Our 2nd Trip To Australia (Gold Coast & Cairns)


After our fantastic trip to OZ in Feb '16 , we were gripped by the ozie fever and decided to go there again for Xmas & New Year , and this time to Gold coast & Cairns

Photo of Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia by Rachita's Travel Tales

Gold Coast

Gold Coast is a beautiful city with excellent weather and we were told that it has 9 times more canals than Venice . We stayed at the watermark Hotel which is Right at the Surfers Paradise station and about 10-15 min walk to Cavil Avenue where all the action happens. Fortunately our room was on the 20 th floor and we had an awesome view of the city

Photo of Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia by Rachita's Travel Tales

24 th & 25th Dec -We Had huge Christmas expectations from Gold coast but unfortunately it disappointed us .In fact on the Xmas weekend there were no weekend markets either

Pancakes in Paradise - This was our first meal in Gold Coast .We had read up about the place while planning our itinerary and incidentally the outlet was right next to our hotel . Had a nice black Forest Pancake there .Overall, The presentation was better than the taste of the pan cake

26 th Dec -Break Fast at The Bazaar -The Breakfast at Bazaar restaurant of QT hotel is quite popular and we decided to go there. Excellent spread and great variety, but I still feel , it was not worth the effort of going there all the way in the morning

Jet Boating - did a 55 min Extreme Jet Boating with Paradise Jet Boating . They picked us up in a hummer and took us to the area close to movie world where jet boating happens . The ride was exhilarating as we did the 360 degree spins .

In the end we had the option of buying our pictures and video. Will I do it again - Maybe but its actually good for one time

Hollywood Showgirls Club - while moving around the cavil Avenue, we happened to come across the Hollywood showgirl strip bar. Initially reading the online reviews,we were a little skeptical about it . But when we went in, the place turned out to be pretty cool and the girls were more classy then erotic. Overall good fun. We ended up going there the next night as well and honestly this turned to be the highlight of the entire vacation

27 th Dec -Surfing Lesson - Since no trip to Surfers Paradise is complete without a surfing session, I decided to take a surfing lesson as well. Here I would like to mention, that I am a non swimmer and this for me was a way to get out of my comfort zone in a fun way.

The booking office of the school comforted me that its completely safe for non swimmers since the beginners lessons take place in an area which is waist deep only , however the current was too strong for me and had to leave it in between

Tip -There are a plenty of surfing schools in Gold Coast but Look for a school which has less number of people per coach

Sky Climb- Skypoint Climb Q1 , is the tallest building in Gold Coast , about 230 meters above sea level .

Photo of Our 2nd Trip To Australia (Gold Coast & Cairns) by Rachita's Travel Tales

It's One of its kind experience, walking on the outside one of the tallest buildings in the world .Once we reached the top of the building, We even celebrated the 18 th birthday of one of the girls in our group .The place had witnessed a couple of proposals in air and a wedding had also taken place there , just that the couple had to wear the special gear over their wedding dress. Good as a one time activity.

28 th Dec - we had half day in Gold Coast since our flight to Cairns was in the evening, so we decided to go shopping .Pacific mall is one of the biggest malls in Gold Coast and has almost all the big brands. We were lucky since that time most of the shops were on sale coz of Xmas & Boxing Day and we had a blast

Stay - for the first 2 days we stayed at Novotel Cairns Oasis,

(since cairns was overbooked for the holiday season & we planned at the list minute).The hotel is a 4* but is centrally located , close to the esplanade .It offers a comfortable and clean stay but misses out on small necessities like bathroom slippers or shower caps . Also, the area around the hotel is full of bats and gets a little spooky in the night .The Hotel breakfast buffet is average

29 th Dec The Great Barrier Reef -The Corals at cairns are the largest living thing on the planet and even visible from the outer space . We had the option of either going to The Green Island or The outer Reef and we decided to go to the former .It's a 55 min ride to the Green island, where we could snorkel or look at the corals in a glass bottom boat or the Submarine. We did both the submarine and Glass Bottom (Just do the Submarine, the Glass Bottom boat can be avoided).

My View - The place is quite touristy and over-rated. After all what might be the largest corals might not be the most beautiful . Though the water here is comfortably warm, it's not very clear. Also, in cairns be extremely careful of the weather, as it was really hot throughout our trip, which was a big deterrent

Night Market at Esplanade -The place has about 100 shops to buy souvenirs and little nick-knacks

30 th Dec -We shifted to Hilton Cairns. This is a 5* hotel, located at the other corner of the esplanade. The room had an amazing view but the breakfast was very average , missed the live counter , however , they had an option of placing an order for omelet with the kitchen .

31 st Dec Port Douglas- Though away from Esplanade, where most of the action takes place , the place has Charming boutiques & nice restaurants . We had one of the best breakfast of the entire vacation at café Fresq . Wish we could spend more time at Port Douglas and it wasn't so sunny

Kuranda Village -Went up in a cable car and came back in the train .To me the entire experience was quite touristy. The Scenic Railway drive is good for one time

Shopping-Cairns doesn't have many shopping opinions,specially if you are looking for branded stuff.

Overall , Cairns was a big Disappointment and can be completely avoided

Tips * Be careful of the season you going in , weather could play a big spoil sport

*Prebook your car since that gives you greater flexibility against the booked tours. We couldn't get a car, since it was overbooked considering the holiday season

Overall Experience of the trip

To me this was a very average trip compared to my last Australian vacation (Melbourne and Sydney). Maybe, my expectation were too high but Sydney and Melbourne are the main city centers and are definitely have more action .

Also , we all know that racialism is a reality and unfortunately I experienced it for the first time during this trip .The way my surf Lesson teacher at Cheyne Horan School of Surf in Gold Coast treated me , I left the lesson in between .Ultimately it's not what they say , but how they make you feel .

Also , while getting back from Cairns via Jet Star Flight , the ground staff refused to give us 2 seats together stating that the all the other passangers had paid extra & had pre-reserved their seats and she could just not find 2 Seats together ( hard to believe ) , so through-out our return journey me and my hubby were sitting separately , left a sour taste & a bad memory of cairns . So my take is , stick to the main city centers which are more cosmopolitan & accepting of people from all parts of the world

This post was originally published on Rachita's Travel Tales.

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