I am a freelance writer from Perth who is passionate about food and loves exploring new and exciting places. My best trait is that I am honest...and my worst trait is that I am honest. I will provide reviews that are well thought out and fair.
The Goldcoast is famous for its theme parks, and as an interstate visitor working in a limited timeframe it is difficult to choose which one to visit. The big theme parks are Movieworld, Wet 'n' Wild, Seaworld and Dreamworld. All have their positives and negatives, and I have been to all of the parks, so I feel that it is fair to judge the ins and outs of all of them.
The rides are grouped into three different sections; thrill rides, family rides and kids rides. Since this is an adults guide we are going to skip over the kids rides and head straight to the hardcore thrill rides.
The best ride in the whole park: The Giant Drop The giant drop is an oldy but a goody. Built in 1998 and standing at 119m tall, it is actually the tallest, freefalling ride in the world. Now if 119m doesn't sound that impressive, think about it as 39 storeys high. Imagine jumping off a building that is 39 storeys high. Terrifying. I have bungee jumped and sky dived and this is actually scarier somehow. You get to enjoy the wonderful scenery as you are slowly winched to the top of the ride, and then… you wait. Your heart beats fast and the blood pulses through your veins as you wait. The anticipation is the scariest part as you hang there with your legs kicking about, waiting for the part that you know is coming any second now. And then, when it comes, you drop at the speed of gravity (135km per hour) and hurtle towards the ground. You will most likely scream at the top of your lungs for the entire minute that it takes to make it to the bottom, and there may be a moment when you actually think that you are going to hit the ground (as the ride stops just metres from the ground).
Now this ride is interesting as it sort of backs on to The Giant Drop ride. It was previously called The Tower of Terror and the rollercoaster had passengers facing forward. Now, the ride has been renamed and it actually goes backwards. The ride accelerates to 161km/ph in seven seconds as you hurtle backwards. If you can score the two very front seats then you are in for a treat as it feels like you are flying. There is even a few seconds of weightlessness as you hang briefly before freefalling back to the starting point. Awesome.
Buzzsaw Buzzsaw is the newest ride at Dreamworld, and as much as I would like to talk about it… I can't. I was so excited to go on the ride, and saved it til the end of the day to experience. Unfortunately, after lining up for fifteen minutes and readying myself for the seemingly terrifying experience…. the ride stopped working. Whilst a part of me was angry for missing out, the other part of me was grateful for not actually being on the ride and hanging upside down when it stopped working. Now that would have been interesting. You can't help but feel a bit ripped off when a ride doesn't work but I suppose that there is nothing that the park can do about it if a ride requires maintenance. It would be a nice touch if they gave out ice-cream vouchers or something as a way of saying sorry for the inconvenience.
Mick Doohan's Motocoaster Now this random ride kind of looks like a kids ride. I don't classify it as being that exciting, however, if you have never ridden a motorbike you may enjoy the wind flying through your hair. It goes 72km/ph, which kind of feels weak compared to the other awesome rides. Perhaps if you went on this one first it may seem exciting…
If you get motion sick stay away from these two: Wipeout and The Claw Wipeout feels like being dumped over and over by massive waves during a storm. It flips, spins, twists and tumbles and tests out the old sea legs for sure. The park describes it as 'two independent rotating arms lashing out and putting guests through a pounding set of erratic twists and turns'. Erratic, that is for sure. Don't go on this one after lunch!
Being on The Claw is like being on a big pendulum. You swing from side to side over and over again, and after the ride warms up the whole thing spins 360 degrees as it moves back and forth. Seriously, if you get motion sick you may need to lay down to steady yourself afterwards.
The Family Rides It is nice to intersperse the thrill rides with the family rides, in order to give you heart time to settle down. There are six family rides: Shockwave, Reef Diver, Avis Vintage Cars, Dreamworld Railway, Rocky Hollow Log Ride, and thunder River Rapids Ride. They are all nice time killers, and are nice to go on after eating lunch or to settle your stomach before you go home. The two water log rides are my favourite, as you cruise along the water and enjoy the scenery.
You must, must, must go to Tiger Island. Schedule your day around the tiger show, which happens twice daily (12:00pm and 3:30pm). The presentation is awesome because it showcases the natural abilities and agility of the beautiful creature. You get to see a tiger scaling a six-metre tree, jumping between logs and launching into the air.
The Australian Wildlife Experience
Get up and close to a Tasmanian devil, cuddle a koala, see the wombats, roam with the kangaroos, get up close to the big crocodiles and watch them get fed, and maybe even shear a sheep. This is not just for the overseas tourists! It is all the interesting animals of Australia in one spot.
Ah, so much to do and so little time. Now, it is a matter of grabbing a map and plotting out your day so that you can fit in as much as possible.