Category Archives: Gold Coast

Balcony View at the Hilton Surfers Paradise Hotel and Residences on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia

Hilton Surfers Paradise Review

Review of the Hilton Surfers Paradise Hotel & Residences

Even though we have already stayed at and reviewed the Hilton Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast recently, we just spent a long weekend here felt that it was worthy of another brief review. On our latest stay here we were allocated a room in a different tower and found it was quite a different room lay out. (read our detailed Hilton Surfers Paradise review here).

On this occasion we stayed in an ocean view two bedroom residence on the 17th floor of the Boulevard Tower. This room had a smaller kitchenette but had amazing oceans views, especially from the master bedroom and ensuite.

The second bedroom was a good size with a double bed and still had the wonderful views.  The outside balcony wrapped around the room and had an outdoor table setting for four.

The Boulevard Tower of the Hilton Surfers Paradise is the tower where the pool and gym area is located so it’s quite handy to stay in if you are frequently wanting to go to pool area and The Deck Bar. As there is an indoor pool as well as the outdoor pools, the kids can have a swim no matter what the weather conditions are. On this stay the weather was warm so for us adults It was nice and relaxing to sit poolside and enjoy a cocktail while the kids tried out all the various different  pools.

Being HHonor Diamond members we were still given access to the executive lounge while staying in the residences. This is an excellent lounge (on the 15th floor of Orchid Tower) with wonderful staff who really like to look after you. We opted to have breakfast in the lounge instead of the buffet breakfast at Salt Grill on this trip (Diamond members are now charged $10 per person for the buffet). While there are no hot dishes in the lounge, it was still adequate enough for us. The evening canapés and drinks are available from 6.00pm to 8.30pm Mon-Fri and 6.00pm to 8.00pm Sat & Sun. There is a selection of two hot canapés and a good selection of Tapas items to eat. If you are like us and are travelling with kids, they will love the wide selection of sweets available, including the fridge full of Connoisseur ice creams! It is self-serve beverages including beer, wine and soft drinks.

The Food Store is located in the lobby area of the Hilton Surfers Paradise and is another breakfast alternative for those wanting a quick bite to eat. Open from 6.00am to 10.00pm you can eat in or get the food delivered to your room for $8.00 per order if you don’t want to wait around. We had a late lunch of burgers all round and they were delicious. We were even given a complimentary plate of little sweet treats which was a nice gesture.

For more information on Hilton Surfers Paradise and Residences go to: www.hiltonsurfersparadise.com.au

Sea World on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia

Sea World Gold Coast Review

Sea World Resort & Water Park, Gold Coast, Australia

Sea World on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia really does provide an entertaining and educational day out for families. There is so much to do here for all age groups – arrive early and spend the whole day learning about marine animals, brave the rides and adventure zones, watch the captivating shows, meet your favourite Nickelodeon character and enjoy the sweeping views of Sea World from the Monorail.

Rides

The newly opened Nickelodeon Land at Sea World is a fun area for those with younger kids. This area features rides and shows based on popular Nickelodeon characters including the Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles, SpongeBob SquarePants and Dora the Explorer. There are character meet and greets in this area throughout the day so be sure to check to boards for the various times. You can check ride restriction heights here for the Nickelodeon Land rides. You can view our Nickelodeon Land Walk Through YouTube Video here.

For bigger kids the three main thrill rides are the Viking’s Revenge Flume ride (min. height 95cm and under 120cm must be accompanied by an adult), the Storm Coaster (min. height 110cm and under 130cm must be accompanied by an adult) and the Jet Rescue ride (min. height 125cm). Both our boys (aged 9 & 10) really enjoyed these rides and we were lucky enough that when we were there (March 2016) it was pretty quiet and it was a weekday, so not much queuing for the rides.

Another really cool part of Sea World which our kids loved was Castaway Bay which is an adventure playground where you can climb and explore the five levels of the Sky Fortress or ride the Battle Boats where the adults can take revenge on the kids and get them soaking wet! For something a little more challenging the kids can try the Sky Climb for an extra fee (min. height is 120cm and under 140cm must be accompanied by an adult).

There is also the Monorail which takes you around the park and is a nice way to get to see just what Sea World on the Gold Coast has to offer.

Sea World on the Gold Coast

Monorail

Shows

Affinity Dolphin show is one  of the main attractions at Sea World. Here you get to learn a bit more about how these magical mammals live and their affinity with humans along with what we can do to help to maintain their safety. There are two shows daily at 11.15am and 3.30pm.

Another very entertaining show is the Fish Detective Sea Lion show. These cheeky sea lions will certainly provide the kids with plenty of laughs. This show is on twice daily at 10.15am and also 2.30pm.

Jet Stunt Extreme highlights some of the world’s best jet ski competitors and is certainly action packed with plenty of stunts and flips. You can catch this show daily at 1.30pm or 4.15pm.

For the smaller kids there is also a Dora the Explorer show called Dora’s Best Friends Adventure Show and is held daily at 12.15pm and 3.15pm. If your kids like the TNMT there is also a Turtle Power Show held at 11.00am and 1.45pm daily. They will also enjoy the 3D SpongeBob film which is shown pretty regularly throughout the day.

Animals

There is no shortage of animals to observe and learn about here at Sea World. Our favourite exhibits were;

  • Polar Bear Shores where you can watch these playful creatures from both above and beneath the water.
  • Penguin Encounter where you get to taste a little bit of what life is like for the large king penguins in Antarctica.
  • Penguin Point which houses the small fairy penguins.
  • Shark Bay which is a two level exhibit showcasing stunning tropical fish as well as plenty of sting rays and sharks. It also has some interactive touch pools where you can feel starfish and other rock pool creatures.
  • Ray Reef which is full of sting rays of all sizes that actually come up to the surface and let you get a feel of their slimy bodies.

On top of all this there are also many different animal adventures available at an extra cost, such as meet the dolphins or swimming with the sharks. They also do Helicopter rides and whale watching tours at certain times of the year (from June-Oct) – you can access more information on these adventures here.

Gates open at 9.30am and the rides start from 10.00am with the park closing at 5.00pm

General admission pricing is $79.00 per person (no child prices or family tickets available). Children under 3 are free.

If you are planning on visiting more than one theme park on the Gold Coast, they do have a combo pass available which is better value for $99 per person and includes entry to Warner Bros. Movie World, Seaworld and Wet ‘n’ Wild (read our Movie World review here).

You can also check the maintenance schedule here  before arriving to see which attractions will be closed during the time that you will be visiting.

For a full listing of ticket prices and park information – go to www.seaworld.com.au

Entrance to Movie World, Gold Coast

Movie World Gold Coast Review

Warner Bros. Movie World, Gold Coast

Warner Bros. Movie World theme park is located on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia and certainly provides a fun-filled day of entertainment for the whole family. With attractions and rides that cater for all age groups, there is something to do for everyone.

There are quite a few thrill rides here at Movieworld with the most extreme being the Superman Escape which goes from 0-100km/h in less than two seconds. Our nine year son was brave enough to go on it once, but don’t think he will be going back on in a hurry! Would recommend a bit older age bracket for that ride as well as the Arkham Asylum Coaster (both rides have a 140cm min. height restriction). He did however enjoy the Batwing Spaceshot and the Scooby Doo Coaster which is an indoor roller coaster. We managed to get our younger eight year son on to the Wild West Adventure Falls and the Justice League 3D ride.  Just a note that while we were here the Green Lantern ride was closed.

WB Kids Zone is designed to keep the younger kids entertained with much smaller rides like the Looney Tunes Carousel, Sylvester & Tweety Cages, Yosemite Sam Railroad and Sylvester’s Pounce ‘n’ Bounce. There is also a Looney Tunes Splash Zone for hot days where the kids need to cool off. Our boys especially loved the Road Runner Coaster as well as the Junior Driving School here. The Junior Driving School is a bit like dodgem cars but without the bumping and the kids can also get their very own drivers licence made up here.  Just a note that if you are looking for the bumper cars, they are over at Intencity Fun ‘n’ Games which is located near the Scooby Doo ride.

On Main Street you will find plenty of photo opportunities throughout the day with various Looney Tunes characters as well as your favourite superheroes. There is a good range of eateries and shops here as well. Down at the Roxy Theatre is the Rio 4D Experience which even the adults really enjoyed. At 10.45am the younger kids can enjoy a Looney Toons Dance Party and at 3.30pm there is an All Star Parade featuring Movie World characters including Batman, Scooby Doo & Shaggy, Bugs Bunny & friends as well as DC Superheroes and Villains.

The action-packed Hollywood Stunt Driver 2 show is performed twice daily at 11.00am and 1.50pm. If you love cars and stunts then don’t miss this extreme precision driving show as the skills of these drivers are pretty amazing.

Gates open at 9.30am and the rides start from 10.00am with the park closing at 5.00pm.

General admission pricing is $79.00 per person (no child prices or family tickets available). Children under 3 are free.

If you are planning on visiting more than one theme park on the Gold Coast, they do have a combo pass available which is better value for $99 per person and includes entry to Warner Bros. Movie World, Seaworld and Wet ‘n’ Wild. You can read our Sea World review here.

Fore more information on tickets and park attractions go to www.movieworld.com.au

 

Main Pool at the Hilton Surfers Paradise

Hilton Surfers Paradise

Hilton Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast – Queensland, Australia

We recently travelled up to Queensland to stay at the Hilton Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast. This Hilton has a range of different accommodation options suitable for both business and leisure travellers. There are the normal Hilton Hotel guest rooms and suites or you also have the option of staying  in the one, two, three or four bedroom self-contained Hilton Residences which are perfect for travelling families. Check in for us was nice and easy, staff were very friendly and helpful and there was lovely welcome treats waiting for us when we arrived in our apartment.

We stayed in a two bedroom deluxe residence (got upgraded to an ocean view) on the 27th floor and the highlights of this type of accommodation were;

  • Two separate bedrooms – one king and one double (with two separate bathrooms)
  • Separate living and dining areas
  • Kitchen equipped with a fridge, freezer, electric stove top and dishwasher (plenty of pots and pans, dishes, glasses and cutlery available too)
  • Laundry with washing machine and dryGold CoastGold Co
  • Private balcony
  • Views of the Surfers Paradise beach and ocean

The pool area on level two at the Hilton Surfers Paradise is called The Deck and boasts four different pools – a 40 metre feature pool, a kids pool, a plunge pool and an indoor pool with spa and sauna. There are plenty of sun beds and lounges available all throughout this huge area. While there you can grab a cocktail or a bite to eat by the Deck Bar – while we didn’t eat there, the menu is created by Luke Mangan so the menu should be of excellent quality. If you prefer to self cater by the pool, there is quite a few BBQ huts around the pool area if you want to cook up a storm yourself.

Other features are two gymnasiums – one next to the indoor pool and one on the Mezzanine level. There is the eforea spa for some pampering if required. The day spa is open from Wed-Sun from 10.00am – 6.00pm and after having a facial and massage could highly recommend it.

There was a variety of dining options here at the Hilton Surfers Paradise. In the lobby area is the Food Store which offers all day cafe dining as well as a take away section of snacks and beverages similar to a convenience store at reasonable prices. On level one is Salt Grill by Luke Mangan which serves dinner from 6.00pm – due to its popularity, bookings are essential here. Opposite Salt Grill is Fix Bar, so if you are looking for a cocktail or two to try be sure to stop by.

As Diamond HHonor members we also had access to the executive lounge which is located on the 15th floor. The staff here are excellent and always happy to help. Continental breakfast is available in the lounge from 6.30am to 10.30am. Light refreshments are available throughout the day and afternoon tea is served between 3.00pm and 5.00pm. Evening drinks consists of self pour wine, beer and soft drinks (staff will bring spirits if requested) and accompanied with a selection of antipasti and 2 hot canapés. For the sweet tooth’s there is also a selections of cakes, biscuits, smarties and lollies! Times for the evening drinks are 6.00pm to 8.30pm Monday to Friday and 6.00pm to 8.00pm on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays.

We opted for the buffet breakfast at Salt Grill instead of the lounge as our Diamond status gets us free continental breakfast there. For Diamond members you can upgrade to the full buffet for $10 which we would recommend as the food is of very high quality.

We used the Concierge team a fair bit while we were here and they were excellent and extremely helpful for organising tour bookings, directions or recommendations. We emailed them before our arrival to organise airport transfers (cost for a sedan was $77 each way from Gold Coast airport). The hotel has a shuttle tour company that they use for the theme parks which we booked when we went to Movieworld and they were very prompt and reliable – return cost was $57 for a family of four. Departure times from the hotel were 8.45am, 10.00am and 11.20am. The return times from Movieworld were 3.45pm or 5.10pm. We also visited Sea World but it was cheaper to catch a taxi (around $15 each way) than to use the shuttle for four people.   You can read our Movie World review here and our Sea World review here.

The only negative thing we could come up to say about this hotel was that we found the housekeeping a little inconsistent. Some days we didn’t get the amenities replenished and we had pre ordered an extra towel which was never left for us. We did get a call from a staff member on our second day to check if everything was ok with our stay and we mentioned that we wanted an extra towel left for us and she assured us it would get organised. The next day we received four bath robes on or beds but no extra towel – after that we pretty much gave up trying, but it wasn’t a big issue. We did however still get a turn down service staying in the residences where we were left chocolates and water bottles at night which was appreciated.

This hotel is located right in the heart of Surfers Paradise with so many nearby restaurants, bars, shops and just a short walk to the beach. There is so much to do for families on the Gold Coast, from the theme parks to the beautiful beaches and with the Hilton in a such a great location and with friendly helpful staff, we will definitely be returning.

For more information you can go to www.hiltonsurfersparadise.com.au