Sea World – Gold Coast

Australia’s Favourite Marine Park – Sea World

Sea World

What would a trip to the Gold coast be without a visit to the famous Gold coast theme parks.

Gold Coast is Australia’s home of theme parks, with 6 Major theme parks to choose from.

Movie World, Sea World, Wet n Wild and the lesser known Paradise Country, all part of Village Roadshow, and just a little further down the road sits both dreamworld and White water  world run by Ardent Leisure who also runs Skypoint, AMF and Kingpin bowling as well as other leisure businesses.

So whether you are after a thrill ride, water rides, animals or getting up close and personal with your favourite superheroes. The Gold Coast has something for you.

Sea World was started back in 1973 by Keith Williams he found the name Sea World wasn’t registered in Australia and decided it was the perfect name for his marine attraction.

Sea World in Australia has a large emphasis on rescuing marine Life. It contributes over $1 Million a year to fund the rescue, research and rehabilitation of marine life they have staff on call 24 hours a day, eery day of the year to help ‘rescue’ marine animals.

We took our 4 children aged between 2-10 years to Sea world and their was enough to keep all of them amused.

Nickelodeon Land

(Pre-schoolers) (Primary School)
With 6 different rides for children to choose that will keep kids aged about 2-12 excited. It is the perfect place for your children to explore. It now has its own recently opened kid sized mini rollercoaster. Nickelodeon Land has 3 main themes.

  • Dora
  • TMNT
  • Sponge Bob

Creatures of the Deep

(Pre-schoolers) (Primary School)

Your children can take a journey to see the mysterious creatures of the Deep.

Featuring Large moving / Interactive exhibits that showcase a mixture of both real mysterious marine creatures to the legendary creatures like the Loch ness, Kraken and Megalodon.

The attraction is found in two locations a large building located next to the Penguin attraction and a great outdoor pathway your children can walk through and explore on your way to Nickelodeon Land.

Sea World

Sea World

Castaway Bay

(Late pre-school) (Primary School) (Secondary College)

Castaway Bay is a great Wet interactive area in Sea World that is a favourite in the warmer Queensland weather.

It has three main attractions, Battle Boats, Sky Fortress, and Sky Climb.

If you do decide to do battle on the Battle Boats you will get Wet. The Battle boats travel around a large area and their are over 80 water canons to contend with.

The other attractions are both ‘dry’ attractions but just as much fun. The Five level sky fortress will have your children climbing, crawling, going through bridges, tunnels, slides and ropes.

If your child is between 120 – 140cm they can balance 12 metres off the ground in the sky climb.

Animal Adventures

(Primary School) (Secondary College) (Adult)

What would a trip to Sea World be without an up close and personal animal encounter. Packages are available to spend time woth dolphins, sharks, polar bears penguins and seals.

Rides

Now a trip to a theme park would not be complete without a thrill ride and Sea World doesn’t disappoint whilst they may not have many 3 in total but they are all great and different to each other.

Viking Flume

(Pre School +) 

Viking revenge flume is a fun ride that always has a little bit of a wait, its a 480m floating ride which children from 95cm can ride. (With an adult) it climbs 13 metres above the ground and our children loved floating through the top of the iconic Sea World castle to then speed back down 58km per hour getting wet in the process.

Sea World

Jet Rescue

(Late Primary School +) 

This Speedy coaster sees you climb aboard a jet-ski and race incredibly quickly  (70km) pulling 2.5G’s in the process round the track to save the Sea Lion.

There are a couple of tables nearby for those not tall 125cm tall, (or brave) enough to participate.

Storm Coaster

(Late Primary School +) 

My favorite ride on the Gold Coast the storm coaster is a great mix of rollercoaster, themed waiting area, water (you get very wet), and great views of the Gold Coast and the park itself.

If you are over 110cm I strongly recommend that you have a ride on it. The Storm coaster is themed to the effect that you are trying to evacuate from a category 5 tropical cyclone at a shipping port. There is debris everywhere from upturned shipping containers broken TV’s, upturned boats, cars everywhere.

The ride itself is 470 metres long and stands 28 m tall. It has a top speed of 70kms and a great splashdown at the end where you get very wet.

Sea World

 

 

Pierced Wonderings

Mountain Bike Riding on the Sunshine Coast.

Just out of Noosa is 100km of Mountain Bike trail.

Over 25km of this is fast flowing single trail perfect for all levels of mountain bike riders.

Noosa has quickly gained a reputation as a great place to mountain bike and due to this there are not only alot of places to hire mountain bikes, but also some great guided tours and skill workshops.

On our recent trip we booked our oldest two children into a skill coaching session through Bike-on in Noosa. Joined by their Dad they had some great time with an instructor helping build some great techniques, building on the skills they already had and further building up their confidence.

It’s included some great photos so they could have souvenirs to remember it by.

The 2 hour course was about $65 per person and came with bike hire, and pick up from your accomodation.

Noosa bike riding

Noosa bike riding

 

 

 

Escape Beach – Hamilton Island

Escape Beach – Hamilton Island

Park your van in Airlie beach and catch a boat over to Hamilton Island for some amazing walks that will not only challenge you, but will leave you wanting to explore more.
There are walks to huge lookouts where you can look over the island, to walks to private beaches where you can enjoy lunch peacefully by yourself.
Make sure you bring lots of water, a phone or camera to take lots of photos and enjoy the peaceful serenity that is The Whitsundays.
Our first walk we did was the walk to Escape beach, there are a few places that you can start your walks from, but we decided to start behind the resort. The walk is approximately 3300 metres each way. For this walk you need to be relatively fit as there are some steep parts, as well as near the end it feels like the track seems to disappear and you are left clambering down the hill to Escape Beach
Most of the way there is uphill so make sure you bring lots of water however the advantage of that is most of the trip back is downhill 🙂
There are great places to stop along the way and catch your breathe whilst you catch the view.
You will see so many beautiful butterflies and other wildlife along the way.
But once you get to the final 200 metres and descend the steep hill to your own idyllic private beach.
We bought our own lunch with us, and sat back on a rock in the peaceful surrounding with no one else in sight, I don’t know if it was the fact we had just walked 3.5kms, but that Lunch was probably my favourite of the whole trip.

Buffet breakfast – Hamilton Island Wildlife Park

Buffet breakfast at the Wildlife park Hamilton Island

Hamilton Island Wildlife Park signNow there are plenty of places to grab breakfast on the Island, from Cafes and bakeries downtown, to grabbing your own from the local grocery store, the Island has three places that you can enjoy buffet breakfast from Sails at the main resort, to the hotels breakfast but if you want to really enjoy a buffet breakfast on Hamilton Island I suggest the breakfast at the wildlife park.

Now the buffet itself does not have as much selection as Sails, however the pancakes and eggs made to order certainly make up for it.

Each day a chef is their to make your eggs however you like them and unlike other restaurants where you stand their waiting for ages whilst they make your order, you tell the chef your order and your table number and she brings it to you. They arrived beautifully presented.

You sit their overlooking cuddly koalas, and for not much more you can also pay for entry into the wildlife park.

Our children loved the hot pancakes, and the fact their was a huge selection of topping choices from Chocolate, caramel, strawberry, maple syrup, lemon and sugar


Hamilton Island Wildlife Park Coffee

Hamilton Island Wildlife Park Breakfast

 

Hamilton Island Wildlife Park Breakfast

 

Hamilton Island Wildlife Park

Hamilton Island Wildlife Park

Hamilton Island Koala Wildlife Park

Hamilton Island with Children

Hamilton Island, a tropical Oasis

One of our favourite holiday places is Hamilton Island. The only downside to this ideal location is the inability to get your caravan onto the island. However don’t worry leave it over at Airlie Beach, catch a ferry and before you know it you are on a tropical oasis.

Now we love to travel with our four children and Hamilton Island is a favourite for all of them. Why do they/we love it, oh let me count the ways.

1 – You can hire Toys

Forget about packing heaps of toys for $20 for the week hire a great variety of toys from the Clownfish club. (These also included Sand toys, great for the kids at the beach. It was so nice to not have to worry about packing heaps of toys on our trip.

Hamilton Island3

2 – The Clownfish Club

Speaking of the clownfish club, as soon as we went to pick up our bag of toys our children decided that they wanted to go to the Clownfish club. This is a Holiday Child care environment for children from 6 weeks – 14 years of age.

They have morning tea, afternoon or full day sessions available. Each Morning or afternoon session includes a different fun activity. The fees includes morning tea, lunch and Afternoon tea, depends on what time you are there.

Our kids loved it and kept asking to go back, (they still ask to go back weeks later) they went to two half day sessions and made chocolates one day, and did a craft activity the other day.

We used this opportunity to go on a couple of long walks that would be too hard with four children aged, 2, 3, 8, and 10 in tow.

This was our first time using a holiday kids club and definitely won’t be the last.

3 – Kids eat free

If you’re staying at the Reef view hotel, Palm bungalows, or a holiday home booked through Hamilton Island Holiday Homes, they can eat for free with Hamilton Islands Kids Stay & Eat Free offer!

The restaurants, and food are great quality. our children’s favorites were Sails and the Wildlife Hamilton Island Koala cafe for breakfast. Dinner favorite was Tako (Mexican) or Coca chu (South east Asian) for Dinner.

Hamilton Island

4 – Free use of non-motorised Water sports

If you are staying at either the Reef view hotel, Palm bungalows, or book a holiday home through Hamilton Island Holiday Homes you can use all the non motorised water sports for free. Our kids had an amazing time kayaking, snorkeling, and learning how to paddle board. There is also Catamaran’s available, depending on the wind.

Hamilton Island
Hamilton Island

5 – The most enjoyable way to get around – Golf Buggies.

There are very limited cars on Hamilton Island. So instead you have the opportunity to rent a Golf Buggy instead and they are so much fun. We had a great time exploring the island.

Hamilton Island Golf buggy
Hamilton Island

6 – Wildlife

Make sure you check out my other post about Wildlife on Hamilton Island. Our children loved seeing all the wildlife, they had a great time eating breakfast surrounded by Koalas, and seeing fish and sting rays.

Wildlife on Hamilton Island

What Wildlife can you see on Hamilton Island.

Hamilton Island really is a tropical oasis in the Whitsundays, the perfect place to explore, relax, and unwind. We spent a lovely week exploring all the island has to offer and the wildlife was no exception.
From the cute, the cuddly, to the down right scary you will find some interesting animals. Both in their wildlife park and around the Island.

Starting with the cute.

Butterflies.

There are so many beautiful butterflies around the Island. If you decide to go on a walk you will find them all along the trails.

Koala.

At the wildlife park you can book in to get a photo up close and personal with a Koala. (People over the age of 12 can even cuddle a koala) otherwise just sit back at the wildlife park enjoy the buffet breakfast whilst sitting beside a Koala.

Bush Turkey.

Keep your eyes open as you walk the trails and you might be lucky to see a bush Turkey in the bush below. They moved to quickly for me to take a photo of.

Snake.

Now if the steep walk up the hill wasn’t enough to get my heart rate racing, the words “careful there is a snake next to you was”. Ok it might have just been a green tree snake but any snake that I come across when walking is one snake to many.

Lizards.

After our run in with a snake, I was even more aware of the slippery things across our path. Numerous times my heart rate skipped a beat as I saw the tail of a lizard in the path beside us.

Cockatoo’s.

These cheeky birds are all over the Island and you need to be careful as they will help themselves to your food. You have been warned!

Fruit bats.

We were sitting out on the marina side of the Island late in the afternoon and heard the distinct noise of the fruit bat, when we looked up we saw heaps flying around above.

Other animals you will see in the Wildlife park.

There is a great little wildlife park on the Island. The perfect place for visitors to Australia to get a little taste of our native animals. From Koalas, dingos, kangaroos, lizards, wallabies, turtles and even salt water crocodiles. It gives tourists a little snap shot into our Australian animals.

Australia – My Highlight Reel

Australia – My Highlight Reel

I was talking to someone the other day who was over here visiting family they had come from England and realised whilst they had explored Melbourne, but they really hadn’t ventured around Australia and with their time here quickly coming to an end they asked me what my favourite places in Australia are? What are the places to me that best showcase our beautiful country?
They had seen the tourist brochures, but wanted to know if I was to make a brochure highlighting Australia what would make the list?

There is nothing like seeing the Red dirt of Central Australia.

Every time I go there I am reminded about the amazing diversity in our country. The beautiful way the red dirt contrasts with the blue sky.

Step back into History at Paronella Park

(120kms south of Cairns)
Paronella Park is a magical historic site situated beside the Mena Creek Falls. The ruins of this magical Castle is the perfect place to take some majestic photos, and imagine how Grand life would have been when the Castle was first built 80 years ago.

Take a flight over the worlds largest Coral Reef system

The great Barrier Reef. Last year we had the great opportunity to fly over the reef out of Cairns. It is an amazing view, and if you combine it with a Scuba dive / snorkel trip out on the reef and it’s an experience that you will never forget.

See some of our impressive Wildlife.

In Australia we have a great variety of wildlife from the cute and cuddly, to the more dangerous.

Take a drive on an Iconic Road.

The great ocean road is 243 kms long and runs from Torquay VIC to Allansford VIC. The Great Ocean road was built by returning soldiers between 1919 – 1932. It is dedicated to the soldiers that died during World War 1, so it is the World’s largest War memorial. There is so many great landmarks to see long the way from the Twelve apostles, Loch Arch Gorge, London bridge.

Take a trip to the Home of the Man from Snowy river.

40km east of Mansfield on Mount Sterling is the iconic Craig’s Hut, It was built especially for the film the man from Snowy river back in 1981. Unfortunately when the bushfires came through in 2006 it was burnt down, however then beautifully restored by volunteers.

What would be on your highlight reel?

Passage Peak

Passage Peak

The walk to Passage Peak is a steep climb with steps that seem to go on for ages but the view at the end makes it all worthwhile. With a great couple of lookouts along the way.

We set out from the hideaway bay entrance which gives you a couple of hundred metre walk before the steps begin, just enough to time to start warming up your muscles before the steps work muscles you had forgotten existed. The walk / climb is about 2kms one way however we decided to walk home a different way to give our knees a little rest from all the steps downhill.

Most of the trip up is steps with a few small respites of more level sections, however the last 950 metres is basically just steps that seem to wind on forever. Probably the most heartbreaking sign is as you are leaving the Turkey nest junction Where the paths all meet and head up the stairs with the sign clearly telling you 950 metres to go, then about 200 metres up the path you are meet with another sign that also reads 950 metres to go.

This was the path where our heartbeats really started racing when we met a snake along our path. (Ok it was a non Venomous green tree snake) but my heart rate still jumped up about 20 beats when I saw the snake slithering only 30 CM’s away.

Before you walk up the final steps to the top there is a great lookout, you wander down (silently thinking to yourself that for every step down is another step I have to walk up) but at the end gives you a great view of Whitsunday Island and the resort. We were also lucky to have a kookaburra in the trees below.

Once we got to the top there are three different lookouts

One that looks out over South East head
Another fantastic walk you can do that is about 7kms round trip.

One that looks out over the Resort

We sat here for ages watching the jet skiers in the waves below, jumping over the waves enjoying not only the fun happening below but the sense of achievement that we had made it up the steps.

And then The peak itself that looks out over the Whitsunday coral sea

We sat and watched as the rain came in across the water a welcome relief from the heat and humidity, as we got ready for the walk back.

Paronella Park

Paronella Park.

We decided we needed to visit the Winner of #1 Must do in QLD, Paronella Park and it does not dissapoint.

There is something magical about the ruins of a castle, covered in vines. This is the perfect spot to explore, imagine and daydream.

Feed turtles, walk through gardens and get lost in the imagination of what it would have been like in its hayday.

Jose Paronella dreamt to build a castle. In 5 Hectares just behind Mena Creek falls, that is what he did.

He not only built a castle, but tennis courts, bridges, picnic areas and over 7500 tropical plants and trees.

Cairns.

Cairns.

There is so much to see and do around Cairns, from the reef to the rainforest, everything is just a short drive, flight or boat trip away

You could spend weeks here and only just touch the surface of the amazing places.

Whether you are after shopping, festivals, animals, swimming, fine food, art or just a place to stop you will find what you are after around Cairns and Port Douglas.

We where lucky to spend a couple of weeks there relaxing.