Gold Coast Day 1 (30 Jun 16) – First Day in Queensland – The Sunshine State

After an 8-hour red-eye flight from Singapore, my friend and I finally reached Brisbane early in the morning. Making it through the customs and collected our luggage, we headed to one of the two telco counters in front of the exit gate. My previous good experience with Optus whilst studying in Australia some time back led me to head towards the Optus counter without hesitation. We got ourselves a one-week Sim card that comes with 500MB data per day as well as unlimited local phone calls and SMS for merely $15, which is way lower that I had thought. The friendly Optus staff helped us activate our Sim cards before bidding us an enjoyable stay in Australia. Our next stop was the Hertz car rental counter at the arrival hall floor, where we collected our pre-booked vehicle. We were pleasantly surprised to learn that we got upgraded to the next category vehicle. The vehicle was parked at the carpark opposite the airport terminal, we headed for Gold Coast after collecting our vehicle. The drive from Brisbane Airport to Gold Coast takes about 1 hour, for those without GPS, Surfer’s Paradise isn’t hard to find as there are plenty signs along the way leading us to Surfer’s Paradise in Gold Coast.

Approaching Brisbane Airport
Arrival at Brisbane Airport after an overnight flight
Optus counter where we bought our Sim cards
The Hertz and other car rental counters are located on the same floor as the arrival gate
Outside Brisbane Airport Terminal
The vehicle that will bring us around the Gold Coast for the next 7 days
Along the highway towards Gold Coast

After collecting our keys to the apartment and leaving our luggage in the apartment that we would call home for the next seven days, my friend and I left the apartment and made our way to the nearby Walrus restaurant for the high tea that we have purchased from Groupon Australia. As the staffs were expecting us, we were seated and our food was brought to us pretty fast. The portion of the food was pretty huge, despite being tasty we were not able to finish all. We left the restaurant after filling our stomachs, my friend and I returned to our apartment to unpack our luggage and took a quick shower before heading out again.

Shops in Gold Coast 
View from the balcony of our apartment. We could see the beach and the ocean from here.
Walrus Restaurant where we had our high tea
We took a wefie while waiting for our food to be served
Beverages came first
And the food
The scones were tasty
The sweets
Walrus restaurant is opposite Q1 Tower

We left our apartment at around 5 pm. We were earlier told by the staff for the apartment property that Harbour Town closes at 6 pm today and decided to try our luck heading there. We drove to Harbour Town, an outlet retail mall for the evening as we had planned to do today. Harbour Town is a mere 30 mins drive on Gold Coast Highway. We were rather surprised to see some shops still open at the time we reached Harbour Town. There are some branded goods shops such as Hugo Boss, Calvin Klein at Harbour Town. Entering these shops, my friend and I were pleasantly surprised to find these shops offer generous discounts, some on top of the already reduced prices. We did not really buy things in these shops, merely to check out the prices and the goods they have on sale. There are several shops that were about to close (with doors half close) but we were still warmly welcomed by the friendly staffs to look around the shops. As most of the shops were closed or were about to close, my friend and I decided to catch dinner before leaving Harbour Town.

Took a sunset photo from one of the rooms in the apartment before leaving for Harbour Town
One can find shops offering huge discounts in Harbour Town
Took a wefie at Harbour Town

After leaving Harbour Town, we headed to the Jupiters Casino to take a look. The drive to the casino took around 45 mins from Harbour Town. The Casino seems a tad small compared to the one in Melbourne. We took the opportunity to sign up for the membership and spend some time playing at the Casino before departing to rest for the night.

Entrance to the Casino floor


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