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Old 5 Feb 09, 10:04 PM  
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Cannavar
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The long trip down under part 6

Right, where were we...ah yes Brisbane. We left in gorgeous hot weather and headed down the coast towards Surfers paradise. We only had two nights in the Holiday Inn so thought that if we left early we could do Dream World (a theme park my sister was keen to visit) and then head on down to the hotel in Surfers in the evening.

Dream World, Dream World...where do I start. Well...it was 105 for the family to get in! Yep, no family ticket so we all had to pay separately. It was only open 10-5, although they stared to close everything at 4. The queues were long, the rides short etc etc. Gutted we paid so much and I think it sums up the day when it turns out we only took 2 pictures while there, one of a lizard under a chair and the other of a very cute Koala.

They might have lizards in Florida but these blighters are everywhere and this one was not even close to the biggest one to cross our path!





Ok so the park wasn't "awful" but one of the best rides was the dodgems which I think sums it up. Oh and the rock hard bread that made up the sandwich DS1 made sums up the catering.

Anyway, we left Dream World behind and headed on down to Surfers Paradise. Its a difficult place to describe. Its almost Benidorm like but that would be doing it a disservice. Its a very long, beautiful beach with lots of high rise hotels, even skyscrapers, along the edge. It was very nice and we had a walk along for an evening meal in a nice Italian just along from our hotel. There is a LOT of building work still going on and bigger and taller buildings will soon be joining the already magnificent skyline.

A quick word about the hotel. It was a very contemporary place with modern and boutique style interior design. This stretched to an unusual feature in the bathroom. It had a window from the bathroom into the bed area. The only way to get privacy was to close a blind which was controlled from the OUTSIDE! The boys never tired of waiting for mum or dad to either make use of the toilet facilities or shower and then open the blind for the whole room to see. Highly amusing! *ahem*

The next morning we got up and had our buffet breakfast. Everything in SP is aimed at the Asian market as they seem to be the main tourists. I guess its a close summer sun destination for them and as a result I think its up there as the most expensive of the places we visited on the trip. Our Holiday Inn breakfast buffet had the unique additions of rice, noodles and other un breakfast like foods. Looking back, maybe I should have given some of it a go rather than worry about the items that had made way for them to fit it all in.

We all bundled into the minivan and headed off to Sea World just up the coast. Its an independent not connected with the US chain and yet you can't really tell. They have very similar logos and the production values and park lay outs also mimic each other. My understanding is that the Aussie one was open years before any of the US chain so I don't think they have to worry about a law suit!

Again, 105 to get in, again no family ticket. While I still argue it was too much, we certainly got far more for our money than we did the day before. (We had decided not to do parks as we'd traveled so far to see Oz but we kind of went along with Sis and the boys needed a break from traveling too).

First up was a quick dash right to the back of the park for the Dolphin show and VERY impressive it was too. Made handing over most of my budget for the holiday at the entrance great "almost" worth it. The show was great fun and the dolphins we breathtaking in their showmanship.

A quick game of spot the dolphin in the next pic...









Probably our favourite part of the park was the Sesame Street Beach area. The boys went on all the rides and enjoyed a short but fun stage show. Again it was well presented and felt a few rungs above the Dream World park in its presentation.







We had to wait about 30 mins for the boys to get to meet Elmo, which is obviously a big thing! Just before we were led in we saw a sign that said no cameras allowed! They had their own photographer and to ensure you paid them even more money you had no choice but to pay if you wanted a picture. A bit of quick thinking (as I didn't take my SLR, only a compact) and I dug out the camcorder and found just the right position outside to zoom in and take a still picture while recording. I think it came out ok...



To be honest, their picture was so good that when we saw it on the way out we paid for it anyway lol.

We spent the rest of the day enjoying the MASSIVE shark tanks. Underwater viewing areas and hands on exhibits. I don't think I've ever seen a larger shark exhibit than at this park and again was worth a visit alone. Big sis took a snorkle in the "tame" shark pool which has an underwater glass screen to keep out the dangerous ones.

The boys really enjoyed the sea cucumbers lol



Sea World has its own mini water park (the similarities continue! lol) and we headed over to meet up with my sister there. The weather had taken a turn though and only DS1 could face the unheated pools for a few mins before we had to call it a day.

That evening we had a meal at the Hard Rock cafe and had a stroll past the shops. We had to leave the next morning and didn't actually spend a great deal of time in Surfers Paradise itself. It was nice enough but isn't somewhere we'd go out of our way to visit on another trip, unlike Brisbane.

Next stops, Byron Bay and Ballina.
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Old 6 Feb 09, 11:05 AM  
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We only visited Surfers for a day, when we went it torrential rain, like i'm talking flood proportions! So we went to stay with friends earlier than we'd planned! *lol* It was crazy, we'd just left 90 degrees brilliant sunshine in Sydney and travelled to the Sunshine Coast and got... rain! No-one was prepared for it, everyone was wearing flip flops and shorts and when we finally got off the plane after two aborted landings, we all got soaked to the skin as you have to walk (run) from the plane to the terminal building!

Anyway, glad you enjoyed your brief stay in Surfers, Sea World sounds good, if i ever visit Surfers again, i'll give it a go! Looking forward to reading about your next stops!
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Old 6 Feb 09, 12:46 PM  
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I was in Surfers paradise in 1989 and can remember the sky scrapers ! LOL at the window in the bathroom , what were they thinking of ? someone has a sense of humour
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Old 6 Feb 09, 01:23 PM  
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Best picture on the net that I can find of the bathroom...



The top right shows the view from the bathroom through to the bedroom while the bottom left shows the lovely view of the toilet from the bed! lol You can see the bed in the reflextion of the mirrored wall.
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Old 6 Feb 09, 03:32 PM  
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I last visited surfer Paradise was 5 years ago...

and first visit 1988.

I wish I told you to go to Noosa? as I thought it was best place I ever see... beautiful beach and small place (expensive area) walking along the street, see Kolas up the tree amazing...

I took lot of photos, my cousin booked it for us and our family well, and when we drove along to Noosa after Surfer Paradise as we thought my cousin idiot but it was not... so beautiful place...Unfortunately we had lot of raining in Noosa so we decided to leave and drove back to NSW...That was in April.

I see your photos of sea world as I must saying that it is big change since we last visited in 5 years ago...

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Old 8 Feb 09, 11:24 AM  
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Another great report with lovely photos.
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Old 4 Aug 09, 10:11 PM  
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Another lovely day for you all, you have taken some amazing pictures.
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Old 5 Aug 09, 06:36 PM  
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More great photos. Dream World doesn't sound good.
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Old 10 Aug 09, 03:00 AM  
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Great report and more lovely photos
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Old 12 Aug 09, 01:12 PM  
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Sounds like a fun day, apart from Dream World.
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