We usually try to get away every year for Danielle’s birthday. Though with the world in a very different place this year I still wanted to surprise her so I booked a hotel for the weekend in Caloundra up on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland (about a 2 hour drive from where we live on the Gold Coast).
After dealing with pretty horrible traffic (I feel like half of Brisbane tries to get to the Subshine Coast on a Friday night) we made it to Caloundra and checked into our hotel – the Breakfree Grand Pacific.
The Breakfree Grand Pacific in Caloundra
The lady behind the desk was really nice and helpful. Once I had checked in we had to drive around the back of the hotel to park in the basement which was a bit of a maze. Thankfully we weren’t too far from the lift. They had little carts near the lift to pack your luggage into which made getting our items upstairs easy.
When we got upstairs the room was massive (more like a studio apartment, with a bedroom, bathroom and laundrette, lounge room and kitchenette as well as a patio complete with a spa bath. Although the room was older it looked to have had some renovations.
The Breakfree hotels are part of the Accor group which also owns brands like Mantra and Novotel. The Breakfrees are more of a budget option, which came in at less than 1/3 of a cost of nearby Mantra hotels.
There were a couple of issues with the room initially. The patio light didn’t work, the toilet cistern leaked a little and the towel rail came off the wall. This particular hotel didn’t have a 24 hour front desk but when I called the following morning they had someone swiftly fix up al these issues.
I had paid a little extra for the hotel to put some balloons, a card and some cupcakes in the room for when we arrived which went over really well.
We were pretty hungry so we headed out for dinner at Hello Harry’s – just a short walk from our hotel. Hello Harry’s is a chain restaurant that offers American style burgers. It was just what we needed to fill us up.
Back at the Breakfree
After dinner we returned to the hotel with plans to enjoy the pool. I did some laps but the pool and hot tub were too cold for Danielle. Thankfully our room had a spa bath on the patio. We made the most of this. It was so nice just sitting out on the patio watching the moonrise in the night sky from the comfort of the warm water – we may have dozed off in there just a bit.
The next morning I took Danielle for a short walk down the street. I had booked in a pamper session for her at A Perfect Blend where she got a facial and a massage.
Once Danielle was well and truly relaxed, it was time for lunch!
Lunch at Drift
We headed back down to the foreshore near where we had dinner the night before. We ended up at Drift which is right next door to Hello Harry’s. I ordered a chicken schnitzel and Danielle got a salad. Their beer battered hot chips were amazing.
After lunch it was time for some ice cream at Gelato Rumba. They had plenty of awesome flavours to choose from and the Gelato was so smooth and creamy!
After all this eating it was time for a swim and a nap back at the hotel before heading out on the town again.
Riding the Ferris Wheel
There was a Skyline Ferris Wheel set up on the foreshore. We went down to ride it in the late afternoon. After all, we hadn’t been on a Ferris Wheel since we were in Santa Monica in California. Now here we are on the other side of the Pacific, once again watching the sunset from a Ferris Wheel. We could see the odd shapes of the Glasshouse Mountains as silhouettes in the distance.
After watching the sunset over the inlet it was time to see what Caloundra had to offer after dark. We walked down the main street of Caloundra to find Whispers Cocktail Bar & Lounge. It was a Hollywood themed cocktail bar which had plenty of drinks to choose from. We were there before dinner but I could imagine this place could get pretty lively with some live music or a jazz band.
Dinner at Tides
After drinks it was time to take Danielle out for her birthday dinner. She loves seafood so we walked back to the foreshore, just upstairs from Drift where we found Tides.
We were right near the window so would have had a great view if it wasn’t dark. The food was amazing, I got a steak dish which was delicious while Danielle tried her very first Oyster (Kirkpatrick) and Moreton Bay Bug. We left Tides completely satisfied and ready for another evening Spa then off to bed.
We got up reasonably early and went for a walk in search of coffee. There wasn’t any shortage of coffee shops close by but we wanted to explore Caloundra a little more so we followed the footpath along the foreshore until we found Coffee Cat in Kings Beach. We sipped our coffee as we walked along enjoying the view of the ocean. We weren’t the only ones, there were a lot of people out enjoying the foreshore.
Checkout was at 10am so we had to head back to our hotel room and pack up everything, though they did offer a keycard for us to use through out the day in case we wanted to come back.
Exploring the Caloundra Street Fair
After we checked out we headed down the main street to check out the Caloundra Street Fair. There were so many different stalls available with plenty to choose from. The street was packed with people shopping for a bargain. We didn’t buy anything but we enjoyed just looking around. It was very tempting to try some of the street food on offer.
The Art Gallery
On the way back to the car we came across the Caloundra Regional Gallery. It is set on the edge of beautiful shady gardens. The gallery had a special exhibition on to celebrate their 20th year. It was great to see some interesting local art from over the past two decades, especially since entry was free.
Brunch at Kings
We had worked up an appetite so we drove back to Kings Beach where we had bought our coffee earlier that morning. We visited the restaurant next to the coffee shop and ordered some Brunch from Kings Beach Bar. I had a delicious breakfast wrap.
Enjoying the beach
After breakfast we found a perfect spot for a swim down the other end of the beach. The wind was a little strong but the waves were great and it was a beautiful day to enjoy the water. We were definitely happy we had made the most of the morning.
Visiting the Glasshouse Mountains
In the afternoon on the way home we stopped in to the Glasshouse Mountains for some quick photos. We had seen these mountains from the Ferris Wheel in Caloundra the day before. Captain Cook originally saw these mountains when sailing past in the 18th Century and thought they looked like glasshouses. The name stuck and remains to this day.
We had a great weekend in Caloundra. I can’t wait to go back!