General, Travel

Brisbane to Southport

As much as I was sad to leave Brisbane, the allure of a couple of days in theme parks awaited. The weather, however was having other ideas. Cyclonic winds and rain had set in and many of the coastal areas South of Brisbane in the direction we were heading were under flood warnings. Oh well, at least that should mean that the theme park is empty, right?

It was empty, and that meant we could get to the front of all the rides, and central seats in the stunt driver show. Well, it meant we could get to the front of all the rides that were actually open, and we could sit in the middle of the wet benches in the limited stunt driver show. Even with the limitatios, and the rain soaked clothes, we had a laugh, we rode the arkham asylum enough tims to be recogbnised by the staff, and we made friends with Flash and Green Lantern (sort of).

We attempted to ride the flume, figuring we were soaked through already, but it was ‘experiencing technical issues’, so we decided to cut our losses. It was just after 12, so if we left, we could make it to Sea World with enough time to see everything and ride all the rides that afternoon. After all, our passes were unnlimited entry to them both for 28 days. And then we got in the car and realised that I had left the lights on, and therefore had flattened the battery. Thankfully the RACQ guy came out quickly, sorted us out, and we were on our way.

We drove past Surfer’s Paradise to get to Sea World, and it looked less than appealing, rain or no rain. When we finally pulled into the car park, the rain had got impossibly heavier. We made our way speedily around to the sea lion show, after catching the end of a pretty cool looking water stunt show. We were a little early to the sea lion show, but the sort of protection gifted by the arena roof was a godsend. The show itself was a woeful string of bad jokes and dodgy storylines. which was a bit of a shame as they were pretty talented animals.

After the sea lion show, we raced round via the polar bears, and the sting rays to the relative protection of the dolphin show auditorium. This time, we were already soaked, our shoes, our clothes, everything. We sat in the wet under cover waiting for the show, starting to shiver. Thankfully, it was miles better than the show we had already seen. The dolphins we really talented, and also seemed like they were having fun. The trainers seemed happy, and the relationship with ‘their’ dolphins was adorable, and for once, the dolphins actually seemed to have an decentish amount of space.

On our way out, we stopped in for the last showing of Spongebob 3D. I didn’t really get it, but then I haven’t really ever got Spongebob. It was possibly as bad as the version of Rio 4D we had seen at Warner Brothers Movie World earlier that day. We also managed to see the second showing of the stunt show, which involved X games gold medalists and world champions doing absolutely crazy things on jet skis. I didn’t even know 4 consecutive backflips was possible on a jet ski!

The lightning set in as we left, and we got changed in the back of the van as it shook from the rain and wind. It was horrible to drive in, so we took a break to fill up at a very cheap petrol station, and got some food at the neighbouring McDonalds; the drive-thru proved vitally handy in the weather. We struggled on through the rain, and after a very helpful lady showed us the way, we found the free rest stop, and after holing up in Woolworths to use their toilets, we bedded down for night. Well, we did what we could with half a rain soaked mattress, and an unfortunate need to sleep in the front seat.

When I woke up the next morning, I was tired from a poor night’s sleep in the passenger seat but pleased to see the sun was out and the rain clouds appeared to have vanished. We headed to the Woolworths car park pretty sharpish to use the bathroom again, before heading back to Warner Brothers Movie World. Having scheduled a day for each park, we decided to go back and try the rides, and the stunt show again in the dry, and hoped that the Superman ride was open.

Unfortunately, Superman Rescue and Green Lantern were still closed. We were first in the queue (again) for Arkham Asylum, and as we wited for them to fix their technical hitch, the ride technician told us that Green Lantern was closed due to an accident. Once we had ridden the coaster, we googled what had happened and found a wheel came off a cart and left some riders precariously hanging for 3 hours.

The park was fun, and increased our excitement for Disney, but it was a little disappointing. I guess the winter season here is the best time to do running repairs and ride maintenance. Th stunt show was a little better, the cars went faster and were closer, but the show was still lacking elements that I am sre would have been there in the summer months. I’m sure this is why we could get such cheap tickets. The merchanidise was also pretty cheap though, so we picked up our bracelet charms (after a round about trip via Sea World and Surfer’s Paradise) and I got a towel and t-shirt, and headed to the beach.

Surfer’s Paradise sounds like it should be one of the most beautiful places round. I don’t think I got it. It was a nice en ough beach, and the waves were big, so I m sure for surfers it would be great, but the beach was lined with high-rise buildings and the place was teeming with cars and drinking teens (I feel really old right now.) We stayed there less than an hour all in all.

As it was next door to Sea World, almost, we decided to pop back in and do some of the rides and see the exhibitions that were closed the day before. It felt different in the nice weather. We didn’t spend long there, just long enough to spot charm bracelets for nothing that could do for our Australia bracelet. We got a dolphin charm to go on it, and decided on a whim to head back to Warner Bros to get a superhero one too.

A call to Spaceships regarding the mess in the car proved pretty successful. We reported the leak, explained the sleepig situation, and how much of our stuff was wet, and they agreed to pay for a hotel for the night. It worked well for us, we got decent showers, got access to plugs all night, free WiFi, and were able to wash everything that was dirty or had got damp. It was nice to sleep in proper bed again too, even if the van is pretty good.

Our hotel was in Southport. It’s a little different from the Southport back home to say the least, but the wind, rain, and cold has been all to reminiscent of home. Hopefully, the weather will improve and stay nice for the rest our trip now. And hopefully we will see some more Spaceships again, we’ve now had a 3 day dry spell!

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