A holiday down the road…

How my ideas of travel have changed. Time was, when I was younger and full of gypsy yearnings, I would never consider taking off into the unknown unless it was for an unlimited time. Taking a train across Mongolia, riding a camel across the Thar Desert in India, backpacking around South East Asia and more recently road tripping around Australia in Matilda, the camper van, with no time frame and only a very loose itinerary.

Now-a-days I consider a 2 week, fully organised, art and camping vacation to the Red Centre (see here), and, more recently, a fly-in fly-out adventure to do a mini road trip to Broken Hill (see here) to be a very satisfying experience and a welcome diversion to every day routine.

I’m becoming a “home body”. My outlook has changed. It is no longer travel but holiday time that I enjoy.

So when a friend went camping and offered us the use of her apartment in “Crowne Plaza”, a Surfers Paradise holiday apartment, for 4 days, I happily said “yes please”. It was only a 15 minute drive away from home. I could pop home to care for the garden and check the plants were ok.

So last week we “travelled” to our holiday apartment in the “Crowne Plaza”, 10 kilometres from home…

It is a 22 story hi-rise and we are on the 15th floor. Just have a look at this video I found on you tube.

Now that is just fantastic and we are here for 4 days. If you have a few spare million you could buy it, the whole complex is on the market for sale…

Walking out onto the small balcony this is the view. crowne plaza (1 of 35)_3888x5184This is the Jewel Apartment, a 3 tower, absolute beach front apartment. Due to open next year. It “slightly” blocked the ocean view but I found it a fascinating subject for photos and sketching. It is facing east and in this photo it is getting the soft apricot reflections as the sun goes down in the west. crowne plaza (2 of 35)_3799x5065As night falls the lights sparkle. A magic fairy land.crowne plaza (10 of 35)_3888x5184Next morning the sky is a soft candy floss pink, tinged with lavender. Another building blocks the actual sun from view, but it is still a pretty sight. Looking south the hi-rise buildings spread along the coast.

Time to explore. Outside the apartment the corridor takes us to the lift and we can look out to the west and the Hinterland and across the lakes and canals of the Gold Coast.

On the ground floor I wander around taking photos. The Chef spots me and with a big grin welcomes me with a “wai” (an eastern greeting by joining of hands). It was a lovely sunny morning but no one was using the pools.

crowne plaza (19 of 35)_5184x3888Jack goes to the gym for a work-out and I go for a walk around the block before breakfast. The architecture and buildings in this area are so varied. This an older style of holiday complex, but I must admit I like this style better than the newer hi-rise blocks, it seems more homely and welcoming. I guess I am an old style person…

Neat gardens line the street in front of the older apartments and people pass me by being taken for walks by their dogs.

I round the corner and next to the Jewel Apartments are these little old houses. Maybe dating back to the 1950’s or 60’s. What a different lifestyle it would’ve been then.crowne plaza (29 of 35)_4756x3720crowne plaza (28 of 35)_4740x3555I think someone still lives in this one. They are sitting on a gold mine, I guess they are worth in the $million+ category, but maybe it is the lifestyle that is more important than the money. I spot they still have some lovely old fashioned frangipani and hibiscus in the garden.

As I approach the beach I walk past the bottom of the Jewel Apartments. It certainly is absolute beachfront.crowne plaza (32 of 35)_3511x4681crowne plaza (33 of 35)_4501x3376If you would like to own one of these apartments, a one bedroom apartment will cost $799,000 follow this link it will give you all the details. They don’t have any gardens though…

So the time passed in a leisurely fashion, going out for lunch each day. No internet, so time to read, sketch and enjoy a few days of relaxation. We could’ve been miles away from home. It was still a holiday as it was “different”.

On our last night we sat on the small balcony and watched the fireworks being let off along the beach. It was Christmas Carol night. I couldn’t hear the singing but I was happy to just see the explosion of light and imagine the crowds that would be down there celebrating the season of Christmas and good will to all. I felt mellow…



  1. These are those tall buildings that can be seen off in the distance from the beach near your home. How cool to see them close up. Is Spanish a common language there too? ‘Bella Rosa’ looks like something in California.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, what an opportunity! And what fantastic views. I love your thoughts about how vacation plans change over the years. I cannot but agree – it is the same with me. Love your shots and the skies, and love the juxtaposition of old and new. 4 days would have been just enough and invigorating!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. There’s a lot to be said for holidays close to home, Pauline. Your rambles round the ‘under storey’ of the high rise forest were especially fascinating. While I can see the photographic qualities of the holiday towers, like you, I prefer something that seems more personal and gracious. Wonder what it’s like living with these monsters in the back yard.

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  4. You’re right Pauline, it would definitely feel like a holiday to experience such a difference! I hate seeing the big high rises go up, but on the other hand it gives many more people an opportunity to experience beach-front living. I’m sure many of the units are being rented to vacationers too. It sure is beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow, Pauline! What an impressive place. I love the way you’ve photographed the Jewel Towers at all times of day and captured that light and the reflections. What a way to spend 4 days! Did you ever make it into one of those enticing pools? And I love all those canals on the Gold Coast, and that super video! It looks like a place for the rich and famous. I’d love to see some of your sketches. By the way, I made a visit to one of your older posts the other day and tried to comment, but the comments were closed. I loved your sketch on that post. I’m inspired!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Jewel is interesting to photograph and sketch, but personally I think it is rather an eyesore it is too dominant. But that is how the Gold Coast is going now. Looking to attract the rich and famous. No family friendly places being built these days. No didn’t go in the pool, even though I took my “cossies” . Thanks for visiting an old post, I didn’t know that the comments closed…


      • I’m not really one for glitzy places since I’m neither rich nor famous, but it does look quite impressive anyway. Too bad you didn’t get to enjoy the pool. Yes, I wish I could have commented on a couple of your older posts because as you know, I’m very curious about sketching and drawing, and I enjoy seeing yours! I think if you don’t want the comments closed, you have to change one of your settings. 🙂 Happy holidays to you and Jack, Pauline!

        Liked by 1 person

        • An interesting stay, but I would not pay $100+/night to stay there. I’ll check about comments in the settings when I have time to troll through them. Or go to the “happiness engineers” for help.

          Liked by 1 person

  6. What a fabulous holiday. I’m coming more and more to the view that just getting away for a few days is enough to shift my perspective and feel like a break. I have been known to book a hotel in central Auckland for a couple of nights and play tourist in my own city!!

    I love your images of the high-rises, but would absolutely hate to live near them.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I don’t really care for high rise buildings except where I feel they belong – in the middle of cities- but your photos of the sun reflected on the windows of the Jewel building add a new and very attractive dimension, Pauline. I love the idea of a close-to-home holiday. I guess that’s what we’re doing when we go down to Sydney about every six weeks.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m not sure what to say, Pauline. You’ve taken some wonderful photos but I really don’t like the concept of these great full stops on the edge of the beach. A place that should be natural. But if it’s what people want…? I’m glad you enjoyed the break and a bit of de luxe living. 🙂 🙂 Much love to you, hon! Have a carefree Christmas.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is partly owned by Chinese and developers have the idea that the higher they go the more tourists they can squeeze money out of them. Add the glitz and glamour and the flashy marketing and call it 5 star and up goes the room price. It was an interesting few days stay and I thank my friend for the opportunity but I would not pay $100+/ night, rather stay Airbnb with a local person. Given an option I think many people would rather stay in an old style “Bach” on the beachfront, but they are getting few and far between over here.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I loathe high rise buildings on the beachfront. They spoil the view for everyone behind them and they must cast a dreadful shadow over many other buildings. As you said the folk in the little houses must be sitting on a gold mine, perhaps they are holding out for when there is no more beach front locations.

    As for a holiday close to home, I’m very much of the same thinking nowadays. The thoughts of flying anywhere really turns me off, but I do want to visit Oz and NZ at least one more time so I shall have to put up with it. I quite like the idea of a few days away in a different part of Cornwall so I have time to explore rather than only seeing a little bit on a day trip. Glad you enjoyed the time away and I wish you a lovely holiday season with friends and family or however you choose to spend it. We will be on our own and very happy to be so!


    • I would never pay to stay in one of these places Jude, but to experience it for free for a short break I put down to “been there, done that” Like the one and only cruise we did, part of life’s journey to try new experiences. The Jewel is part owned by Chinese and has been plagued with problems. It does stick up like a sore thumb. But there will be more, the mantra of developers is higher can house more tourists. I hope you do get down here Jude we will always have a bed to share with you. We will be with youngest son and wife plus rest of family and a few extras at his new house. About 16 of us. It will be bring a plate and lots of salads. I kind of envy your quiet, peaceful sounding day. Best wishes for 2019

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