This was my first trip with just A7mk2 coupled with 28mm f2, traveling light was the aim.
Accommodation: Vibe Hotel
It was a very short 4D3N trip which coincide with Labour Day, it is a public holiday in both Singapore and Gold Coast. I managed to grab hold of a flight at a dirty cheap price of $200. It was an overnight flight to Gold Coast and we took the public bus to the city and check into our hotel in the city called Vibe Hotel. It is like a fairly old hotel with limited facilities, not even free WIFI btw. Just a dirty old pool with 1 treadmill and 2 stationary bicycles which they calls it a gym room. Thankfully for its convenient location, walking distance to the iconic Surfers Paradise, and its awesome view overlooking an island, i managed to explore a few places despite the short stay.
We spent the day at Surfers Paradise, had lunch and chill out at a cafe. Generally, the food in gold coast are more pricier than Singapore. A typically city with trams running only a handful of stations, enough to bring to you take buses if you want to travel to the suburbs.
We explored the Flea Market along Surfers Paradise, it was nothing exciting to be honest. Some musician and stunt mans performing and hoping for generous donations thereafter. There were many skaters around compared to Singapore. We spend the remaining day in the hotel and ate at Greek Street Grill back at Surfers Paradise. The Greek Street Grill was good, I love lamps meat and kelabs. We headed back to Greek Street the next few days for dinner too. The taste was authenticate and decently priced. Do check them out if you happen to be around the corner.
We spend a full day at Harbourtown on day 2 of our trip. It is supposed to be like a shopping paradise in gold coast i reckon, where the factory outlets are located, big sales and discount awaits. Well, if you are a fan of brands like rip curls, billabong, havaianas, etc, looking for surfing boards and beach wear, you will be in for a treat. There is even free transport that you could prebook to be ensured with a seat. I guess only local brands are cheap. There are international brands like Tommy and french connection but they are not really a good deals if you asked me. You are potentially buying the items are 10% or 20% off their regular price, hence, doesn’t gather much crowd.
Day 3 of our trip is our hotair balloon flight. We woke up at 2.30am in preparing for the tour pickup at 4am to Hinterland where the balloon could take off. The sky was still dusk when the tour driver pick us up and drove off into the darkness far off away from the city.
With long anticipation of the airhot balloon flight which i have booked several weeks ago turns disappointment as the foggy weather refused to clear up for the hotair to ascent up into the air. Nonetheless, the view of hinterland was beautiful, there were some photos taken despite the foggy weather. We proceed for breakfast with a heavy heart.
After the dispiriting wasted morning hotair balloon trip, we went up to Tamborine mountain for some hiking adventures at noon. Being Gold Coast, widely famous for its sun and here you go.. The Sun is finding spaces between the leaves to shine its rays through the immensely huge forest.
Last day of our trip, and ta-tah, here we are back the next day for our only last chance of going up the sky. Today was far from foggy, clear sky and the weather looks promising. Upon arriving at Hinterland, the pilots had already setup the balloons. All ready for us to hop on a over-sized picnic-like basket.
Once the pilot released the carabiners and off we go.. There was no seatbelts like on an aircraft but it felt safe and stable. The hotair flames was burning on top of my head which was the only discomfort. Heck it man, I was busying taking video of the entire flight. Suddenly my viewfinder of the camera went all white and misty, shortly we were above the clouds. The view was amazing and it does feel like at the window seat of an ascending aircraft. The part i enjoyed most was passing through the clouds and putting my hands out and run through the misty clouds which you cant possibly break open the windows of the aircraft.
It was a short 30 mins flight but it was definitely enough to get my brain heat up by the flames. If you are thinking of booking an hour flight, think again. Went back to the hotel for the last sunset before heading off.
Here we are back at Gold Coast airport, heading back home. Filling up the outgoing departure card again. I wonder who actually reviews them? They are only dug out when major things happened. Waste paper. Save the earth for goodness sake.
I did a manual timelapse video of the sunset in my hotel balacony, its a bit shaky as i didn’t had a intervalometer with me. but still hope you enjoy it.
Sony A7mk2 + 28mm f2