HAD we been friends 30 years ago, we probably would have planned the same holiday together.
After all, the urge for females to kick up their stiletto heels, eat beautiful food washed down with their favourite beverages, and fill the room with music, laughter and fun conversation is innate.
As it turned out, we grew up in far-flung towns and cities and married very different men. But our children and new lives on the Sunshine Coast had bonded us.
Over countless conversations at school and sporting events, we became firm friends.
We briskly walked these streets for exercise from dawn as our budding surf champions swam laps at the pool.
Its familiarity was comforting and we’d developed a fondness for the area. Yes, we knew Caloundra like the back of our hands.
That’s why the seaside town fitted us like a glove for a girls’ weekend away.
With our children now independent young adults and with a small window of opportunity in our diaries, we pencilled in belated birthday celebrations on the same weekend in the same beachside town in the same apartment.
Caloundra was close enough to home in case of teenage emergencies or household catastrophes.
So these few days away would be all about us.
And we decided happiness for three tired mums was a Girls’ Ritzy Weekend Away package at the five-star Rumba Resort at Bulcock Beach, overlooking Pumicestone Passage and only a hop, skip and jump along the boardwalk from Kings Beach.
For $290 per person twin-share, up to three girlfriends can stay two nights across the weekend in a two-bedroom Resort Spa Suite.
Or you can upgrade to a two-bedroom luxury Ocean Apartment for $380 per person twin-share.
We started the weekend away in style by making good use of our three complimentary cocktails – ordering Midori Splices at Rumba’s Pool Bar.
The Rumba special package also includes a divine bottle of Lindauer Sparkling Strawberry Fraise NV chilling in the fridge, a box of exquisite Swiss chocolates and an array of gels, lotions and other goodies to use during and after luxuriating in the spa bath.
What more could a girl want?
Well, we also threw in a hearty dose of retail therapy at Sunday’s Bulcock Street Markets and the eclectic mix of boutiques, surf and gift shops Caloundra is known for in the CBD plus Stockland Shopping Centre.
I couldn’t walk past a colourful “butterfly dress” plus macadamia fudge and a bottle of Mediterranean salsa from the markets.
Just how far little old Caloundra has come as a tourism mecca is evident in the smorgasbord of dining options.
A chicken green curry and sweet and sour red snapper were calling our names at the Thai Orchid Restaurant before watching the latest-release Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides on the Saturday night at Caloundra’s Big Screen Cinemas.
Only a few steps below Rumba’s lap pool, we further indulged our tastebuds over the course of a weekend: a light bruschetta and medley of dips with Turkish bread with a glass of chardonnay at The Coffee Club and my flavoursome Chef’s No.3 special (linguini with Moreton Bay bugs, prawns and mussels) as La Dolce Vita owner Khabeer Lateef burst into song with an Ol’ Blue Eyes favourite.
Our long lunch at The Sandbar was worth particular mention.
In another life, the building was White Fleet takeaway and Alfie’s, but business partners Richard Brown and Steve O’Shea have not only made the most of the view in this idyllic location but also brought their considerable culinary expertise and personality to the menu for some wow factor.
They were more than happy to suggest a Moroccan spiced lamb and feta pizza with rocket salad and yoghurt drizzle ($16); a signa
ture Fire and Spiced King Prawns on skewers with tomato and capsicum salad with citrus labneh ($19/$25); and The Quintessential Sunshine Coast Sandwich competition winner, as designed by Jen Barrell (a toasted Turkish bread spread with avocado, layered with smoked chicken thinly sliced, fresh lettuce, small halved Roma tomatoes, brie cheese topped with gourmet mango jam, $16), all pictured above.
Whether dining at street level or looking out from our balcony, we could drink in the ambience of this beachside hub.
Daytrippers, southern holidaymakers and locals soaked up the perfect autumn Sunday on the golden sands, while twilight brought out the tuxedos and colourful formal gowns of conference delegates and their partners for their night of nights in the Rumba Room.
Balancing rest and recreation with frenzied activity and excitement, we lingered over early-morning coffees after revisiting the path of our dawn walks.
We managed a brisk walk in high heels before giving in to the rain and catching a cab to nearby Caloundra RSL for a jovial night of cocktails and live music (courtesy of the aptly named 3 Day Break).
An early Monday morning walk along the coastal pathway sent us on our way, back to our families, our lives and another big week.
Holidays in exotic, faraway lands can be wonderful but often, holidaying at home is best.
Rumba has waltzed into our hearts and we can dance to the Caloundra beat often and at a moment’s notice.
MAKE THE MOST OF CALOUNDRA
Rumba Resort: The Esplanade, Bulcock Beach. Phone 5492 0555 or visit the RumbaResort website.
Rumba offers one and two-bedroom Resort Spa Suites, and two and three-bedroom Luxury Ocean Apartments.
Winter is an ideal time to indulge in five-star luxury without blowing the budget. The amazing new Winter Warmer Package at Rumba Beach Resort gives guests two nights free of charge when they pay for 3 consecutive nights on the Pay 3 and Stay 5 Winter Deal.
The new package ranges from $585 inclusive for two people for a five-night stay in a one-bedroom Resort King Spa Suite, or $735 for a two-bedroom suite for five days.
The Winter Warmer Deal is available until August 31.
Sandbar Cafe and Kiosk: 26 The Esplanade, Bulcock Beach. Phone 5491 0800 or visit the Sandbar Cafe Kiosk website.
La Dolce Vita Caffe, Bar, Ristorante: Shop 1, Ruma Resort, Caloundra. Phone 5438 2377 or visit La Dolce Vita Caloundra website.
Channel Sports Bar, The Hog’s Breath Cafe, and The Coffee Club are also below the resort.
‘Holidays in exotic, faraway lands can be wonderful but often, holidaying at home is best’
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