lots of little unpatrolled beaches along the headland that are so tempting in the sun. The views are incredible. I will also say that you should slip, slop, slap to keep safe from the sun, and even that isn’t enough sometimes.

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Heatstroke: 3
Ange: 1
that I’m aware of. This was not that time 🙁

There’s also the Noosa Fairy Pools, however be warned that there are usually many many people there. Once something is Insta-famous, the crowds just grow and grow.

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So there you have it, friends. My top things to do in Brisbane, with all their quirks. Having lived there so long, my list is obviously very personal, but they are places I do recommend if you have only a short amount of time in the area!

*~ Are there any places I should visit that hold special meaning to you? ~*