Australia is one of the countries that I visit the most other than Japan (considering what a Japanophile I am which all of you already know), and we have been making yearly pilgrimage to Queensland since even before Cheesiepetits were born.
In fact, there were talks and plans about relocating to Brisbane when I first got pregnant, which is why we first visited it in 2014 to get a feel of how the city is like. I thought that I have found my very “golden triangle” route – between 3 countries – Malaysia, Japan, Australia. Although life had a different destiny for us that we had to move base to Singapore, Queensland has become our regular getaway destination for some serious chill and family time.
This year, we are back again. So here’s a blog post on what we have done, some of my recommended yummy eats and favorite attractions! I booked most if not all of our attraction activities through Klook – including my pocket wifi, attraction and park tickets, day tours, and other unique local experiences that I wouldn’t even have discovered if I didn’t browse through Klook!
Here’s an account of our 6D5N trip!
The capital city of Queensland spells cosmopolitan and chic with its many iconic buildings, yet has a strong leisure vibe to it sitting right on the Brisbane River offering lots of recreational enjoyment.
I know my Gold Coast. Basically when in Gold Coast we just do nothing the entire day and that is exactly what we want and need. But I am pleasantly surprised at that even in Brisbane, I didn’t at any point feel that I had to rush through anything at all. Everything was nicely paced and it was just perfect for a rather chillax family vacation.
Our ride picked up from Coolangatta Airport.
Self-driving is highly recommended as it gives you the freedom to be on the move as and when you like, just take note that parking could be pricy around the city center, so do plan your itinerary accordingly. We usually took nice, long walks in the city and drove out to more remote attractions.
Also, your kids can just knock out like this any time haha. I don’t blame them, night flights are tough!
Checked into our very cool apartment with a smashing city view! Can it be more gorgeous? 😀
The kids were refreshed after their nap, so we were ready to rock the city!
Let’s go through some of Brisbane’s iconic cityscape!
The once-temporary sign has now become the most representative permanent landmark in Brisbane. We saw children, teens and tourists pose with the colorful giant letters taking lots and lots of photos.
It’s really quite gigantic so we gotta stand rather far away to get a full shot of all 8 letters.
This is how massive it is!
The first B is our favorite as it has lots of blings on it ^^
We then took a stroll around South Bank’s parkland, it was a weekend and it was really refreshing to see how many families just enjoying being outdoor on a breezy warm day in winter.
I loved the Arbour, a long walkway embellished with vibrant magenta bougainvillea, almost like a flower tunnel.
Cheesiepetits spent lots of time picking dropped petals from the ground and bagged them up for a floral collection.
So happy to have found a perfect fallen petal.
Junya was delighted to have discovered a huge feather.
It warmed my heart. There is just so much green amidst the hustle and bustle and everywhere we went the kids discovered surprises given by the nature along the way.
I couldn’t believe how many children there were at the playground! Although the number was kind of overwhelming (like I’ve never seen so many kids before at a playground lol), it didn’t feel “crowded”, I guess mostly because everyone looked so comfortably and safely relaxed, a rather rare sight for me because usually Asian parents somehow have this kancheong look or seem somewhat stressed out at playgrounds when it is overcrowded with kids haha.
Eat Street Northshore
It was our first time here, and, whether you are a grumpy parent with demanding kids, a millennial looking for instagenic spots all for the grams, or just a clueless, curious tourist, you’d be finding lots of yummy fun here. It’s a little far out from the city so it’s best to drive there (but forget about the margarita if you do!).
Look like this! It’s like a delicious fun fair full of grammable glitters and neon signs!
So… Eat Street is a street food concept. It’s like the Super Instagenic, glam Ozzie version of our hawker center. You find the food that catches your eyes, order it, eat, and hunt for the next.
We were so hyped up because the choices were endless!! I recommend the fried calamari because they were GIGANTIC and I don’t know how they make it sooooooooo soft?!
Ahhhhhh oyster barrrrrr.
For the little ones, they gonna love Professor Fairy Floss. Well, I mean, which kiddo doesn’t want edible pastel pink clouds?!
They LOVED it.
And… believe it or not, that was DAY 1!!
We retreated back to our cozy apartment and I was mesmerised by the dazzling night view along the river, enjoying a moment of glamorous Brisbane skyline right from my bed room.
Brisbane City Sightseeing
We spent another afternoon on foot exploring the charming city center – the City Hall, Brisbane Treasury, Queen Street Mall, etc. We decided to take our own time, but if you are looking to see the most and best of the city conveniently, you can opt to join a sightseeing city tour which is available on Klook!
Lunch at the Treasury. It was drizzling briefly outside so we waited until the light pour was over and all sunny again before heading out.
Sun was out again.
That’s some really cool architecture for a casino sitting right in the middle of the city.
“Let me take you to the ball.”
The Japan maniac in me went into overdrive the moment I spotted something familiar. Yeap. When in Brisbane, Daiso.
We also visited the Brisbane Museum on top of the City Hall. There’s a space where you get to create stuff out of just cardboards, some glue and scissors. It was exactly what Junya would love because that’s his pastime at home.
Howard Smith Wharves
That’s Story Bridge with a beautiful city backdrop.
Love the vibe here! It’s like a massive picnic party by the river bank.
The riverfront is dotted with lots of stylish bars an restaurants, we would love to walk into one and explore all the jazz but… I love my Betty’s Burger too much.
Well, if you haven’t, you just have to.
Betty’s Burger is so far, my favorite “Ozzie food” in Queensland. Nothing spells comfort like Betty’s. It has never once disappointed me!
That’s my “Bare Betty”, juicy, fragrantly grilled patty sandwiched by super crisp lettuce. Yum.
Love the onion rings and Junya’s favorite are the shakes. Go peanut!
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
We got our Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary entrance ticket from Klook! I was glad that I pre-booked all my park tickets with Klook prior to the trip because that means I didn’t have to bring too much cash and I also saved on exchange rate from credit card transaction. PLUS!! Sometimes the deals you get on Klook are discounted prices!
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is the first koala sanctuary in the world, and also the largest in the world being home to over 130 koalas!
You get to hold one too!! (Yes it’s a REAL koala! :D)
Did you know? Currently there are only 3 states in Australia which allow koala-cuddling. And Queensland is the Koala-Cuddling capital! It is not included in the park ticket, each experience cost $25-30, up to 6 people can be in the same photo! Make sure you arrive early as there might be a queue for it. ^^
Of course, other than koalas, you also get to meet kangaroos, wombats, Tasmanian Devils, dingoes, various reptiles and even platypus here!
On the third day we drove to Gold Coast.
This was actually taken last summer at Coolangatta. I love chilling out at Coolangatta for two reasons – first it’s a lot quieter than Surfer’s Paradise so I get maximum relax time and second, I love the view of Surfer’s Paradise from over this side.
Actually, there’s a 3rd reason – it is super, super near the airport. So it’s a great idea to spend the last day here!
The beaches are just as great, and the sunsets are just as gorgeous.
Gold Coast always has the best sunsets. <3
This is my personal pick!
We were just staying across the restaurant so it was just a random visit, but I was blown away by the steak!
Soooooooo soft the beef!!! How they cook??
I also love that many restaurants in Gold Coast have coloring paper and pens for the young ones. Keeps them occupied!
Betty’s Burger… again
To be honest, I have super Asian tongue. I get bored really easily if you feed me western food the whole time. But I can Betty every day in Australia.
The greens are really fresh, and I don’t know what magic they put into their patties?
Bare Betty again. For those who are watching your carbs, this is perfect. Just hold the chips.
The shop staff are mostly really pretty young girls too hahaha so bonus eye candy for y’all. A very kind young lady offered a free sundae because she really liked cheesiepetits. Thank you. You are sweeter than choco hot fudge.
Warner Bros Movie World
This attraction could be popular during peak season, so I’d recommend you order the ticket from Klook before departure! There’s a special lane for Klook ticket holders so you get to skip the queue! Waaa walk into the park like VIP ok! 😀
You can get your Movie World ticket from Klook here.
With my two mini superheroes!
If you love speedy rides, check out your favorite character’s themed rides such as Superman Escape, Scooby-Doo Spooky Coaster and more. If you are really in for the thrill, DC Rival HyperCoasters, the tallest, longest and fastest hypercoaster in the Southern Hemisphere will make you scream your lungs out.
For us, we’d love to stick to popcorns and enjoy the shows haha.
Speaking of shows, don’t miss out the Hollywood Stunt Drive at 11:30am or 1:50pm! Hot wheels were roaring amidst cheers, it could be a little loud for small kids but Junya really enjoyed it!
Movie World wasn’t as big as I thought, so you can take your time to explore all the attractions, and you definitely don’t wanna miss out the Streets Star Parade, where allllllll your Warner Bros favorite stars will come and greet you (really, they really do!!).
All your Marvel Superheroes will be cruising in their kick-ass vehicles (oh, the bat mobile was wicked!!) ANDDDDD after they are done showing off their cool rides, they actually come down to give you a couple of high fives!! ALL OF THEM!
The little kids were so starstruck because imagine Bruce Wayne coming up to you to shake your hand omg.
It was awesome! I loved how interactive the characters were with visitors and how you get really, really upclose encounter with your favorite movie stars right in this park.
The characters will also show up from time to time and it is super easy to ask for a photo so don’t be shy!
The catwoman was slightly elusive and just a tad too cool. Catch her before she swiftly prances off into the alley.
Join the Arkham Asylum!
Beach time is compulsory in Gold Coast.
Even when it is too cold for a swim, the beach walk is still nice.
Junya loves collecting stuff. He was gathering the best shells he could find.
I’d love to have some snack, a leomonade and lots of laughter thanks.
Look the captain found a nemo boat!
Aquaduck Safari Tour and River Cruise
Actually for the past couple of trips to Gold Coast, Junya kept wanting to go on Aquaduck (he’s a big fan of vehicles. Any ride would please him tremendously), but we kept missing the timing. So… here’s how you could secure a ticket at a fixed time – by booking your ticket on Klook!
Aquaduck is the best way to explore the city without walking! It’s a great choice for families with young kids or seniors. Just get on the bus(? boat?) and then cruise slowly into the water to discover famous spots of Gold Coast such as the million dollar mansions, Versace Hotel and more!
Your little ones are even invited to be the caption and take control of Aquaduck!
Paradise Jet Boating
While Aquaduck is a relaxing leisure ride, Paradise Jet Boating is… not for the faint hearted. But then again, Junya and I had some great adventure so it’s not thaaaaat heart-pumping.
Well, be ready to get wet though!!
Looking relatively harmless, this jet boat is bringing you the experience of full 360° spins, high speed drifting, and lots of thrills. And if you are not wet enough, the captain has a bottle of water spray waiting for you (I’m not even kidding). Even though there were some crazy spins, it felt safe!
Of course along the way you also get to enjoy some scenic sights from the broadwater when you are not too busy screaming, and if you are lucky they say that you can even spot dolphins and wallabies by the beach.
Enjoy this roller coaster on water and of course, you can pre-book your tickets from Klook!
Sky Point Observatory Deck
We made it on time on our last day for sunset in Gold Coast. Have I told you I love sunsets in Gold Coast? What would be a more perfect way to enjoy it from the highest point of Gold Coast for this unbeatable view!
So beautiful it was like a painting.
Surfer’s Paradise at one glance. I love this view. It’s something so different from what I am used to seeing from my frequent trips to Japan. And that’s quite nice.
Sunset over paradise.
Note that this is an incredibly popular spot in Surfer’s Paradise so make sure you book your entry ticket beforehand with Klook!
Ok you know what. There *is* an even better way to enjoy the cityscape of Gold Coast. Why not… see it from up above in the sky!
Totally yes. Let’s go all out for it!!
This is actually our 3rd helicopter ride! First one in Tokyo, second in Nagasaki, and third time is the charm. I still remember our first flight in Tokyo we had to go through really strict security and I was rather nervous. This helicopter ride is located in Sea World and it’s pretty casual and straightforward!
You have not seen Gold Coast until you take a good look at it from above.
It’s very surreal to see the unusual cityscape of skyscrapers amidst sandy beaches and crystal clear water. It was amazing.
Look at that! The entire time I was sighing at how beautiful the shades of water were.
Heli rides are not cheap of course, but you can get a really good deal from Klook if you purchase the Premium Jet Boat Adventure and Heli Ride Combo! At only RM369! I think that’s a steal.
That’s all for our trip to Gold Coast this year! ^^ It was a short 6D5N trip but I felt that we have done so much yet at the same time took our very sweet time to slowly enjoy the cities of Queensland. Thank you so much for having us. <3
Ok I have one last recommendation for you guys.
EAT ALL THE BERRIES!!
We could finish boxes and boxes of raspberries (I think Junya can finish a whole box under a minute lol), blueberries and strawberries. Raspbies have never tasted soooooo goooood. It’s a rare luxury which I would go overboard indulging simply because of how insanely priced berries are in Singapore and Malaysia. And they just don’t taste the same.
Also, other than Nutrigrain and Queensland Yogurt, I have discovered a new love – a pea snack called Harvest from Calbee. So good! Please try it when you are in Australia!
So yes! Thank you for reading this long long post and finally, here are some travel tips and more activities to explore from Klook that will help your next trip to Queensland more enjoyable, exciting and smooth like a breeze!
You can use the code “MYGOLD50” to get RM50 off all Gold Coast and Brisbane activities!