When we first bought our tickets to New Zealand, thanks to a 50% off sale, we planned on staying in NZ the entire time. But once I started doing research, we thought it would fun to visit Australia since we were so close. Well, after lots and lots of research (which by the way I love, I could trip plan every day!) we discovered that NZ was going to be really expensive and the internet wasn’t always reliable. Since Brandon would still be working, we needed good internet. And the thought of living near the beach sounded very appealing.
I found this cute house for Australia to rent in Caloundra. One night I was talking to my friend Megan Eads, who was also traveling with her family abroad for a few months and she mentioned that she was staying in Caloundra for a month. What are the odds? Talking to her sealed the deal after she told us how much they were loving it. So, Caloundra it was. We came to love how family-friendly, and non-touristy it was.
Our Caloundra House
This was our house at 9 Suller Street. We had 3 bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs and on the main floor was a living room, kitchen, laundry area (but the dryer was in the garage), and half bath. We liked the fenced yard and since the house was set back from the street, our children could be outside without fear of them getting hit by a car. We had sweet neighbors, one of whom was named Dawn who lived next door. We got to be good friends, and she even brought over dessert one time and a birthday card for Blake.
^Blake and Evelyn shared a king bed in one of the rooms. One night they were so tired they fell asleep at 6 pm and slept until morning.
We had a fun covered patio in the back of the house that we would eat on occasionally. Brandon cooked us a “barbie” one night. For the record, he cooked more than I did it seemed. For some reason, he found a lot of joy in cooking while we were there. Maybe because life was slower?
The Caloundra Library
We lived only a 5 minute walk from the library, which was awesome in so many ways. Brandon would often escape there when he needed a change of scenery and a quiet place to work. Sometimes he would take Blake and Evelyn and let them play with toys while I stayed back with napping Oliver.
The library had a cute children’s section with fun toys to play with and even toys to check out. Since we brought only a few little toys, it was fun to bring a few home at a time to have something new to play with. We fell in love with the library and walking there a few times a week. We read a lot of books together. Such fun memories.
I was so happy to find an Aldi within a short drive from our house. I shopped at Aldi when I was a nanny in Germany. We stocked up on our first day in Australia and it only cost us around $100 for a full cart of food. We learned to eat very simply…with few ingredients and quick meals. We came to love Tim Tams, Light & Tasty Granola Cereal, Abbot’s flax-seed grain bread, fruit, and Cole’s brand granola bars, to name a few.
We also lived 2 minutes from a Kmart which was amazing. I could have brought their entire baby section and party section and homegoods section home with me. Australia Kmart is in a whole different league than the US version. Funny thing, Kmart was in the ‘mall’ which also had the Coles’ Grocery Store. Everything closed around 6 pm, with Kmart and the grocery store staying open late until 10 pm. In many ways, it was nice to be forced to shop early and get home to spend time with family.
Besides beaches, there were many cool parks we visited. This one was right by Happy Valley beach.
Speaking of the library, Brandon met a nice family one day there who invited us over for afternoon tea. They had a beautiful, modern home which was so cool to spend the afternoon in. The children swam while we visited. Someday I’d love to have an open-air kitchen that overlooks a pool. Wouldn’t that be so cool? They were a great example of being welcoming and opening their home to near strangers. Americans can be so closed sometimes. We had such a lovely visit.
We were walking down Bulcock Street one day (the main road in Caloundra) and saw this creepy creature just chilling. So ugly, right? We found out they aren’t poisonous, but still. We’re so glad we never saw one inside.
I put many a miles on this boardwalk with the kids. We would walk on here at least once a day to visit the beach or splash pad. Living by the ocean was such a treat. And in the distance, you can see the Glasshouse mountains.