We are playing tourist today – hard core tourist. We’ve got the tacky t-shirts, sunnies and hats and we are ready to hit up a whole bunch of attractions that we normally probably wouldn’t go near (without a disguise anyway).
But we have to return the hire car first, so after doing that we hop aboard the G:, Surfer’s latest way to get around. The newly installed G: is a tram that runs to 16 stations around the Gold Coast, taking in Southport, Surfer’s Paradise and Broadbeach, and it makes it easy for locals and tourists to get around. It runs between 5am to midnight on weekdays and 24 hours on the weekends and trams arrive every few minutes. For our short ride it wasn’t cheap ($5.20 from near Q1 down to Cavill Avenue where the main mall is), but it was nice and clean and we just wanted to give it a go anyway.
First stop on the road to tacky holiday fun is at Surfer’s Paradise Hair Wraps. We were originally thinking we would grab a couple of hair wraps, but when we saw a photo of a client with corn rows, we just had to have them. It takes surprisingly little time, the ladies at the booth inside Paradise Centre having years and years of experience at this and before very long at all, we had amazing hair. You can add beads, feathers, get detachable wraps, braided extensions and even face painting. Everything to make you stand out in the crowd.
For her last couple of trips to the Gold Coast, Leigh had been wanting to try the Aquaduck. I myself had been a little curious in the past, having seen them peruse the streets of Singapore over the years. The Aquaduck is an amphibious vehicle. These vehicles were created during war time as a result of the desire to expand the off-road capabilities of land vehicles for all terrain use. They are now finding second life as tour vehicles in several countries.
There are several imitation companies in the Gold Coast, but we went with the original – Aquaduck. Millions of dollars were spent converting the Aquaduck from its previous use for use in tourism and you can tell the difference…
I’m not a fan of 3D movies. I don’t see the point (apart from the one I saw a the Uprising Museum in Warsaw which was actually a`really good concept unfortunately let down by crappy 3D glasses). So when we saw 7D Movie Theatres, I thought, what the heck. OK let’s do it. We walk into a small room set up with a simulator and six chairs, all set up for our visual and sensory experience. Our movie is Wall of China, the top selling movie. We jump on board our rickshaw, driver pedalling away, until he lights rockets on the side of the bike, and off we go on our crazy ride along the wall. It was actually brilliant, and we spent the whole eight minutes screaming and laughing and whooping. What a blast!
There are ten movies to choose from, horrors, rollercoasters and world travels. So give it a go!
Time for liquid courage before our next activity, we head inside the Beergarden on Cavill Avenue where to the amusement of the bartender, we order ourselves some XXXX. Pronounced ‘Fourex’, it was created by the Fitzgerald brothers, who’s combined goal in life was to create the finest ales known to man. They must have done something right because according to Fourex’s website – it’s Australia’s number one beer. We think it tastes ok too.
So what do the X’s in XXXX mean? Well, in the old days, beer quality was measured in Xs. The brewery’s first brew produced was XXX Sparkling Ale, which was awarded three Xs. Not satisfied with that, the Fitzgerald’s refined the recipe further and in 1924, gained their fourth X!
Fourex was even distributed across the world to troops in both WWI and WWII, which they nicknamed ‘Barbed Wire’.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to step back in time? Be gangster? A Victorian? A Flapper? Well you can, for just a moment, by visiting Old Time Photos. Step inside and let them dress you and pose you for a series of photos, which you can then purchase. Of course the sales staff will try to talk you into buying more photos than you want, but that’s their job I guess. Our photographer was a little grumpy which was a shame because it took some of the fun out of it, but it was a great laugh to do something totally different. Here’s one of the ‘too many’ shots we purchased.
Wow what a day! We certainly fit in a lot of things. Things that we never would have contemplated, but it was certainly a lot of fun. Just goes to show, sometimes the things you go out of your way to avoid, can end up being the best experiences. Everyone should have a tacky day out!