A week to the trip, we sat over coffee while Jo worked an itinerary which we hoped to follow strictly cause if we don’t, we might just screw up a day’s plan since most of the shops/theme parks in Australia close at 05:00 PM. Thursdays are exceptional, they extend their closing time to 07:00 PM. So we reserved Thursday to do our shopping! (Yes, she is good with itineraries and planning schedules so I leave it all to her.) Alright now lets jump to the storyline.
Two hours before our flight, we did what we need to do. Upon checking-in, we encountered some problems at the counter – system was lagging and we had to pay extra for excess kilos! How could we have overlooked this!? We got burnt! Remember! always check for extra baggage be it for departure or return flight. You’d be saving the extra funds for your expenses later.
Moving on, we had a pleasant experience with Scoot.
Our plane stopped at Sydney for a transit and oh my god! We fell in love immediately with the beautiful weather!
We only had one hour to do whatever we needed/wanted to – get a drink or a quick visit to the ladies before we had to board the same plane again to Gold Coast!
At Sydney, before we hopped on our plane, we had to go through an immigration scan. From the scan, they detected something in my pocket and so I had to go through an isolation check. I had to step into this big machine and put my hands together above my head, legs apart while the machine turned and well, for a moment it felt like I was in a time machine. 😂 (Jo was already laughing at me from afar) So what was in the pocket? An ezlink card and a piece of sweet wrapper.
Lesson learnt: remember to empty your pockets before going for immigration scan.
Our plane safely touched down at the Coolangatta, Gold Coast airport at 01:55 PM (GMT +10).
There, at the arrival terminal, you’ll find lots of booths selling tour packages, cars and apartments for rent, theme parks passes, TRANSLink counters, a 7-11 store and cafes. So you really need not worry if you plan to book your tickets at the last minute and got no time to book for accommodation or plan your itinerary.
Upon arrival, we got ourselves a sim card each, with credit enough for seven days usage – i.e. data and phone calls. Then we had a cup of hot coffee to warm ourselves up, grabbed a bagel for a quick bite while we fix our line and find ways to get to our apartment, Chevron Palms located at Stanhill Drive, Chevron Island. Since it was our first day, we figured we don’t want to reach the apartment lobby at 05:00 PM. Remember! Australians don’t work past 05:00 PM! That includes the apartment host/front desk staff! So no room service after 05:00 PM. I’m not sure of the hotels though, you may want to do your research before you book one. It was already 04:00 PM by the time we got a cab. And, before we left for our apartment, we bought Go cards for travelling around Gold Coast by bus or trams!
Note: You may want to get whatever you need before you left the airport to save any hassle.
All these were taken while we were on the way to our apartment from inside the cab. How can we not love the weather? 😍
The cab fare was near 50, if not more.
Another lesson learnt: Do not make it a habit to flag for cab if you are lost around Gold Coast!
You can always approach any of the friendly Australians for help or go back to the nearest bus stop or tram station and start all over again with the map in hand. (I had to depend on Jo for this, I am really bad at reading maps.)
Going back, we made it just in time before our host, Tawai, left the lobby. She was friendly and helpful. As soon as she handed over our keys and some maps for our guide, we crashed in! We hadn’t choose a five-star apartment. We prefered to save for other spendings but we were in awe at our apartment!
Our nest for 8 days was superbly cosy! Watch this.
Since we do not have much time left to venture out, we decided to take a walk outside and look for Halal joints to have our dinner before we call it a day!
We didn’t have much choice for Halal eateries so we settled for Nandos, which we later found out was not Halal! We were to blame because we were ignorant and we thought of making do with what was around at that point of time. Well, we learnt our lesson and shall put in more effort for the following days.
We gonna end the night early so we can have a good rest and be all energised for day two! Wuhooo! Quite a lengthy post for a first day and I have SEVEN more days to share here! 😁