Among other theme parks in Gold Coast, Sea World is one of the easiest to visit. Not only because in almost every city there is one like it, but also most of us have visited zoo before. In the main core, Sea World is a zoo for marine life, but having influence with theme park philosophy, some rides and show also being added.
Sea World Gold CoastFeeding a sting ray, watch polar bear doing back flip swim, amazing tropical aquarium with shark, touching a seastar, watching curious penguin, divine dolphin show, seal show are among the highlites during your visit there.
Then you can top it up with premium (read: need to pay more) services such as helicopter ride (starts only $49 adult), diving with shark, behind the scene tour, etc.
The food outlet is quite limited to McDonald-style menu and cafe menu (cake, rolls, sandwich) – no asian food on the shops.
And also, they have quite efficient handling for lost and found. Unfortunately, with 2 screaming kids on the haul, we forget to take the “peripheral bag” after a ride. A small trip to “Guest services” to register your lost item, and one hour later they call me that they have found the bag and I just pick it up at the area where they found it. Looks simple, but this implied: your report is really registered, and staffs all over the big park are talking each other under some kind of procedures. Well done !
A few tips
- Schedule at least 2 days to enjoys all Sea World can offer: marine animals, rides, shows, etc. You can “finish” all of them in 1 day, but it’s gonna be quite a rush…
- Don’t plan picnic, not only there is not much space, the park ban commercially pack food and esky.
- Buy combine ticket (with other parks) to get the biggest bang for your buck.
- Check the website for show schedule, plan the visit on that schedule as the animal exhibit/rides can be a filler in between.
- Parking space is plenty. If you find yourself cannot find parking space then it’s too crowded already – just reschedule if possible or come earlier.
- If you purchase VIP pass, the queue for processing the photo card is quite long – do this later don’t waste your time
- Limited locker is available so better leave unnecessary item at hotel or car.
- You can park at the resort (see below – just 30 second drive further down the road) – enter and exit to the park via the monorail and you can have early dinner in one of their restaurant at the end of the day.
The Sea World Resort, Hotel and Water Park
A small part clearly visible from the Sea World is a area of swimming with big tower a la wet n wild called “Water Park”. Not that huge, but I guess it is designed to entice all Sea World visitor to become the guest of the hotel.
Linked with a monorail system, the hotel is offering no frills 2 double bed room, good for family of 4 at the price of normal room. Depends on the package when you buy the room, you can choose to have room only, room and access to Sea World, with all the perks like: the water park, behind the scene Dolphin presentation, etc.
For a start, the hotel offers coin operated laundry and dryer machine at $4 each to wash your dirty clothes. This is quite unusual for a 4 star hotel to give facilities usually only available for backpacker hostel. Well, of course the “usual” hotel laundry also available.
The hotel’s swimming pools area offers great welcome to kids. Plenty of shallow area, big water play just like in the big park, squirts play, etc. As mentioned, you can extend your kids’ swimming day to the linked water park.
For the big boys and girls, spa pool operates every 7am, countless of sun deck, side-pool cafe, waterfall, sauna, gym, massage, etc will make your day to enjoy with love one or even for simply watching the kids play. And , oh, a golf practice net to warm up before your round of golf.
Not to mention Elmo and Sesame Street Beach friends that come every 9am to greet the kids.
For your reference, in March 2011 (not school/public holiday – but includes week end), standard 2 double bed room for 4 is $137 per night (booked in Nov 2010) – you maybe will just get semi-decent room for 2 at Surfer’s Paradise with that price.
If you are traveling with kids, I would recommend strongly stay at this resort.
Enjoy your holiday !
p.s: this article is current as of March 2011 – check the latest news from their website