Ahhh Australia. Where does the mind wander off to when you hear of the Gold Coast? White sand beaches, rolling water and seaspray with city landscape in its backdrop... sunny skies, sun on your face, swimming in crystal clear warm water, champagne on a deck overlooking all of these beautiful beaches... This is exactly what you should be doing with the right budget and a legitimate weather forecast!
However, a few days before we departed our fridge broke down and the night before we departed Auckland I had a quick glimpse online at the weather forecast for the week and *UH OH* rain rain rain rain with a chance of... RAIN and a really good chance of thunder and lightning. Bloody hell, really? What did I do in a previous life to deserve this? Gone were my dreams of the sun beaming on my face and my toes digging into white golden sand. Gone was most of my budget and hopes for a rocking tan. Not to fear though, there are always ways to cater to your entertainment needs when the weather and wallet want to pack a sad!
We were staying right on Broadbeach in the heart of "The GC", the views we had from our accommodation were just amazing. A stroll down the road would get us planted right on the beach front. You could seriously walk for a long time marvelling over the reconstructed dunes and coastline. Definitely make a day of beach visits and exploration, especially if you are on a tight budget, beach hopping is free! Luckily for us a 5 minute walk away was the great Pacific Fair Mall. What an epic mall! If you go at the right time you can hit a lot of the sales and bargain hunt your heart out.
About 3km from Broadbeach is Surfers Paradise, another great place for holidaymakers and shoppers alike. Other areas to check out especially if you are into surfing are 'Snapper Rocks' which is a famous stretch of beach for hosting world renowned surf events like the Roxy and Quiksilver Pro. Here you will find some of the greatest surf breaks in the world. We were here for the Quiksilver Pro just last week but it was rained off unfortunately. Some big surf names had travelled from far and wide to attend the popular event. Other popular areas are Duranbah or as the locals like to call it "D'Bah" which is known for catching the swells. Even if you're not into surfing there are plenty of spots to chill out with some lunch and have a couple of drinks while watching all of the action.
Another great way to spend a day out is by visiting one of the many Theme Parks which are only a 20-30minute drive away from most accommodation on the Gold Coast. From Dreamworld to Whitewater World, Seaworld, Movie World and Wet n Wild, your adrenaline will definitely get a work out. Our picks for the day were Dream World and Whitewater World. You can get some great 2 for 1 deals on the back of supermarket coupons or through travel agents in shopping malls. Rides and thrills galore!
Some of the most epic rides you should go on at Dream World are "The Claw", "Wipe out", "Buzz Saw" "The Giant Drop" "Tower of Terror 2" and my personal favourite "Pandomonium" they are all crazy good times! If you time your visit as you enter, make sure you catch the Tiger show at Tiger Island at 12pm and 3.30pm daily. This way you can capture amazing sights of Bengal tigers and their trainers doing tricks and showing off their amazing tiger skills to an excited and captivated audience. It is not to be missed and it was the biggest highlight of my day.
Whitewater World is connected to Dreamworld and as soon as you enter you are surrounded by tons of colourful and outrageous slides and water features. What I found impressive was the fake beach with waves, a great place to start at to get you used to the water. Some of the epic rides you must have a go on are "The Wedgie", "The Green Room" and one that is bound to be a Kiwi Favourite, the "Bro" ride. Another good one to rest out if the Hydrocoaster, if you are afraid of going along you can grab a double with a mate and both scream your lungs out down the tubes surrounded by rushing water, spiraling you into a massive bath tub like lake. It's great to have a variation between both worlds, especially when it gets hot and humid later into the day and you can chill out in the water.
I can't forget to mention one of Australia's great night out events, Draculas. Not only in the Gold Coast but also in Melbourne. A home away from home some dark souls may call it. You are greeted by vampiresses and escorted into the palace where the dinner theatre awaits. A night of horrors, laughs, acrobatic comedy and unforgettable showcase is what to expect. You are given a 3 course meal and you get to watch an enchanting and thrilling set performed by talented and twisted performers!! There is a slave that will make themselves known to you for all of your needs throughout the night.
That was most of my week on the Gold Coast, some of the days were a bit cloudy and rainy but like most people I knew a bit of rain wouldn't kill me and braved it out either way trying to make the most of the time I had. It is a nice little getaway bustling with nice bars, restaurants, lush beaches and nightlife. Definitely make your way through 'the GC' on your travels and check out 1 or 2 of the places I've mentioned if you have time!