10 things you must do in Brisbane and the Gold Coast
When you’ve only got a short time to spend in the Sunshine State, you want to make sure you tick off all the fun stuff! Indian vlogger Scherezade Shroff recently touched down in Brisbane to shop till she dropped… and also managed to fit in some other major bucket list items. Skydiving and seafood and (kangaroo selfies), oh my!
Skydiving has got to be one of the most exciting things I have ever done. If you’re an adrenaline junkie like me, make sure you head to Jump the Beach at Redcliffe (30-minutes’ drive from Brisbane).
My instructor had over 18,000 jumps to his name so I knew I was in safe hands. All I had to do was get all strapped up, get on a plane, jump off at 14,000 feet and then land on a gorgeous beach! I can’t wait to come back and try this again!
2. Hot air ballooning
Waking up early and going for a hot air balloon ride over the Gold Coast hinterland is truly a magical experience. It’s the best way to see Queensland – you stand in the basket for about an hour taking in the gorgeous view of the Gold Coast and beyond.
After the balloon ride, we went to O’Reilly’s Canungra Valley Vineyards for a lovely champagne breakfast. You can sit on the veranda overlooking the vineyards or on one of their many picnic tables by the river and enjoy your breakfast. If you haven’t added ‘hot air balloon ride’ to your itinerary and bucket list, you’re missing something spectacular.
3. Shop till you drop
Queensland has some amazing places for shopping with great discounts! If you’re on the Gold Coast you can’t miss Harbour Town, an outlet shopping area that is full of famous global and local Australian high street brands. Make sure you go to the Tourism Lounge and grab a Tourism card for further discounts, a parcel-minding service and complimentary refreshments in the lounge. Fancy!
If you’re in Brisbane, make your way to the Queen Street Mall, which is the central shopping district. Queen Street is full of the best high street stores and cafes and it’s the perfect place to spend your day.
4. Eat a seafood platter
If you love seafood you’re in the right place! I have eaten loads of seafood platters and trust me when I say, the seafood platter at Hurricane’s Grill in Surfers Paradise is probably one of the best seafood platters in the world.
5. Learn to surf
It doesn’t matter if you suffer from poor coordination, if you’re in Queensland you have to sign up for a surf lesson. I managed to stand up on the board during my two-hour surf lesson with Go Ride a Wave on the Gold Coast and it was the best feeling ever, even if it only lasted for a second!
6. Cuddle a koala
Make sure you take time out to spend at least half a day at the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. This is the largest koala sanctuary in the world with about 130 koalas. Of course, you come here to cuddle the koalas but after you’re done with that, make sure you feed the kangaroos. These guys are so friendly that you can pet them, feed them and even take a selfie with them!
They also have a very impressive birds of prey show, and if you love snakes you can even hold one. I had Olive, a beautiful 16kg python, draped over my shoulder for a picture!
7. Go to the Bazaar
If you love a nice big buffet dinner, make sure you head to Bazaar restaurant in the QT Gold Coast hotel, where they have recreated a traditional marketplace with a modern twist. There is a huge variety of dishes to pick from, some plated up and some made-to-order but my favourites have to be the oyster bar and the sundae station!
8. Take a walk in the rainforest
Take a tour to Tamborine Mountain from the Gold Coast and walk through the beautiful rainforest. You will see hundreds of species of plants and birds and if you’re lucky you might even spot a sleeping koala. I don’t think I have ever been in such a dense forest and I will never forget the experience.
9. Go jet boating
Now this is not your ordinary boat ride, it’s an adrenalin-packed adventure with high-speed spins, turns and slides. I went out on the Broadwater with Paradise Jet Boating and it was epic! My favourite part was to be the 360-degree spin. Make sure you wear shorts and carry a towel because you will be drenched!
10. Eat at Jamie’s Italian
I think each of us has tried to cook a Jamie Oliver recipe at some point in our life but when you’re in Brisbane, you can let the master look after things for you. Visit Jamie’s Italian in Brisbane and enjoy a beautiful, rustic but delicious meal. I ordered the bolognese and it was the best I’ve had so far in my life.
*Watch Scherezade’s Queensland travel adventures here.