2011 April 5-12 – Days 90-97 – Cairn’s to Surfer’s Paradise, Australia

We had booked an airplane flight over the Great Barrier Reef but we woke to wind and rain.  It had not let up by the time we dressed and had breakfast so we called the tour company to cancel.  The lady at the Tourist Info Center where we had booked the flight told us to bring in our credit card for a re-imbursemetn and when we arrived she told us that the flight company had told her that they would have cancelled the flight themselves anyway.  So much for seeing the reef.  Rats!

Despite the rainy day we decided to drive north out of Cairns to Port Douglas.  The weather wasn’t too bad on the drive up but by the time we had stopped at Flagstaff Lookout and had taken a few photos of Four-Mile Beach the sky opened again and after having some lunch we drove back to Cairns in pouring rain.  By this time, I admit we were getting pretty tired of the rain.  But, it is the wet season, so it was expected – not appreciated; but expected.Thus, the afternoon was spent in our hotel room re-packing luggage for our next day flight to Brisbane and reading, banking, and, as always, sorting and uploading photos.

Our flight to Brisbane left Cairns at 1:50 pm.  We spent most of the morning in the airport because we had to check out of our hotel by 10:30.  The rental car was returned with very few miles added to the odometer.  The window seat on our flight offered some nice views. We arrived in Brisbane at 3, picked up a car and drove the one and a half hours to our hotel seven miles from Surfer’s Paradise.  We were spending our last week in Australia at the famous resort area.  The week, like our week on Phillip Island, was a time-share exchange.  Surfer’s Paradise is a seaside resort on Queensland’s Gold Coast in eastern Australia. It is like the American Honolulu, Miami, or LA.  People from all over the country go there for their holidays to enjoy the beautiful beach, warm ocean weather, and the many theme parks and attractions.Our first day was pretty much a down day. We bought some groceries for breakfast and lunches, and purchased passes to Seaworld, Warner Bros. and Wet n’ Wild, as well as the dinner show Outback Australia Spectacular for the upcoming Tuesday night. Day 2 was spent at Sea World.  We went to three shows and had just finished watching the dolphin show when it began to rain again.  We were going to go on some rides, but the cool, wet weather changed our minds. The famous Surfer’s Paradise beach.  It is over 40 miles long.  Too cool for visitors that day though.

Day 3 (Apr 9) was another down day.  This whole week was planned to be quite lazy.  We had been on the go, more or less, since January with only the odd day to laze. We had decided that we would rest somewhat on our last full week in Australia.  The only thing accomplished this day was mall wandering and grocery shopping and reading.The view from our balcony at the Radisson Gold Coast.  On Day 4 we had planned to go to Warner Bros. but, instead, spent the entire day in our room relaxing and reading. We didn’t even go out for one meal.  Finally, on Day 5 we ventured out once more and spent the day at Warner Bros. Movieland Theme Park.  Our dinner show reservation for the Outback Spectacular is located at Warner Bros. so we were glad to get the directions sorted.

We saw several of their shows. Some of them, like the Wild West one, were very lame.  Batman wasn’t a lot better.  The Stunt Driver show, however, was pretty good.  Very similar to the one at Disney World in Orlando, Florida.   One cannot go to a big theme park without going on some rides. We thought the Superman roller coaster seemed fun, but the line was very long, and so we decided to look further.  There wasn’t too much of a line at the Lethal Weapon ride so we joined the queue.  What we did not realize was that the people were entering from the back of the building due to some repair work being done on the front.  The line was long, it was just all inside the building.  We decided to stick it out and while we inched forward we heard regular announcements about not going if you are pregnant or suffer from heart conditions and such.  The one that had me a bit concerned was the announcement that you must remove all objects from your pockets, even if the have Velcro closures, take off any sandals or flip flops, and hats and leave all your belongings in bins before getting on-board.  Why, we asked ourselves, were we here?

It took about half an hour to reach the ride which lasted exactly 70 seconds!  (I know.  I counted.) You hit speeds of 80 kmph (50 mph), encounter 4G forward and reverse force and turn completely upside down five times within two corkscrews.  We were wobbling so bad we could hardly walk when we go off.  We were nauseous and had a headache as well.  But it was a really fun 70 seconds!   And, once again, it began to rain and since we still were suffering the affects of Lethal Weapon we called it a day and went back to our hotel.

The next day was our last day and we spent it lazily at the resort, only venturing out to go to the Outback dinner theater.  No photos allowed but it was a great show, lots of equestrian riding and Aussie stories; and a good dinner – one of the best we had in the country; so we definitely ended our Australian Adventure on a high note.  Our flight from Brisbane to Sydney was scheduled for 2:15 the next day.

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