Below is a story about a recent trip to Gold Coast, Australia written by one of my student’s at my English school, Smith’s school of English Ohtsu. Two of my student’s traveled to Australia together, where they met up with former Smith’s School of English owner and teacher, Craig Drayton!
My students’ names are Masako and Kimiko. This story was written by Masako after they returned from Australia. Masako is a designer and a very keen English speaker, as English helps her with her extensive traveling. She has been studying with us at Smith’s school of English Ohtsu for about 8 years now, and as such is incredibly proficient. She even does crossword puzzles! I want to thank Masako for allowing me to publish her story, and I hope you enjoy it. Note: We helped her by circling all the mistakes, but she did all the corrections herself.
If you are interested in reading about Kimiko’s Adventures in Germany, click HERE.
Diary in the Gold Coast by Masako
Sat. 14th Nov
My husband drove me to Ishiyama station. I met Kimiko there and then our travel to Australia started. We requested aisle seats hoping for an empty seat beside us. I brought a Spenser novel and a crossword puzzle book for killing-time during the nine hour flight, but when the airplane took off I fell asleep immediately.
I woke up one hour before landing at Coolangatta airport. What a short flight! Craig was waiting for us there with a big smile. We hugged each other and then I passed Edo’s kiss to him on his cheek. Craig drove us to his house 10 mins from the airport. The location of his house was nice! We could see great landscape from the balcony. While we were having morning tea, tropical parrots came and ate from the feeding plate. He took us to the hotel and gave us information about money exchange and a local tour agent. After he went back to his house, Kimiko and I had pancakes and salad for brunch and made plans for our tour. We went up in the lift to the 77th floor observation deck in Q1 tower, across the street from our hotel, to see the 360-degree view of the Gold Coast. Breathtaking scenery! At first we booked three one-day tours because the tour agent offered one free tour if we booked two tours but we had to cancel one and then a handsome smart concierge helped us to negotiate with the agent. Good job! We had dinner at an Italian restaurant which offered a 25% discount. Provident housewives! We saw some buskers on the street. Their performances were amusing.
The room phone rang with a wake up call at 6:30. We went to “Spring Brook, Natural Arch & Tropical Fruit World”. There were less than 20 people in our group including two honeymooning couples. The Korean couple was very quiet and shy on the other hand the Bahraini couple was passionate and romantic. We were interested watchers. We enjoyed several kinds of tropical fruit tasting at Tropical Fruit World. All of them were yummy and it was my first taste of some. We traveled through extensive sugar cane farms and visited five waterfalls on guided walks. When the tour bus arrived at our hotel, I asked the guide driver if we could take a picture with him, he accepted and held me! Craig picked us up at 18:30 and took us to an Aussie food restaurant for dinner. There was an unbelievably big portion on the plate! He completed as a matter of course, in contrast I left more than half of mine. He is a big eater but I have a small stomach. We went to his balcony again and enjoyed the night view with beer and wine. He drove us back to the hotel. Good night!
We slept in. We each had a cozy double-sized bed. We relaxed in the hotel’s pool and Jacuzzi. We swam and walked for exercise. After we took showers, we went out for brunch at a Chinese restaurant. Craig picked us up and took us to David Fleay Wildlife Park. Threatened species are cared for there and some birds and lizards moved freely around visitors. Of course, poisonous and dangerous animals were separated from visitors. Lightning and sudden showers started when Craig picked us up again there at 17:00. He booked a table at a nice beach-side bar for us. We ordered beer and wine and dinner. The restaurant’s staff permitted Kimiko and I to order dishes for nippers and gave us ‘busy nippers bags’ including lollipops, coloring sheets, crayons, stickers and an ice cream coupon. The thunderstorm was getting worse when we suddenly heard a crashing sound outside on the balcony. A family was having dinner under a parasol and a big flag pole broke off and smashed through the parasol. The broken pole passed just beside a little boy but he neither noticed nor got injured. Thank God! Lucky boy!
We were late risers. We ordered breakfast at a local restaurant and again got large portions. Coffee was nice. We took a shuttle bus to Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. There were many kinds of Australian animals: koalas, kangaroos, Tasmanian devils, crocodiles, snakes, parrots, wombats, etc. When we entered, a kangaroo kissed me on my cheek. Cute! We could touch some of those animals. That place was really worth visiting. After we took a shower at the hotel, we went to an evening event called ‘Australian Outback Spectacular’. Skillful horseback riders performed and we had a three course dinner with free drinks. We got back to the hotel around 22:30.
The wake-up call awoke us. Time flies. Today was the last day. Today’s tour was Tambourine Mountain Rain forest Safari. The first stop was an Alpaca farm. A pretty friendly alpaca named ‘Roy’ came up and we took pictures with him. We had morning tea at an outside cafe with extensive prospect of forest, hill and grassland. Flies were an unwelcome added bonus. We drove along a winding road to the mountain top and parked at O’Reilly’s area. There were wineries, sweets shops, craft shops, and restaurants. After having lunch we started walking up the pass in the forest and a tree top canopy walk, a wooden suspension bridge 160m long and 16m high. We visited another waterfall also. We came back at 16:00 then went out for shopping and dinner. The Chinese dishes had a good taste. We went our separate ways: I went to an internet cafe and Kimiko went to take a massage. I lost my way back to the hotel for a while but finally found the right way. Phew! We packed our baggage and asked the reception for a wake up call.
We woke up at 5:30. We confirmed that nothing was left in the room. We checked out of the hotel and then went to the airport by reserved shuttle bus. Craig came to the airport to see us off. We had morning coffee together for one hour. The moment came to say good bye. We hugged each other and Craig asked us to kiss him on his cheek. Good bye Craig, Good bye Australia.
Thank you Masako for an overview of your Australian trip. It is a great story about Gold Coast City where I have an apartment in Surfers Paradise. I too like Currumbin Wild Life Sanctuary and the spectacular views from Q1 It is certainly a wonderful place for a holiday
Smith’s School of English Koenji