So this February from the 6th to the 17th of Febraury I had the greatest pleasure of getting the chance to travel out to Australia’s beautiful Gold Coast. Me and two other winners won the I’m a backpacker get me in there competition which was represented by http://www.gapyear.com/ to fly out to the Gold Coast and promote the amazing activities that were on offer. I know, what an amazing opportunity and it is definitely the best competition I have ever won! The comp was catered for Backpackers who love to travel and want to give it there all. We had to submit a video which was based around ‘What’s so great about Backpacking?’ I made mines and thankfully I was one of the three lucky winners!
The whole experience was unreal, I have never been to Australia before but after this coming home I know I am definitely going back and for a lot longer. We were staying at the brilliant ‘Surfers Paradise Backpackers Resort’ http://www.surfersparadisebackpackers.com.au/which was literally a two minute walk from the beautiful beaches of Surfers Paradise, right in the heart of it all! Since it is the height of summer in Australia every single day was clear skies, one of my favourite things to do was get up at 6am every morning (where the sun was already high in the sky) walk to the beach and have a swim in the warm ocean. Now that is something you definitely cannot do in Scotland.
Here’s a look at what we got up to while we were out there.
Saturday 8th February
Jet Boating/ Climbing the Sky point building (which is the Gold Coast’s tallest building.)
Sunday 9th February
We left early in the morning and travelled out to Kingscliff to meet Tim and the rest of the amazing crew at ‘Watersports Guru’. http://watersportsguru.com/
First up on the itinerary was snorkelling. Now it was called ‘snorkelling with turtles’ which is amazing in its own right but I did not expect to be getting to swim with a lot more. Whilst going out to an Island called ‘Cook Island’ we were all together as a group and whilst snorkelling I saw turtles, eagle rays and even leopard sharks. Not to mention whilst on the boat out to Cook Island we spotted a pack of around fifty dolphins, absolutely amazing to see dolphins in their natural environment. Back after this brilliant experience we got to try out ‘Paddleboarding’ this was another activity which was new to me but it was such a good laugh down at Cudgen Creek. Afterwards I even jamp off the bridge into the Creek.
All in all an amazing day, made even better by heading into Tweed Heads.
Monday 10th February
We travelled up to the Hinterland Rain Forest. The mountains and the scenery from this one hour drive from the Gold Coast were stunning. It is such a great experience getting away from the city for a while and seeing the true wild surroundings of the Gold Coast and the wildlife that Australia has to offer. We were staying at the ‘Binna Burra lodges’ located right at the top of the Hinterland Rainforest. http://www.binnaburralodge.com.au/
The first activity of the day involved meeting the representative Phil and getting to abseil down a 40 metre cliff. Again, Abseiling is something I have never done and I was determined to do everything out in Australia and I loved every second of it, abseiling down the cliff and looking out at the views of the whole rain forest was spectacular. Next up was Zip lining which was so much fun. We had lunch and then afterwards went for an epic hike around the area to see all the caves and surrounding mountains.At night we had a campfire and got to stay in the Binna Burra safari tents – one of the highlights from the trip!
Tuesday 11th February
We sadly had to leave Binna Burra but I will definitely be back! We made our way back down the road until we saw the skyline of the Gold Coast in the distance.
Today’s activity was visiting the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited to see a koala in my life! Firstly, we went on a Segway Tour around the park – the most fun way I think I have ever travelled around any place! Next up was getting to hold a Koala – epic and of course getting to walk around the whole Sanctuary whilst seeing Kangaroos, many many more Koalas and Crocodiles.
Wednesday 12th February
First stop in the morning was getting to visit the Jellurgal Aboriginal Cultural Centre. I have always been very interested in the Aboriginal Culture and their way of life so we got a chance to view their lifestyle and listen to stories of their traditions and history throughout Australia. I also got to speak to the co-ordinator about the Aboriginal Art used for an interview which will be in the next post. We got to go on a guided walk through the Aboriginal Lands and what it means to them, the views from the top of the Hill were outstanding looking out to Burleigh Heads and the surrounding Coastline. It was a very deep and meaningful experience in which we got to learn first hand a tremendous amount about the heritage and culture of the Aboriginal people. Also getting to try their food was another plus! https://www.google.co.uk/#q=jellurgal+aboriginal+cultural+centre
Next up was out to the Burleigh Head Brewery Company. Fantastic experience of course since we got to sample all their unique special and award winning beer. Later in the day we headed out to Burleigh Heads Creek where we drank Beer and took in the amazing views whilst laying in the Sun. By this point you can imagine it was already difficult for me thinking of having to leave this place!
Thursday 13th Febraury
A full day of theme parks and water parks at ‘White Water World’ and ‘Dreamworld’ need I say more?http://www.dreamworld.com.au/
Friday 14th February
Even though every single day was life changing and absolutely incredible, Friday was definitely my favourite day. Here’s why: During the week Me and the other two competition winners, Jodie and Sean were competing each day for a different prize. There was an instagram, photo, interview, writing and video comp for each day of the week. Out of the 5 mini competitons I won the photo and instagram ones. This meant I had the oppurtunity to pick 2 activitys to do out of the 5, amazing I know!
And so with that, the first epic activity of the day was Jet Ski Safari, this involved a whole 3 hours out on the open water on a Jet Ski getting to go as fast as you wanted, this prize seemed to good to be true so it had to be my number one choice! I was not let down and had the most amazing time with the rest of the group out on the water! http://www.jetskisafaris.com.au/
The second activity I got to do was the ‘Harley Davidson cruise’.
This was my favourite most memorable activity I got to take part in from the whole week. Basically I was on the back of a Harley Davidson going very fast around the Mountains and high lands surrounding the Gold Coast, I felt amazing, the adrenaline was at an all time high, it was a beautiful day and the scenery from down below and being on the open road on a motorbike is something I will never ever forget. I would completely recommend any of the activities and companies I got the privilege of being able to use whilst out in Australia but if your looking for something a bit more alternative and want to see the Gold Coast in a different light on board a fast moving motorbike I say go for this one!!
All in all, I have came away from Australia and these amazing experiences desperate to go back and thinking about it non stop. I have managed to tick a large chunk off my bucket list and in such a short space of time. The week was jam packed from amazing activity to another. I would like to just say to Gapyeardotcom and of course Gold Coast Tourism thank you so much for this opportunity, I will never forget the most incredible life changing experiences I had whilst out in OZ, it’s just secured my thoughts that all I want to do is travel. To read more up on our adventures with the Gap Year and Gold Coast Team have a look at their website article! http://www.gapyear.com
Australia I will be back.