Just wanted to share our trip in case anyone finds the information helpful.
Bit of background – we are a family of 6 (2 adults + 2 kids [6 yo/3yo] + 2 seniors) from Singapore and for the 8 days we drove around in a rented car.
15 Aug : Flew into Brisbane International Airport at about 7am; collect car from Avis and drove to Gold Coast.
: Quick stop at Yatala Pies en route. The steak, cheese and bacon pie was phenomenal.
: Checked into Air on Broadbeach. Grocery run at Woolsworth next door for daily necessities (toilet paper, dish washing detergent, tissues, etc) and food.
: Kids went to the beach and playground opposite the apartment while the adults took turns to sleep off their jet lag. Had a great dinner at O-Sushi near the apartment.
16 Aug : Rained all day so we hid at the Pacific Fair Mall which is large and has an outdoor playground.
: Carrera Markets – try the churros from a Spanish food stall there. I think it cost A$5 for 5 pieces, not including the dip. Very yummy with a cup of flat white. Shopping wise, we might have gone on a wrong day since it had rained – few outdoor stalls were open and the indoor stalls were nothing to shout about.
: Dinner at Rocks on Broadbeach. Service was very good.
17 Aug : Breakfast at Le Café Gourmand at Mermaid beach – a must try.
: Short drive to Currumbin Wildlife Sanctury – nice place for the kids. Compared to the Singapore Zoo, Currumbin seemed a little sparse, but it was interesting to see the indigenous animals in real life. The sheep shearing show was short but entertaining.
: Dropped by Superbee Honey world across the street. Nothing to see because there was no bee show that day; bought a couple of jars of honey and left.
: Lunch at Burger Me Fresh near the Gold Coast Airport. Great food at a cheap price. Limited seating at the restaurant so perhaps better to eat on the go.
: Drove about an hour to reach the Byron Bay Lighthouse which was beautiful. Carpark at the lighthouse costs $7 so for those who can walk, perhaps park at the foot of the hill and take a walk up. Wonderful view of the sea and the sun setting.
: Walked around the town area thereafter, had coffee and drove back to Broadbeach before the skies turned dark. Too bad we missed the Sunday market by the time we arrived.
18 Aug : Sea world whale watching + Sea world day. We bought tickets from Fun.com.au and Themeparks.com.au respectively. Staff at the cruise centre were extremely helpful. We went out on a day with strong sea sickness warning and they recommended some bracelets which you would wear to help reduce sea sickness – they cost A$20 each but seemed to have done the trick.
: Sights and dinner at the Surfers Paradise Surf Life Saving Club. Food was alright and relatively cheap compared to other restaurants we ate in.
: Bought bread for next day’s breakfast from a breadshop called Breadtop; very similar to Breadtalk that we have in Singapore.
19 Aug : WB’s Movie World. Used the same passes purchased from Themeparks.com.au
: Dinner at Baan Pong Thai at Mermaid Beach. Inexpensive and delicious Thai food. Tina who was tending the restaurant that day was delightful.
20 Aug : Mt Tambourine – 45 minutes drive from Broadbeach. Visited some cellar doors and Cedar Creek Falls which was beautiful. I would recommend visiting Fortitude Brewery for the beautiful location; have a beer and some food at the restaurant.
: Skypoint – admission is a little pricey (A$33? for grown ups) but the 360 deg view was amazing.
: Had pizza for dinner at Costa D’oro at Surfer’s Paradise. As we have come to expect, service was wonderful; food was not too bad too.
: Stopped by San Churros for some hot chocolate (tip : share a mug – the chocolate is intense and thick!) and churros.
21 Aug : Checked out the apartment and drove back to Brisbane.
: Stopped at Harbour Town for some shopping along the way. (about 30 minutes from Broadbeach)
: Arrived in Brisbane and took a walk along Queen’s Street Mall.
: Quick dinner at a Chinese restaurant (called Jackpot or something – food was so-so) and checked into Novotel Brisbane Airport. The Woolsworth opposite the hotel is open for 24 hours!
22 Aug : Last bit of shopping at DFO (Harbour Town was a lot better) before leaving Brisbane.
We thoroughly enjoyed our trip and people there were extremely helpful to us, seeing that we were travelling with young children (our son is in a wheelchair). Tip for Asian families with small appetites like ours – the food portions in Oz are huge! The 6 of us would usually split 3 main courses and 1-2 appetizers and still have leftovers. So when in doubt, order less food – you can always get more later and it leaves room for dessert!