A little ray of Sunshine Coast in winter
Many swish resorts claim that they’re fit for royalty. I’m sure they’re very nice and all, but we’re staying in one that truly was fit for a queen. THE Queen Elizabeth in fact. I don’t mean to brag, but in 2002 the very room that Queen Lizzy kicked off her satin trimmed shoes and put up her royal tootsies, is our humble adobe for a very special, very luxurious weekend on the Sunshine Coast.
Dip your toes into an over-water lagoon suite
The Novotel Twin Waters Resort offers an exceptional base for that perfect summer holiday. But in the cooler months it offers something even better, winter escapism.
We’re surrounded by water, a private lagoon for some kayaking, a beach across the road to catch a wave and of course the quintessential heated resort pool with its blue magnetism.
As if that’s not enough to have us scrummaging through our luggage for our cozzies, we’re given the keys to an over water lagoon suite. Bigger than many metro apartments, our lavish suite oozes style. From the high ceilings to the plush carpet, the word extravagant comes to mind. Plus the enormous spa bath, king size bed and two TVs don’t hurt either. But the real show stopper here has to be the ridiculously inspiring view from the veranda that’d give Buckingham Palace a run for its money.
The Spa – A do not disturb sign for the mind
The only thing to rip me away from this over-water fortress would be another overwater fortress with a day spa. You haven’t had a full body massage until you’ve had one with the sound of the water right outside your window washing your cares away. Truly a vacation for the mind and body.
In a state of pure relaxation, we head to the lagoon for a romantic sail on a catamaran before sunset. Toby the activities guru gives us some hot tips on the wind direction and then we’re off: the perfect way to end the perfect day. We spot schools of colourful parrot fish and jumping mullets in the lagoon and soon our minds drift to dinner and the sumptuous seafood that awaits us in Nouveau Restaurant. Dee-lish!
If you haven’t got sea legs, there are loads of other activities to keep you entertained on solid ground. Why not try your hand at archery? With a few tips I was channelling Legolas in no time.
You’re never too young to some fun on the lagoon’s aqua trampoline. But for the seriously brave, run away with the circus and tackle the trapeze like lastminute lovely Sasha did – but don’t fret, there’s a net.
Yoga junkie? Toby runs a mean stretch and meditation class that’s sure to put the ying back in your yang.
If bikes are a bit too traditional for you, a unique way to explore the resort is to hop aboard an Eco Segway tour with the Xperiences team! These beauties are a breeze to manoeuvre and can tackle any terrain – from dense bushland to sand. We cover an enormous amount of ground with half the effort of walking. We even made a few friends along the way!
Feast your eyes on these delicious morsels
‘Seafood’ and ‘buffet’ are two of my most cherished words in the English language, but when placed together…that’s when the magic happens. A sea of locally sourced prawns, oysters, crabs and bugs that couldn’t be fresher if they were served straight out of the fishing boat. I had three, maybe four servings of the whole salmon with lime and coconut dressing, but who’s counting with food so irresistible.
A challenge that most face after an extraordinary buffet of savoury, is the struggle between heart and mind when faced with another extraordinary buffet of sweets. I stand with a plate in hand, circling the sweets buffet with all its sugary glory, willing my stomach to digest a little faster so I can nibble at a gateau, cosy up with some apple crumble or live my childhood dream with the fun ice cream parlour. Let’s just say my heart’s winning the battle and dealing with a painfully full stomach is future Nihal’s problem.
A bargain at the Eumundi Markets
The next morning at first light the excitement builds again as I sleepily remember that we’re staying in royal opulence – feeling charmed I’m sure.
The buffet brekkie is another delicious battle I happily lose.
We then take off to the famous Eumundi markets, only a 15 minute drive from the resort. The markets are a wonderland of fresh organic produce, handmade wonders and hard-to-find collectables. Sipping on fresh coconut water and munching on juicy strawberries we find ourselves wandering in Asia with the aroma of spicy curries and Pandan leaves. We drift to Europe as we sample traditional paella and pick up a French pastry (or two), before ending up in Ceylon sampling 50 exotic teas and spices.
My favourite stall would have to be the handmade soaps that smell and look like real cakes. The stand out is the raspberry and white chocolate cake, I mean soap.
Back to our castle on the water
We head back to our island home to enjoy the sunset on the lagoon. Too full to fathom another restaurant feast, we opt for a light pizza from the Grabbit & Go resort take-away to enjoy on the sand as we take in our gorgeous frontyard.
Before calling it a day we head to the Aqua Lounge + Bar for some live music and a few cheeky cocktails. If you can fit it in, their cheese and tapas plate is also a bit special.
It’s not goodbye
The sting of having to say goodbye hits us the next morning, so we decide to hop on some bikes and circle the stunning resort a few hundred times.