Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Gold Coast Road Trip (Australia Travelogue Part 3) - {Day 8:Shorncliffe Pier x Shouk Cafe x Dream World x Surfers Paradise} & {Day9: Scenic Rim Drive: Tamborine Mountain x Springbrook Natural Bridge xBryon Bay} & {Day 10: Departure}

Continuing from

Finally we are down to Part III of my trip to Brisbane!
Remember those few days felt a little shitty because I know the trip over to Aussie is coming to an end and I'm going back to SGP without a boyfriend again..

Part three is inclusive of some self drive itineraries and road day trips you can take from Brisbane & Gold Coast if you're bored of the city life~

Woke up super early and it was about a half hour drive up north from Brisbane to Shorncliffe Pier,  one of Queensland's historic or instagrammable pier for sunrise.

It was approximately a windy 8 degree weather and I stubbornly refused to bring my jackets thus ended up stealing William's thick Bape hoodie/jacket at the pier.

Probably took out the jacket for an attempt of a nice OOTD shot but in fact was freezing my ass off hahahaha

Sunlight made it look so sunny and warm, NOT.

our world wide #followmeto series lol see I stole his jacket away.

Freezing willy

Headed down back to town for brunch at Shouk Cafe - one of the best cafes in Brisbane and brunch I had in Australia as of yet. 
They just renamed themselves to Naïm, but I just checked and their modernized menu will always revolve around the refined (super yummy) way of Middle Eastern preparation styled breakfasts.

Naïm Restaurant
14 Collingwood Street, Paddington QLD 4064, Australia
7.30 am - 9 pm

leafy view

Chai Latte ($4.50 AUD)

Hot Chocolate ($4.50 AUD)
Forgot if we had hot chocolate or coffee hahahaha

Citrus and Saffron Waffles ($18 AUD)
Belgian Waffles with ruby grapefruit segments, lemon curd, saffron ice-cream, orange powder and shredded coriander jelly.
Its not even your ordinary plain kind of waffles topped with a scoop of ice-cream. The waffles were sweet, crunchy, on its own yet topped many more good ingredients which makes their belgian waffles a MUST ORDER at Naïm.

The Jackson ($22 AUD)
Big Breakfast of two eggs done your way, merguez sausage, bacon, herb roasted tomato, braised kale, roasted mushroom, a latke and two slabs of toasted sourdough. 
This was pretty yummy tho! Middle eastern way of prepping their big breakfasts~

A must go cafe I would revisit again in Brisbane! I loved their food ^^

After breakfast, it was time to drive down to Gold Coast and marks the start of our short road trip from Brisbane to the Gold Coast vicinities!

Bf wanted to visit a Gold Coast theme park and the two most popular theme parks in GC was Warner Bros. Movie World and Dreamworld, located at the northern top part of GC.

picked the latter as I felt Dreamworld was more catered to older crowds as it is Australia's largest theme park with over 40 rides and attractions, including five roller coasters. 
Movie World by Warner Bros were more suited for families with younger kids as there were lesser extreme roller coasters and more of cartoon character/superhero themed rides and shows. 

I'll recommend you guys to book your entrance tickets prior online as there are always ongoing promotions and even packages which allows entrance to all of Gold Coast's theme-parks + waterparks!

Our ticket had entry to another waterpark there but we didn't manage to squeeze enough time nor were we clad in swim attires thus we skipped it. Dreamworld was big enough for us to spend the entire day there.

We bought on the spot for 95 AUD for each ticket (so expensive) and there were signs saying like buy online to save 5 AUD or smth when we were queuing but we were running out of data hahahah.
I just checked on their website and adults ticket are now going for 65 AUD only this summer :O!!
Dreamworld Pkwy, Coomera QLD 4209, Australia
10 am - 5 pm

Rollercoaster bike ride. 
Only had the patience to use my camera while queuing for this ride hahaha.

Selfies in the queue when you're bored of waiting

Have never liked eating in overpriced eateries within theme-parks. 
Only grabbed some overpriced ice-cream in Dreamworld's Ice Cream parlour and its like just from Wall's Ice-cream...

Rdm fact: Other than their rides, Dreamworld offers many animal experiences like Tiger and Wildlife encounters.

Conquered our second theme park tgt!

After a long day at GC theme park, it was a half hour drive down to the heart of Gold Coast, Surfers Paradise.

Any pranksters wanna feed seagulls laxatives again like the viral fb video? haha

strolled at the iconic GC beach

And the sunsets in Australia never fails to amaze me, cause the colours were always so pretty *.*

We were super deprived & sick of trying new kinds of food thus I googled for like nice asian food around gold coast and there were some thai restaurants which was highly rated on tripadvisor.

Settled for this and this restaurant provides free parking, which was a plus point.
 I shall talk about the parking system in Australia in another post!

Changmai Thai Restaurant Surfers Paradise
5-19 Palm Ave, Surfers Paradise QLD 4217, Australia
5.30 pm - 10 pm

Random fact: Some restaurants in Australia allows diners to BYO (bring your own) alcoholic beverages like wine etc for a small fee. 
In this case, Chiangmai thai was a fee of $2.50 AUD per person. 
Is really super affordable since alcoholic drinks is dirt cheap in Australia's beer marts.

We ordered their Thai Milk Tea for like around 7 AUD 
(forgot all the prices but I remember the food to be expensive cause in SG we can get better thai food at cheaper price range)
It wasn't super memorable cos it was too overly sweet & syrupy.

Due to the restaurant's posh setting, luck was on our side when they provided free-flow taro chips which curbed our hunger when we were just seated. 
Hahaha we didn't even think if the chips were on the house before asking for a re-fill of chips.

Their Tom Yam which was not spicy to us at all...

Pineapple Fried Rice
 Thai style fried rice with pineapple, ham, chicken and prawns. 
Served in a pineapple shell.
Veryyyy normal like just fried rice haha

Our Stir Fried Basil Pork which was just vegetables + sliced of pork - fried. 
Are we in a thai restaurant or normal chinese restaurant ah? 
Was expecting those like minced meat basil pork lol.

Green Curry Chicken
Classic green curry with bamboo shoots, coconut milk, green vegetables and chicken curry. This dish probably tasted the most acceptable to us asian cos green curry isn't that spicy usually either.

Overall the meal was like 40++ AUD per person, 80 - 90 AUD in total. 
Its not that expensive but we rather eat Nakhon or cheap thai food in SG......
Food wasn't that bad for sure but because me and willy are huge lovers of spicy food, and food here is catered to caucasians taste buds which only accepts = only mildly spicy food, thus the whole meal was a fail for us but might be loved among them. LOL

Since we were on a short road trip, we booked an Airbnb for the two short nights at Tweed Heads, a little further from the heart of Gold Coast but near to my departing GC airport (*inserts sad face*)

If you guys still do not know what is Airbnb, its like paying for an apartment stay with amenities for a few nights stay at super AFFORDABLE prices. Its great for countries with only steep hotel prices and is more value for money, as us as travellers usually explore in the day and basically, the hotel is just for you to rest and sleep in only.

I usually prefer having the entire place to myself and not the other options which includes shared house, separate bedrooms etc kind of thing. 

Its super safe because most Airbnb apartments has like reviews and ratings online and you can really pick the one you are most comfortable with! 

I really like the place I picked this time round even though its the first time we were staying with the house owner, a female. 
We had our own room & private toilet + it was a short stay so we were okay with the choice.
Plus point - the host has this SUPER ADORABLE AND FRIENDLY, CLEAN, PEOPLE-LOVING CHIHUAHUA whom I immediately fell in love with!!!
 Even William who was anal about pets and animals loved Lexi (her name) too hahahaha damn cute!!!

Btw, if you never airbnb-ed before, head to my page now to sign up and you'll get a $40 SGD off your first airbnb stay!

I usually think chihuahua breeds are really scrawny and ugly but Lexi really changed this perception I had on chihuahua dogs hahaha

messy room after checking in

our room for the stay

our personal toilet space, very clean with brand new soaps and shampoos provided by the host :)

Lexi the cutie pie!!!! Forever want to play with us only one small problem - KEEPS JUMPING ON OUR BED LOL.
William will be like: "ughhh" but lucky the fur all damn short + cold weather so Lexi was really clean la hahaha

soz for the spam of selfies with Lexi

Too cute even Wooden stone William is melted LOL

First time william has patience for lil fur animals

Day 9
As it was too dark when we arrived, this was the exterior of our airbnb at Tweed Heads, New South Wales the next morning!

the interiors!

Groggy Lexi in the morning. 
Maybe she was angry with us cos in the middle of the night she tried to enter our room by scraping creepily on our door. 
Then when william went to the toilet she dashed out of darkness onto the bed again giving me a shock of my life at 3 am LOLOL plus her fur is black... 
William came back from peeing and cold-heartedly removed her out of our bedroom LOL

360 degree change in the morning cos the streets & roads of Australia gets pretty damn dark due to scarce street lamps so it was pitch dark when we arrived last night.

Self-drive Guide to Scenic Rim
The day's itinerary is going to be revolving around a self drive road trip to Scenic Rim, and Scenic Rim is a region located an hour south of Brisbane and an hour inland from Gold Coast, its famous for its breathtaking sceneries and its a rural paradise surrounded by some world heritage listed national parks. 
This might be the reason why its named "Scenic" rim and here are some of the self drive itineraries I managed to source online
If you choose one and drive following the route you'll be able to sight Scenic views during the whole driving journey.

The map below sums up the Scenic Rim's main towns - Beaudesert, Boonah, Rathdowney, Kooralbyn, Kalbar, Aratula, Canungra, Tamborine Mountain, Harrisville and Peak Crossing. 
The region also contains three dams: Lake Moogerah, Lake Maroon and Wyaralong Dam.

For us, I estimated a good loop of some of the places I would want to visit in Scenic Rim and didn't stick to any itinerary. 
So I basically made William drive some tedious long roads skipping some places because we only had one day to explore Scenic Rim.

first up we pumped up our car for the long drive ahead

Managed to grab a bite at my fav drive thrus. 
GC food options was quite boring in my opinion haha and I was alr sick of fancy foods so I settled for my trusty fast foods!!

yums, didn't manage to get to drive in Australia this trip cos I'm a lazy prick LOL my driving licence is rotting hahaha :/

Like I've mentioned earlier, you can just key the destination in ur google maps and the roads will probably bring you pass scenic sights and greenery like this. 
I love looking at cows and horses from far hahahaha

So we will just randomly stop the car at the side and just take photos in the middle of nowhere like this hahahaha

Saw instagram check-ins in Scenic Rim at this kind of "tall tree background" and its so easy to spot these plantations during our drive.

We made our way up north to Tamborine Mountains

And we settled for a treetop walk at a Nature Preserve in Mount Tamborine.

Tamborine Mountain Rainforest Skywalk
333 Geissmann Dr, Mt Tamborine QLD 4272, Australia
9.30 am - 4 pm

Didn't expect the walk or most places to have admission prices but here it is..

lucky William told me to bring my student card in advance so we had student discount.

so high above ground

super touristy shot at the cantilever LOL

After the skywalk, we happened to drive pass this Rotary Lookout with a super great view so stopped to take more photos hahaha

spotted many couples chilling there and some even brought their own bbq pits hahaha?!

Drove to Canungra lol a super boring town with nothing much to see ._. wasted our time.. 

There was practically nothing to do here and the 3G connection was really bad at times + our google maps were super inactive after we accidentally cancelled it.
LOL so we stopped by to ask for instructions.

Googled for some interesting places and so we drove to Hinze Dam, a reservoir and embankment dam with an un-gated spillway across the Nerang River in the Gold Coast hinterland.

The view was actually quite magnificent from the cafe at Hinze Dam and we would have probably tried the breakfast there if it wasn't so crowded.

Since it was getting pretty boring/late LOL we decided to skip everything else and just head over to Springbrook National Park since it was highly recommended!

More scenic views along the way

Everyone goes to Springbrook National Park to visit the Natural Bridge Section, which is a picuresque rock formation which is formed by the force of the waterfall over the erosive basalt cave.
Springbrook National Park, Springbrook QLD 4213, Australia

It is a short 1km subtropical circuit clockwise through the rainforest tracks to the Natural Bridge rock arch.
You can join night guided nocturnal tour to see the resident colony of protected glow-worms and microbats. On summer nights, some may even spot luminous fungi and fireflies!!
can you spot the tiny natural bridge behind me?

Managed to capture some smooth motion of the mini waterfall at the nature bridge by changing my DSLR's shutter speed

If not its like this 

hahaha I need a new camera damn

And that summarizes our day trip spent exploring Scenic Rim region, doubt we will head there again hahahaha really nothing much and no nice food?!?! I think its meant for big groups of people going camping. 
We got lost at a dead end on the mountains, and the connection was really bad there. 
I was using an australian SIM card eh!!
 I would suggest a day trip to Springbrook natural bridge only if you want to taste nature (we tasted too much), its opened 24 hours and free of charge, better than the other places we attempted going la.

Damn hungry so stopped for more drive thru fast food.... KFC LOL

We then drove to Byron Bay, the BEST and most worth it place to go if you're doing a road trip around Gold Coast like us. 
It was around a 1 hour 30 mins drive from Springbrook (cause scenic rim region was up north-west) from our Airbnb apartment in Tweed Heads would only be a 50 min drive down.
Usually people would add this to their itinerary if you are driving from Brisbane to Sydney as Byron Bay is one of the iconic towns along the way 
(its sights are so breathtaking that thor actor, chris hemsworth has a house here)
(Btw Brisbane is above Gold Coast on the map and Sydney is all the way down)

I would totally reconsider spending the entire day there at Byron Bay's town chilling if I could select again. 

In my next trip to Brisbane a few months later, we really did drive from Brisbane to Sydney 
(crazy 9 hour drive -.- talk about it next time) 
with William's family and he brought them to Byron Bay again but not the rest of the Scenic Rim places we went,  I guess we were just the guinea pigs testing the routes LOL.

Cape Byron Lighthouse
Lighthouse Rd, Byron Bay NSW 2481, Australia

Managed to rush in time to the super famous Byron Bay's Lighthouse in time for sunset!!! It was super crowded and we almost died finding a place to park.

Super magnificent beach view you'll see while strolling up!

Cape Byron Light is an active lighthouse located at Cape Byron, New South Wales, Australia. 
It is Australia's most powerful lighthouse, with a light intensity of 2,200,000!!!

Its one of the most beautiful sunsets and sights I have ever seen in Australia. My photo's lighting does not do it justice..

It also marked me and William's one year anniversary!!! 
So happy I managed to fly down to accompany and spend time with this boy :')

Byron Bay's town seems to be quite happening compared to those dead towns we drove through so much that day... 

We were tired so we decided to head back to our apartment and we settled for dinner at Coolangatta, 6 mins drive from Tweed Heads recommended by our host because like every where was like closed/dark when its not even that late yet. 
LOL, this is why I recommended exchange/students to just stay in the main city areas in the previous parts of my Brisbane posts...

Settled for some risky asian Jap fare at a Japanese chained restaurant in Goldcoast cause nothing else appealed to us as well LOL.

O-Sushi Restaurant
72-80 Marine Parade, Coolangatta QLD 4225, Australia

I remember how much my heart was breaking as it was my last night there.......

I think this was underthe Chef Selection
Seafood Lovers Sashimi & Nigiri Platter ($33 AUD)
 Sashimi selection of tuna, salmon & kingfish nigiri, fresh tuna hosomaki & wakame (seaweed) salad

Spicy Salmon Roll ($21 AUD)
 Seared Salmon, avocado, cucumber, tobiko (roe)

I thought that the food was not too bad overall definitely better than the thai food we had or was it due to my lowered expectations. Not Bf approved though hahaha cos William is anal about bad jap food and asian food in Australia but I really think its okay leh!!!
Sometimes we eat super nice food in Singapore he will also be like: "normal lor" those kind one, so hard to please HAHAHA.

Day 10
Look like shit cos i was probably crying and shit again n again since I was going to go back to Singapore alone. 
Like i don't wanna be in a LDR........... 
lol writing about this is reminding me of William going back for his next semester in Brisbane in another 2 weeks time.
Hope my new job is going to distract me enough :'(
sigh ok now i feel guilty not meeting him every single day when he's in Singapore for these past 3 months :(

Caught sunrise for the last time with him.

feel like crying

saggy grandpa figure doesn't cheer me up

Only Hungry Jack's was opened cos it was too early lol 

Only I cry but bf only know how to give stern and cool face.

K end of my first trip to Brisbane x Gold Coast travelogue. 
Hope you guys aren't bored.

Sorry I am feeling so sulky now too


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