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REVIEW: Brooklyn Depot – Surfers Paradise

Located in the heart of Surfers Paradise, in the 4217 building, is Brooklyn Depot. For burger lovers, this place is heaven! For people visiting the Gold Coast, Brooklyn Depot is a short walk away from most accommodation and for locals, you can either catch public transport or park in the Bruce Bishop and get your ticket validated once you have finished your meal.

The kids enjoyed the Brooklyn Classic burgers with the biggest side of fries they had ever seen! My two older kids are in that in between age where kids meals are too small but adult meals are too much – these burgers were perfect.


I was after a bit of spice so I ordered the Nashville burger which included Southern Fried ‘Howlin’ hot chicken, coated in Nashville hot sauce, sliced lettuce, sliced pickles and chipotle mayo – the burger was huge!


Verdict? The kids loved their burgers and skinny fries along with some cheesy sticks and potato nachos. I also ate every single bite and even though I was busting at the seams, it left me wanting more. The portion sizes are bigger than average so you will definitely get your money’s worth.

Side note: While the kids wait for their meals, they can enjoy some colouring with colouring pencils and paper provided or they can enjoy playing a range of board games, cards or Jenga.

Brooklyn Depot definitely ticks the boxes for being family friendly. There is also some great art work on the walls and props around the place so you can ask the friendly staff to take some family snaps – they’ll all be framers, I promise!

Address: 4217 / 10 Beach Road, Surfers Paradise

For more information go to

LOCAL LIFE: Ben Hannant – on life, parenting and the secret to a happy family

Former Rugby League player, breakfast radio host and all-round superdad to seven 
(yes SEVEN!) kids. But what is Ben Hannant’s 
secret to a happy family? 

Born and raised on the Gold Coast, Ben Hannant has a long list of accomplishments. A former Rugby League player, a State of Origin and Australian international representative and now the host of Gold Coast 90.9 Sea FM breakfast show, but Ben’s greatest accomplishment is being a husband to his amazing wife Emma and father to their seven beautiful children. We sat down with Ben to find out more about his family, life and traditions.

You’re one of 11 children, did you always want a big family for yourself too?

I had six brothers and four sisters and although we didn’t have a lot of money growing up, we had a lot of love in the house, sibling fights and joking around but a lot of love and laughter. When I was in my teens I was lucky enough to meet the right girl so we got married and decided to have 
a baby, and that turned into two, then 
three and now we’re sitting at seven kids and I love it!

I feel like my life is full of wealth because of the joy my kids bring and I couldn’t imagine my life without them, it’s the 
best thing ever.

What do you love about 
the Gold Coast?

I grew up on the Gold Coast. We now live out the back of Tallebudgera on a big property with horses, cows, sheep and motorbikes for my son and I love living there.

I am a big kid and I love doing things together as 
a family, taking my kids 
to any of the great the great beaches and pushing them on their boards in the waves, that’s what brings me joy.

Every Monday we do a family activity. It might be a board game or ten pin bowling, but every week we have to do something as a family.
The Gold Coast has so much to offer, there is always something to do that the whole family can enjoy.

How would your wife and kids describe you?

As someone who is always trying to improve and reach his potential. They will tell you 
I don’t like taking short cuts and I don’t want them taking short cuts. They’ll tell 
you I’m always trying to make myself and them better, to grow and to make ourselves the best we can be.

What is your goal as a dad?

To make my kids the best citizens and the best role models who contribute to society. My Dad’s job was to make me better than him and my job is to make my kids better than me. My kids will be great husbands and wives and great fathers and mothers. The more time I put into my family, the more growth and happiness that will come. The more growth you have, the longer it takes, the harder it is and the more you’ll appreciate it. You never have growth in your comfort zone and you’ll never be comfortable in your growth zone.

What is Christmas like in the Hannant house? Do you have any special traditions?

Christmas is all about food! We have a huge breakfast with the works, everything you can think of is on the table!

We have so many kids and grandkids in our family and instead of buying for everyone we play the $10 game every year. You each buy one gift which can’t cost over $10. You pick a number out of a hat. Number one goes first and picks a gift from the Santa sack, then number two has a choice of taking number one’s gift or taking a gift from the sack. Number three can either take number one or two’s gift or pick one from the sack and so on until everyone has had a turn. It’s such a fun game and can take hours! There’s banter, there’s fun and laughter and with some really cheeky gifts in the Santa sack, everyone loves it! Christmas for our family is all about coming together, and enjoying one another’s company.

How do you prepare for the start of a new school year?

Apart from buying uniforms and school books, I sit down with every one of my kids, every year just before school starts, I take them out one by one, with my daughters I take them out on a daddy and daughter date and with my sons I have some father and son time. My wife does the same with mother and son dates and our daughters on mother and daughter days. I sit with all of them one by one and find out where they’re at, whether they’re struggling with anything or need to talk about anything and we are religious so I give them a father’s blessing which is pretty cool and it gives them confidence for the school year. It’s really about communication with each of them
 to see where they may need help and giving them the tools to be able to handle what 
will be happening throughout the year.

You can listen to all the stories, adventures and antics Ben and his family get up to every morning on 90.9 Sea FM’s breakfast show with Heather, Dan and Ben from 5am to 9am!


Originally published in January / February 2019 issue of Kids on the Coast magazine and 13 Febraury 2019 Kids on the Coast magazine

WELLBEING: Extreme heat conditions: Preparing our kids

This heat is affecting both children and adults. My 10-year-old daughter came home from school last week and told me during and after practising for the school cross country she had a throbbing headache and felt quite ill. She continued to tell me this was the most intense headache she had ever experienced. It sounded like a migraine. For the rest of the afternoon, I made sure she had kept hydrated and went to sleep with a bottle of water next to her bed. She also had a cool shower to cool down which seemed to work a treat!

She was fine the next day, however, I gave her a few things to be aware of.

  • Drink water throughout the day, because in this weather we can lose a lot through sweat. Drinking water before outdoor physical activity is especially important.
  • Wear a hat at all time when outdoors, it may not look cool, or it may be annoying but it will definitely help especially if you’re in direct sunlight.
  • Try and play in shaded areas if possible. Kids at my daughter’s school can go into the library or the computer area and sometimes teachers allow kids to stay in the classroom and play.
  • Eat all the lunch, especially fruit in the lunchbox. An empty stomach can make things worse.
  • Early bedtime to allow the body to rest and recover from a hot day.

As easy as these reminders may seem, children can get busy playing at school, they forget to eat their food or consistently drink water, so a reminder every day or two may benefit your child greatly.


Originally published 19 February 2019 on Kids on the Coast magazine

REVIEW: Knox Dining – Surfers Paradise

Located in the heart of Surfers Paradise, Knox Dining is a great place for a family meal. Using wholesome ingredients, the menu is fresh and delicious and infused with international flavours – a great way to satisfy the taste buds.

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As a family of five, we all enjoyed something different. The kids enjoyed the delicious hotcakes and fruit with a side of strawberry ice-cream. They’re the perfect size and the side of fruit balances out the syrup and ice-cream.

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My husband ordered the ‘Big Brekkie’ which went down a treat! It’s definitely big with toasted sourdough, 2 eggs your way, smoked bacon, beef and herb chipolatas, Roma tomatos, 2 hashbrowns and baked beans. Along with the perfect latte, he was more than satisfied!

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I ordered the ‘Veggie Supreme’ which consistes of 2 eggs your way, smashed avocado, mushrooms, wilted spinach, grilled tomato, baked beans and sourdough toast. This is my favourite meal every time I visit… everytime. It’s the perfect amount of vegetables, cooked the way I like, and I’m not left feeling like I’ve eaten too much.

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The fresh juices and smoothies washed our meals down perfectly. Water is also complimentary, just request a bottle and glass from the friendly staff.

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Knox Dining caters to people with food intolerances so whether you or your child is gluten free or vegan there is something for you. Parents can also sit back and relax with their coffee, enjoying the live music, while the kids play on the jungle gym in the playground directly outside the doors.

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Free wifi is available, just ask one of the friendly staff for assistance. Parking is easy at Circle on Cavill, the first two hours are free, which give the family plenty of time to enjoy breakfast or bruch and a play.

Shopping T12, Circle on Cavill, Surfers Paradise
Open 6.30am – 3pm, 7 days a week

REVIEW: Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary ‘Wildskies Free Flight Bird Show’

Looking for something to do these school holidays? Head on over to Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary for their new ‘Wildskies Free Flight Bird Show’. The show will take place in a new purpose built stadium where the birds will fly over the heads of the audience bringing the entire experience to a whole new level. As well as getting up and close to these beautiful birds, the audience will learn about their role in the environment and how we can help.

Two of the Kids on the Coast kids had a chance to see and review this amazing show.

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MARLEY BAUCKE (10 years old)

Wow I can hardly believe it! Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary has found another way to make their sanctuary even better and more fun. You have to see their new ‘Wildskies Free Flight Bird Show’ it is so amazing! I’ll tell you more about it.

Waiting in our seats wondering what’s going to happen then all of a sudden a deep voice comes over the loudspeaker telling the audience about the Aboriginal culture and the first birds to set flight on our land. I didn’t know a lot of these facts and learned so many new things.

After the great introduction a lovely lady named Tina introduces our first bird, Marlon the beautiful Pelican who has long white feathers. Marlon is quite the character. He came in and out of the stadium staring at the audience and was so cute!

After Marlon, a Crested Tern named Monster came out. He was so little and cute and the audience loved him as he splashed about in the water.

Next a fierce Barking Owl named Bailey came out and got up close to the audience. One of the cool things I loved was that the show was very interactive, the Barking Owl was able to perch on the arm of an audience member. Lucky!

After that, the cockatoos came out and flew across the stadium it was amazing to watch.

One of the last birds to set flight was my personal favourite, Big Bird the Majestic Green Winged Macaw. The beautiful red, green and blue feathers brought colour to the stage. Big Bird loves nuts and fun fact – for birds, nuts are like having ice cream or pizza for people. This kind of bird is very exotic to Australia.

The end of the show was near and then Jesse the Wedge Tailed Eagle came out. He was so beautiful! We even got to have a photo with him, with his wings opened all the way! Imagine being so close to one of the largest bird species in the world! My family was so excited!

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KAIUS BAUCKE (9 yeas old)

“Whoosh” came the mist from the moat. “Over 85 million years ago the first bird print was found.” A voice boomed over the stadium. We learned about the Aboriginal culture and the first birds to inhabit Australia. We also learned that we need to pick up all our rubbish so it doesn’t hurt or kill these beautiful animals. It’s important to keep reminding people about this.

The first bird to come out was Marlon the Pelican. His elongated bill was so cool! His trainer Brendan kept giving him fish to eat and he kept catching each one but then dropping it, it was so funny to watch!

Monster the Crested Tern was so cute! He can dive a meter underwater. He is new to performing in front of people but I think he did a great job.

Bailey the Barking Owl was one of my favourite birds from the show. He is so beautiful and he can turn his head 270 degrees in both directions! Wow!

All of the trainers were really good but my favourite presenter was Bernard because he was teaching Big Bird the Majestic Green Winged Macaw to fly on command. Big Bird loves clapping and cheering from the audience so we were trying to be as loud as possible so he would perform for us. We all thought he wasn’t going to fly but eventually he did and it was amazing to watch!

All the birds where really cool from the little Monster the Crested Tern to Jesse the gigantic Wedge Tailed Eagle. My sisters and I had some photos taken with Jesse and all of a sudden, he opened his wings! That was the coolest thing ever!

The ‘Wildskies Free Flight Bird Show’ was the best bird show I’ve ever seen.

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