We took 2800 photos (including video recording) in total while we were in Gold Coast, and oh my it’s so difficult to choose from so many photos and finally decide which ones that I will post in my blog.
Anyway, it was summer in Gold Coast when we visited this city, so I made sure all of us used sun block everyday before we left the house and applied after sun gel after we took our evening bath. Sun glasses and hats were also very important to protect us from the sun.
We arrived in Coolangatta Airport, Gold Coast in a bright Saturday morning on 15 November 2014, and it was also officially the start of our holiday. The airport itself was quite small and crowded. The first thing to do after we arrived was went to the toilet, filled our water bottles with the drinking water from the tap because it was going to be a long journey to our hotel, went to the Visitor Information Center to buy Go Card (it was like an EZlink card in Singapore which we would be using when we wanted to ride the bus or trams), and also went to the store to buy local phone number and internet package. We needed the internet because we would be using Google Maps during our trips. We finally bought local number at one of the mall in Surfers Paradise and not at the airport because we needed time to compare between one package to another.
Go Card is refundable at the airport at the end of the trip which would be credited into our credit card. Deposit amount for adult card was AUD 10 and child card was AUD5 and all were refundable. It was easier and cheaper to travel with Go Card than paid directly to the bus driver. We could top up our cards at any 7-Eleven stores or even to the bus driver.
Car rental was also available at the airport and we saw a long queue on the car rental booth. We didn’t take taxi (which was also available at the airport) because it could be very expensive. So we just followed the public buses sign and took buses to our hotel in Surfers Paradise area. The buses parked very closely to the departure area and it was actually very convenient to ride buses everywhere along the Gold Coast. The buses were clean, good air con, and not many people on board so we usually could choose where to sit. Just don’t forget to tap the card when you enter and alight from the bus. Alternatively, we could also book a shuttle bus but taking the public buses was still the least expensive way to travel for us.
For the first hotel, I chose Artique Hotel and Resort in Surfers Paradise (more about this hotel and why we chose this location in my next post). The trip from the airport to Surfers Paradise took about 1.5 hours and we had to change bus at the Broadbeach Station which was also a tram station.
When we finally arrive at Remembrance Drive bus stop (the closest bus stop to our hotel) , we were all exhausted and hungry. We still needed to walk to our hotel, but the boy was already a bit cranky because he was very tired, the weather was so hot and it was also lunch time. So we decided to eat first in Chickery Chick, a restaurant just opposite Remembrance Drive bus stop and which was actually very near to our hotel. The owner was a couple from Yugoslavia and (surprisingly) Indonesia with 3 children and we talked quite a lot with the wife who was from Indonesia. They were nice and the food was good too, specially the big pile of french fries and the boy’s first fish and chips in Australia.
The food portion was quite huge for us, so we usually shared the food together among us……………….except for the boy who amazingly could always finish everything. Even if he didn’t finish his food, I put it in the lunch box for his afternoon snack (like pizza, bread, or any kind of fried food).
After lunch, we just needed to walk for less than 10 minutes to our hotel. We had no high expectation, but as soon as we saw the hotel and the room………..we were so in love with everything…………………I booked a two bedroom apartment with kitchen and laundry facility inside the room . The hotel was new, modern, and super clean especially the bathroom. It was a nice room and we had a wonderful stay at the hotel.
For this trip, I didn’t buy any attraction tickets online, because I didn’t want to be too occupy by our tight schedule, although the boy had already said that there are some places that he must visit. Fortunately, the hotel receptionist in Gold Coast also sold attractions tickets and the price could be way cheaper than the front gate tickets. Plus, it was also very convenient for us because we didn’t need to queue to buy tickets in the theme parks.
After arranging our stuff at the hotel, we went for grocery shopping and strolling around the area. The boy put his hat and sunglasses and asked me: “Do I look like an Australian?” and I said: “Yap!” and he replied: “It’s a good disguise, right?” And I couldn’t stop laughing………….
We couldn’t bring things that contain milk and cheese to Australia, so we must went shopping to buy our daily needs especially milk for the boy. We also planned to prepare breakfast by ourselves in the morning, so we also bought bread, ham, and sausages. I also added some snacks to our grocery list, because the boy always needed to snack at least twice a day. I only bought biscuits that we couldn’t find either in Jakarta or Singapore, so we could taste new flavor of food. I also found cheddar cheese spread to eat with the bread which was very delicious.
My mom also bought rice because she planned to cook rice. With most restaurants served not so healthy food such as burgers, chips, pizza, fried food, etc, my mom said she must make sure that we ate vegetables at least once a day for dinner. So in order to eat healthy food at dinner time, we also bought liquid packed chicken stock, carrots, and some vegetables for salad. The chicken stock tasted nice and yummy. For fruit, we chose banana.
We also brought instant noodle and it helped a lot especially when we were already too tired to find food outside. This was also the first time for the boy to try instant noodle (indomie goreng), and he liked it a lot.
We substitute oil with butter for cooking because we couldn’t find small package of oil. We saved some small packages of butter and salt from the restaurant where we had lunch and used them for cooking. Eating outside for the five of us could be very expensive, so we really saved a lot of money by preparing our breakfast and dinner. My mom usually was the one who did all the cooking with very little help from us……………
After we were done with the shopping, now it was time to explore Surfers Paradise, especially along the very famous and busy street of Cavill Avenue and the beach.
Surfers Paradise was a crowded place, but we loved it a lot. The boy said he misses Surfers Paradise and especially Sky Point Observation Building. When I asked why he missed Sky Point, he said because it was the tallest building that he ever he’d ever been to in his life……..
We were too tired to walk home, so wee took the tram to Northcliffe Station which was very near to our hotel, and we absolutely loved the tram ride. The tram was clean and spacious and cool and run smoothly on the streets. We loved the tram ride better than the bus ride.
The boy closed the day by dipping himself in the hotel swimming pool and Jacuzzi, and continued by a long bath in the bathtub, then snack and dinner and bed at 8 pm……….amazing how he could have that energy for the whole day when he only slept less than 4 hours on the plane.