Achieving Olympic success was memorable, but now as a mum with an active family, my goal is to share golden moments with them. Disconnecting to reconnect is so important to us and we look forward to sharing our travels with you.
Meet our family: I’m Brooke Hanson Olympic Gold and Silver medallist in swimming, motivational speaker and mentor. My husband, and fellow swimmer, is Jared Clarke - he’s a firefighter and the captain of our adventures. Joining us for our fun filled ride are our very active children; Cooper (12), Billy (8) and Matilda (6).
We go away for short trips and longer journeys and are always inspired to live our lives to the fullest, with more happiness and purpose in memory of our late son and brother Jack Hanson Clarke. He is our brightest star in the sky. Our family loves caravanning and camping, and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to be ambassadors for Apollo RV Sales, taking different caravans on adventures around Australia.
Apollo RV Sales Ambassadors, The Hanson Clarke Family's third trip away in the Coromal Adventure Seeker was unforgettable for the wrong reasons. It was an extremely wet, windy and wild adventure. You can have all the sunscreen, hats, insect repellent, surf boards and Speedo’s packed for a beach getaway, but sometimes mother nature has other plans…
Our family took the Coromal Adventure seeker away for a week’s holiday to Alexandra Headland on the Sunshine Coast. Known as “Alex” to the locals and frequent visitors alike, we couldn’t wait to enjoy the beautiful beaches and embrace the coastal break. We were combining the trip with watching our eldest son Cooper compete at the Queensland Youth Surf Life Saving Championships. We love having the opportunity to combine our kid’s sporting activities with a family getaway. The plan was to have a bit of family downtime on the back end of an active holiday.
With a quick last-minute look at the BOM the weather did not look good, so we added rain jackets, umbrellas and extra towels whilst packing the Coromal and we headed up the M1 from the Gold Coast.
Arriving in less than 3hrs, we were glad to have a dry set up despite the grim predictions of both the amateur and expert meteorologists. And then, the heavens opened and the rain didn’t stop for the week!
We received over 400mm plus of rain over our first 3 days. The competition was cancelled, and roads were closed, as one of the worst natural disasters hit Queensland and Northern NSW before heading further south to Sydney.
We witnessed camper trailers and old caravans leaking, people leaving their tent’s set up that had been flooded and moving into cabins or leaving completely. Tents, Gazebos and other camping equipment was obliterated by the storms and the population of an entire caravan park was hoping we were high enough to avoid being flooded in.
We felt so fortunate that the park we were staying in handled the amount of rain quite well, even though we had rivers of water in front of us and at the rear. We were so relieved to be dry in the Coromal. We dropped the awning down slightly and put-up extra walls to provide more protection. Having the toilet and shower in the Adventure Seeker was the biggest bonus. Usually if we were staying at a park we would use the amenities, but the rain was so heavy we all used the toilet and shower in the Coromal for the entire trip to keep us dry.
Although our trip away wasn’t what we had envisioned we made the most of it by supporting small local businesses and by eating local. As a family we knew we were safe.
The highway was closed so we made the best out of the terrible conditions. Rain, hail or shine we always make sure that the most important thing we do as a family is make memories. The kids enjoyed playing in the rain and still loved the skate bowl that’s right on the beach front next to Alexandra Heads Surf Club. When the sun did shine we embraced every dry moment we had and still fit in a few things on out bucket list.
We love the Sunshine Coast and look forward to better conditions when we head back in 2023. If you head to the Sunshine Coast here’s a list of things we love to do:
- Coastal walks
- Beautiful beaches
- HMAS Brisbane lookout
- Eumundi Markets
- Exploring Mooloolaba, Maroochydore and Buderim
- Visit the local breweries - 10 Toes Brewery
- Rice Boi – Asian inspired street food
- Local Markets
- Maroochydore RSL – kids play area was a hit
- All the surf lifesaving clubs have fantastic menus and cold beer on tap with stunning outlooks over the ocean
We ate several times at Alexandra Headlands Surf Club and loved the food, the specials, the roast and kid’s meals. We thought it was terrific to see them stock wine from The Hidden Sea wines: for the wine drinkers they have the Rose’. This is a great drop which has a positive impact on the ocean. With every bottle sold they take out 10 plastic bottles from the world oceans. We shared the bottle of wine with a group of friends and felt so fortunate that we were all safe and dry. Once the highway opened we could get home safely to check on our own homes and then help others affected by the terrifying flooding.
A huge thanks once again to the team at Apollo RV Sales and Coromal. We have been fortunate to take the Adventure Seeker on several adventures, but we will never forget this one for all the good reasons and the bad weather!
Looking forward to sharing more of our travels.
Brooke and Family x