A Britton's Guide to the Gold Coast

"A Briton's Guide to getting to know the Gold Coast"


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In Need of Assistance? - Consider RACQ

Posted on March 19, 2014 at 10:05 PM Comments comments (217)


Have you ever had one of those days where you get up and the kids are sick so you make an appointment at the doctors and go back inside to see that they have fallen asleep. You carefully get them in the car (as it starts raining) you praise the universe that they didn’t wake up too much and have fallen back asleep without kicking off. After getting all of the other stuff you need to take two small kids out of the house, you drop and brake your glasses and trap you fingers in the car door trying to hurry in from the rain, you sigh a big breath of relief that your finally sitting down and..... the car won't start? That is how my day started today.

You can imagine my horror especially considering it was now absolutely pissing down (apparently I'm allowed to write that in Australia because it's not considered a swear word lol) and regardless my windows are electronic, and so the kids need to be taken back inside.

The easiest thing about this whole episode was ringing RACQ. I have been a member with RACQ since 2008. Back then I had no kids and didn't really think it was all that important, that was until I locked my keys in the car! I did consider at that moment if it would be cheaper to break and replace a window when someone asked me if I had RACQ?

RACQ came out (verified it was my car) and let me back in. I have had RACQ cover ever since. Trust me I have had all kinds of reasons to call them too - the front driverside tyre blew off the car whilst driving at speed on the highway, I have run out of petrol twice, my battery has decided to die on me twice, and numerous other things have happened. There is nothing worse than being stranded (especially with kids). The occasions I have been stuck on the side of the highway (they will always advise of what to do to stay safe), they have sent a tow truck and moved me to the nearest safest place and then do whatever they have to do to help (whether its change your battery, top up your petrol (lol) or take you to a mechanic registered and approved by RACQ. Baring in mind a tow truck will cost about $150 just to get you off of the highway and somewhere that can fix your car. As far as we are aware it is ILLEGAL for you to tow a vehicle in Australia. 

Basic Roadside Assistance membership is (on the day this was posted) $84 PER YEAR (You can check which cover would be best for you by going to: http://www.racq.com.au/membership/compare_roadside_assistance_membership

If you don't have it and something happens don't fret because you can still call them and join up on the spot (call 131 905). It will cost you a little extra (as I found out when I locked my keys in) so we suggest having it in advance. If there is anything that we recommend having on that MUST HAVE list, it is RACQ cover. Parents (or anyone) looking for a gift and can't think what to buy, this is a great idea :) 

Check it out today and save yourself from having your day turn from bad to worse.


Child Safety - Water Safety

Posted on October 21, 2012 at 10:25 PM Comments comments (11)

Almost everywhere you go on the Coast there seems to be WATER, so we recommend that everyone should know how to swim.

As you are probably aware by now, I have two small boys, one has just turned 1 and the other is about to turn 3. Both of my children are Aussies and when I had my first son I was fully aware of the need to empower him with the knowledge of how to swim and how to be safe around water.

He started learning to swim at our local swim school and after about a year I removed him due to the overwhelming costs associated with lessons. It was not so much the actual cost (about $15.00 a lesson) but the rules that came along with make up lessons and the fact I forfeited six lessons because I hadn't used them before the end of the swimming term.

I have just placed him back into lessons due to a scary incident at the beach and although he is progressing well he seems to have forgotten a lot of what he learned in the first year. I suppose the moral of my story is that if you begin lessons to try and keep them up until you are satisfied that if your child fell into water or were out of their depth, they would know what to do to get out.

In my opinion, if you have to choose between the cost of swimming lessons and say play centre costs, take them swimming.

I'd like to say a massive thanks to our swim coach Miss Emma of Bubbles Swim School. Unfortunatly, she is super busy and spots with her are few and far between. In saying that, my recent experiences have inspired me to look more deeply into swimming safety and create a page for your information - so watch this space. 


Posted on October 12, 2012 at 9:00 AM Comments comments (0)


(as posted on our Facebook page on 8 October 2012)

A friend of mine asked me today if I receive anything from the companies that I mention on here or the website.

The simple answer is no.

The main purpose of The Britton's Guide Website is pass on useful information to people who were just like me, moving from across the world to an unknown lifestyle. For those of you who have made the same journey, you w...ill know that feeling of going from knowing exactly what you like, where to get it and roughly how much it will cost to not knowing where anything is or even what to buy.

When I moved to the Gold Coast there was nothing like our site (and to my knowledge there still isn't) to help me get on my feet and make my journey a bit more enjoyable and a little less stressful. My Website is designed purely with people like me in mind as I know and still remember how scary those first few years were.

The Website (although primarily designed for "POMMIES") isn't just about being a Briton in Australia. It will hopefully eventually become a networking tool benefiting Aussie's, Briton's and anyone else just the same. After all we are here to live to Aussie dream so we should be using Australian companies and services as well as assisting people and families from the UK to get on their feet when they get here.

The reason we ask people who find us here on Facebook to go to the main site and sign up as a member for FREE is that eventually we would like to have the people power to approach big companies to achieve big things (discounts, free stuff, etc) for YOU our members. We hope to achieve this with both companies in Australia and where possible in the UK.

There is power in numbers and that's why we say - If you like what we do, sign up as a FREE member and pass us on to those you know will like us too. This way you will receive newsletters as they are issued any any updated info we send out by e-mail.

Dreamworld Annual pass

Posted on July 21, 2012 at 12:00 AM Comments comments (2)

If you have small children or indeed children of any age and live on the Gold Coast, one thing you should really invest in are annual passes from Dreamworld. A Dreamworld annual pass gives you unlimited access to the park and other benefits such as 10% off in the gift shops and discounts off of food.

We bought two, one each for my husband and I and our two little kids get in for free. Although my husbands rarely gets used the kids and I go all of the time. In fact we have been three times this week. One day we went to play in Wiggles World for a few hours (and being a weekday and an afternoon we got to go on everything a lot with very little if no waiting around), then we went to Madegascar for a few hours and today we went the have a look around the wildlife part of the park and my two year old fed kangaroos.

I can't tell you how nice it is just to walk in and out as you please. You know what it's like you buy the family tickets to go to a theme park the kids get tired halfway round and start playing up, so it's time to go home. You were never going to get round the entire park and enjoy it like you would have liked to. Well with an annual pass you can just go home and come back another day or like us just pop in when you have half a day you want to fill so the kids aren't climbing the walls by bedtime. 

By the time you have been twice the ticket has paid for itself. I know it sounds like I'm trying to sell you one - I'm not I promise but I am sooo impressed with the whole concept I had to share it with you.

Hats off to Qantas

Posted on June 25, 2012 at 11:25 PM Comments comments (0)

My sister and I travelled back from the UK a little over a week ago with my two sons age 2 years and 8 months - macic and deressingly stressful (as im sure those of you who have done it can appreciate)!!

On arriving in Melbourne we claimed all of our luggage in order to check it straight back in for the final (domestic) part of our journey to Brisbane. We were helped by a really lovely member of the ground staff (who had seen my sister and I struggling to get two trollys full of luggage and a double pram across the airport to the domestic terminal). I do not recall this lady's name but wish I could so as to send her a thank you card as she was brilliant.

We were hurried through check in (onto an earlier flight - thank you again Qantas lady). We showed the woman that the handle on one of our cases had been smashed off and our pram now had a buckled wheel and a tear  in the unholstery. She advised us at that point to put in a claim and could not have been more sorry - bless her.

Anyway, I made a claim to Qantas Baggae Services and within an hour my claim was being handled. As we are on the Gold Coast, to take the pram to their guy in Brisbane was going to be a mission so they told me to take my pram to the nearest baby shop which I did. Qantas then arranged a loan stroller and paid for it for me. They also arranged for the pram to be taken to their guy in Brisbane without cost to me. 

The following day I was contacted by Qantas' repairer who advised me regarding the repairs. I then spoke with Qantas who agreed that they could replace my double stroller for a little more. All I had to do was buy it Qantas would refund me the money having provided them with the receipt.

I have just received confirmation that my pram has been dispatched.

My hat is off to you Qantas!! Although I appreciate your concerns that the damage should never have occurred, I cannot fault your after service care. You have ensured that I have not been inconveineced by not having a pram and you have acted really unbelievably quickly.

I will definatly be flying Qantas again!! 

Warning- Permenant Residents check your return status before flying out of Australia

Posted on May 30, 2012 at 4:20 PM Comments comments (1)

PANIC ATTACK - I am currently in the UK, we arrived on Saturday. We had a connection flight from  Brisbane to Melbourne and then we flew from Melbourne to London via Singapore. On arriving in Melbourne my UK passport flagged up on the system and I began to panic as I was traveling with my two small sons aged 2 years and 7months. As you may have read on the site I am a Permenant Resident 'normally domiciled in Australia'and have been for over 5 years (I have lived there for over 8 years) and I was advised that there was a problem with my visa.

I was advised by the lady at the passport desk that you have to renew your right to travel in and out of Austalia Asa Permenant Resident every 5 years. As luck would have it mine expired on the very day that I flew out of Australia. This lady informed me that as soon as I arrived in the UK I had to contact the Australian Embassy in London (0207 379 4334) and apply for a Resident Return Visa (RRV form 1085 www.immi.gov.au). Unfortunately for me I arrived on a Saturday so the stressing was prolonged waiting for them to open.

On contacting the High Commission yesterday I was informed that there is an application fee of £200.00!!!!!! Apparently once I have sent the form (by post) I should hear from my case officer in 7 days. 

So if you are a Permenant Resident and have been for some time check before you fly out of Australia that you don't need to have a RRV before you go. For more information have a look at the booklet provided by the Department of Immigration and citizenship at: www.immi.gov.au/migrants/residents/

I will keep you posted as to my progress......


Posted on April 24, 2012 at 9:15 AM Comments comments (2)

Well here we are. Our very first blog. We are massive supporters of our troops here at A Britton's Guide and we thought it would be the pefect tribute to launch on ANZAC Day. 

What ever your location and plans for today we hope that you have a really great day. 

As you may or may not know (depending on how long you have been here) there are some beautiful ceremonies all across Australia to celebrate the ANZAC and indeed all other troops who have fallen, fought or are fighting in the continuing battle to make the world a better and safer place for us and our children. 

If you would like to attend a ceremony today please visit the address below to find your nearest location.


However you remember them, we hope that you have a wonderful day.