Tuesday, 24 November 2015

A Day Out Using Gold Coast Public Transport: Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens, Pacific Fair, Southport

There are places of interest and Gold Coast attractions that cannot easily be reached on foot if you are staying in Surfers Paradise. Taking the taxi may be fast and convenient but it may also cost you a bomb. To save on transportation expenses and to minimize travelling time, it is imperative to learn how to use the TransLink Journey Planner. TransLink is an an agency that coordinates and integrates bus, ferry, tram and train services around Gold Coast (and other parts of Australia). Fortunately though, Australia has one of the most efficient and reliable transport system in the world. Public transportation, be it trams, buses, trains or ferries are usually punctual to the dot and make very frequent trips throughout the day. 

This is an account of our day out using Gold Coast trams (G-Link) and public buses. 
For this we purchased  "go explore cards" from a 7-Eleven Store that costs AUD10 each. Unlike gocards, goexplore cards will give you unlimited travel throughout the day on the trams and buses around Gold Coast. For this AUD10 to be well-spent we have to make sure the total fare covered for the day (if we were to use gocards) exceed AUD10.

The first destination of our choice is Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens.
We took a morning walk from our hotel to Cypress Avenue Bus Stop to board bus no 740 and told the driver to stop us near the Botanic Gardens.
After 20 minutes and a few stops, we alighted at Ashmore Road at Boree Street in Benowa (Ashmore Road is a very long road). We still had to walk 1138 metres to reach GC Botanic Gardens. (We could also opt for other tram and bus routes with less walking involved but for the latter options, we have to change bus a few extra times which we did not favour - refer to TransLink Journey Planner for details)

After a good morning walk we arrived at the gardens. This is supposedly the best park/gardens in Gold Coast.
The gardens features two beautiful lakes. There are boardwalks across 'Feature Lake' and this is a very scenic spot.
There is a fountain and a waterfall, both small and not that spectacular.
I was looking forward to see lots of flowering plants on the various gardens here - Rose Garden, Sensory Garden,Butterfly Garden, Display Garden, etc but I was a little let down as what I saw was just sporadic patches of them.
The other lake in the gardens is Lake Rosser, overlooking beautiful country homes. Many locals bring their dogs out for a walk in this part of the gardens.
There are walking/jogging paths and picnic areas. By the way, entrance into Botanic Gardens is free.
We thought we could have a nice lunch in the gardens cafeteria but all it offered were coffee and cakes. We decided to return to Surfers Paradise for lunch.
There's certainly lots of room for improvement in Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens. We left the gardens and used the same route back to Surfers Paradise. 

We had lunch in Surfers Paradise, walked back to our hotel to take a short break and soon we were out again. This time we decided to explore Gold Coast on the trams (G-Link) using the same goexplore cards that we had. 
The trams make a total of 16 stops starting from the northernmost station (Gold Coast University Hospital Station) to the southermost station (Broadbeach South Station). This service is a non-stop service and during the weekends, the trams operate 24hours.  The approximate waiting time in between arrivals is 10-15 minutes.  We plan to ply the entire route and alight if we could find any attractions or township worth exploring along the way.
The tram is clean and very spacious, passengers can even bring their surf boards along (which is allowed).
Jupiters Casino and Hotel is clearly visible from the tram.
Along the way south we passed by Gold Coast Convention And Exhibition Centre and many Gold Coast suburbs. 
Broadbeach South Station is the southernmost terminal for the trams. The main attraction at this stop is Pacific Fair Shopping Centre. This place is also a major public transport interchange. There are bus terminals in the vicinity where you can take buses to other destinations (Gold Coast Airport, Currumbine, Miami Beach, Burleigh Heads, etc).

We took a short walk to Pacific Fair to see what it has got to offer.
The riverside walk beside Pacific Fair is lovely. It is a good place to get a good panorama of Broadbeach skyline.
Pacific Fair still sparkles even though it was opened almost four decades ago.
Gold Coast University Hospital Station- the northermost stop
From Broadbeach South Station, we took the tram all the way to the Gold Coast University Hospital Station, alighted but got back on the tram as there was nothing interesting there.

 We alighted at Southport Station. Southport is popular for its Chinatown Street      
 Markets which is held only once a month coinciding with the first Saturday of each 
 month. Sob,sob, I just missed that! 
Chinatown (Davenport St) looked deserted at 6pm on the Saturday we were there.
Only 1 soul seen.
I am glad I didn't opt to stay in Southport as I would be bored to death here.
We walked around the mall and it was too quiet for comfort. Couldn't believe it was a Saturday evening, a time when people normally come out in droves to revel after the week's work.
We left Southport, and headed for Surfers Paradise again, completing the entire north-south tram route.

The total fare for the day's journey is AUD32.09/pp  if we were to purchase paper tickets. 
This fare would be AUD22.46/pp if we were to use gocards. (You get 30% off paper ticket fares)
We only paid AUD10/pp using the goexplore cards. (unlimited usage but cannot be carried forward to the next day)

Related Posts:

7.Ripleys Believe It Or Not: Review And Photos

8.Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary: Review And Photos

9.A Day Tour To Lamington National Park And Tamborine Mountain Pt 1

10. A Day Tour To Lamington National Park And Tamborine Mountain Pt 2

11. A Day Tour To Springbrook National Park

12.Brisbane City Tour Pt 1: The Highlights

13.Brisbane City Tour Pt 2: Brisbane Botanic Gardens

14.Brisbane City Tour Pt 3: Mount Coot-tha

15. Brisbane City Tour Pt 4: Queen Street Mall

16.Brisbane City Tour Pt 5: South Bank Parklands


Claudia Sánchez said...

Hi! Great post! Thanks for the information! If you ever visit Cancun and need the service of Cancun Shuttle do not hesitate to contact them. I recommend it!

Lily... said...

I will KIV that Claudia. Thanks.

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