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!