Friday, December 11, 2015

Itinerary for Gold Coast Australia 2015 (7D6N)

School holiday vacation starts early for me and my family. This year we decided to go to Gold Coast Australia for one week. We have not been Australia ever and this is a new experience for all of us. I am so glad that we have the technology called internet which help me a lot during the planning stage.

Ever since I started getting obsessed with planners and making lists, planner our trip to Gold Coast has become an obsession.

Useful tools to have:
Evernote -- I created Travel Plan notebook. I put everything and anything that I found out about Australia inside this notebook. I love the fact that I can access my information from anywhere and any devices

Youtube --- I basically watched all things related to travel and how to pack almost every day. I am really bad at packing. So packing for five people is definitely stressful for me.

Blog -- I definitely read a few blogs about Gold Coast Trip. I need a perspective of a fellow traveler about their experience

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA VACATION
DATE: 22 NOVEMBER - 28 NOVEMBER 2015
FLIGHT DURATION : 8 HOURS 10 MINUTES
AIRLINE: AIR ASIA X

Checklist before going
1. Airplane tickets 

2. Passport - Make sure that your passport is valid for at least six months from the date of your travel. If not, make a new one. You need the passport number to apply for visa.

3. Visa - I used EasyETa Australia Visa from https://easyeta.com website. It cost us about SGD28.00 for eight people. I have no idea why they convert the money to singapore dollar.
You will get approval within twenty four hours. Every communication is through email. So make sure you enter your email address correctly.

4. Book a hotel or apartment. Every thing can be done electronically now. Since we have time share program for vacation with Iconic Vacation Club, we used that. We have to book the room at least three weeks in advance and the date must be from Saturday to Saturday and only at the hotel participate with Iconic which is Mecure Hotel

5. Rent a Car
Book family car for 8 people with Family Car Rental. Make sure that the car that you rent has enough seat belt for everybody. Kids below ten need a child booster and a child four and below need a carseat. They are very strict about wearing seat belts and it's AUD$300  fine per person if you failed to do so.
Every transaction and communication are online and through email. This is definitely zero face to face online services

6. Tickets for theme park
You can booked your tickets online or you can buy them at the park. It's up to you. But have everything read is definitely a good idea. 

Day 1: Traveling day - to Gold Coast Australia
Almost 80% of your day will be at the airport and on the plan. This will definitely be a long flight especially if you have small children with you. Booked your meal the day before is good idea because eight hours is definitely a long time to be without food.

Day 2: Movieworld
Getting everybody up and ready early in the morning was definitely challenging for me. We took about one hour to get ready and out the door.

gold-coast1

It took 20 minutes to get to Movieworld. 
Parking is free.
It took us about one hour to queue and get our tickets ready
Get a map of the park because the first thing you want to look for is the restroom, prayer room and halal food place.
Take as many photos as you can
The park closed at 5:00pm. 
We drove to Surfer Paradise looking for Curry Express restaurant for dinner.
There were many teenagers here because this week was a Schoolies week - where high school seniors came here to party in celebration of end of school for them.

* Driving here was easy because there are signage every where. You stay informed and there's no toll! Amazing!

gold-coast2

Day 3: Seaworld and Kikki K Store
It took us 25 minutes to get to Seaworld.
Parking is also free
Get a map - look for restroom, prayer room and water cooler
Be aware of showtime because you don't want to miss them especially dolphins show
The park closed at 5:00 pm too but we left the park at about 4:30pm.
Next destination was Kikki K store which is 3 minutes drive from Seaworld
I was so happy to walk into Kikki K store for the first time. I felt like a kid in a candy shop.

Day 4: Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary Park and Movieworld again
It took us 23 minutes to arrive at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary Park.
Parking fee AUD$8
I was so surprised by how big the park was.
Walking is definitely tiring.
Must see - koala, kangaroo, bird show, wildlife hospital, photoshoot with koala and other animals.
gold-coast3

We spend half a day there and decided to go to Movieworld again for Escape ride, which we did not do on the first day.

Day 5: Alpaca Farm, National Park and Harbour Town
It took us about 1 hour 3 minutes to get to Alpaca Farm
I love the sight seeing.
This is definitely one challenging trip. 
The amazing thing was when we were up on the hill the network signal was still 4G
So beautiful
After that we went to Harbour Town. It took us 1 hour and 10 minutes to get there.
Lunch at Curry Express again. By this time I was a little bit sick of eating rice and lamb
Salah at Harbour Town - You have to take a key from tourist centre to get access to the room.
After spend for about four hours there, we went to Spotlight Store. Wow! I was definitely in a candy store again. It has the same look and feel as the Spotlight Malaysia but more on scrapbooking supplies.

Day 6: Trip to Brisbane 
This is definitely not in our original plan. So I don't have any activities planned for the trip. I wanted to go to Dreamworld but it's a little bit costly for us.
If I knew that Brisbane was in the agenda, I might plan it a little bit better.
We didn't go to Surfers Paradise Market because there wasn't one that week due to schoolies event.

Day 7: Travelling day - Back home
Our flight was early in the morning and we have to be at the airport by 6:30am.
I was a little bit sad to go home. If possible I want to stay here a little bit longer. 
The whole process - checking in, going through customs took a little bit longer than we anticipate. It left us with little time to do anything at the airport.
Before we knew it, we were already on the plane and preparing to take off.
Bye bye Gold Coast for now.
Hope to see you again soon.






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