Solo trip - Gold Coast
The Gold Coast is one of Australia's premiere holiday destinations. Located at the south of Brisbane, this beautiful gem is famous for its pristine beaches and theme parks filled with thrilling rides. It's generally safe and the people are friendly-making it great for both group travelers and/or solo travelers.
This iconic coast of East Australia has the perfect balance of a relaxing beach-lifestyle matched with exciting activities available during both daytime and at night.
The city center-Surfers Paradise-is prime location to book your hotels/bnb. Malls and restaurants right next to the famed beach with the same name, Surfers Paradise is the perfect place to hang out. Bars and clubs are also in the area so feel free to check them out if you're into that~
Make sure you grab a photo at the sign but watch out for cars passing by as it is right next to the road.
The area is pretty crowded as it is the city center so prep yourselves for girls in bikinis and surfer dudes chilling around.
Skypoint is Gold Coast's highest observation point-located 230 meters off the ground of the Q1 building (Surfer's Paradise). It offers a spectacular 360 degrees views of Gold Coast from the city center.
As it is also open during the day, you may choose to go during the day or at night (like I did) and enjoy a sunset from the height leading to watching the lights from the city illuminating the now-dark skies. There is a cafe/restaurant open as well so you may perhaps enjoy a nice tea-time with your friends and family with a beautiful view of Gold Coast right next to your seats.
Macintosh Island Park
About a 30 minutes drive north of Surfers Paradise, you can find a little island which is also a beautiful nature park where you can find people having picnics and strolls. On top of that, this little oasis also has peacocks and other birds roaming free. This little slice of greenery is a great place to chill and grab some cute photos.
You can take the tram (15 minutes from Surfers Paradise) and taking the short walk from the station to the park or if you're driving, there is a parking lot available near the Bigfoot's cave.
Narrowneck & Main Beach
Cross the bridge (first photo on this post) east and you'll find yourself at another well-known beach for local surfers. The Narrowneck beach is less crowded compared to Surfers Paradise beach which you'll also find more locals rather than tourists instead.
Stroll along the coast (going north) and you'll find yourself reaching Main Beach. Located at Main Beach Parade, this beach is by resorts and apartments where people can easily access the beach from where they're staying at.
In Main Beach Parade, there are cafes and restaurants around where you can grab a bite from as well.
Although the sun was out, the breeze was slightly chilly-making it perfect to spend some time relaxing by the water. As these beaches are less crowded, you'll be able to grab those insta-worthy beach vacation photos.
Dreamworld & White Water World
Gold Coast's theme parks are renowned worldwide for its super thrilling roller coaster rides. The first one I went to was Dreamworld-located about an hour drive from Surfers Paradise. If you're taking public transportation, you may also take the tram to Helensvale station then there are buses available that'll bring you directly to Dreamworld (also Movie World and Wet & Wild).
This park is perfect for both families and friends-having a Dreamworks themed park, parks for animal lovers, and thrill rides that'll have your adrenaline rushing. Personally, I love animals; and tigers are my favourite so I was super excited for Tiger Island. If you'd like to watch these royal animals showing off their intelligence and basically being big fluffy kitties, they do have a show for it so go check them out. You can also find kangaroos roaming free in the Corroboree Park so do capture some shots with them!
White Water World is right next to Dreamworld so simply walk across and you'll find a big waterpark where you can enjoy various water rides or simply chill at the wave pool. After a day in the sun, it's nice to cool down in the pool.
Warner Bros Movie World and Wet & Wild
My personal favourite-MovieWorld-is the ultimate theme park for a DC fan. Basically, if you're a Batman fan, you'll definitely end up with a camera full of photos. There are characters who'll be around (at different times) for photo-taking sessions such as the Joker, Superman & Supergirl, and Batman & Robin (with the batmobile). There are also shows going on such as the Hollywood Stunt Driver show and the highlight-Streets Star Parade.
The Streets Star Parade (3:30pm) takes place on Main Street where you'll see DC superheroes and villains amongst some other character parading on the street. The cosplayers interact with the people as well so I definitely recommend staying for this show before heading to Wet & Wild.
If you're the type who loves screaming your lungs out on intense roller coaster rides, you will love MovieWorld as well. Get launched to the sky on the Batwing Spaceshot and/or get on the DC Rivals Coaster which is the tallest, longest, and fastest hypercoaster (in the southern hemisphere), the thrill rides in MovieWorld are not for the weak-hearted.
Family rides are also available such as the Justice League 3D Ride where you can score points by shooting targets during the ride and/or the Road Runner Rollercoaster. So don't worry, this theme park-filled with rides-is suitable for both kids and adults alike.
Wet & Wild is a little far to walk from Movie World so I suggest taking the bus (one stop) to this water park. It is the largest water park in Australia so if you're a water park enthusiast, you're in for a treat. Max-thrill-level rides such as the Constrictor and the Tornado will definitely amuse you.
Both MovieWorld and Wet & Wild parks are pretty big and are filled with exciting rides and shows that will consume time before you know it. If you're looking to go on most, if not all the rides, I suggest going on two separate days so you may have the full experience.
Sea World & Purling Brook Falls
Located in Main Beach (nearer to Surfer's Paradise compared to the other theme parks), Sea World is a 3-in-1 wonderland-a marine mammal park, an oceanarium, AND a theme park in one place. It has rides and attractions suitable for all ages. Fascinating shows are also available-animal shows such as the dolphin presentation and the sea lion show; and even thrill shows such as the Jet Stunt Extreme. There's also a park (Nickelodean Land) dedicated to younger audiences which includes Spongebob rides, Teenage Mutant Ninja show, and more.
Sea World is promoting conservation of wildlife through education and the rehabilitation of sick/orphaned wildlife. The staff clearly cares deeply for the animals in the park and the feeling is obviously reciprocated by the animals. It was such a great experience to witness the amazing people taking care of the animals with so much love and affection.
Purling Brook Falls is a horseshoe waterfall located in Purling Brook. It is in Gondwana rainforest of Springbrook National Park-a UNESCO World Heritage site-and is by far one of the most impressive waterfall in Gold Coast, Australia. Although it is a pretty long ride (about 1 hour) from Surfer's Paradise, it is a must-see if you're visiting Gold Coast!
Here are some tips for your visit to Gold Coast:
- Get yourself a Go card for public transportation such as the tram and bus available. However, I'd suggest renting a car if you're planning to visit Purling Book Falls. Renting a car would also be beneficial if you're travelling to the theme parks as a group and your hotel is in Surfer's Paradise (it takes double the time to use the public transportation).
(For renting a car in Gold Coast, check out my Melbourne post about renting a car here)
- Plan to visit Gold Coast when the sun is out! With the weather being 20-25 degrees, it'll be perfect for visiting the beaches and theme parks without it being too cold or hot.
- If you're looking to get a local SIM card with loads of data, I used Lebara's 30-Day-Plan (Medium) with 24GB for $24.90 (https://www.lebara.com.au/mobile-plans/30-day-plans/)
Thanks for Reading~
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|Surfer's Paradise||Sky Point Observation Deck||Sunday-Thursday 7:30am–10pm
Friday & Saturday 7:30am–11pm
|Theme Parks||Dreamworld & White Water World||Everyday 10am-5pm|
|Movie World||Everyday 9:30am-6:30pm|
|Sea World||Everyday 9:30am-5pm|