Delightful, Diverse and Delectable Coffs Harbour

The NSW North Coast region has just so much to offer and explore, so what better place to start this wonderful experience of beautiful beaches, multiple villages, National Parks, waterways and food stops is the city of Coffs Harbour.

Our stay could not have been better, staying at the modern and very different Wyndham Ramada Treetops Resort just a few kilometres north of the Park Beach shopping centre and this very diverse city itself.

The resort is quite different to the norm with three very modern high-rise buildings named Kookaburra, Sandpiper and Lorikeet which are all set on the side of a sloping hill with very different views. We have stayed here three times now in each of the buildings and the views vary from Rainforest jungle areas to overlooking an outstanding nine-hole Golf Course of close by Pacific Bay Resort Precinct so it’s always a pleasure to return.

The staff here are always the friendliest from our first entrance and welcome to our final farewell (until next time) and each stay included very luxurious accommodation which we just love – especially the 2- Bedroom Grand.

There is nothing like sitting on your patio for breakfast and having 3 or 4 Kookaburras on the railing next to you, or even a colourful parrot enjoying your breakfast with you – straight from the bowl!

The heated pool and spa at the Ramada is very enchanting and difficult to leave, especially with the gym and BBQ area close, but just a short stroll or drive down the road, the Pacific Bay Resort Precinct has multiple facilities that we can also use including the golf course, tennis court, day spa and multiple pools.

But Coffs Harbour city and the surrounding areas have just so many different places to visit, including beautiful beaches – large and small. One of our favourites is the Coffs Harbour Jetty just 4.km from the resort and here an enchanting walk up to Mutton Bird Island Nature Reserve for its breathtaking views of the Jetty and coastline. This must be followed by lunch or dinner at the Fisherman’s Co-Op which is open from 10.00AM to 7.00PM daily.

50 local fishermen supply the freshest of seafood which you can order and eat in a covered dining deck overlooking the fishing boats, or you can purchase straight off the boats and take it away with you.

Yes, Coffs has everything including the “Big Banana” not far from the resort which has eight great attractions including an Ice Skating rink.

For local clubs don’t miss the C.ex Club in the city with its premier dining and entertainment, but for something really different again, you should visit the “Clog Barn and Holiday Park” just 1.5 km on the north side of the town centre as you are driving in.

Here, not only will you see clog making demonstrations 3 times a day for free, but also visit an amazing miniature Dutch village with all sorts of beautiful and perfectly constructed Dutch buildings. They are true miniature replicas of the actual buildings which we have seen many times way over in the Netherlands and its photographer’s paradise and yes – it’s all free, complete with working Dutch windmills and two little working trains.

So, you will not be in Madurodam in Den Haag (The Hague), Holland which is also famous in the Netherlands for its miniature village and buildings 25 times smaller than they are in real life but seeing all the work and dream of Dutch born Tom Hartsuyker who has created this over the last 35 years is so amazing right here in Coffs Harbour. Tom is now 85 years young and still making those model houses today. All the model buildings and town centres are clearly marked as to what they are and where they are, and our memories clicked into gear as we re-visited the Cheese Market in Alkmaar and enchanting towns and cities such as Maastricht – right here in Coffs Harbour!

But there is more, the shop you will enter upon arrival is absolutely full of everything Dutch from nick-knacks, books, clogs, wooden cuckoo clocks and superb hand painted Delftware, and of course, this is where the clogs are actually made, and right next door is “Big Oma’s” restaurant which is open every day at 8.00AM and serves breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and Dutch delicacies such as croquettes.

Another very different and interesting place to visit is the family owned Carobana Confectionery Factory and retail shop at James Small Drive, Korora, north of Coffs Harbour. Here you will see (and taste) yummy Carob coated products including Honeycomb, Rocky Road, Nut Brittles, Macadamia Honeycrunch and coated apricots just to mention a few. Production days are Monday to Thursday and the best time to visit is in the morning where you will see enormous 5kg slabs of Honeycomb being made.

If you want to travel a little further on the northern side, don’t miss the very different town of Woolgoolga (or Woopi as its known to the locals), then south to Sandy, Emerald, Moonee and Diggers Beaches, and don’t miss the beautiful 10-minute drive just a few minutes north of the resort and up through the banana plantations to Sealy Lookout. Here you will walk out on the Forest Sky Pier and see the magnificent views down across the city and coastline.

Travelling South of Coffs harbour, Sawtell is another “must see” with its picturesque fig tree lined avenue full of boutique shops, and inland is the Dorrigo National Park

Flying into Coffs Harbour? Well the Airport is just 6 km away from the Ramada Treetops Resort.

So there you have it, and we have really only touched the surface of this amazing and beautiful mid NSW Coast city, so make sure you book in to stay at the Ramada Resort Coffs Harbour – Treetops for your next delightful holiday.

For more information on the Carobana Confectionery Factory go to: www.carobana.com.au

For more information on the Coffs Harbour Fisherman’s Co-Op go to www.coffsfishcoop.com.au

For more information on the Clog Barn at 215 Pacific Highway Coffs Harbour, go to: www.clogbarn.com.au

 

Graham

Wyndham Timeshare Owner

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Life is Full of Surprises at Wyndham, Surfers Paradise

Sometimes you just need to get away from the stress and business of life and enjoy some down time.  Being owners since 2001 we have been able to do just that on many occasions. My husband and I headed for Surfers Paradise earlier this year for the weekend. Arriving we were surprised how close Wyndham was to the beach, just a stone throw; we were not surprised though by the friendly welcome by the staff. Having booked our room that overlooked the ocean, it was a quick unpack and down to the Friday Night Markets situated on the beach front. Even the husband enjoyed meandering through the stalls.

What surprised both of us was that the weekend coincided with the National Sand Sculpture Championships. This was a three day event which gave us much entertainment as we followed the artists’ progress as they made these extraordinary 3D works. They had started at 2pm that afternoon and already the sculptures were impressive.

The next day we begun to appreciate the central location of Wyndham, the tram stop right out the front, we didn’t have to use our car at all during the weekend; a convenience store and BWS across the road, a terrific pizza shop, and Cavill Ave within easy walking distance.  The weather was magnificent over the weekend, so it was no surprise that we enjoyed the sun, surf and sand of Surfers. In the afternoon we enjoyed happy hour at Wyndham’s bar area, a cocktail for me, a beer for hubby, it was a nice surprise to the end of the day. The Walrus Social Club was a short stroll down the street and provided the evening meal and entertainment in a relaxed environment.

On Sunday it was a return to the beach for a swim and to cast a vote in the People’s Choice for the Sand Sculpture Championships. Talking with the artists was an engaging and informative surprise! Relaxed and reinvigorated we said goodbye to Wyndham Surfers and headed home. We shall be back.

Kerrie and Paul

Wyndham Timeshare Owners

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Family Fun in Singapore

We have just returned from Singapore where we stayed at the Ramada Singapore at Zhongshan Park for ten days on the 13th floor (unlucky for some) but not for us.

We had set a day for a trip and then a day off, but it wasn’t going to happen that way…every day we had something to see and somewhere we wanted to be….so we just kept going. And going And going. Like the Duracell bunny. And there are more places to go and to see so we have started putting our pennies away to go back ASAP.

We took our daughter and 8 year old grandson with us too and they had a great time as it was the first plane trip and first overseas trip for them both. Singapore City is unusual in that it is so green and clean and well tended but it is a city with towering buildings which still manages to have many parks and green spaces for its population, and the people are very courteous and gentle.

Thanks to Shelly in the travel department for making it go as we knew it would every time we take off with Wyndham. We pre-booked for Universal Studios and Legoland in Malaysia (which entailed a border crossing out of Singapore and then back again, and this fascinated our grandson who had no real idea of borders and protection) and a trip to the zoo for breakfast with the Orangutans.

The Ramada Singapore at Zhongshan Park was great and the staff were great and very, very helpful with all things, from money exchange to where to catch the bus or train or where to eat. Thank you all for such an excellent holiday!

If you have the time ………DO IT.

Jan and Jim

Wyndham Timeshare Owners

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The Perfect Off Season

My partner and I are long-term members of Wyndham Timeshare. We joined about 9 years ago and have had a marvellous time staying in excellent accommodation in every state in Australia and New Zealand. When we joined there were only 3 locations in our own state of Victoria; Torquay, Ballarat and Lakes Entrance. Much to our delight, Wyndham has grown and the new locations both in Australia and internationally are splendid.

Late in October I said to Robert “Look there’s a new Victorian Resort at Dinner Plain in the Alps!” Robert looked at the photos of the beautiful mountain scenery and replied, “Yes but its a ski resort and we are past the age of snow sports.”

“We don’t have to be skiers or even go when the snow covers the Ramada Resort Mount Hotham” I replied. “Let’s go off season. Spring native flowers will be out and we will be surrounded by the National Parks, so there will be plenty of rambles.”

That’s exactly what we did. The Ramada Resort Dinner Plain, Mt Hotham chalets were wonderful with nearly 360 degree views of the Alpine Mountains and brilliant sunsets. Well marked tracks led us to historic cattlemen’s huts and scenic waterfalls, fed by melting snows. A week was not enough but the return to Melbourne via Bright in the Ovens Valley also gave us an off season treat. In Mytleford, the ripe cherries were being harvested and we staggered home with kilos of ridiculously cheap, lush red fruit to give to our city friends.

Staying in a ski resort in summer is perfect – you have to try it!

Brenda

Wyndham Timeshare Owner

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Relaxing Getaway at Shoal Bay

2017 was a roller coaster ride for our family. There were many ups and downs which tested our resilience and love for each other. Beginning of January, my husband started a new job because he was made redundant in 2016. April was when we celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary by renewing our vows. We had friends and family visiting us from overseas, I was diagnosed with hypertension and type 2 diabetes. My daughter graduated from high school, then went through the dreaded HSC. Then we celebrated her 18th birthday with a big party, and I was involved in a car crash. By December, I was so exhausted and drained physically, emotionally and financially! So when my husband decided he was booking at Ramada Resort Shoal Bay using our expiring Wyndham vacation points for Easter break, I immediately said yes!

 

Checking in was smooth and hassle-free. Justin from Wyndham Vacation Club was very helpful and polite and informed us with all the facilities of the resort. The one bedroom unit was clean, tidy and quite roomy for the three of us. We were able to attend the 3pm Good Friday mass at St. Michael’s Parish as it was only a 10-minute drive. The resort’s location is fantastic, it was surrounded by shops and restaurants. The bay is across the road; on the right side are the mountains with a walking track to Tomaree Head. There was also a short passage off the road that leads to the pristine and secluded Zenith Beach. As we walked along the shoreline, the cheerful vibes from the holidaymakers are contagious and you can tell everyone’s having a good time. We had a swim on the beach and a picnic lunch in the park overlooking the water. We walked off Tomaree Head and as you reached the summit, the view was spectacular!

 

For dinner, we booked a table at the Shoal Bay Country Club. The seafood platter was delicious and priced reasonably. By Easter Sunday, we attended the 8am mass, had a beautiful alfresco breakfast and explored nearby Nelson Bay. Then it was time to go back to Sydney. I said a prayer of thanks for the blessings and left with a happy feeling. This short break invigorated me with a renewed energy and determination. I am ready once again to face all that life throws at me.

As we were driving out of the carpark, I looked back at the building and promised myself that we will be back.

 

Thank you Wyndham Vacation Club for the opportunity!

Edna and Regi

Wyndham Timeshare Owners

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Commonwealth Games at Kirra Beach

Planning the trip to Gold Coast for the Commonwealth Games started in April 2017. We drove up the NSW Coast and stayed at the WorldMark Resort Coffs Harbour – Terraces on the way up before arriving at Wyndham Kirra Beach to a great welcome surprise of wine & fruit.

Each day, the staff at Kirra plotted our route to the events whether it be to Carrara Stadium or out to Fred Huntley Park by bus that stopped right outside the resort. The resort, as you can see, was certainly decorated for the occasion was full of people attending the Games. The friendly volunteers made for a great Games atmosphere and very safe feeling with the police out in force.

We stayed for a week in an ocean view unit with friends visiting from Brisbane enjoying our hospitality. The weather was perfect for swimming in the ocean and pool.

On our return journey we stayed at WorldMark South Pacific Resort Port Macquarie which was, once again, great accommodation for the end of ten perfect days.

Carol

Wyndham Timeshare Owner since 2002

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Picture Perfect Port Douglas

A visit to Queensland’s tropical north city of Port Douglas is an absolute “must do” if you have never been there, or better still if you are returning once again to enjoy all its beauty and splendours because it is one of the world’s most diverse holiday destinations.

I must admit that as we were driving along Port Douglas Road just a few kilometres from the town centre I thought I was back in Sarawak, Borneo with all the beautiful jungle greenery and overhanging Curtain Fig Trees. The multiple resorts, villas and superb Golf Course as you approach the town gives a very good indication of what will be coming up, and then driving along Macrossan Street through the main shopping centre gives you outstanding views of multiple and different shops, restaurants and more accommodation resorts – and street car parking is free!

Our accommodation at the Ramada Resort Port Douglas using our Wyndham credits for my 74th birthday celebration was just wonderful and the staff friendliness and helpfulness from arrival to departure and all through our eight-day stay were the finest and most helpful ever. This included taking our luggage to our room – and not forgetting the bottle of wine on arrival and more throughout our stay.

Although the resort is a little older in a few ways, its advantages of beauty and facilities are wonderful, which include the most beautiful swimming pool area overshadowed by amazing trees and sitting on the very edge of the outdoor food area. Here you can order from the pool for your drinks etc, or at anytime roll up for a wonderful breakfast, lunch or dinner and the menus are delicious. The complete resort area is just covered in greenery so it’s more like staying in a tropical rainforest.



Want a walk to the beach? Well what about a short stroll out the back entrance of the resort to the 4-mile beach where you can walk, swim or just relax on the sand and unwind – lets face it you are in ‘PPPD’ – Picture Perfect Port Douglas.

Your drive into town must include a stop off at ANZAC Park and Rex Smeal Park before driving up Island Point Road to the lookout overlooking Four Mile Beach is next, but one of the very best stop-off spots is the Reef Marina where there are literally hundreds of small, large and extremely large sailing and motor vessels which sail into the Coral Sea to visit the Great Barrier Reef Islands such as the Low Isles just 15 minutes away.

But what about an enchanting river cruise?  So off we went on our first “must do” boating trips all aboard the Lady Douglas River Cruise.

This is a relaxing and comfortable trip from the marina with complementary beverages and nibbles on-board an historical older “paddle steamer” style of boat. The skipper gave a very informative and entertaining commentary as we chugged along the calm waters and inlets to view multiple vessels, a few very older shipwrecks, wildlife, birdlife and of course keeping a lookout for those salt water crocodiles just resting on the banks.

The next “must do” event we did was a ride on the Ballyhooley Steam Railway. This is a very different and short railway trip on an old Sugar Cane track – onboard an open style set of carriages and pulled by either an old steam train or diesel locomotive. It’s a leisurely return trip and fully commentated from the Crystalbrook Superyacht Marina Station to St Crispins Station, taking around 30 minutes each way.

The stop off is at St Crispins Station and Choo Choos Café where you can enjoy a refreshing drink or take lunch while the train is turned around in preparation for returning to the city. The beauty of this trip is that you can board at either end and take your time enjoying lunch and the scenery.

One of the nicest way to get to this picture-perfect location is to fly into Cairns and then drive north up the Great Barrier Reef Drive with the rainforests on one side and the sparkling outstanding beach and Coral Sea coastal views on the other. The road is extremely winding in parts so follow the speed limits with care, but it only takes an hour.

Further wonderful places we visited included a short 20-minute drive to Mossman and the Mossman George with its beautiful walks and views and the suspension bridge right on the edge of the flourishing rainforests of the Daintree National Park area.

And of course, on your return towards Cairns you must visit Kuranda, either by taking the enchanting Skyrail to the top, or simply driving to the town centre. A visit to the Kuranda Scenic Railway Station is another experience in this boutique village with its easy going friendly atmosphere of craft stores, markets, quaint shops, cafes, artists and wildlife sanctuaries – you will want to stay longer.

For more information on the Wyndham Ramada Resort go to:

https://www.wyndhamhotels.com/ramada/port-douglas-australia/ramada-resort-port-douglas/overview?cid=SEAPRDesktopNewsX

For more information on the lady Douglas River Cruise go to: info@ladydouglas.com.au or www.ladydouglas.com.au

For the Ballyhooley Steam Railway information go to www.ballyhoolyrail.com.au

Graham

Wyndham Timeshare Owner

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Port Douglas:”Walking through the resort was like exploring a tropical rainforest”

I took this photo while staying at Ramada Port Douglas in early August 2016. My husband and I stayed at the resort for a week, and we loved walking from the resort into town on Four Mile Beach, and exploring the charming village of Port Douglas.

waterfall-and-water-lillies

Waterfall and Water Lilies

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Beautiful Ballarat at Dusk!

This beautiful picture was captured at dusk and taken at WorldMark Resort Ballarat (VIC) during our weekend away for the Anzac holiday break. We enjoyed our relaxing stay here and will be back again for another stay.

Ballarat, Victoria

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2 Holidays at Golden Beach, QLD

Scott and Margaret can’t get enough of holidaying at Ramada Golden Beach (QLD) – staying at their Club resort in January 2016, and again in April 2016!

Golden Beach, Queensland, Australia

Our sons at Golden Beach in January 2016

 

Kite flying at Golden Beach, Queensland, Australia

Our son, Charlie, flying a kite whilst Scott and Harry are fishing in our boat. April 2016.

Scott & Margaret, 

Wyndham timeshare Owners since 2001

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