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Family Boating Bucket List

Family Boating Bucket List

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5 things to do with your families around the Gold Coast

School holidays and Christmas holidays in the summer are almost a combination that can put a lot of stress on parents. What to do and where to go? For many, driving out of town with friends for a weekend (or a week) of camping is a great Australian holiday experience. For boaties on the Gold Coast, you need not go far for that family adventure with nature—plus doing some shopping and dining for the Christmas season.

We have come up with five simple, easy and no stress activities to add to your bucket list that the whole family can enjoy—for one day, or for one week, or more.

1. Despite the bad publicity that the Broadwater sand banks are getting at the moment, driving up your tinnie or dingy on any of these sand banks at low tide are a great adventure for the children. If you’re into fishing, sand banks are the perfect spots for yabbies. And even if you’re not, you can let your children experience being on “land” that disappears at high tide. Young children will enjoy the sensory experience of walking and touching the sand, and the sense of isolation. And who knows what else you can find?

2. Anchor and raft up with friends on the river along Budds Beach and let your children enjoy some SUP fun, build sandcastles on the beach, and let them play at the beachside playground. And when everyone starts feeling hungry for lunch or some cappuccino and cakes, and fresh fruit juices, simply walk over to Bumbles café across the road.

3. Drive further up north to explore the islands and mangroves and beaches past Jumpinpin. There are many undeveloped and unspoiled places that you can simply soak in. Reasearch online about these places (There are heaps of resources online!) and you will be able to talk with your children about them. Find your suitable anchorage and spend a night or two just enjoying the natural surrounds. Take your dingy to island towns and meet the locals. Encourage your children to learn more about the environment and communities in their own city. (For reference, read David Willmington’s Island Hopping on Moreton Bay, Aug-Oct 2016 edition.)

4. If you need to catch up with shopping and dining, and you prefer to stay afloat, the whole family can dock at Capri on Via Roma, Runaway Bay Shopping Village and Sanctuary Cove, as they all offer free public berthing. Marina Mirage is also open for boaties, but you need to call first to check for available berths. Paradise Point has a public jetty that allows you to stay for 20 minutes for a quick pick up of groceries, food and other items from the shops across the road.

5. If the whole family wants to be more adventurous and have the luxury of time, driving up to Brisbane is definitely an experience. Check out Nic Welch’s Gold Coast to Brisbane (May-July 2016 edition) for a comprehensive guide on navigating your way from the Broadwater to the Brisbane River.

Going around in the busy summer months should not be a stress for the whole family. The waterways are free for us to use and we only have to understand and appreciate them better. As in all things boating, safety and common sense come first. The more time your children spend time on the boats, the easier they can learn safe navigation, boating courtesy and environmental awareness. And all these you can do within the city’s waterways.

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