Our first family trip to Gold Coast last Nov is a success!
Things are so different after you come along and it took us 14 months to finally decided to go on a trip as a family. We booked and planned for this trip just a month before we head over. Our shortest notice for oversea trip!
It has been nearly 2 years since Daddy and Mummy last traveled. We actually went on a babymoon to Phuket in Jan 2013 when you were still in Mummy's tummy! So, this is unofficially our second family trip. Hehe.
Things wasn't as scary as we expected and we are thankful for this safe and fun trip. I am so glad that we plucked the courage to travel with you. It's a good break before Mummy starts new job and a reward for breastfeeding you.
Here's 15 things that you have experienced at Gold Coast as a 15th month old toddler!
1. Up the air
You had your first flight! We flew through the night to Gold Coast and you managed to catch some sleep but woke a few time. I guessed it's due to the air pressure up the plane.
We traveled back to Singapore in the mid afternoon and you only slept for a short while. It wasn't your sleeping time so you just kept walking around the plane and disturbing the crew. Scoot Biz seats are spacious and there was ample leg space for you to walk around. Anyway, good job for a first time traveler on a 8hrs flight!
2. Hotel stay
It's our first family's hotel stay! We chose to stay at surfer's paradise where all the tourists are.
Marriott never fails to please us with their comfy rooms, awesome views, beautiful lagoon and great service.
We first checked into standard room before we move up to the Junior Suite on the 2nd day. Daddy managed to find us a good promotion (more on where we got the promotions down this long post) and so we got to enjoy a fabulous stay.
Their suite is huge and you have fun walking around. There is also big vanity table with a sink where I do all the cooking.
3. Sky point
Here's our frequent hotspot as it has free parking! The parking at Gold Coast costs more than Aussie 20 bucks so we are so glad to save some parking fee. Over at the 77th floor, we could enjoy a perfect birdeye view of surfers' paradise.
Daddy and Mummy have couple time while you knocked out through the early evening.
I think you prefer the night scenery than the sunset as it's more romantic.
We spent an exciting day at the seaworld on the sunny day!
We watched the dolphin, sea lion and Dora show. You love the animals and Dora!
Daddy kept using the zoom len to take all the animals photos thus all our portrait shots are so close up.
We also got near to a Sea Lion! But looks like Mummy is standing a little too far from it.
You had your first amusement park ride - carousel and didn't want to get off the horse even after 2 rounds. We had another train ride too.
5. Currumbin Wildlife Conservatory
This is my favourite place of all as we get close contact with koloa bears and kangaroos in the wild!
They are really cute, especially the kangaroos!
Besides, I felt like a kangaroo who is keeping her zoey in my pouch for most part of the trip.
We watched a bird, sheep shearing show and crocodile feeding demonstration. You are so happy to see so many animals especially the birds.
I also wonder if you learn how to sign crocodile (by bringing your hand to your mouth and mum) after watching how the crocodile feast.
6. Sand play
It's the first time you ever touched sand! We went to the beach and placed you down the sand. You were so afraid and ran towards me for a hug (My heart melt!).
We then went to the lagoon for more sand play! By this time, you are more used to the sandy feeling and having fun.
7. Water play
The beach and lagoon are beautiful!!
You had your first swim at 5 months in a balloon pool that we painfully blew up. Fast forward 10 months, you get to dip into the real stuff at the Lagoon. It's wasn't a good experience as the water was too cold.
You managed to soak only half body down after a long time. You very much preferred to play in the bath tub with mummy. However, you had another pool dip when we were at JB for church retreat and you love it!
8. Daddy's birthday
This got to be the highlight of the trip!
We celebrated Daddy's birthday! He is so happy to spend this special with us and we are certainly his best gifts.
The food for Daddy and Mummy are generally good and huge in portion (will share about the food in some other post!). As for you, you did get to taste some local apples, carrots, pumpkin, egg, bread, sweet potato and pork. We brought carrots and sweet potato from Singapore but we didn't clear the custom. Mummy brought along a mini electric rice cooker and rice grains to cook porridges for you.
We had some shopping and sightseeing over at the surfers' paradise shopping mall, streets, flea market and harbour town outlet. The sizes doesn't fit our small frames so we ended up buying only some souvenirs. We also bought 1 dolphin shirt and romper from the seaworld
11. Getting around surfers paradise
We rented a car, car seat and stroller to get us around. It's Daddy's 2nd trip to Gold Coast so he actually did all the planning of the routes. The GPS helped us a lot too! You spent quite some wake time and took naps in the carrier.
12. Other attractions
We wanted a relax trip so we tried to keep the plan as baby friendly as possible. We skipped attractions like Dream world and Movie world as we didn't want to cramp our days too much. We would love to try the hotair balloon, surfing and whale watching but you are still too young for them.
13. More about Gold Coast
The weather is nothing like Singapore. It's so sunny yet very windy! It gets really chilly some time. However, locals wear singlet and shorts while we had our long sleeves and pants on. How funny that you can only wear your bikini in the hotel room!
You did great adjusting to the time difference. Gold Coast is just 2 hours ahead so I think it's isn't too huge a difference for you. You sleep well through the nights but woke up earlier on some days because you heard that mummy was up cooking your meals.
People are friendly and cheerful. You are so sociable and went around making friends everywhere. We even met friends from Singapore!
I wrote down a long list of things to pack and spent many days preparing/packing for this trip. After 2 trips, I finally decided to have them typed out for the upcoming/future trips. Feel free to grab from here.
There are 101 things to bring and I actually forgot the ONE thing. I'm so embarrassed to share, I actually left my power plug to the rice cooker in Singapore (I promise I brought everything else) but the staff managed to find me one that fits perfectly! Great job, Marriott!
15. Promo codes and offers (Saving tips!)
It's probably some last minute deals and we got good savings for this trip. Mummy managed to save a few hundreds by buying scoot refund vouchers at a discount price (Gumtree) and Daddy got a good promotion for Marriott suite (Marriott website).
We also purchased tickets for the skypoint (Groupon Australia), wildlife conservatory (Groupon Australian), Seaworld (JTB Travel and Tour agency at Surfer's Paradise) and one of the dining restaurant (JTB). We are thrilled to find so many deals around. Do drop by JTB for cheaper tickets the next time you are heading there!
I am thankful that our first family trip went so well. Even though you might not remember much things but I am sure what you have seen have certainly opened up your mind. You suddenly seems to understand us more after the trip. These 6 full days with you are so precious family time and I am looking forward to our upcoming Bali trip!
We have a great time and we hope that you have a belly good time too!
With love, Daddy & Mummy