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Some questions about travelling to gold coast mid Oct

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Singapore, Singapore
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Some questions about travelling to gold coast mid Oct

Hi Guys!

I will be travelling to GC from the 18th of Oct to the 26th of Oct with my partner. We have yet to pick a place to stay as our visit coincides with the GC600.

I understand that the GC600 runs on a street circuit part of it on the GC Highway (please correct me if i'm wrong.) But is there anywhere I can find out about the actual road closures and diversions so I can mark them out on my map before I decide where to stay?

Also, we are looking to rent a car during our visit as we have read that the national parks are not being covered by public transportation and our only choice are the day tours. I have done some simple math and it seems that the cost of the day tours can run quite high even if its just 2 of us. Has anyone had bad reviews about Thrifty from the airport? From the major companies that have a desk at the airport, they are the only ones that have insurance coverage which have nil excess. But I wonder if this is exactly necessary? If I were to just get the standard coverage, which company would be best to engage in terms of service, reliability and integrity? I would not want to be renting a car from a company that does shady business.

As my flight out of GC on the 26th is early in the morning, will the rental desks be open to collect the car at about 7am?

Also, I have included a rough itinerary here and would love for some feedback and suggestions!

Day 1 - Straight after collecting the car, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary and Burleigh Heads National Park.

Day 2 - Morning hot air balloon ride at tamborine mountains followed by visiting the carrara markets and sp beachfront markets. I understand it is the scarecrow festival during my visit. However, I'm not sure where the end point of the hot air balloon ride will be. Can anyone advise on this as I would love to drop in on the scarecrow fest after the hot air balloon ride or should I just shift the hot air balloon ride to another day?

Day 3 - Movieworld and Skypoint which will take almost an entire day.

Day 4 - Tamborine mountains skywalk and Gallery walk (is this open on weekdays?) and visiting the Cedar Creeks Estates glow worm caves. Not sure if we have enough time but we would like to visit Springbrook National Park's natural bridge and natural arch and also the best of all lookout. From google maps, its seems that the Best of All lookout and Natural Bridge are on different stretches. In visiting Springbrook, is there any parking space nearby or is it better to join a tour?

Day 5 - A day trip to Byron Bay perhaps? Is there any must see along the way to Byron Bay from SP and will a one day trip be too taxing?

Day 6 - A day trip to Brisbane. We are thinking if we should visit the Australia Zoo. How different is this from Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary? Also, is visiting the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Brisbane worth it after we have visited Currumbin? I think that we can only do one place in one day considering the time taken to drive to Brisbane / Australia Zoo. Apart from these 2 places, should we consider anything else in our itinerary when going to Brisbane?

We have basically left Day 7 and 8 free for now as we're not sure where else we can go. However, we might try out seaworld and wet'n'wild as there are some 3day passes and we can definitely shuffle the days around. As we're still planning our trip, we welcome and appreciate all inputs as we would like to get the most out of our trip!

Thanks in advance for all your inputs!

Melbourne, Australia
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1. Re: Some questions about travelling to gold coast mid Oct

All of the major rental car companies are OK to use and provide service desks at the airport: Avis, Hertz, Thrifty, Europcar, Budget. Their websites will show opening times for the Gold Coast Airport branches.

Many people on here advise against hopping into a rented car immediately following an international flight to a foreign country. Up to you, just be well rested and clear on where you're going! Be sure to check the condition report of the vehicle accurately before driving away. Don't forget to check things like mirrors and wheel hubcaps for scratches.

Tamborine is a nice area though in my opinion a little overrated. I should imagine things are open on a weekday but you could email and double-check beforehand.

Perhaps in your travels around the Hinterland you could visit Hinze Dam for a short walk and a snack at the café.

There are gloworms at Springbrook National Park also. It is a good idea to go a little later than the tour buses, these are often packed with mainland Chinese tourists behaving very loudly, obnoxiously and annoyingly with no respect for others around them or for signs directing people to keep quiet & not use flash photography.

There are many "farmers markets" around the place on Sundays. Do a google search & perhaps you could visit one of these in the vicinity of wherever you happen to be on a Sunday..

Good luck on your trip, it sounds like you have made some good plans.

Singapore, Singapore
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2. Re: Some questions about travelling to gold coast mid Oct

Thanks for highlighting Hinze Dam! Anyway, does anyone know how to get to the Best of All Lookout on Springbrook? Where is the nearest parking?

Singapore, Singapore
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3. Re: Some questions about travelling to gold coast mid Oct

Can anyone advise me if the brisbane story bridge is lit up every night?

Singapore
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4. Re: Some questions about travelling to gold coast mid Oct

@Jerry88sg

Yes, there is a car park near the Best of All Lookouts. You need to walk about half a Km from there to reach the lookout. It is not located on the main Springbrook road but you will easily find signposts indicating where to turn. Its very easy to drive around. Also download the Springbrook map from Queensland tourism website. If you are fond of a walking through the forest, see waterfalls, be with nature, you will surely enjoy a day trip to Springbrook plateau.

If you have a couple of days which you don't know what to do, you may consider an overnight trip to O'Reilly's at Lamington National Park. Its a drive of around an hour and half from Surfers. Lovely place!

Edited: 05 August 2014, 10:15
Gippsland, Australia
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5. Re: Some questions about travelling to gold coast mid Oct

In response to your Byron Bay question- you can easily do a day trip to there and it's a worthwhile place to go too. My daughter lives in Surfers and last time I visited we went to Byron for the day and that was in her old car that barely makes it up steep hills!. It's only about 90km from Surfers Paradise.

Gold Coast...
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6. Re: Some questions about travelling to gold coast mid Oct

Get to Movie world early for the opening, you'll ride most rides before the crowds arrive and won't have to wait for 90 minutes per ride.

Singapore, Singapore
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7. Re: Some questions about travelling to gold coast mid Oct

Wow! Thanks everyone for your inputs! I'm getting excited as i plan. Can i check if its better to visit tamborine mountains on a weekday or a weekend?

I'm asking this because I'm weighing it against whether to visit brisbane on a weekend instead. Its either a sunday at tamborine and monday at brisbane or vice versa.

Singapore, Singapore
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8. Re: Some questions about travelling to gold coast mid Oct

I'm looking to visit springbrook natural bridge at night to look at the glow worms.. is there any good tour agencies around that have a tour there?

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9. Re: Some questions about travelling to gold coast mid Oct

You can quite easily do the journey on your own if you have a rental car.

There is Southern Cross 4WD: sc4wd.com.au/tours/… and Scenic Hinterland Tours: hinterlandtours.com.au/glow-worm-tours-gold-…

There are other companies, but I think these two would be more well known than others.

Singapore, Singapore
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10. Re: Some questions about travelling to gold coast mid Oct

I've checked with southern cross and they do not conduct tours to Springbrook in the evenings. Hinterland Tours haven't gotten back to me if their tour for glow worms goes to Springbrook.

I have some time with a rental car. However, I am worried about the possibility of losing my way in the dark. As this is my first time there, how feasible is it for me to travel to the natural bridge at night. Are the walks to the natural bridge lit?