Saturday, September 15, 2018

5 Themeparks Adventure in Gold Coast that you CANNOT miss!

Gold Coast located at the South of Brisbane on Australia's east coast. Famous for their long sandy beaches, surfing and water activities and of course last but not least, THE THEME PARKS!
I may not seem like it but I love going for theme parks and the thrill rides. Where else if not in Gold Coast. There is like six main theme parks that you can visit and they are super duper fun. I was there in 2013 for 4 days visiting one theme park a day and again in 2015 for a day.

Here are the theme parks available in Gold Coast that you should drop by. They have theme parks that are family friendly, thriller rides for the youngster like me and also the water parks. Firstly, do not get these theme parks passes and tickets individuals as it will cost you so much more. Buy it in package online before you head there you will save lots. Each theme park would cost you at least $89 to $100 individually.

RECOMMENDED PACKAGES 

SKYPOINT is where you get a skyscraper of view for the entire Gold Coast. It's in the package so might as well make a visit and its a real beauty at night. I've been there and I really love it. 

Disclaimer : The photos was taken way back in 2013 from my really old iphone. Hence, the quality might be really poor and also it was so long ago, I couldn't really find most of it. I will give it a go and make do with what I have. 

The ranking of the theme parks are how I would really rank them to go and priortise. 

WARNER BROS MOVIE WORLD

A movie theme park in Gold Coast that was open in 1991. My favourite theme park among all because the rides were super fun and thrilled! Super scary! The only movie realted theme park in Australia with attraction ranging from motion simulators to roller coaster and slow river rides. There are also minor street shows all around where there will be performance by characters from Scooby-Doo and Shaggy and Looney Tunes character. 

Batman, Green Lantern and Superman are also there. You know where to go if you want a photo with these superheroes. My favourite ride was the Superman ride. It will go at a pace where you think that any other typical thrill ride and an announcement will come up to say "Hold on that, 3..2..1..." And there you go. The speed superman fly. Yep, before you know it you are heading up there on a super fast pace trying to catch your breathe while screaming your lungs out. 

The other rides were also super fun like the Gotham City and Green Lantern ride. The rest were the typical rides you would get. My highlight would definitely be the Gotham City Batman, Superman and Green Lantern ride. 


WET N' WILD

This was the most popular water theme park in Gold Coast. There are a couple water theme park but this has the best water rides in Gold Coast. It was also my favourite water theme park so far. I haven't been to many water theme parks but definitely open to any other recommendation that you guys have on this. In 2009, the park received 1,085,000 which rank 8th in the world which justify that this definitely is one fun thrilled water park. This theme park is much older, opened in 1984.



Source: Google Images 
As it was a water theme park, the moment I arrived, didn't waste any time, took no photos and hence, only took a photo from google image.

DREAMWORLD

Dreamworld is the largest theme park with 40 rides and attraction with several themed such as Rocky Hollow, Tiger Island, Town of Gold Rush, Dreamworks Experience and Ocean Parade. They not only have rides but collection of animal exhibits which is suitable for the younger kids which cannot take the thrill rides. Opened in 1981, this one has even more thrill rides than Movie World. However, I felt like the rides were much more older and hence, I don't feel as safe as sitting the rides in Movie World. It just me being paranoid but when the environment and decoration looks like its been a long time since refurbishment. 


However, I gotta say the most thrilled ride I sat was in Dreamworld. The name is Buzzsaw. It was an achievement photo for me. Basically the rides takes you all the way up and then you have a free fall down letting go two rounds which is super fun. That twist at the top where you turn 360 degree added the twist to your ride. I scream so much when I came down, I felt like I lost my voice. 


WHITE WATER WORLD

Opened in 2006, this is situated in the suburb of Coomera in Gold Coast. We wanted to go both white water world and wet and wild and we went both of them in a day. Not the best choice but we only had 4 days in Gold Coast. Either ways, we went there in the morning for about 4 hours. There wasnt any queue and we manage to sat almost all of the rides. It's very similar to wet and wild but lesser rides of course. If you have a less crowded water park, this is definitely your choice. The queue lines are much shorter as well .


Quick tip : My attire was not water friendly for sure. Changed into a t shirt and water based shorts. Do not that denim shorts are not allow in the rides. So be sure to make sure you wear the right attire and when visiting water parks.

SEA WORLD

This is more like an aquarium, a marine mammal park and sort of a mini themepark. It does not have as many rides but a lot of activities where you can interact with marine animals like the seal and dolphins. The rides are not the thrilling type as this theme park was meant for the family and kids. The rides were a lot of kids ride but honestly, I had fun playing those. It might seem childish and for 20 year olds to be playing against all the kids. 

But hey, it always important to keep the youth in you. Bringing you back to your childhood times as well. I had a great time and especially I absolutely love the dolphins show. They are such elegant yet playful animals.




Oh! Also, if you are there, make sure to chill and get sun tanned at Surfer Paradise as well! The beach is beautiful and it can get really crowded. I visited sea world on my second trip and i had to pay a full 80AUD for my entrance so please please get packages.

SKYPOINT

Located 230 metre from the ground, this place will get you the view of the City of Gold Coast. If you've been following my travel diaries, you will notice how much I love going up to skyscrapper and climbing up to high points to get views like this. My absolute and MUST Do things in a place. Any place that gives me a city views, you named it, I'll be going. I need capture a memory of all this cities. I cant go and visit them all but I would love to at least get an overview of it. 


I didn't manage to get the day view as I was too busy with all the theme park but night views are almost as beautiful. The lights make the city look so much more alive.

My take on this :
- These are the best 5 themeparks in Gold Coast that you cannot missed. They should be the priority
- Make sure to get recommended packages to make your trip worth.
- Make sure you get the right attire to the themeparks.













Saturday, September 8, 2018

Exploring Adelaide in the Heat (2.5 days Itinerary)

Throwback to all the way in December 2015 when I first graduated. I was heading back to Malaysia for good and decided that I should do a bit of travelling. I had friends all over Australia so we all decided to travel together. I bought my ticket to Adelaide and then heading to Brisbane and Gold Coast. My first stop was Adelaide and my friend picked me up from the airport. He had everything planned out so nicely for us. What better way than to explore the city than having a local bring you around to the best places. :)

Trust me, the summer in Australia is a real deal. It was 40 degree and the lesson I learn from this trip is to never travel at this temperature. You not only get sunburn but you sweat so much that you feel uncomfortable.

DAY 1 

Lyndoch Lavendar Farm

This farm was huge. It is also the popular lavendar farm that people visit when they are in Adelaide. For more information about them, you can visit their website here. It was my first time visiting a lavendar farm and I would say it would be better visiting during spring or when weather are more bearable. It was so hot that the lavender wasn't looking very healthy. However, I heard that during spring or cooler weather, its a purple field which looks really pretty.



You can tell that the summer in Adelaide pretty much drain all the plants and the ground just by looking at the soil colour. Despite that, I would love to give a shoutout to the Lavender Ice Cream. Its the first time I had Lavender Ice Cream and is still the BEST I had!


1847 Wines Chateau Yaldara Barossa Valley
Of course, you have to do the wine tasting when you are here. Our first stop was just near by the Lavendar Farm, 1847 Wines Chateau Yaldara Barossa Valley. The setting of this wineries is beautiful and perfect for wedding settings. Its grand and has the European style and feels to it.




They have a beautiful garden as well. Did some wine tasting there but not too much because my friend has more winery plans for us.

Jacob Creeks Winery 
160 year old, Australia largest wine brand. This was a really famous wine and I often had it when I was back in Malaysia. I like this winery much more as it is modernised and most importantly it had air condition which was what I really needed at that point in time.



At that point in time, I was in love with Moscato so we all bag one whole box of Moscato back. It was my favourite among all the wine I tried that day. I always had a sweet tongue so I guess Moscato was the go-to choice for me. 

This view is my favourite. It look like a perfect weather but the heat was unbearable. I am pretty sure we were able to fry an egg there. 
St Hallett Wine 
Finally, our last wine stop was the St Hallett Wineries which was also located in Barossa Valley. Shiraz is the core of St Hallett Wineries. By that time, I felt like I've already had a little too much wine from the past two wineries so I went in to just try the shiraz.


This was their packaging style of wines. I didn't get any from them but it was a good tasting of shiraz I had. Decided that we had enough of wine , my friend was like let's go feed the animals and hence we head over there.

Gumeracha Wildlife Park 

A 7 ache wildlife park which has variety of animals in it such as the peacock, Illama, emu, wallabies and so on. I had quite a fright here. I think the animals weren't fed as much so when they saw us they literally charge at us. The whole time, I felt like I was running for my life with my friends. It was fun nevertheless just a little scary. It would have been better if the animals were fed enough because you could tell that they are starving. I fed quite a lot of animals in zoo and never have a seen such hungry animals in a park. I've asked the owners and he said normally during cooler season there are a lot of tourist so the animals are well fed. In a hot weather, there are lesser tourist, so even they were fed but its much lesser than what they use to have previously.


This guy here, the emu. His friends that were running around was the culprit who was charging at us. 
Also, the wildlife park is right beside a toy factory with its famous big rocking horse. If you are planning to stop by here, the big rocking horse will let you know you are at the right location.

Hahndorf (German Town)

This town is the oldest German Settlement in Australia. They all practically German theme and you really do get a different feel rather than the typical Australia town. Most of the shops were selling German goods and products. Keeping the town real German.




We had our early dinner at about 4pm in this German Restaurant which I can't remember what was it called. Apparently it's super popular and the deco in the restaurant in on point with the theme.

Mount Lofty 

Our last stop was to have a panoramic view of Adelaide so we went the highest point in the Mount Lofty range to get this cool view. Since there were a lot of wineries here, the view you get is not your typical city view but a scenery of green grass.



After this, we decided to head into the city for a walk before calling it a day. I got pretty bad sunburn that day and I prepared for it so I got cucumbers and aloe vera. I came back home at night and did a homemade mask with the cucumber and aloe vera. With such heat, this would help to cool down your skin and prevent any skin peeling off.

My friends just laugh at me when I was doing it but it felt so comfortable that they decided to try. Lucky for us, we did not get peeled skin and redness.

DAY 2

Cherry Picking 

During the summer, you MUST go for Cherry Picking in Australia. It's a super popular activity to do during Summer despite the hot sun. This was my first time doing it and I really had a lot of fun. When you actually pick those cherry, we were told to be very careful and only take the fruit but not the whole stem and pull it carefully for it to keep reproducing cherry. A lot of times tourist just hurt the cherry trees without realising.



Port Elliot, Horseshoe Bay

Second stop on day 2 was the beach. No way you can visit a place in Australia without visiting any beaches. We went over to Horseshoe Bay, played around the beach and mainly we were there for the fish and chips in Flying Fish Cafe.




Look at the water. Its so clean and the water colour just please my eyes so much. I love going to beaches with clear blue water and admire the beauty of the sea.

Granite Island Recreation Park

So, we decided to a bit of trekking around the Granite Island at Victor Harbor. This was a different experience to get to the island. We took a tram but not the electric tram but a horse tram. It took us from Victor Harbor to Granite Island. It took us about 2 hours to get around the island. We didnt rush it but just took our time admiring the view and rocks. Took a lot of photos too!






It was a amazing view despite the hot weather. Getting view like this makes it worth the trip, sweat and heat. It wasn't super crowded so it was just perfect going around the island and searching for the animals.

Hallett Cove, Rocky Beach 

Declaring it a beach day on the second day. Visited all the famous beaches in Adelaide. We mostly stayed and chill hearing the sea breeze. It was too hot at that time for us to head into the water as well. It so hot that the water itself is warm. I kid you not. You can't even walk barefoot on the sandy beach because it'll hurt you.



Glenelg Beach

This was my favourite beach and town. We stop by here for about 2 hours to get ice cream, chill around the jetty as well. There were so many things going on in this area. There were amusement part, museums for vintage swimwear and even dolphin watch. Also, there this jetty where people were just jumping down pretty similar to cliff jumping. My friends tried it but since I did not bring any extra clothes so I did not do it.

If you are there, do it! Its cooling and fun and kinda thrilling for awhile. We took a walk around the town after getting gelato passing by the amusement park as well.



It also my favourite beach in Adelaide. It has the right amount of crowd, the environment and a town nearby where you can get food and chill around with a beach view.

Adelaide Central Business District (CBD)

Finally entering the CBD for dinner after a whole day of strolling beaches and trekking. Really took all my energy away and I haven't gotten the chance to enter the city area yet. Well, the city is definitely less happening than Melbourne or Sydney but it's definitely not as crowded so you don't get the busy city feel.




DAY 3

Dolphin Explorer, Port Adelaide

Our flight to Brisbane was in the evening. My final stop was one that I've been waiting for. Searching for Dolphin! This was a two (2) hour cruise and its only $10 AUD. Where can you such a cheap deal to see dolphins. Also, there is no guarantee you'll be able to see them. If thats your lucky day, $10 is definitely worth the shot. You can check them out at their website here.



I was surprise when we were passing by the industrial area and I told my friends no way we have dolphins here. It's too polluted but then I realise, the water here is pretty clean and not as dirty as I thought. I was wrong because we manage to spot dolphins! I was pretty much so excited that I almost forgot to take photo of it. Or at least I was too busy spotting them that I forgot. I only manage to capture this shot of their fins.
Tadaaa ! The only shot I had. Oh wells but i manage to see them so I was really happy the whole day.
After we were done with the cruise, we had lunch and made our way to the airport. This also marks the end of my journey with Adelaide. I do hope to come back soon as there were many other places I have yet to visit. When I do, it'll be in Spring definitely not in Summer anymore. I do really miss Australia, stayed there 3 years of my life. I would seize my next opportunity to visit there again the next time. :)






Friday, September 7, 2018

Visiting Milan, Italy

Milan is the global capital of fashion and design. It's also a financial hub, and filled with high end restaurant and shops. To me, Milan was just like any other city and my main purpose there was more of shopping. So we spend 1.5 days exploring Milan and then one day shopping around. Compare to Rome, Florence and Pisa, Milan gave me a more modernise city feels. The other cities each has their very own character.

Here were the things I visited and did in Milan :-

Milan Cathedral
One of the biggest cathedral in the world which took almost 600 years to complete. The cathedral is the central of Milan and everything else is surrounding it. If you look at the map, the cathedral itself is in the centre. You can also climb up to the Cathedral to get the whole of city view. I did not do that because we climb enough for Rome and Florence. We thought we sit this one out and the line was so long. We weren't going to queue for 1-2 hours under the hot sun.



I had the return at night to capture the cathedral at night. Based on my experience, these cathedrals always have its own beauty in broad day light and at night. 
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
Shopping mall in Milan which has such a beautiful interior. Its basically all the luxury goods that I wish I could afford. Its also the oldest active shopping mall (more than 150 years).




Piazza del Duomo
Piazza is the Italian word for "square". So, this is the main square in Milan which is where the Gallerie and the Cathedral is located.


This was the square where everyone was taking their photos with the Cathedral and the Gallerie. There is also people offering to take photos for you. Do not agree to let them help you. They'll charge you really expensive. I gotta admit the buildings are quite pretty. For some reason, its a classic design building but I still feel Milan is more modernise even with those design.

Leonardo Museum - The World of Leonardo Da Vincci
I tried booking for the last supper but it was clearly fully book when I tried to book it. If you are looking to visit the last supper, please do book few months in advance. The boyfriend insisted to actually go for the museum. Since we were at the square, we google and there was actually an exhibition held in Piazza della Scalla which is just the other entrance of the Gallerie. So we head over there and it was about 12 euros. In the exhibition, we saw all the designs of Leonardo Da Vincci and one thing I really love about this museum is that it is much more interactive.

We actually spend 1-2 hours there just going around with all his inventions. We were quite unfortunate because "The Last Supper" (not the original) probably another art of a different artist was under maintenance.

The bridge that I build from scratch. There were so many of these activities in the museum for you to play with. 
Definitely recommend you to this museum if you want something more interactive. We've been to so many museum in Italy and we really needed an interactive museum like this.

Sforza Castle
A huge fortress build in the 14th century and contain art from Da Vincci and Michelangelo. When we went there, they were already closing. That was about 5pm so we manage to visit the external part of it only.





Its actually really big and I really wish we had the chance to visit the interior of it. I love going into places like this and just explore. I visited so many castle, palace and fortress but somehow I never get bored. The entrance fee is quite expensive so I usually end up going beyond my budget travelling due to all these entrance fee.

Basically these were what we did on sightseeing in Milan. The rest of the time we were just hunting down good pasta restaurants, gelatos and shopping. It was rather chill because the past few days in the other cities were a lot of walking as they had so many more landmarks that we wanted to visit. It was a good end to our trip!

If you wish to read about my trips on the other cities, just hop to the links listed below :

Florence