Where we went: Parc-Bah Expresso and James Overell Park (Nerang River). Both located in sunny Southport on the Gold Coast of Queensland, Australia. It suits: Anyone with a dog. Soundtrack: Top hits were Jungle – Tash Sultana, Nancy Mulligan– Ed Sheeran and for our four year old, True Colours – JT and Anna Kendrick. Kid-friendliness: 5/5 Day Trip Rating: 4/5
Normally, B takes Hudson the dog on a run in the morning. He didn’t today and Hudson objected. Loudly. Carrying his lead around, whinging at every human in the house and woofing at the door sent the message loud and clear. Dissatisfaction. Given the warm weather will soon be coming to a close, we decided it was time for Huddy to experience his first swim.
Googling around, we found this very popular sounding cafe – The Parc-Bah Expresso – a dog friendly cafe opposite a dog park. And friendly it was! Despite Huddy rudely greeting the other dogs (aka, loud barking), he was welcomed and doted upon by both the other patrons and staff. He had a lovely chat to the other dogs after settling down too and so did his human Daddy.
So, what makes this cafe so exceptional? It’s not tailored just to humans – it’s tailored to our woofy friends too. There is a lovely doggy menu, alongside what looked to be a lovely human menu too. We ordered a caramel slice to share and our four year old, A, proudly drank her baby cino. She was quite taken by the mug and that the Barista let her pick what colour marshmellow she would like. I wish I caught this chick’s name – she was so kind and had a nice old chat with Miss A. As for our beautiful dog – Hudson – he ordered (with some assistance from the four year old) peanut butter and bacon flavoured doggy ice cream. I tried to take a photo of him eating it, but he’d scoffed it in about 10 seconds flat. Clearly he enjoyed it. We certainly enjoyed ours too!
Photos: The partly drunk baby cino, doggy ice cream and caramel slice before both were devoured, and the Nerang River.
One of the best parts of this little trip was speaking to one of the locals, who suggested the Nerang River by the park for a first time doggy, so he wouldn’t get overwhelmed. As she said she spoke from living 64 years in the area, we decided to ditch our original plan and head where she recommended.
She was right on the money too. In typical golden retriever fashion, he took the water almost immediately and had a fantastic time – except for when someone went past loudly on a jet ski and he bolted very quickly. This can evidently be seen in the top image! Oh and what fun he had chasing and barking at other dogs.
A had a great time too, throwing the ball, chatting to other dog owners and telling them that her dog likes to poop. We waded in the river, only up to our calves. A was told explicitly that she was not to get all wet. Unfortunately, this plan change when she face planted so we from then on she enjoyed rolling on the sand, making angels, and floating ‘like a sea star’ because, as she informed us, “sea stars are not actually fish, so you don’t call them star fish.” She was pretty proud of her sand castle and her, her daddy and dog enjoyed some great races along the sand. Her Daddy didn’t enjoy when Huddy took it upon himself to continue the race over to a men’s football team and interrupt by trying to join in their game.
Us adults enjoyed how relaxing the day was and going for a stroll along the water. As a 29 week pregnant lady, I enjoyed sitting in the shade and watching them all do physical activity while I lazed about.
Toilets were manky when I visited. Avoid.
Honestly, a lovely little day out that tired everyone. Go forth with dog and kids in tow, suss it out and please do try the caramel slice. I’m salivating just thinking of it. And if you aren’t a pregnant lady and are going without children, wear your running gear and have a jog.
P.S At this stage, I’ve decided not to post photos where my family can be easily identified. For this reason, there won’t be any photos of showing our faces. This may change in the future, but for the moment this is my decision.