Monday, 7 September 2015

The Gold Coast Australia Trip Part One

So back in July, Dan and I travelled across to the Gold Coast for a 10 day trip.
The trip was to celebrate our 4 year anniversary together.

Highlights of the trip?

Paradise Isles:
We stayed at Paradise Isles on Chevron Island, Surfers Paradise - the Manager Diane Fowler was a pleasure to deal with. She went out of her way to help us. The apartment we had was nice. A simple layout with an open plan kitchen/dining and living room all in one, with a queen sized bedroom and a well proportioned bathroom complete with a full laundry. No bath in our apartment, and not sure if there are any in the others. Considering it was school holidays and the place was fully booked, I was pleasantly surprised to see that we didn't have any issues with noise or anything. Close enough location to walk into Surfers Paradise and surrounding area. The Thomas Drive shops just up the road (within a 5 minute walk) were well explored by us - we ate takeaways / in restaurants every night, even though we had a full kitchen in our apartment! The resort also has a well fenced pool and spa area, with a BBQ - We didn't use them though. (Open 7am to 9pm). The Gold Coast Marathon was also on the weekend we arrived, and so some streets were closed, but if you're walking it didn't matter so much.

It was a pity the bus company the resort uses for airport transfers didn't have our flight time - so we ended up using an UBER driver to take us. Diane is in talks with the bus company about this to allow for early flights to NZ to be able to use their services in future so watch this space! A taxi from the airport to/from Chevron Island will cost around $70 one way. This trip is around $45 one way through UBER. Local bus companies also do airport transfers.

The Pizza shop on Chevron Island: Milanos Pizza was really, really good. Definitely go there! We had dinner from there twice. They have awesome deals for a pizza with a garlic bread and soft drink for $19 (or $21 depending on which pizza flavour you choose). We had one of each deal while we were there. One pizza deal is large enough for 2 adults.

Chevron Island Village - the location of the resort, has it's own website too, although it's a little old and not regularly updated.

Travel options?

GoCard: 
(Thanks goes to Alice my friend from Brisbane who suggested this to us.) Buy a GoCard from a 7-11 and save on public transport. You can use the card on public transport - buses, trains and the new G:link tram. The G:link tram is smooth and we used it to go to and from Pacific Fair for a shopping trip the day before we flew back to Wellington. The bus is super easy too just remember to touch the GoCard on and off when you board/disembark.
You can top up your GoCard from any 7-11 or at the tram stations or onboard with the bus driver - just talk to the driver for how to do it. We topped up at 7-11 since we didn't know how to use the tram station top up, the machine isn't totally clear for how to do it, so maybe ask a local or just go to a 7-11. Also at the end of your trip you can return your GoCard to a local Information kiosk and get the credit off it refunded to you - sadly we couldn't do this as we used it literally until the last minute before our flight.

UBER travel app:
(Thanks to Ranee's friend who suggested we try UBER when we weren't sure how to get home at the end of her party.)
If you sign up to UBER use my code. It gives you a free ride (valued up to $25). Dan and I used UBER twice, the first time we were travelling around midnight from a friend's birthday (house) party, and it was good. Although I wasn't fussed on the driver, so I didn't enjoy it as much. Our second trip out to the airport was much more enjoyable. If you're into just sitting and listening to music you can do that, or you can talk as much as you like with the driver. Seeing as our airport trip was super early in the morning and we'd chosen to stay up all night (rather than sleeping for 3 hours), we were quite tired so we didn't talk so much.
The driver will also have GPS through the app so it shows where you're up to in the trip - you can see it on the drivers phone as well as on your own with the app open. It's quite easy to use the app, just pop in your pick-up location and where you want to go and it shows nearby drivers close to where your pick-up is, they can then decide to accept your trip. The first driver to accept you will be your driver.
When a driver picks you to pick up it shows you (through the app) their name and photo and gives their vehicle type and registration plate. To me this is safer than a taxi - you don't have any of their info until you're in the car. The payment is directly from your credit card - much easier to deal with than money.
For your first trip - tell the driver and they can give other discount codes too.
Here are the app links: Android and Apple iOS.
UBER is a worldwide taxi like travel app for drivers to pick up 'riders'. At the end of the trip you can rate the driver/ the driver rates the rider/s I suggest giving good feedback unless there's a massive issue. Failure to rate (highly) means the app will cease to work for you in future (eg. if your ratings are low you will be declined by all drivers and the app will be removed  for use by you, in the future).


****I was not paid to advertise any of the services in this post,  I am just writing my opinion/s on them.****