Broadwater, Beach, Bliss - Gold Coast Part II

Posted by ~Summer~ on 19.11.13
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Our 8-hour flight to Gold Coast was quite an eventful, or rather, uneventful one depending on how you see it. For starters, we were not aware that we needed visas to visit Gold Coast. So, we had to spend an additional $200 to purchase them for all four of us, even the baby, at the airport when we could have gotten them at less than half the price online.

Next, we flew via Scoot Airlines and knowing that it is a long-haul budget airline, we expected the plane to be smaller. It turned out that the plane had ten seats abreast in a 3-4-3 layout. We somehow did not request for an additional seat for Ariel and were allocated three seats at the side. When we finally thought of shifting to the four middle seats, well, some fellow passengers had already used them up as beds.



Usually, that would be fine for us to handle but in this case, it was an overnight flight and for some reason, even though we let Angel lay down on our laps to sleep while I cuddled the baby, the big sister just couldn't stop tossing and turning the entire night. When I say toss and turn, I do mean kick. So the hubby and I took turns to be the sandbag and when we finally hoped to catch some rest, the lights turned on. So you could pretty much say we didn't sleep a wink.


As a consolation, I received a beautiful piece of drawing from the fidgety girl on the plane. A pretty house, a clear blue sky and a happy family.

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Hello Gold Coast!


Thankfully, though she had a bad night of rest, she greeted our holiday destination with a big smile on her face.



After having breakfast at Coolangatta Airport, which according to the hubby cost a bomb, we proceeded to collect our Toyota Aurion from Avis Car Rental. Except for the fact that Ariel's infant seat had an awful stench, otherwise we were pretty pleased with the vehicle. If you are planning to visit the Gold Coast, I do recommend that you rent a car because it makes travelling with kids so much easier, especially if you are planning to visit farms which are out of the way or visiting theme parks for long hours and have to lug the bulky necessities.



Our first stop in Gold Coast was Lillydale farm which was a 90-min drive away from the airport. You can read all about our fun adventures and see our animal friends in my previous post here.



Halfway through, we made a pitstop in the town of Beaudesert and went grocery shopping at Coles supermarket. You know, I actually love to visit supermarkets in a foreign land because you get to see unique, sometimes exotic, items on display. My hubby likes to check out the fresh seafood while my big girl likes to push the kids trolley and be mighty proud about it. Do you see what I see in the top right pic? Ah huh, kangaroo kebabs. Fyi, nope we didn't buy that.



I like that we had a spacious boot so it was pretty easy to load and unload our luggage and stuff. Mummyyyy, did you forget something?


It has been long since we had the chance to witness the countryside and I was glad to be able to feel the peace and enjoy its splendor once more.



Although we didn't manage to capture a great shot, these purplish jacaranda trees that greeted us along the way were simply beautiful.

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Blue Waters Apartment



For our accommodation in Gold Coast, we decided to stay in Blue Waters Apartment which is ideally situated at the edge of Broadwater. Since our main agenda here was to visit the theme parks, it was a relief that the apartment was a mere 5-min drive to Sea World and 15-min drive to the rest like Movie World, Dream World and Wet Wild.


We stayed in a 2-bedroom apartment which overlooked the Broadwater and was not only spacious, but nicely furnished as well. Lounge, dining area, tiled floors, two bathrooms, air con in living room, balcony, plus we even had a laundry room with washing machine and dryer.


The kitchen was well equipped with an oven, stove top, dishwasher, microwave, full size fridge, cutlery, crockery, saucepans, frying pan etc. It was convenient and easy for us to cook porridge for the baby so we could bring it out every day and when we had time to spare, we had homecooked dinner in the comfort of what Angel called 'our new house'.


The first thing we did after settling down was to go for a dip in the heated swimming pool right below our apartment. I must say we were really lucky with the weather for nearly the entire trip and with the sun shining brightly on us, that probably contributed to the warmth I was feeling in my heart.



The apartment is also just a stone's throw from the beach, much to the delight of Angel, who was happy just walking on the paths along the water edge and finding, well, dead jellyfish.


And crabs. With their sand ball creations. She even tried to catch a crab which scampered away.



Seagulls are also one of her favourite animals to feed and she was thrilled to be able to do that first thing in the morning.



Picking seashells, taking a stroll and enjoying the stunning views of the Broadwater felt so surreal, simple yet sweet. This is life, to me.

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Foodie time

If you do not know yet, the hubby is not really into Western cuisine and would look for typical Asian food when we go on holiday. Other than when we were at the theme parks and had only the options of burgers, hotdogs, nuggets and chips, when it was dinner time, we would be on the hunt for any restaurant signboard with Chinese wordings.


Nearby where we stayed was a selection of restaurants, cafes and fast food outlets. On our first night, we dined at Runaway Bay Chinese restaurant and was surprised to find that the food was actually quite yummy. Our favourite was the claypot seafood which came with generous servings of prawn, fish, squid and even scallop.


We also visited Australian Fair, a major shopping mall in Gold Coast, which was located just 3km from where we stayed. With 230 stores to choose from, you can probably do a little shopping here if you have time to spare. For us, it was more for the food (yes, Chinese food again!) and the main draw was the FREE parking for the first three hours, which gave us plenty of time to explore the nearby parks and beaches.


BUT, guess what was my absolute favourite meal from the entire trip? Ok, this is not a very flattering picture taken by the hubby, who also happened to be the chef. With some creativity and courage, he whipped up this never-seen-before, never-eaten-before and probably never-will-do-so-again Pasta with Strawberry and Pumpkin Chicken.

Yes, leftover strawberries and pumpkin were used to marinate the chicken overnight. Perhaps it was the credit given to his imagination and appreciation for his willingness to cook, this dinner was surprisingly tasty. And I must say, memorable as well.



Top off the dinner with some ice cream from Baskin-Robbins, simply perfect. Oh, I happened to choose the Peanut Butter 'n' Chocolate Ice Cream flavour which contained the highest calories from among the 16 flavours. And as if that was not sinful enough, I actually ordered another scoop of lime sorbet to takeaway. Well, if you wanna indulge, I guess you should just do it all the way.



You know what is one of the best feeling of this holiday? It is not just about visiting farms, theme parks and beaches. In fact, I loved how we cuddled in the living room as a family of four, how we ate junk food and watched shows on TV. Even if that meant the kids slept past midnight, which isn't something new to us, well, let's just close an eye on this holiday and enjoy every moment of it.

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Parks and Playgrounds

We might not have made it to Surfer's Paradise on this trip, which might not be a bad thing after all. Staying along Broadwater meant that we were away from the hustle and bustle and had a stretch of the water edge to ourselves. In fact, we found so many lovely playgrounds that not only was the four-year-old delighted, for a moment, I felt like I was being transported to my childhood days once more.


Our favourite park on this trip was Broadwater Parklands, which was conveniently located opposite Australian Fair. It had a vast open space, fishing pier, swimming enclosure, water playground etc to ensure that the whole family can have fun.




What delighted us for hours was the Washington Waters Park at the southern end of Broadwater Parklands. It had plenty of fun play equipment to offer - including flying fox, jumping pillow, swings and even monorail peddle bikes.

Yeap, those bikes sure were fun and popular, we had to be patient and hang around while waiting for a chance to hop on. I wish we had these in Singapore too!



Playgrounds. They just have an amazing power to bring on big smiles and amuse everyone, don't they? The kids. The mum. The dad. All of us. 

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Fisherman's Wharf Tavern

Lastly, I wanna share with you this place with a stunning view overlooking the Gold Coast Broadwater - Fisherman's Wharf Tavern. By a stroke of luck, we drove past this place just when the sun was setting. Remember I wrote about pink sky in Sweden? Well, I just saw it again and it was just as beautiful.

It was after a bit of walking around that it dawned on me why I had that déjà vu feeling. Yes, I came to this place in 2008 during my graduation trip. Back then, fun was in club hopping and trying out new brands of beer. Now, fun is in enjoying the scenery and eating hearty meals as a family.



Of everything we tried, including Fish 'n' Chips and Thai-styled Prawns, my favourite was the Fried Calamari which instead of rings, these came in strips and kind of made me addicted.

A backdrop as beautiful as my baby, no wonder I love this shot. Good that it's a little blurry and that you can't see my face. Tsk.


Now, isn't that gorgeous? That moment was fleeting but it did take my breath away.

Well, that's all I have to share for now. Meanwhile, let me sort through the countless pics we took in the theme parks and share them in the next post!

This is Part II of our holiday in Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia. To read Part I on our awesome farmstay experience, go here. All A Happy Mum readers can now enjoy a 10% discount at Lillydale Farmstay. More write-up and pictures to come soon, stay tuned!

To see more of the world, visit my Travelogue page here.    

Disclosure: Blue Waters Apartment provided us with special accommodation rates for mentioning then in this post.No monetary compensation was received and all opinions are my own.

8 comments:

  1. Looks really fun, but the visa sounds expensive! Glad you could settle it on arrival. I love exploring supermarkets when I am overseas too.

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    1. Yes, expensive! Haha, but no choice if not we don't need to fly. =) Thanks for hopping by, Agy! Agree that supermarkets are great shopping destinations!

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  2. Hi summer. My aunt and her family came to visit us in June. We are Australian permanent residents, so we didn't realize that my aunt needed a visa to come here. she rang from the airport, ranting about a tourist visa. Good thing my neighbor works for the Australian department of immigration, so I knew quite a bit about these. I googled ETA, and clicked on the ETA's website link. I just entered their passport details and paid $20 using my credit card. Their tourist visas were instantly approved in a matter of minutes online. They went back to checkin and were on their merry way to Perth. Problem solved. In future if u get stranded at check-in because of visa problems again, don't donate $50 to the airport because they charge seriously ridiculous prices to earn commission. Use your mobile phone at the airport and go to the ETA's website. Key in your passport and credit card details and get your visa instantly. It's instant approval so you can do it any time- In the taxi on the way to the airport, when queuing up to check-in, or even in the toilet. Hope this helps. Cheers.

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    1. Hi Tracy, that's so helpful to know and I wish we knew that earlier! Haha. That would have saved us over $100. But oh well, lesson learnt. I hope everyone reads your comment so we don't have to waste that money again!

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  3. Hi just wondering, for the rental with avis, are there any security bond that you had to pay when collecting the vehicle? Also any vehicle booking deposit? I am trying to book a car but it seems avis cost calculation did not mention these 2 things... Thanks

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    1. Hello, I think we paid in full when we collected the car and also paid for insurance cover. I can't remember the detailed costing so you will have to check that with Avis directly! Hope everything goes smoothly for you!

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  4. Hi,

    we are heading to Gold Coast this dec and still considering if we should get a car.

    Is it very expensive to drive around? And what made you choose Avis?

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    1. Hihi, it is definitely easier to drive around instead of taking public and the roads are quite easy to navigate. The hubby was the one who chose Avis after comparing a few car rental companies websites, I think it was mainly the car model and cost that made us decide on this. You may consider Hertz or Europcar too!

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