Ramada Resort Golden Beach was the next step on my great Australian adventure. It was a good distance from Sydney, so I booked a flight instead of renting a car and driving for over 10 hours in an unknown country. I considered going by train, but that was over 22 hours given the stops and while it would be an experience, I just did not want to travel for over a day at this time. The flight itself was under 2 hours.
The flight in the country was cheap. I think the round trip would have been $80 and my one-way was just $50 or so. I was bringing a carry-on and a large bag since this vacation was longer than most with several stops at resorts.
Video by Little Grey Box
Day One Arrival
After my short flight, I landed at the Sunshine Coast Airport. The airport itself was close to the resort, and that made the transfer from the airport to the resort cheap and fast. It was only about a 25-minute drive. I stopped at the resort even though check-in was not for hours. Just to drop off my bags if they had somewhere I could put them.
The staff shared empathy with this traveler and found a location for my bags in a room behind the front desk. It never hurts to ask nicely.
I went for an early lunch at a local waterfront restaurant called Tides Waterfront. Since I was a table of one, it was easy for them to make a little room for the big American. The meal started with freshly baked sourdough bread and this smoked butter that we were both out of this world. I could have made a meal just out of that and been happy.
This was a pricey location. Very nice and the food was amazing, but most travelers just walked in off the street (if that is even possible since I got the feeling walking in without a reservation like I did was rare). Sometimes people judge you in life. First appearances and all that. I do not wear a great deal of jewelry, but I typically have two things on me. On my right arm is an old-school gold bracelet of sorts and on the left arm a nice watch. In this case, it was my Rolex. I wear it often when I travel not to be showy but just to enjoy it and to know what time it is.
I think that some staff that functions as the gatekeepers to places for access are some of the best judges of status in the world. Too many, I just look like a dressed-down casual guy. I big smiling teddy bear of a guy maybe. But to these folks, they look at my shoes, watch, or whatever and instantly determine my qualifications for access. If you want to be treated differently in this world, dress, and carry yourself in a manner that reflects how you want to be treated. I carry myself in a confident but friendly way (for the most part). I never try to force authority on others or situations, but I do try to ask for things that I want. Just like a better table, or even access to a restaurant that I likely should have had reservations for.
You would be amazed how often the doors open with a smile and that confident approach. Just remember that confidence and arrogance while cousins are not twins. There is a big difference in application from a confident attitude to an arrogant one. Confidence says to the world I belong here. Arrogance tries in a loud voice and manner to prove it. The latter will fail every time.
I learned this as a young man in my early 20s when I used to want to get into local night spots. I was able to get into any club in town even at 20 when I should not have been able to even get in the door being a year underage, all because of how I carried myself, and who I was with at the moment.
- Cable TV
- Coffee Maker
- Ice Maker
- In-Room Safe
Then the resort itself offers all of these options.
- Activities Center/Desk
- 24-Hour Reception Desk
- 24-Hour Room Service
- Business Center/Fax
- Pool – Outdoor
- Fitness Room
- Concierge Services
- Hot Tub
- Tennis Courts – Outdoor
- Internet Access
- Kid’s Activities
- Laundry Services
- On-Site Security
On this trip, it was just me solo, but now I had 30 years of practice and experience over my 20-year-old self. Ever heard the term “he walked in like he owned the place?” Well, it is like that but without arrogance.
One challenge is when you sit down somewhere you have gained access to, you can not give yourself away. If I had let my eyes show what I thought about the menu prices here, I would not have lasted long. One thing that helped on my trip was the current exchange rate for the US dollar. it was strong against the Australian Dollar. For every $100 dollar bill I spent, I would get roughly $137 in Australian Dollars of value. So, while not Earthmoving, that did help a little with a $50 menu item for my main dish at lunchtime.
It was nice to pretend to be a high roller at a 37% discount. Years ago, when the American dollar was much stronger, international travel must have been amazing. In the 1970s, when the dollar became the world’s reserve currency replacing gold, it must have been amazing to travel overseas. Right, not the power of the dollar is good, but back in the not-too-distant past, it may have been a 50-cent-on-the-dollar discount on things when you traveled. Still, I will not complain about my 37% discount when I can get it. That is awesome.
Not only does your dollar go farther as you spend, but you also are making a positive impact with your money on the local economy, so that is a nice side benefit for the places you visit, stay and enjoy.
I may have to check for any TZort resorts in India as I think about the exchange rates since the dollar to rupee is at a 54 percent advantage now. So instead of the 37% advantage, I am experiencing in Australia, it is over 50% right now like it was in the 1970s. I wonder if I should not change my flight for a stop in India on my way back. Something to consider anyway.
Lunch was amazing, and now I wanted to see one of the beaches. Right in front of the restaurant was a beach called Bullock Beach. It offers a nice sandy portion of the beach, along with a boardwalk, then a nearby rocky shore as well. Pretty much everything one could want for a beachfront trip all in one spot.
Since this is a smaller beach in a town area, you do not get the South beach Miami vibe here. But it is a neat spot that reminded me of beaches in the North East of the USA at home.
After about an hour at the beach, I walked in on the boardwalk, then visited some local shops. I thought I might see what I could find for gifts to send home to family and friends at that 37% exchange rate discount.
A few hours of walking and shopping later, nothing really jumped out at me, and it was time to check in to the resort.
The resort itself is very impressive. It has a modern yet casual feeling about it that I really like. It almost a Caribbean feel or look to it. With its seaside perch next to the ocean, you also have large sliding doors to allow the outside sea air into the space in your room. That open airflow and large open balconies reminded me of Jamaica, but instead of being at ground level, you were in a resort building a small tower full of rooms like these all with an amazing view.
I could open the balcony sliding doors to my bedroom and the doors on the other side of the living room and have direct airflow through from one side to the other. It was wonderful.
The resort sits on the edge of a body of water known as Pumicestone Passage, the entire area has amazing views and cool breezes that make your room here a spot that I found perfect for an afternoon nap. I just hope I did not snore with the balcony doors open on each side of my room.
Day Two Location-Location
Sometimes when you travel, it is all about the location. This amazing resort was like waking up in paradise with the salt air blowing through both sides of the room. Everywhere I have lived, this would not work, but if it would, I certainly would design my home just like this. That fresh air is amazing.
Here, Golden Beach lives up to its name and then some. No wonder the fame of the Golden Beach area. This beach is wide at low tide and amazing. The sand here is that powerful golden color and the water here is powerful.
One thing that the Gold Coast is known for is surfing. But not a Golden Beach just little ways up at one of these spots. The breaks are something that real surfers enjoy.
Palm Beach, 21st Avenue
Ranked as a top spot by many, this beach offers long wave rides, sandy bottoms, and soft shores. (As you read that, just imagine I am saying that to you in my best surfer voice, it will be more fun to read).
Burleigh Heads, 5th Ave
This surf spot is all about the amenities with showers, bathrooms, and many food options. The waves here hit fast and offer beach breaks that surfers love.
Known just as the Alley to locals, this beach is a public access beach that offers next-level waves for more skilled surfers. Given its location, surfers will go here on days that the other beaches are flat and still find ready surf.
Me these days I just like to watch surfers do their thing and chill on the beach. So, I went to Burleigh Heads so I at least would have access to amenities and food. But I did get a ride down to the Alley to check things out as well.
For dinner tonight I wanted something, so I headed to Thai Golden Beach. They had a pleasant staff, a good menu, and a nice location.
Day Three Exploration
The Sunshine Coast area is just above Brisbane. I have a former client in Brisbane that owns several escape rooms. I called and went to visit and received the royal treatment.
Their business is Arcadium Adventures, and it is a bar and escape room that has an amazing staff, and great quest escape types of experiences. If you go to Brisbane, check them out. Brisbane is about 1.5 hours from the Suncoast Area but when you are visiting the country for the first time, it is a neat city to see.
After my visit to my friend’s business, and a few of their amazing drinks. We headed into town for him to show me around his city.
Before you go to Australia, you can get a free copy of a major travel magazine here. This is a magazine available free for USA residents only.
My friend knows I paint, so to impress me with some local art, we went to the Queensland Art Gallery the gallery is open 10 AM-5 PM daily with special events and some nighttime exhibits.
Wheel of Brisbane
Next, we rode the large Ferris wheel. it reminded me much of the large one in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, back home. The gondolas even looked similar. If you have not been on one of these modern Ferris wheels, it is worth the ticket price and then some for the fun ride.
The Food in Brisbane is worth the trip alone. There are so many amazing waterfront restaurants and special spots that you will fall in love with Brisbane if you are a foodie. In this town you name it and you can find it here.
Off the shore of Brisbane is this amazing all-sand island called Moreton Island. It is the 3rd largest sand island in the world. It offers amazing adventures in the water and some great scuba diving and snorkeling.
After playing on the water we stopped for dinner on the island at Gutter Bar which is more about the seafood fresh off the local boats than it is about the beer and booze.
We watched the sun go down here in this amazing spot, then made our way back to land and I got a car back to the resort. I would have liked to stay in Brisbane for several days, but I soon had to head back not only to the resort but almost a full week in back to the United States. I think if I ever get this way again, I will plan to stay a month or more.