Gold Coast Bus Trip

Last November, ADFAS Gold Coast Society braved COVID-19 restrictions and ventured north by coach for a day trip to the Redland Shire. It is bordered by Brisbane, Logan, and Southern Moreton Bay, and includes a number of islands such as North Stradbroke and Coochiemudlo. It also boasts a proud connection with the Quandamooka people who have cared for this region for the past 21,000 years.

First stop was Heritage listed and National Trust registered Ormiston House built in the 1860’s by Capt. Louis Hope who was to become known as the Father of the Australian Sugar Industry. A scrumptious Devonshire Tea was served to us on the verandah, looking over the lawn of this gracious homestead towards the waters of Moreton Bay, and we stepped back in time with an oral history of the House followed by guided tours with enthusiastic volunteers. Ormiston House remained in the Hope family until 1912, and in 1959 the Carmelite Nuns bought the house and 11 acres. It has functioned as a house museum since the mid-1960s. The original slab hut has also been lovingly restored and many of the original trees planted in the extensive park-like garden, some quite rare, still remain.

The Lighthouse Restaurant was our lunch time destination. The lighthouse and the Cleveland Point precinct are on the Register of the National Trust of Queensland. The lighthouse is one of Queensland’s oldest, built in timber, and the restaurant is on the site of the state’s oldest licensed hotel, the Pier Hotel.

The Redland Art Gallery (RAG) was our next stop. Lizzie Riek, the gallery’s Collections and Curatorial Officer gave a brief outline of the two current exhibitions and encouraged us to have a wander through the gallery and enjoy the many and varied works. Bubbles, cheese and crackers by the Bay was a fitting finale to the day.