You’ll have to decide how many days you want to spend at Gold Coast. There are 5 theme parks and each will take a day.
Gold Coast Day 3: Amusement Park
1. Dreamworld: Roller-coaster rides, interactive tiger show, and IMAX theatre (Adult A$102/Child A$68, for two days including Whitewater World);
2. Whitewater World: water theme park;
3. Sea World: sea animal shows, and some rides (Adult A$66/ Child A$43). Given reports that Sea World ill-treats its animals, it’s unethical to support them. I’d advise you to skip this one;
4. Warner Bros Movie World: Movie-themed rides (A$66/$43)
5. Wet n’ Wild: water theme park (A$45/$29)
Gold Coast Day 4: Sea Sports, Q1 Tower
Don’t waste the beautiful beach. Do a sport. Get your hotel concierge to recommend you a reliable surf school to surf, kayak, snorkeling, or body surf (which is easier). Ride a hot air balloon (Balloon Down Under or Balloon Aloft). Bungy jump. Whale watching. Just pick one activity, because it will take half a day. Use the other half a day to go up to Q1 observation deck, walk around the area, or just suntan on the beach.
If you have another day to spare, you can drive 2 hours to Byron Bay, and spend the day there.
What to Eat at Gold Coast
We didn’t explore the food scene much because we were too full in Brisbane. For cafes, check out Qantas’s write-up, Crave, and Beanhunter. The two cafes that constantly pop up on top 10 lists are Commune and Bumbles Cafe. For fine-dining, consult the Chef’s Hat (equivalent to Michelin Stars). If you want something familiar, try celebrity chef Luke Morgan’s Salt Grill at Hilton. (We have Salt Grill in Singapore too, which I visited in 2011 and 2012.)
At Surfers Paradise, we ate at Hurricane’s Grill. Eating at Hurricane’s is like posing at the Leaning Tower of Pisa: it’s cheesy, but it’s must-do. The humongous ribs were too charred, but service was excellent, and view was nice. Spent A$71 for two persons.
At Mermaid Beach/ Broadbeach, we ate at Mandala Organic Arts Cafe. It was everything a vegan restaurant should be: very new agey, like the hippies in the 60s. The pizza was pretty awesome (menu here). Despite my jibe, I highly recommend this cafe. A$31 for 2.
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.
Categories: Gold Coast