The Road Ahead : April May 2009
TRAVEL + LIFESTYLE GOLD COAST FEATURE For a daytime adrenaline-charged experience... ABOVE, FROM LEFT: DREAMWORLD THRILLS. HEL-A-VA JET BOAT. bed and corner spa. But I didn’t have time to enjoy it for too long, as the next morning I hopped aboard Hot Air Gold Coast’s bus and joined my fellow hot air ballooners at an hour when we’d usually all be tucked up in bed. But it was worth it. Arriving at our departure point for the day,west near Beaudesert, the balloon was being infl ated as the sun was rising. Soon after, as we climbed aboard and lifted off, we enjoyed the views of the farmlands below and the tranquillity of cruising through the clear, morning sky. When we hit land an hour later, the fun continued with a champagne breakfast at O’Reilly’s Canungra Valley Vineyard. The Gold Coast is now recognised as a distinctive destination on the culinary map, thanks to quality food enjoyed in a scenic, relaxed environment. Popular favourites include the array of licensed clubs that hug the coast such as Southport Yacht Club and Kurrawa Surf Club. Both offer delicious and hearty meals at affordable prices, accompanied by unobstructed views of the water. If you’re looking for dinner with a twist, head to Draculas Cabaret Restaurant, where you’ll enjoy a three-course meal with a side of gothic fun and entertainment. It’s not often you get to ride a ghost train into a restaurant and there are plenty of other surprises awaiting, making it easy to see why the restaurant has remained a popular Gold Coast haunt for almost 30 years. For a daytime adrenaline-charged experience, head south just over the border into Tweed Heads for a Hel-a-va jet boat ride. The enclosed jet boat features comfy seats that strap you in for an exhilarating ride into the open waters off Coolangatta. A heavy metal soundtrack accompanies 360-degree spins and airborne action, which had me screaming and laughing at the same time. The boat is also used for the more subdued scenic tours up the Tweed River and Whale Watch tours during the whale season. The whale watching season on the Gold Coast is becoming increasingly popular,with a number of companies conducting tours from various points along the coast from June through to November each year. visit roadahead.com.au 38 THE ROAD AHEAD APR/MAY 2009 MORE INFO ROADAHEAD.COM.AU ESSENTIAL INFO GO: Save on tickets to Gold Coast theme parks, Hot Air Gold Coast and Draculas by pre-purchasing from your local RACQ branch, racq.com/ travel or by calling 1800 629 501. STAY: Radisson Resort is rated 4.5 stars. Book at racq. com/accommodation. PLAN: Visit racq. com/tripplanner.
February March 2009
June July 2009