Travel Tuesday – Sunny Gold Coast, Australia

There is nothing more that I look forward to than a holiday to get me away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Shortly after our getaway to beautiful Bali in May, we jetted off to Gold Coast in July after we snagged a good Scoot offer. Although it was supposed to be winter, you can always count on the sunny state to bring lots of sunshine where the July weather was between 9 to 20 degrees.

We took the red eye flight at 10:25pm and was hoping to catch some sleep on the flight.  But with food being served, people walking up and down the aisles on a full flight, the constant chatter and the lights only turned off after midnight, sleep eluded us and I felt a little dazed from the lack of sleep when we landed .

Day One in Gold Coast

After a quick breakfast at the breakfast, Alexis went to buy a data plan so that we can navigate ourselves when we drove.

The convenience stall in the airport that sold data plan

We figured that since Gold Coast wasn’t that big, we’ll be be able to get from one place to another faster by car. We did some research and Apex topped the list for having the most competitive rates where we paid AUD$42 a day for 9 days. The car also came with a child seat for Sophie.

But for those who don’t drive, you’ll be glad to know that Gold Coast just started their their Gold Coast Light Rail , which takes you to Surfers, Broadbeach and Main Station just to name some of the 16 stations that it runs through.

We had initially planned to visit the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary on the first day. But thankfully we changed our plans as we exhausted from the flight and decided on a more leisurely day. So we headed to the famous Surfers Paradise beach.

It must be something in the air, but it felt so refreshing to see the vast expanse of sky and sky collide , to hear the crashing of the waves and see the golden sandy beaches that all our tiredness melted away under the warm sun rays as we strolled along the beachfront. Sophie was running around and chasing after the sea gulls after she mustered up her courage even though there were so many of them around. And while it might be winter and we wee cladded in our jackets, there were locals who were sun bathing in their bikinis and surfing.

Since we were already at Surfers Paradise, we thought we’ll go for the Aqua Duck tour. Besides the Aqua Duck, there were a few other companies that offered the same tour, except Aqua Duck gave the kids an opportunity to be steer the boat like a captain which I knew Sophie would enjoy. We paid AUD$35 for adults and AUD$26 for Sophie (kids 4-16 years).

 The tour departs hourly throughout the day and it took us to pass the streets of Surfers Paradise, along the beautiful coastline of Gold Coast with a bit of a bump because of it’s wheels and then later took a swim into the spectacular Broadwater. We managed to see the magnificent Versace and Marina Mirage Resorts as well the homes of the rich and famous and even caught a glimpse of Sea World, where we’ll be staying.

The Aqua Duck Captain for all of 5 minutes

A very proud moment for Sophie with her Aqua Duck License

If you don’t mind the cold or lame jokes from the driver on your tour, this was a rather fun activity for the family especially so for kids since they get to be captain for a while.

By late afternoon, we were all feeling sleepy and went for dinner before heading to a nearby Coles to grab some groceries for our breakfast and went to check into our hotel at the Crowne Plaza at Surfers Paradise.

We were initially given a room on the fifth floor but staying at Surfers was all about having a view of the beach so we upgraded to the 12th floor. Not the highest but it did give us a view of the beach and I was looking forward to catch the sunrise.

The room was pretty big but could do with some refurbishment as the furniture looked a little dated. We had a kitchen area where there was a microwave oven, fridge, stove, dishwasher, toaster and kettle which is useful especially if you need to prepare simple meals. The toilet was also spacious and came with a washing machine and jacuzzi much to Sophie’s delight!

The beds were comfy enough and for the first time we were all sound asleep before 10am. It’s good to be in Australia where it’s all about chillaxing and taking it slow.

I’ll be back to share more about our Gold Coast holidays, where we visited the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary and all the themeparks!

Car Rental – Apex Car Rental
Hotel – Crowne Plaza Surfers Paradise


More of our Gold Coast adventures

Day 2 – Wildlife Currumbin Sanctuary

Day 3 – Dream World with Kids

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Comments: 17

  1. Mich August 19, 2014 at 1:30 pm Reply

    Hi, stumbled upon your blog. We r heading for Gold Coast this weekend with 2 kids. Any suggestions on places to go and kids activities aside from the theme parks?

    • Susan August 20, 2014 at 12:34 am Reply

      Why not the theme parks? But if you’re looking for a change, then I’ll suggest going up to Mountain Tamborine or Springbrook Mountain for a more scenic view. We did the former with the Southern Cross 4WD guided tours and did a short hike in the rainforests of Tamborine Mountain National Parks, did the tree top walk, had tea and lunch, saw the waterfalls, shopped a little and even learnt how to throw a boomerang. You should also go to the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary which we went on day two. And if you have more time, you can head next door to the bee farm. There’s also the glow worm tour but we skipped as it was cold in July. The kids will also enjoy some play time at the Anzac park where there is a playground. Hope this is useful 🙂

  2. Mich August 20, 2014 at 7:33 am Reply

    Thanks for your reply. We have planned for the theme parks and currumbin wildlife sanctuary, but weather outlook doesn’t look good. Thanks for your suggestion in springbok mountain, will check it out later

  3. […] Day One: Hello Gold Coast- Surfers Paradise and Aquaduck Tour […]

  4. jessica April 27, 2015 at 8:09 am Reply

    Hi susan. I also plan to go gold coast in june. Can i know which airline u took, to gold coast?

    • Susan April 27, 2015 at 10:00 am Reply

      Hi Jessica, I took the red eye flight by Scoot. They have pretty good promo to Gold Coast tickets for their Tuesdays Morning offers.

      • Jessica April 27, 2015 at 2:23 pm Reply

        Hi Susan. Thanks for your reply. How is your experience flying with Scoot, as the traveling hours is quite long. 7.5 hrs to gold coast ? Does air ticket price include check-in luggage ? Can share your iternary with me, as this will be my first time there.. Thanks.

        • Susan April 29, 2015 at 8:37 am Reply

          Hi Jessica,
          Didn’t like flying on the red eye flight as we had very little sleep as they served supper/ breakfast around midnight. When we went in July, the flight was full with some big groups who were chatting almost the whole flight. So it’s really who you end up on the same flight. Will send you my itinerary soon.

          • jessica April 29, 2015 at 11:02 pm

            Hi susan. Thanks for your reply.. awaiting for your itinerary soon.

  5. Jessica Ang May 11, 2015 at 3:39 pm Reply

    Hi Susan, how was your guided tour experience with Southern Cross 4WD? Is it fun ?

    • Susan May 12, 2015 at 1:59 am Reply

      Hi Jessica, it was a great guided trip. I would recommend it as the guide was knowledge and insightful.

  6. […] Day One: Hello Gold Coast- Surfers Paradise and Aquaduck Tour […]

  7. Autumn June 8, 2015 at 2:10 am Reply

    I’m going in GC in end of June. What kind of data plan you bought from the hub convienent store ? Was thinking to get a gps or get the data plan.

  8. Fatie November 17, 2015 at 5:33 pm Reply

    hi susan,
    thanks foe the info. i will be in GC this coming march. do u mind sharing me a copy of ur itinerary. thank you for ur help.

  9. Amanda Lee June 7, 2016 at 11:02 am Reply

    Hello! Chanced upon your informative blog! I noticed there’s a kitchen in your room. May I know what room type did you book for the Crowne Plaza Hotel? Is this the ocean view room? I wanna book the same room as you! 🙂

    • Susan June 17, 2016 at 9:09 am Reply

      We booked the King bedroom at Gold Tower but was upgraded to a King Bed Spa Studio Ocean View 🙂

  10. Clandulla Cottages March 20, 2017 at 11:31 am Reply

    Love reading your post Susan.
    It seems you had quite amazing time that day.
    Did you by any chance visit any farmstays?
    Farmstays have been an attraction on Gold coast recently.

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