Road Tripping – Sydney to Sunshine Coast ’18

*Use my discount link to get $40 OFF your next booking at booking.com: JILLS DISCOUNT

Recently Kai and I made the decision to leave Sydney in search of a quieter, more relaxed existence. Yes, I know there are many jokes here relating to getting old…but in reality we’re just searching for a little less traffic, a warmer climate and a few more smiles in the street. We decided on my old stomping ground, the beautiful Sunshine Coast in QLD. We packed our apartment into a shipping container and loaded my car with all my most important possessions (designer clothes & shoes) and headed off on a QLD adventure.  First stop, O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat in Lamington National Park.

O’Reilly’s Retreat is perfectly located, smack bang in the middle of the rainforest, surrounded by no less than 35 stunning short to medium hikes. We spent our days bird watching, trekking through the forests, meeting wildlife and basically in a state of awe at the beautiful surrounds.

Accommodation:  The room itself is very basic without a TV – but I loved this as it’s not a location where you will spend a lot of time in your room. Why would you? Tip – careful when eating on your balcony – several cheeky King Rosella’s (I learnt that in the morning bird watching) attempted to steal some of Kai’s sandwich!

I highly recommend the birds of prey show put on by the retreat and side note – the buffet breakfast is fantastic with lots of vego options.

Green Mountain: Endless, beautiful views
Through the rainforest to the Tree Top Walk
More trees than you can poke a stick at (obviously a Kai joke)
Not a bad view from the infinity pool either
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Birds of Prey Show: Capturing the Wedge Tailed Eagle blinking which makes it look even more sinister!
Birds of Prey Show: Masked owl
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Birds of Prey Show: Barn owl

Next on the adventure list is Brisbane City. We decided to stay at the Stamford Plaza Brisbane and we weren’t disappointed. The hotel is located on the river (near the beautiful gardens) and surrounded by restaurants, cafe’s and bars, but also easy walk to the city’s shopping precinct, Queen St Mall.

Accommodation: The rooms are spacious and comfortable, the staff friendly and helpful and the view is pretty damn impressive. The staff are extra helpful as Kai left a bunch of our stuff hanging in the cupboard after we checked out. It was back and waiting for us at reception by the time Kai went back in.

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Brisbane: Kai catching me talking to my phone
Stamford Plaza Brisbane: Just relaxing, waiting for the lift
Stamford Plaza Brisbane: Great rooms for photos.

Being a Brissie girl, born and bred, I have dined at most of the popular restaurants.  My husband however is new to the city. I decided to take him to one of my favourite restaurants (back when I was eating meat), Moo Moo.  Not only do they cater for a big meat-eater (hubby) but they also have an array of alternate meat options and vegetarian options and an excellent wine list – so that’s me covered as well! I highly recommend the Wild Rocket, Pear, Buffalo Ricotta + Fig Reduction and also the Roasted Beetroot, Raisins, Goats Cheese + Almonds. Kai (obviously) dug into a dry aged steak and couldn’t speak for the first few minutes of eating – indicating he was enjoying the experience immensely.

Moo Moo Brisbane: Kai convinced me to get a photo on the cow
Moo Moo: Kai just had to get a shot of his steak
Moo Moo: Such good food

On checking out of the hotel the following day, we decided to stop by Fortitude Valley for a little bit of an explore. I hadn’t visited the area in over 4 years and it’s long been a favourite lunch location. We discovered an AMAZING little place which I absolutely recommend you visit if you ever find yourself in Brisbane: The New Black.

Both of our coffee choices came with tasting notes and were full-bodied and delicious…also with cool names!  The Kanye tasting board and the Don Pablo tasting board….

The food is next level creative so I’ll just let you pull anything off the menu and not even give recommendations here. That is Kai’s ‘big breakfast’ at the top it is in quotes on the menu as it is not what you may expect but he loved it. He almost made me think he knew what he was talking about when he told me about the mushroom foam…but then I found out that was written on the menu.

The New Black: Photogenic and delicious

Finally, last but definitely not least was Noosa.  We chose Verano Resort in Noosaville. We were surrounded by restaurants and cafes but also located just a short walk from Noosa Main Beach.

Accommodation: Our room was gorgeous! A self-contained apartment with high ceilings, flow through breeze, large balcony with a palm tree top view over the pool.  Everything you need for a wonderful holiday.

Verano Resort: Just floating around in the pool
Verano Resort: the classic couple shot in our giant holiday apartment
Verano Resort: Loving this pool
Noosa Main Beach: Amazing sunrises

Make sure you see the sunrise on Noosa Main Beach or have a wine at one of the many beachfront restaurants to watch it set.  This is truly one of my favourite places in the world.

If you are a bit of a health nut like myself or not much of one, like my husband – drop into Vanilla Food for breakfast, brunch or lunch – or sip coffee and stay eating for all 3.  Their food is epically delicious and insanely fresh and tasty.

Pictured below is the vegan pizza and the charcoal waffles.

Vanilla Foods: More photogenic, epic food. Kai was pre-charcoal loading so he could drink…that was his rationale anyway
Vanilla Foods: a wonderful berry concoction

To cap off our beach getaway, we dropped by the Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort to try out their Cabana experience. Think private couches & pool chairs, chilled champagne and fruit platters all with personal food and drinks butlers (Demi and Leila) and stunning pool and location views. This is one of those suggested activities where you shouldn’t ask questions – just do it!

The Cabanas Noosa: Just keeping it relaxed in my cabana
Cabanas Noosa: Trying out the Moet Ice Rose. Verdict: Approved

All photos shot on location by @tizkai (Instagram handle).

Accommodation was booked on, and in collaboration with Booking.com

For $40 OFF your next stay booked through Booking.com use my link: JILLS DISCOUNT

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