Monday, 14 September 2015

The Gold Coast Australia Trip Part Two

So last week I shared some of things we got up to in the Gold Coast back in July, this week I've written more about our trip: Shopping, photographs and fun times. I also do a bit of a review of the places we went and what I recommend to do when you're in Surfer's Paradise and Chevron Island (Gold Coast).

Shopping?

Pacific Fair: 
Open Monday to Saturday 9am to 5:30pm, Sunday open 10am to 4pm.
To get there? Use the G:Link (it is the last stop) or one of the public transport buses (check this website for timetable and journey planner). Located on Hooker Boulevard.
Lots of shops here too ~ from food and beverage outlets in the food court,  Kmart, Myer and a wide variety of clothing and shoe shops, to Smiggle and a surprising amount of chemists!

Beach front Markets: Along the Esplanade by the waterfront.
Open Wednesday, Friday and Saturday between 4pm and 8pm, during summer the hours are longer, I think it closes at 10pm? Beachfront Markets site for information

Cavill Ave ~ One of the main streets through Surfer's Paradise. We found a variety of food and beverages along here. During Schoolies it's worth skipping the area though due to the crime rate increasing.

Paradise shopping centre: 
Open every day 9am to 10pm. Located on Cavill Ave.
Lots of shops in here from clothing, to food and beverages and even a Build a Bear workshop! (When we were there in July they had Minions stocked too).
Another highlight is this cute Photography place just outside ~ didn't get pictures this time, but definitely want to in the future.
Vodafone was my stop for my sim card for my phone. There's a number of mobile stockists all near each other so it's personal choice which to use. I just know Vodafone works with my phone so I went with them.
Dan and I also bought bags from Strandbags - he needed a carry on suitcase, and I needed (Okay wanted) a handbag. Both were on sale. (Score!)
You can find more of the shops and info here: Paradise Centre

Activities and things to do?

Infinity: 
***Warning: a few semi-spoilers:
Open daily 10am to 10pm. An optical illusions extreme journey, through 20 areas of insanity. In a couple of rooms I felt like I just needed to get out of *right now*, filled with an infinite space of mirrors ~ inside the computer themed room ~ (floor, ceiling and all four walls) as well as being a maze like space... combined with not being able to find the door and feeling unbalanced about it all wasn't a good feeling - I managed to stop the panic attack but yeah, it's crazy! It took another couple of hours to have my stomach settle after we had left. (Definitely not so fun for me).  It's well worth doing once, but it isn't something I will do again because of how I felt afterwards, Dan said he'd do it again though.

One room has a wobbly floor (there's an option to go around this one though if you're uncomfortable with uneven floors and the signs do warn you so you can take another path), as well as plenty of very trippy and extreme areas.
One area has a Fog Machine - so be aware you may need to walk through quickly like I did as it's hot and a little too humid and it started to effect my asthma. I wasn't so happy with the strobe light area too - felt dizzy after a short time, so be wary of the warnings and walk through areas quickly if you're feeling off about them. There's some good "scary dark" areas too, nothing is too freaky and even I was okay with it.

Tickets for adults are $26.90,  kids are $17.90, seniors are $19.90 and family passes (2 adults and 2 kids) are $72.90. Visit their Website for the exclusions and warnings: there's also a lot of strobe lights, and other light tricks, so avoid Infinity altogether if you're sensitive to flashing lights. 

Infinity is NOT disability friendly with stairs and dark spaces, you need to be in good health and fitness to go through. No photography and you can't take bags in, but they offer a "secure" space for bags to go behind their counter. You have to wear white sock things over your shoes and white goofy gloves that look like Mickey Mouse gloves.

There is also a photograph spot where they take a photo of you, which you can purchase if you choose. When we went through we accidently/on-purpose photo-bombed another groups one, which neither group ended up buying! hehe.

Q1 aka the Skypoint Observation Deck: Great views over the city and local beaches. Option to do a Sky Walk around the exterior of the building, we didn't do this, but we did see others do it above the viewing level we were on. There is a cafe for food and drink in the observation level too, although we didn't use it. There are no glass floors to walk on - I was a bit disappointed about this, but the building is not really set up for that kind of experience.
Tickets are $22/$29 for adults depending if you want one or two entries, kids entry (one day) is $13 and seniors (one day) is $18. Visit their Website for more information.

Wyndham Cruises: We went on the afternoon cruise, $29 per person (it was cheaper with a voucher through Experience Oz so we got it down to $19 per person (lots of cool things on the site for various tourist attractions for cheaper). We had a platter of food too, and complimentary water. There was also a bar where you could buy drinks as well as alcohol. Lots of the photos I've added to the end of this post were taken from this cruise.

Departs at 3pm and is back to the wharf around 4:30pm.
The crew is efficient and give a good tour with a funny commentary along the way.

There is two levels on the boat so you can be inside in the air conditioned cabin area, or up on the roof deck. We spent half the cruise in each area and if it's warm and sunny definitely head up to the roof deck level!

Pros: There is a LOT of photography opportunities as well as dreaming about the million dollar homes you pass. (70% of which are not lived in full time!) When we went through there were more than 5 sections, and around 6 homes for sale.
Cons: The food platters were plain, but the rest of the cruise made up for our initial disappointment with the food (crackers, and crusty bread with cheese, two kinds of spread and some nuts).

Australia Zoo - just an hour north of Brisbane. (Aka the home of Steve Irwin the Crocodile Hunter).
We visited Australia Zoo on a warm day.

Bindi's Island is quite cute - entry is through a pirate ship, and you can see snakes and a snapping turtle, in her new three storied tree house, which overlooks more of the zoo.

Wear good sneakers as the zoo is huge and you will do a LOT of walking. There is a train shuttle ride you can purchase too - we didn't. There is also wheelchair access and it's disability friendly, it is very accessible with wheelchairs and prams. The zoo is spread out over a large area so you'll be tired at the end of your day there!

Tickets for adults (15+) are $59 per person, kids (3-14) are $35, seniors and students $49 each. More information is on the Zoo website.

We did a transfer to get there from through Experience Oz which was $65 per person. We worked out that it was cheaper for us to just do the transfer to/from the zoo and our resort, and purchase the zoo tickets at the zoo.

One of our highlights was getting a photo with the Tortoise:


The zoo keeper assured us that if the gates were 'accidently left open' the Tortoises would take a good hour to hour and a half to actually notice the open gates and get to freedom! LOL.
They're such large, majestic creatures but man they move slowly.



Comparison to me at Melbourne Zoo about 2 years prior. I love Turtles and Tortoises...

Below: 
Photos from the Cruise; 






Waiting for the cruise to start on the jetty...


Dan with the complementary food.


On board, waiting to depart from the dock.






Dan on the top deck of the cruise boat.





Photography going off...






The dress with the lace inserts.


Chevron Island bridge between Chevron Island and Surfer's Paradise main shopping area.


Us at the Q1 Skydeck...





The hair ties I swear by:
These are so, so good and
they don't leave that annoying kink in the hair when you wear a pony tail all day... 


Glassons NZ also sell them (they're currently on sale, so may not be available for much longer).


Dan with our cocktail we had with lunch, fresh berries with lemonade and vodka. Yum!


Flowers on Chevron Island... 


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