The Gold Coast
Sea, Surf & Fun... and so much more!
January, 26th 2014
The Gold Coast is famous for its hundreds skyscrapers, golden surf beach, its 300 days of sunshine every year and its attractions. I spent my last week in this crazy cool environment and I tell you all about it below!
1. The Coast
- Sea & water -
Well known for its 70 km of spectacular coastline, the Gold Coast is also home to 446 km of canals, did you know that’s nine times more than Venice?!
- FUN -
The Gold Coast has more than 365 attractions on offer, this is more than any other city in the southern hemisphere! Get wet, thrills, tours, shopping, festivals, theme parks, nature, zoos, golf courses…!
I challenge you to get bored here!
A few examples:
Either Currimbin Wildlife Sanctuary or David Fleays Conservation Park are good places to meets the locals.
David Fleays CP: I got the chance to be a zoo keeper for a day and I got up close with many interesting locals: the Greater Glider which is the biggest glider but also one of the weirdest!! I preferred the Yellow Bellied Gliders. I also fed a juvenile male platypus and Pearl, a young tree kangaroo female. This Park is run by the Park Rangers (Queenslands’ Government). It is not that well known so perfect if you don’t like the crowd!
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is bigger and more famous. Apart from the animals, you can go on a Segway, climb trees and have fun on flying foxes. You can visit the Wildlife hospital as well , they received 8500 wild animals last year! Like the one at Australia Zoo, they are busy all year round and they need your donations to keep saving lives. I met a lovely Golden Brushtail Possum for the first time! This is so cute!!!
Fun & Wet
Paradise Jet boat : Fast, fun, wet: this is how I can sum up Paradise Jet boats at the Gold Coast. I loved it even if it was raining!!
We even spotted dolphins and stopped to watch them J
Sea World : A mix of Zoo and Theme park, Sea World is not too big, so you can take it easy. Here you can choose between so many animal encounters, I went for the Dolphins Aqua Adventure and was a nice moment with the animal. If you prefer sea lions, penguins, polar bears…there is a tour for everyone!
I also liked the new roller coaster Storm, was great! Especially the end… don’t be scared of getting wet!
Dreamworld : This is Australia’s biggest park and I preferred this one for sure! Thrills, fun in the water and a zoo, all the ingredients for a good day out!
I could not dare to hop on Giant Drop (120 metres free fall ride)!
Up in the air
Skypoint Climb : I went beyond my limits by climbing Q1,
I stayed for almost 15 minutes at 270 metres high and I am scared of heights! The Sydney Harbour Bridge climbed in June 2013 was a good training as Q1 is twice the height of it! View up to 60 km on the Observation Deck, impressive, I so wanted to see whales…but have to be back during the migrating season!!
Tips: this climb is way better than the Story Bridge in Brisbane and cheaper, so if you can do just one, don’t hesitate!
Helitours: Choose your tour (from 5min to 45min) and sweep across the picturesque waterways, roll the hills and of course watch the golden beaches and count the number of towers the Gold Coast is famous for! Unbelievable!
- Surf -
This is the right spot to hop on a surf board and master the waves! Haha, it’s so much fun. There are 18 internationally famous surf breaks around! But ok if you are not a pro, it’s time to become one J
Get Wet Surf School promises you to stand up on your first lesson otherwise you get your money back! Pretty nice! And on top of that, they are the only ones in the Southern Hemisphere that can offer you the choice between beach surf lessons or surfing lessons in a wave pool. So perfect conditions all year round.
After Noosa, I start to be pretty good at surfing! Yeah!
I was very proud to name a baby koala at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. Let me introduce you to my new Aussie niece: Lady Elliot.
When she was born, she was not bigger than a jelly bean (hard to believe when you see her today), she made her way to her mum‘s pouch and stayed in for the first 6 months to put on weight and grow. Very proud to be her godmother, I chose her name for a few reasons: the Best jobs Adventure started on a beautiful little island of the Southern Great Barrier Reef, back in June 2013 “Lady Elliot island”. This is also the name of pristine and stunning waterfalls in Cape York Peninsula “Elliot Falls” and last but not least, Elliot is one of my nephew in France. I will follow her journey in life even on the other side of the world: wish you the best in life Lady Elliot! (I wish I could take you home J)
Where to stay...
QT Hotel : I already loved the one in Sydney, but this one is even better! Design, relax, the 50’s are back! The service is perfect: be greeted by surfers and Pin Up at your arrival, hop on the lift and be surrounded by more Pin Up. Enjoy a fresh lemonade home made all day for free. The Stingray bar is perfect for a drink before a wonderful buffet dinner in style at the restaurant Bazaar! I was so impressed by all this delicious fresh food and products. Gluten free and vegetarians will also have plenty to degust. I especially liked the presentation as on a market!
But this is not all, a stay at the Gold Coast can’t be done without exploring its backyard: the green hinterland.
Nature and wildlife lovers, you will just LOVE it and for all the others: you will discover a new passion up there!
With a car or a tour, there are thousands ways of getting to the magnificent National Parks next door.
You are in a hurry and just have a day
Book a day trip with Southern Cross 4WD, they have fantastic tours. Look at their “excursion menu” and find THE one. It was an amazing day driving around with my family.
We explored Mt Tamborine and its nice touristic village, where we went on a wine tasting. We spotted a koala up in a tree thanks to the precious help of our tour guide ( J ), walked in the rainforest listening to the cicadas and the impressive Albert’s Lyrebird. This bird is able to mimic other species sounds and also reproduce mobile’s tons! So cool! It lives in the subtropical rainforests of South East Queensland. We took heaps of photos of the stunning waterfalls seen on the way, enjoyed a delicious BBQ in a private farm property and hopped on for more adventures in Springbrook National Park, full of spectacular lookouts and waterfalls. One of the highlights was the stroll at Natural Bridge, which is a natural arch with a waterfall and a cave full of glow worm! How cool is that?!
A full day packed of unforgettable moments!
GLOW WORMS TOURS : the best way to watch the Glow Worms is by night. Come back to Natural Bridge in Springbrook NP alone if you have your own car or book a special tour, but do it in advance as this is really popular. Contemplate these little alive things. Very fragile they can die if you put direct light on them so it is a real challenge to take pictures of them (long exposure and patience is the key, no flash permitted). Such a show offered by Mother Nature!
You love nature and are not in a rush
SO many things on offer for you to choose!
A perfect way to start the day is to hop on a Hot-Air balloon and fly high over the plain and mountain ranges of the Gold Coast Hinterland. Was my first time and even if I ‘m scared of heights; this experience will stay with me forever! Watch the sunrise while up in the air, the only noise is done by the gas sent in the balloon. Peacefully you travel in the sky, amazed by the scenery below your feet! Landing in a field being watched by kangaroos was the must! Hungry after these adventures, we enjoyed the champagne breakfast at Oreilly’s Vineyard: a beautiful property with a perfect setting for a long breakfast. Taste the wines, spot a platypus in the creek or simply relax.
Make your way to O’reilly’s Rainforest Retreat, only 33km up hill from the vineyard : this is an absolutely must do while in the region. Perfectly located in the heart of the World Heritage Listed Lamington National Park, I simply fell in love with the place.
I watched the most beautiful sunset at the lookout Moonlight Crag, I could not even believe it was for real!
Feel connected with the nature, go bushwalking (over 160km of tracks), spot the wildlife (a real birds’ sanctuary and more than 70 mammals species live in the area), ride a Segway to admire the Waterfalls or fly over the canopy with the giant flying fox! After a full day of adventures, I was delighted by the excellent cuisine. The Chef is a master at mixing the inspirations. Bread is home baked and the choice is vast.
Star gaze and appreciate the quiet for the night. 2 days at O’Reillys and I felt recharged! Already thinking of when I can come back!