A totally different experience


If you’ve been to Gold Coast, it wouldn’t be a surprise if you went as a kid with your family. Many of us have been there with our families. Movie World, Sea World, Paradise Country – these places are buried somewhere in our memory bank of “faint recollections”.  

Sure, Gold Coast was fun, and possibly where we made our best childhood memories. But we forgot about this sunny place, as fast as we forgot about our imaginary friend Bing Bong.

Anyway, I was flipping through my old photo albums just the other day. Who ever says no to a major throwback session to cuter, chubbier days?

Source That’s me in the middle. Nope, not the one hugging the tree unfortunately. 

Gold Coast was a distant memory from almost a decade ago – I vaguely remember being too scared to touch the koalas and ‘roos, and running as fast as my short legs could to Sylvester the Cat.


Fast forward 10 years later, Scoot sent Audrey and I back to Gold Coast – btw, I recommend investing in Scootinsilence especially for overnight flights. Increased legroom and comfort are part of the deal, and kids under 12 are not allowed. 

Anyway, they wanted us to see a different side of it that wasn’t all about Tea Cup rides, beaches and koala petting. They said Gold Coast was a place for the adventure lover. Let’s just say, we’re pretty convinced. 

Here are 10 things you missed experiencing in Gold Coast as a kid. Don’t blame us if you find yourself booking your flight to the Land Down Under after this. 


1. Experience crazy daredevil thrill rides


Blame my short-ness when I was a child – I didn’t go to Dreamworld as I was below the minimum height requirement for many rides. Sad, I know. But now, I’m proudly above 120cm and brave enough to open my eyes for the vertical drops. 

USS is nothing compared to the Big Nine Thrill Rides at Dreamworld. Huge, loud, and crazy fast, these roller coasters will not give your heart a break. Make a beeline for the Tower of Terror II – that was my favourite ride. 


Starting with LED lights and a dramatic countdown, the rollercoaster shoots backwards, out of the tunnel and vertically up into the open where you can wave to your (less brave) friends on the ground. 

To all my fellow adrenaline seekers out there – you won’t be disappointed. 

On the other hand, I thought The Claw was pretty relaxing. Like a big swing, this huge contraption oscillates peacefully – except that it goes 360 and upside down. Hop onto this ride for a break from the fast and furious roller coasters.


Surprisingly, there isn’t much of a crowd at Dreamworld and the queues aren’t ridiculously long like what we’re used to in Singapore. Enjoy a day of fun and excitement without having to squeeze with the sweaty crowd.

Besides the thrilling rides, Dreamworld is also home to many of Australia’s famed animals. I carried a huge snake and a baby crocodile and my heart beat as fast as when I was on the rides. The snake had a scaly texture and slithered in my hands – I was really afraid I would freak out and squeeze it to death, or its head would turn and bite me, but thankfully, that didn’t happen. 


Holding the baby crocodile was a less terrifying experience, but don’t be deceived by its size – this little croc wiggles in your grip stronger than you’d expect.  


Address: Dreamworld Pkwy, Coomera QLD 4209, Australia
Opening Hours: 10 am – 5 pm 
Contact: +61 7 5588 1111
Website: https://www.dreamworld.com.au


2. Cross skydiving off your bucket list


If you rolled your eyes at Dreamworld, this one will halt the rolling. Skydiving is THE ultimate point on the bucket list, adrenaline junkie or not. Don’t worry, it’s super safe and you’re geared up properly with all the safety harnesses. 


Everything about skydiving is exciting. From the gearing up, to the plane ride, to the actual jump and landing – the initial fear is all worth it. Falling through the clouds at an insane speed for 45 seconds is indescribable – you feel weightless, your blood is rushing, and the wind is making your hair go crazy (good idea to tie it up if you have long hair). Gold Coast might have the stereotype of being a kids’ haven, but skydiving is no child’s play.

When the parachute opens, you’ll float in the air and enjoy a peaceful, unobstructed 360° view of Gold Coast. With a perfect balance of the skyline and scenery, you’ll want to stay in the air forever to soak up the beauty of our earth, and never want to land. Gravity is such a party pooper. 

One word to describe skydiving – breathtaking, literally and figuratively. 10/10 would do again.

Address: 78 Musgrave St, Coolangatta QLD 4225, Australia
Contact: +61 (0) 7 5599 1920
Website: http://www.goldcoastskydive.com.au/contact-us/


3. Climb to the edge of one of the world’s tallest residential buildings


As a kid, I was afraid of heights… And I still am. But I’m so glad I mustered up the courage to take part in the SkyPoint Climb because now I can tell you, the view up there is spectacular. 

This is me looking over the edge, holding on to the railing for dear life.

Taking place at one of the world’s tallest residential buildings, Q1 Resort Building, the climb lasts for about 90 minutes from start to end – just enough time for you to stop freaking out and admire Gold Coast at a bird’s eye view. Have your picture taken 270m above ground level, and the guide will also teach you how to lean over the edge of the building. 

You’ll be harnessed well and suits are provided (don’t mind the fashion faux pas), so let out the daredevil in you and have your Batman moment on the edge of the tallest building in the city. Take your pick from five different types of climbs here, such as the Twilight Climb and Dine package. How romantic!

Not up for the challenge? You can stay at the SkyPoint Observation deck right below the SkyPoint Climb, and enjoy the view without having to move a muscle. 

 Note: Wear fully enclosed, rubber soled shoes for the climb

Address: 3/3003 Surfers Paradise Blvd, Surfers Paradise QLD 4217, Australia
Contact: +61 7 5582 2700
Website: https://www.skypoint.com.au/skypoint-climb


4. Explore a super Insta-worthy mountain on a 4 wheel drive


Venture out into the forest in a badass 4 wheel drive, with a guide to make sure you hit all the coolest spots on the mountain. Get ready for a bumpy ride, I wouldn’t recommend it to those with motion sickness! Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife, and you might be able to spot koalas. 

Filled with pretty eucalyptus trees, you can stop by anywhere on the mountain and be guaranteed a beautiful view you’ll store in your memory forever. One whiff of the air in the rainforest will make you realise how different it is from our usual city air. The smell of trees and nature while basking in the sunlight – this should be a form of therapy. 

There’s also in vehicle wi-fi throughout the tour, but what’s wi-fi when there’s wi-ldlife? 

Here are a few stops we made on our roadtrip!


a. Witches Chase Cheese


We stopped by Witches Chase Cheese, where they sell an incredible variety of cheese made with a vegetarian rennet, and using only traditional methods . Even if you’re not a fan of cheese, you have to try their blue cheese. It’s a unique taste you’ll either love or hate. 

Witches Chase Cheese
Address: 165-185 Long Rd, North Tamborine QLD 4272, Australia
Opening Hours: Weekdays: 10 am – 4 pm | Weekends: 7 am – 4 pm
Contact: +61 7 5545 2032
Website: http://witcheschasecheese.com.au/


b. Tamborine Distillery


Next stop, the Tamborine Distillery. Skip the cheese if you aren’t really keen, but do not – I repeat – do not skip this. From the outside, it looks like a setting straight out from a fairytale, and you’ll fall in love with its traditional wooden architecture and rustic charm.

The Distillery is owned by a friendly, bearded man who’s more than willing to bring you around the place – especially the second floor with walls fully covered with awards and certificates won by their amazing liqueurs. I don’t think even the child of a tiger mom has this many awards.

As a family run business, you’ll get personal interaction with the owners who will show you their signature liqueurs and recommendations. 

Those with a sweet tooth must try their award winning Wattle Toffee Liqueur ($46.50 for 500ml). Containing 20% alcohol, this liqueur doesn’t hit hard and the toffee flavour is extremely rich and leaves you craving for more than one shot. They also sell their liqueur in cute test tubes ($5), which make unique souvenirs besides the usual stuffed koala. 

Tamborine Distillery
Address: 89 Beacon Rd, Tamborine Mountain QLD 4272, Australia
Opening Hours: 10 am – 3 pm, closed on Sundays
Contact: +61 7 5545 3452
Website: http://tamborinemountaindistillery.com/2014/


c. German Cuckoo Clock Nest 


Left: 2001, Right: 2016

My goodness, this place hasn’t changed in 15 years. But like they said, old is gold. This is just like I remembered really unique and filled with cuckoo clocks. Not an inch of the wall was without a cuckoo clock. Each clock was different and the designs were so intricate – it was really cool.

Apart from the hundred of cuckoo clocks on display, this unique shop also sells grandfather clocks, mantle clocks, wall clocks, and other creative ornaments. It’s not something you’ll see on the streets anywhere else, so you’ll have to stop by to see it for yourself. 

German Cuckoo Clock Nest
Address: 143 Long Rd, Eagle Heights QLD 4271, Australia
Opening Hours: 10 am – 4 pm
Contact: +61 7 5545 1334
Website: https://www.cuckooclocknest.com.au/

Book your 4WD tour here!


5. Stuff yourself silly while café-hopping


A decade ago, no one told me that cafe-hopping was going to be the “in” thing! Exploring the cafes in Gold Coast now is amazing. They don’t even need to try hard, these cafes were incredibly pretty, down to the very decor on the table. 

Gold Coast gives a natural, non-pretentious air to its cafes, which made the whole cafe-hopping experience so enjoyable. Yummy food, picturesque environment, and friendly (and super cute) staff, Gold Coast cafes are the whole package you can’t miss out on. These are 2 cafes you MUST go!


a. Paddock Bakery


If you’re at loss on where to go, I recommend the Paddock Bakery. You’ll pass by this quaint little cafe on your way from the airport to Surfers Paradise or Broadbeach, so get a quick bite here before continuing your journey. 

We tried Dippy Eggs ($12.50) which was served in an ordinary egg carton. Unelaborate but so creative! Never would I expect bread dipped in soft boiled eggs, smeared with cream cheese and sprinkled with bacon bits to taste so amazing. 

Another must-try dish is their BBQ Pork Slipper ($8.50). Baked in a pastry style, the puff is generously stuffed with juicy and tasty pork pieces. It’s not too dry, nor too flaky, so two thumbs up for this dish!

Check out the rest of their menu here!

Paddock Bakery
Hibiscus Haven, Miami QLD 4220, Australia
Opening Hours: 6:30 am – 3 pm
Website: http://www.paddockbakery.com/


b. Brooklyn Depot


Besides their amazing brunches, Gold Coast is also home to the most amazing burgers and milkshakes I’ve tried. You have to visit Brooklyn Depot for this sinful combination – it’s an absolute must. 

You won’t regret ordering their Depot Burger ($15). The massive portion with not one, but TWO beef patties dripping with cheese made my jaw drop – and the burger still couldn’t fit into my mouth. It was that huge. 


Don’t leave without trying their Hershey’s chocolate and oreo milkshake called My Man ($8) on their menu. The cup is huge as well, perfect for two to share. If you’re game, there’s even an alcoholic option.

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