My Free and Easy Itinerary – Brisbane and Gold Coast
To continue from my previous posting, I am going to share with you how we spent our 8 days in Brisbane, south of Brisbane and the surrounding attraction areas of Gold Coast.
Day 1 : Arriving at Brisbane Airport (8pm)
- Pick up Rental SUV from Hertz at the Airport
- Shop for Groceries at Woolsworth 24hours at Skygate.
- Drive south of Brisbane into Brisbane Holiday Village (BHV) for check in at the Penthouse Cabin.
Day 2 : Free and Easy
- Cook home breakfast at the Penthouse Cabin
- Drive out to the nearby Westfield Garden City Shopping Mall
- Pick up 2 Optus Prepaid SIM cards (so i can contact my wife when she and I are separated when shopping in different stores !)
- Lunch at the 8th Street– A sort of Asian Marketplace at the Basement level. Serves excellent variety of Asian (Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Indian, Malaysian etc) food.
- Shop at David Jones, Myers, Dick Smith, Target, K Mart, Woolsworth.
- Drive out into neighbouring Sunnybank in search of Asian dinner meals
Day 3 : A full day shopping at Harbour Town, Gold Coast
According to my original plan, we were suppose to be spending a full day at Movie World, but the online tickets that I prepaid, on the same day I depart for Brisbane were cancelled by the merchant on suspicion of fraud. The merchant saw 2 transactions from my Malaysian issued Visa card within minutes of each other , the first transaction approved for Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary tickets and followed by second transaction approved for Movie World + Sea World combo tickets. I had no idea the merchant decided to cancel my second transaction and did not inform by email. What a bummer !
We found out the hard way, when we could not get pass the Movie World entrance booth manned by the staff with a bar code scanner. The scanner did not recognize my printed ticket vouchers. The staff told me to call back to the merchant who sold me the tickets online. So I phoned to the merchant who explained that they rejected my 2nd transaction thinking it was a fraud. I could have bought new tickets from the ticket booths but then I would not be able enjoy the online savings, which can be quite substantial when going in a group of 6.
The merchant offered to issued the same online ticket vouchers valid for next day and accepted my visa payment on the spot via telephone. All I had to do was to get the tickets vouchers printed from the BHV reception office the next morning.
So I gathered the family, switched the day’s activity to shopping at Harbour Town Gold Coast which is located to the east of MovieWorld. Many Aussie and International branded outlets are found here and sold at discounts. My wife and the kids could spent hours and hours there shopping! But I was not familiar with Aussie fashions and brands, so I sticked to International Brand – Sketchers, Nike, Adidas and Ralph Lauren. My wife was adventurous , checking out the Aussie Brands- UGG, Oroton, Billabong etc.
Day 4 : A full day at Movie World, Gold Coast
I will let you discover on your own what Movie World has to offer. This recreational theme park is for all ages to enjoy the live shows, rides and attractions. A great place to take your family out, enjoy and have fun together. You will be able to cover all the activities here in one day, so you do not need to buy a 2nd day pass.
Day 5 : A full day at Sea World, Gold Coast
This family attraction centre is not to be missed when you are already here in Queensland. You will need to walk a lot to get from one attraction to another as the place is big. As we were visiting in the summer, with so much walking to do here, we needed to apply sunscreen lotion, dressed casually in tee shirts/bermuda and wore flip flops. The shows were the highlights at this centre – featuring sea lions, dolphins and the jet ski stunts. Another not to be missed, is the Penguin feeding sessions.
Day 6 : A half day at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, the other half day at Gold Coast Beach
A trip to Australia is never complete, unless you have seen the Australian wildlife animal favourites – Koala Bear, Kangaroo, Wallaby, Tasmanian Devil, Wombats and Lorikeets. We travelled south of Gold Coast to see these animals at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. We paid a little extra, to have our children pose with a live Koala Bear, cuddled in their arms. And we did not miss the chance to feed the colourful rainbow Lorikeets.
Gold Coast has a long stretch of beautiful sandy beach where waves make it perfect for surfing. When driving along the coast, the sight and view is spectacular, with high rise building and apartments close to the coast. We simply had to stop near Surfer’s Paradise, get down from the car, and walked along the beach and then continue on inland to the beachside shopping.
Day 7 : A full day at Brisbane City & Chinatown
We did the Brisbane River tour by hopping on the free ferry ride. This river cruise is a great way to relax, photograph and watch the people and city tall buildings in a 1.5 hour journey.
After the river cruise, we walked through Central Business District (CBD) of Brisbane into the main shopping street – Queen Street Mall. This stop allowed extra shopping time for my wife and the children. We ended the walking tour with Chinese dinner at Brisbane Chinatown.
Day 8 : Getting Ready to go Home
Our flight were late at 10pm, so we took the SUV out for a drive around the neighbourhood, admiring the houses, and watching how the people in Australia work and play. We first went out to a market in Sunnybank, observed the people and activities surrounding the market place. Then stroll along the main streets in Sunnybank, checking out the stores along the way. We had lunch in Sunnybank and then drove some more before heading back into Sunnybank for early dinner. After dinner, we collected our luggages from BHV, and headed to the Brisbane airport.
We could have gone to see more places in the time that we had , but then we have to balance the itinerary to make it a family oriented outing at leisure pace so as not to tire the 2 elderly in-laws and same time making it exciting for my 2 children visiting Australia for the first time.