Sunday, March 27, 2016

Jalan-Jalan Gold Coast, Toowoomba & Byron Bay

Down Under back again! But for the first time too, we were there in summer. Yup, our streak of two winter vacays for the past few years was finally broken when we decided to ditch the winter coats and gloves for the sun, sea and surf of beautiful Gold Coast this past December.

I was excited, of course. Gold Coast has always been one of my favourite places, but the three times I've been there before were either in spring or autumn/winter. So this promised to be a totally different experience altogether. And also, for the first time too, we moved away from Surfers Paradise and booked an apartment at Broadbeach. A wise decision indeed, as it was less busy, but with an awesome view nonetheless.

Armed with a 7-day pass for Sea World, Movie World and Wet N Wild, the first order of business was to the hit the parks. I hired a car from this company at a mall near the apartment, and off we went!

Sea World was surprisingly nice. I've always favoured Dreamworld over the other "worlds", but we really had a good day out at Sea World. The weather was sunny but not too humid, and it wasn't too overcrowded.

The following day, it was time for some superhero mingling as we hit Movie World. And it was another day well spent as well, as we revisited all the attractions on offer.

Then it was time to meet up with my cousin Bernie and her husband John, as well as Bernie's sister Vicky from Singapore. They had driven in from Sydney to meet us in a 4x4 with a caravan in tow. How cool is that?

They picked us up from our apartment and we went to the caravan park where they were staying and had a pretty awesome barbecue.

We had earlier bought all the meats at a halal butchery and they tasted damn good :)

The next day, we drove out to Toowoomba, a city approximately 200kms away from the Gold Coast. Bernie and John used to live and work there, so they were quite excited to show us the sights. The drive itself was ok, not much to see, but when we finally reached there, we straight away went up Picnic Point for a spectacular view of the city and surrounding areas.

The weather was cool up there too and we spent sometime at the cafe having tea and scones.

We also visited a museum nearby, which was pretty unique.

The following day we had an even better day as we crossed the border to New South Wales and visited Byron Bay.

A coastal town town famous for being a hippie spot, we were excited to see for ourselves the much talked about beaches and look-out points. And boy, Byron Bay did not disappoint!

I must say, this was one of the best and most-relaxing family trips ever. It was always a pleasure driving in Australia, and the last couple of days too, we used public transportation, especially the trams as a means to get around.

And of course, we had to go back to one of our favourite Gold Coast spots: Point Danger!

And yup, we spent quite a bit of time at the beach too, as the water was just perfect for swimming and catching waves.

The other memorable thing? Star Wars: The Force Awakens opened during the week we were there, so we just had to catch it before we returned to Malaysia!

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