Lewis' Exploring Oz

On and off the beaten track…………………….

Theme Parks and old friends

Posted by lewisfamilyexploringoz on December 22, 2010

Hi Everyone,

Dan's Warts

After checking on the car it was still going to be about 4 more weeks till it would be finished. To say that was a little disappointing would be an understatement! We couldn’t move the van so we were stuck in not-so-sunny Brisbane for a while longer. Whilst in town we got all the physio and dr appointments out-of-the-way. Daniel has some very aggressive and very large warts growing on the palms of his hands.  He had them burnt off in Darwin, then again on the Sunshine Coast and then a third time here in Brisbane.  Finally, the last ones seem to have worked and his hands are looking so much better and not so sore anymore.

We made weekly visits to see how the car was getting on and to take some photos for Joel’s album.  We can see changes each time we visit but it still feels like it’s taking ages.

We decided to do day visits to the Gold Coast and visit some of the theme parks and dodge the rain as we go! We bought multi passes for 3 of the theme parks and we could go as many times as we wanted:)  The weather has not been particularly kind to us but we are hoping to catch a few non-raining days:)

Joel at slides


We went to Wet’n’Wild first as it didn’t matter so much if it rained as we would already be wet! We had a blast. We went on heaps of rides and slides. The only one Wade couldn’t do was the aqua drop as you have to be 40kgs or more and even if we stuffed him full of food and drinks (as the guy at the ride suggested) he still wouldn’t make it.  Lucky we didn’t try as we watched one small child get stuck half-way along the tube because they weren’t heavy enough to maintain momentum and they had to be rescued! We had so much fun we forgot to take many pictures. We had the waterproof camera but we were too busy having a great time.

Dan and Wade on Rollercoaster

We went to Movieworld next and what a great place it is.  First stop was the Hollywood Stunt Driver Show, which was spectacular and the kids and us were amazed at the skill those drivers have – it was awesome!  We watched Journey to the Centre of the Earth in a 4D Theatre, in which the seats moved and we were sprayed with water to make it seem so realistic.  We went on the Batman Adventure ride; it was a simulator in which we were flying in a tracking module, chasing the bad guys – it was fantastic.  Joel somehow conned Wade to go on the Batwing Spaceshot ride which I looked at and went Nah, not for me!  They were getting strapped in and I was taking photos and I said to Daniel, “Wade doesn’t look too happy” and then I could see he was petrified but it was too late and the ride took off! OMG – he was a bit upset and when he got off he just hugged me for ages.  It was a hard way to earn an ice-cream but he earned huge cred points in the family after that effort!  A few of the rides were closed for maintenance so we visited the “stores”, had  a few more rides on the “Wild West” and had some lunch.  The kids went on the Looney Tunes Rollercoaster and we were working our way up to the big rollercoaster but we ran out of time.  All in all a fabulous day.

Wade and batmobile

Superman rollercoaster

Batman and Robin bikes

4D Theatre

363 Imagine Dolphin Show

Fish Detectives Show

Next park to visit was Seaworld. It was my favourite, probably in part due to the best weather we’d had so far and then the fact that the place is just totally awesome.  We arrived early and spent the whole day checking out the animals, rides and food.  We watched the Imagine Dolphin Show, the Fish Detective Show with the sea lions and the Pirate Show – all very entertaining! -but my favourite was the dolphins, they are such beautiful and intelligent creatures:) They have times where you can interact more closely with the dolphins but you needed to book in advance and it was extra on top of your entrance fee.  The kids really wanted to go on the Jet Rescue ride, which we did a number of times as it was a hell of a ride.  Basically you sit on a jet ski that is joined to another one and in rows of 12 and take off as if it was a roller coaster.  Fantastic, nearly lost my voice from all the screaming – can’t help myself and the kids thinks it’s hilarious that mum screams on the rides:). After that ride the Sea Viper roller coaster was not as fast but it had a few corkscrews in it and a few good drops and it took a few tries to convince Daniel and Wade to have a go.  Then they loved it! Little bit of lunch but nothing huge as the kids wanted to re-do some of the rides:) It was a fantastic day.

Jet Rescue Ride

Penguin Enclosure


Sea Viper Ride

We made another trip back to Wet’n’Wild and the boys and Joel had a go on the FlowRider – it’s a ride where you can ride the endless waves, rushing down the man-made torrent of water on a specially designed board.  Got some absolute pearla video shots of them riding and falling but they had an absolute ball!

We visited with another of our Karratha friends in Joe and Janet Ballantyne up at Mooloolaba as they were over on holidays.  We also met his daughter Jennifer and Adam who graciously let us stay for the night as well.  There was much eating and drinking and talking and the next day they took us on a bit of a tour of Mooloolaba and surrounds.  It’s such a beautiful area and I’m pretty sure Joel’s keen to have another look around here next year when we come back this way. Thanks Joe and Janet for your fine hospitality, we miss our K-town friends:(.

Car cut up

Car stretched and patched

We finally got the car back.  After many photos and rearranging of gear we moved the van down to the Gold Coast to a great park called Southport Tourist Park. It was right on the beach opposite Sea World.  It was fabulous.  There were dolphins in the water, right near the shore, great parklands with heaps of play equipment for the kids, a pontoon for jumping and swimming and a huge bike/running track that ran right along the shore.  I wish we had moved the van down here a few weeks ago!

Car with tray

Car with canopy










Stu and Di

Mucking around in the park

We caught up with some old friends of Joel’s, Stuart and Diana Giles, as we had run into Stuart’s mum and dad in a caravan park in Katherine and Darwin and they told us they were on the Gold Coast.  It was so lovely to meet them and we caught up a couple of times while we were here.  They took us for a spin in the boat up the river towards Surfer’s Paradise and Wade had a turn at driving (God help us).  We looked at the properties along the river – very noice – then back for some drinks, eats and lots of catching up.  Di cooked dinner for us the following week and their son Cam took Wade for a spin on the jet ski, which he loved – the faster the better! Thanks for the hospitality you guys, it was fantastic.


We also caught up with some old friends of my family, Graeme and Clara Robertson.  Graeme and my dad were the best of friends, they were rallying buddies and both avid car fanatics. It was so lovely to see them again and reminisce about the ‘good ole` days’.  This year is the 20th anniversary of my dad’s passing and it was so nice to talk to people who knew him, remembered him and loved him too.   I also managed to catch up with two of their daughters, Judy and Leanne and their respective families.  It’s amazing but they just looked the same as I remembered them and they reminded me of some stories from our childhood that I had totally forgotten about!  If you read this Amanda, I promise to stop in next year and catch up with you too:)  I’m still spewing i didn’t take any photos – so definitely a few Kodak moments next time around:)

We also caught up with John and Cheryl Russell, who are sort of family, (long story) and they stayed with us for a little while in Karratha on their way around a few years ago.  It was so good to see them again and they gave us some great tips on places that are must sees and some great, not-so-well-known places to stay as well. We were going to catch up again for dinner but we decided to make a start on heading south as we need to be in Victoria for Chrissy.

The 240V element blew in the fridge and it took awhile to get it fixed.  We thought it was going to take the better part of a day to fix but the job was done in 20 mins so instead of going back to the Gold Coast to set up we decided to keep moving down the coast and try to make some headway down to Victoria and get away from this incessant rain!

Till next time



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