Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi Oi

I went to an Australian trip with a couple of my friends (or mates, as the Australians call it, at least some) back in 2012 (specifically from Nov. 24 to Dec. 2).  In the span of 9 days, we covered three different places – first it was Cairns, then Gold Coast, then Melbourne (although for me, I only spent a full day in Melbourne for Stereosonic and at a nightclub called Love Machine and had to take the flight the next morning).  My memory’s a bit rusty from the trip, so I’ll share with you as much as I remember along with some pics.  But definitely one of the best trips of my life, great weather, great food, super fun, GREAT COMPANY, everything was awesome.  Thanks for my friends for organizing and being at the trip.

Flight Information

Flights were booked with Orbitz at

International flights: Qantas on the way from Hong Kong to Cairns (a brief stop at Brisbane).  Virgin Australia from Melbourne to Singapore (very nice bar on the plane).  Singapore Airlines from Singapore to Hong Kong (great service, comfy seats).

Domestic flights: Jetstar for Cairns to Gold Coast, and Gold Coast to Melbourne.  Cheap and great.


Friend helped us book our accommodations through Wotif at

Cairns: stayed at Jack and Newell (Luxury Apartments).  27 Wharf Street, Cairns 4870 QLD.  +61 7 40314990.

Jack and NewellImage Credits to Jack and Newell

Jack and NewellImage Credits to Jack and Newell

Jack and NewellImage Credits to Jack and Newell

Jack and NewellImage Credits to Jack and Newell

Gold Coast: stayed at Mantra Circle on Cavill.  9 Ferny Avenue, Surfers Paradise, QLD 4217.  Highly convenient, walkable to Surfers Paradise (beach) in 10 mins.  We were super lucky too; got upgraded to a sweet ass penthouse (read below to find out why). +61 7 55822000.

Mantra Circle on Cavill

Mantra Circle on Cavill

Mantra Circle on CavillThe view at night.

Mantra Circle on Cavill

Mantra Circle on CavillThe view in the morning.

Mantra Circle on Cavill

Mantra Circle on Cavill

Mantra Circle on CavillThe view during sunset.

Mantra Circle on CavillLook at this pinkish orangey blue sky.

Melbourne: stayed at a friend’s place first night.  Second night at Ovolo Laneways. 19 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne.  +61 3 86920777.

Ovolo LanewaysImage Credits to Ovolo Laneways

Ovolo LanewaysImage Credits to Ovolo Laneways


CAIRNS (Nov. 24 – Nov. 28)

Awesome place.  Everyone here is fit and tanned.  Lots of water activities to do.  This place and the people here are beautiful.

CairnsSome western outback restaurant we ate at nearby Jack and Newell.

CairnsThere were a couple of bars around the area and we ended up going to a restaurant/bar place where they had a Hawaiian theme going on for the party.

Our first morning at Cairns we took a ship cruise to the Great Barrier Reef to snorkel and look around.  Amazing.  The second day we went white water rafting, also freaking amazing.  There are two tours that you can choose from (although I think we picked neither and was offered a third option by the people at Jack & Newell, although I don’t have info about them.  Sorry!  The activities of the three options are the same; itineraries are slightly different).

Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier ReefI choose you… Starfish!

2 Day Silverswift Reef & Rafting:

2 Day Silverswift Outer Barrier Reef & Rafting:

Other snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reefs links:

Passions Of Paradise:

Seastar Cruises:

Reef Sailing Tours Cairns:

Other rafting links:

Raging Thunder Adventures:

Oh, we also chilled at the Cairns Esplanade Swimming Lagoon.

GOLD COAST (Nov. 28 – Nov. 30)

As you can see from the pics from Mantra Circle, this coastal city is absolutely stunning.  Surfers Paradise lives up to its reputation.  Also, the first time I had Nando’s was here (and I’m a big spicy food eater so it was sensational.  Actually I tried Nando’s in London later on and it wasn’t as good there).

Remember I said we got lucky and got upgraded to a penthouse?  Well, apparently the week we arrived at Gold Coast was also the same week as Schoolies week.  Schoolies week is the tradition for Australian high school seniors having week-long holidays after their final school exams.  Most of them come to Gold Coast because, well IMO, it’s the high school version of Las Vegas… as in there’s a lot of entertainment and fun stuff going on (not because of the gambling…).  Anyway, so because Mantra Circle had all their other rooms booked by these schoolies, we were fortunate to be bumped up to the sweet ass penthouse.

Warner Bros. Movie WorldIf there’s one ride you have to go for Warner Bros. Movie World, it has to be Superman Escape.  I’ll leave the excitement for when you come here.

Warner Bros. Movie World

Warner Bros. Movie World

Warner Bros. Movie World

Warner Bros. Movie World

Sea WorldSea World.

Sea WorldPolar bear doing laps.

Sea World

Sea WorldLooks like someone pissed him off that day.

Sea World

Sea World

Sea World

Rock Salt Modern DiningSome food we ate at Rock Salt Modern Dining

Rock Salt Modern Dining

Rock Salt Modern Dining

One of my absolute favorite, favorite, favorite things to do during this whole trip was the Wet ‘n’ Wild Water World, right next to Movie World.  Didn’t take any pics, but it’s a MUST go if you come to Gold Coast during the summer months.

Of course, we tried to surf at Surfers Paradise too.

MELBOURNE (Nov. 30 – Dec. 2)

OK so like I said earlier, I only had one full day at Melbourne where I didn’t even had a chance to visit the city because we were busy partying from Stereosonic to Love Machine, so it would be unfair for me to describe what Melbourne is like when I haven’t really experienced the city itself.  (Couldn’t stay longer cause of work).

Nonetheless, I did experience the “4 seasons in a day” phenomenon in Melbourne.  Super hot during the day, rainy and cool during the afternoon, and freezing during the night.  Seems pretty easy to get around though; the subway is convenient enough.

Stereosonic is an annual music festival held in various locations in Australia, one of which is, of course, Melbourne, during late November / early December (depending on which city you go to).  It’s an electronic and dance music festival, and all the big name DJs come here too.

Later at night, our friend took us to the nightclub Love Machine.  You know how some clubs attract a certain crowd?  Like it has a reputation?  For example in Hong Kong, some clubs just attract expats more while others attract locals more?  Well, on Saturday nights my friend told me that Love Machine generally attracts an Asian crowd.

For Zedd videos, you can go to or  Apologies in advance for the poor quality.

Zedd at StereosonicYes during that time when I listened to Zedd.

Zedd at StereosonicWe all felt the same.

Zedd at Stereosonic


StereosonicThe tower that will collapse any second.

StereosonicYour typical frat d…ude.

Things I Missed Out On That You Can Consider Doing


Reef and Hot Air Balloon (1 day pick up from both Cairns + Northern Beaches or Port Douglas):

Barefoot Tours:

Crocodile Viewing:

Sky Diving (Mission Beach):

North Queensland Trail Bike Adventures:


Dream World:

Beaches: Coolangata Beach, Rainbow Bay, Burleigh Head Beach, Kirra Beach

Dine at these Surf Clubs:

Visit Q1, World’s Tallest Residential Tower:

Glow Worm Cave and Natural Bridge Tour:

Restaurants: The Atlantic, Allure on Currumbin, Agnee Indian, O-Sushi, Mme Grenouille, Verve, Hellenika

Nightclubs: Vanity, Sin City


Restaurants: MoVida, MoVida Next Door, Cumulus Inc., Gingerboy, Cutler & Co., Gill’s Diner, Grossi Florentino

Shopping: Brunswick Street (long strip with plenty of awesome cafes and restaurants, great bars in the evening)

Coffee: Market Lane, St. Ali, Proud Mary

Night Out: Cookie (252 Swanson St., 1/f)

The activity that you are most excited to do is ________?  Please comment below your answer and share with us any Australian experiences you may have!

Last Updated: Dec 23, 2018

*Originally published on Feb. 25, 2015

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