Gold Coast, Australia Trip Day 1

After a delay of more than 4 years, we decided to take the plunge and book our family trip to Gold Coast, Australia. We booked our flights in November last year, so we practically had to wait a year for our trip. But it was all worth the wait (and the rising Aussie dollar)…

The Flight

Day 1 started the night before – Our AirAsia X flight on Sunday night from LCCT. I had my reprehensions about AAX, while its much cheaper than any other option, there are some drawbacks to consider. 8 hours to pass at night is a long time. If you can afford it, get the XL seats. Or at least pick a good seat (at a small price). Bring lip balm and moisturizer coz the air in the cabin is dry and quite unhealthy if you have breathing problems. And mostly be prepared not to sleep much. Besides they wake you up unceremoniously 2 hours before landing to sell their merchandise. 2 hours! It’s 3am in the morning, and I’ve only gotten 4 hours of sleep for goodness sake!!!

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Coolangatta Airport

We got thru the airport security quickly, and i got my pre-booked rental car from Thrifty. They had a great offer of 4 days plus Escape Pass (entry into any 2 theme parks for 2 adults + 2 kids) for about AUD$550. I’ve gotta say after everything I’m very impressed with Thrifty and their services, I’d highly recommend them to anyone.

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(Nissan Tiida. Looks a bit like a Latio hatchback)

This was our car. It’s a brand new Nissan Tiida (say what?) with less than 5000km on the meter. Although its a compact, it can easily fit four adults and lots of luggage.

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Breakfast & Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

At 8.30am we were out of the airport, and starving (last in flight meal was at 11pm). For our first breakfast in Australia, we went for somewhere recommended for having food good at cheap prices – the local Surf Club. The nearest was the Currumbin Beach, home of the Vikings.

Get a seat on the deck facing the beach. Man, the view is AWESOME. Fresh air, seagulls playing on the sand, great food, the staff even pointed out some dolphins out in the waves.

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(view from of the beach from the deck)

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(someone surfing in the freezing cold waters)

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(hot latte and mocha to start my day)

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(hearty breakfast on the cheap)

Next to the Surf Club is a rock mountain called Elephant Rock, giving you a great view of Currumbin. Believe me, it sure gets windy up there.

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(Hannah almost getting blown out off)

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(view from atop Elephant Rock)

Then it was off to the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. I had a choice to come here or Paradise Country (which was recommended by Mei Yan) but I decided to come here since it was near the airport and en route to my hotel. The Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is a great themepark with lots of interesting shows. The main stars of this place are the marsupials indigenious to Australia, like the kangaroos, wombats, dingos, etc.

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But to me, the best part of the place was the free flight bird show. If you think the bird show at the KL Birdpark is good, this one is AWESOME, make sure you do not miss it if you come here.

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(something for the Harry Potter fans. Watch out for the wedge-tail eagle…that bird is HUUUGE)

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(kangaroo! why isn’t he wearing boxing gloves?)

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(munch munch munch, sleep, munch munch…)

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(can anyone guess what this cute cuddly animal is?)

Lunch and Check-In the Hotel

We left the Sanctuary at about 3pm, drove to Broadbeach where our hotel is. Before checking in, we dropped by Woolworth’s beside our hotel to do some shopping for a late lunch.

We stayed in a beachview 2 bedroom apartment at the Meriton @ Broadbeach (recommended by someone). It’s great! It’s fully furnished with cutlery and full kitchen facilities, and there’s a washing machine and dryer (which came in VERY handy).

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(large living room… and Foxtel cable on TV!)

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(a king size bed in each room)

Our apartment is about 400m from the beach, although we didn’t manage get to go swimming in the Pacific.

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(view from our balcony on the 19th floor)

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(And on the other side, view of the Nerang river)

Dinner at Surfers Paradise

After a short nap, we took a drive down to Surfers Paradise for dinner.

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(dinner was bacon cheeseburgers at Hungry Jack’s. Mmmm… bacon)

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(I love how their beaches are fully lit at night)

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(downtown Surfers at night. Pretty laidback)

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(on the way back to the car, we tried the much hyped Ice Rock ice cream. Quite disappointing)

After a tiring day, we had an early night.

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(view of Jupiter’s Casino from our apartment at night)


  • gvc

    Hi Simon, you stayed at the meriton serviced apartment, broadbeach, i understand they charge parking for AUD10/night. Is this the rate for whole day? In and out of the place? I have booked at meriton (travelling there in Aug) and planning to rent a car as well since i have a 3year old with me. Do you think 3yr old will enjoy movie world? Appreciate your feedback! Thanks!

  • simon

    yes the parking is AUD10 per day, regardless of how many times you enter / exit. its definitely worth it, they’re pretty efficient with issuing parking summons.

    a 3yo will have plenty to enjoy at Movie World, especially the shows. with a kid, you can put them right in front. Also if you are going there, make sure you get into the car stunt show.

  • gvc

    Hi simon, did you get an international driving license? Or our malaysian driving license is good enough to drive around? Thks!

  • simon

    Yep, i got the international driving licence coz the car rental ppl would need to see it. Costs RM150 for one year at the JPJ. Takes 5 mins to make it.

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