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History of Australia’s Sea World

By Blog, Sea World

History of Australia’s Sea World

Sea World

Sea World on the Gold Coast is one of Australia’s most beloved theme parks. From their thrilling water rides and captivating animal exhibitions to their animal rescue and rehabilitation programs. It is also home to the Sea World Cruise terminal Hopo Gold Coast Ferry Stop. If you’re looking for a great family day out, purchase a Hopo day pass and travel to Sea World by Hopo ferry.

But did you know that Sea World has been part of the Gold Coast landscape since the late 1950s?  Read along and follow us as we take a journey through the history of Sea World Australia.

Surfers Paradise Ski Gardens

It all began in 1958 when local Gold Coast businessman, Keith Williams, purchased a block of land by the Nerang River and developed the Gold Coast’s first major tourist attraction. A lover of water skiing, Williams created the iconic ‘Water Ski Show’, which presented “water ski shows that combined comedy, aqua ballet and action”.  Surfers Paradise Ski Gardens was a huge success and even held the 1965 World Water Ski Championships.

The famous Water Ski Show taking place at Surfers Paradise Ski Park in, the 1960s. Image courtesy Queensland Places

Transforming into Australia’s largest marine theme park

In 1971, Ski Gardens moved to the Spit, changed its name to Sea World, and introduced dolphins and other marine life into the park.  Its main competitor was an aquatic theme park, Marineland. The company took a major step forward when Williams purchased Marineland in 1976. The performers and marine life were transferred to the ever-growing Sea World, taking the top spot as the premier aquatic attraction in Queensland. 

 

As its popularity grew, so did Sea Worlds attractions. In 1978, the much loved Vikings Revenge Flume Ride was built, which ran until 2016, when it was closed in 2016 to make space for new rides. 1981 saw the release of the Corkscrew, Australia’s first ‘triple loop’ roller coaster.

Gold Coast ‘Marineland’ before Williams purchased it for the Sea World brand. Image courtesy Queensland Places.

Sea World Australia today

The Gold Coast has become known as Australia’s theme park hotspot, with tourists flocking to check out the newest and coolest rides and exhibits. As a result, Sea World has dedicated the last decade to introducing modern and thrilling attractions.

The hype has been building about the construction of ‘The Leviathan’, the first wooden rollercoaster built in Australia in 35 years. It’s due to open in September 2021.

In December 2000, two orphaned polar bear cubs were rehomed to Polar Bear Shores. Today, the two brothers are accompanied by a young polar bear, Mishkah, whose playful personality is a crowd favourite.  Other animal exhibitions include little penguins, jellyfish, sharks, stingrays, sea lions and dolphins.

The thrilling Leviathan roller coaster at Sea World. Image courtesy Sea World Australia.

Marine wildlife rescue and education

Sea World plays a considerable role in marine rescue and rehabilitation of marine life through their non-profit Sea World Research & Rescue Foundation. Each rescue they make contributes to public awareness and scientific knowledge to help further educate people and protect wildlife.

Journey to Sea World Australia aboard a Hopo Gold Coast Ferry, with fares beginning from as little as $4.

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Hollywood on the Gold Coast

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Hollywood on the Gold Coast

There’s no need to visit Los Angeles (even when international borders open!) to spot your favourite celebrities when more and more stars are making their way down under. Over the last few years, the Gold Coast has seen an influx of Hollywood A-listers. From the Hemsworths to Tom Hanks, our sunshine city is the place to be.

Take a journey with Hopo Gold Coast Ferry and witness all the glitz and glamour for yourself. Our ferries will take you down winding waterways and showcase the highlights of Hollywood best.

Celebrity lunch or dinner guests

Although the rich and famous love to soak up the Gold Coast sunshine, did you know they also love the delicious food scene? Matthew McConaughey, Bono and Diana Ross have reportedly been seen at chef-hatted restaurants such as Vanita’s at Marina Mirage.

Where legends are made: Southport School

Sporting legends were made here. The Southport School is a boys private school known for its sporting achievements, with alumni such as Adam Scott (Golfer), Mat Rogers (NRL), Bernard Tomic (Tennis) and numerous Rugby and Surf Lifesaving legends.

The campus consists of 9 sporting fields, a contemporary sports studio including a gymnasium and weights room, seven tennis courts, a pool and even a river centre for rowing and sailing.

Taste of Luxury at Paradise Waters

Paradise Waters was created in 1980 by the development company Hooker Rex. The average house price is $7M or up to a whopping $3000 per week for rent. Blocks of land sales have recently reached a new record of $8M for a single block. As you cruise past, you can see new luxury homes being built.

You can see celebrity houses such as Grand Prix motorcycle road racing World Champion Mick Doohan. His house is an incredible, multi-million dollar sight to see, complete with a helipad and display cannon!  Keep your eyes open for the home formerly owned by 22 world records and five gold medal-winning Olympic swimmer Ian Thorpe. It is rumoured that he has an Olympic sized pool inside the house!

Our friendly skippers know even more secrets about Paradise Point and the Gold Coast waterways, so make sure to listen to the live commentary.

Mick Doohan’s incredible home - Image courtesy of Ray White

Italian Glamour at Palazzo Versace

Gold Coast’s only 6-star resort, Palazzo Versace, is everything you would expect in a hotel from the world of Versace: an exclusive waterfront setting, spectacular architecture, opulent accommodation and built from Italian craftsmanship, there is no wonder why A-list celebrities choose to make this their hotel of choice.

It has hosted a wide selection of stars from Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones, Beyonce, Pink, Elton John and even Bill Gates.

See the Italian glamour resort for yourself at Marina Mirage. They also offer fine dining options open to the public.

Lights, Camera, Action!

If you haven’t heard, Queensland and The Gold Coast have become the place to be for cinema. An abundance of productions and their stars have moved down under, with more projects planned over the next few years. The Gold Coast has played host to some of the biggest blockbusters of the last decade.

The fifth Pirates of the ­Caribbean movie shot at The Spit for their ocean scenes. It was easier to build a life-size ship prop on the beach than at the nearby Village Roadshow Studios.

Other films shot in Southport, Main Beach, and Surfers Paradise include Muriels Wedding, Aquaman and Thor: Ragnarok.

The Dying Gull ship was built at The Spit for Pirates 5. Image courtesy of The Gold Coast Bulletin.

See the stars (on the big screen)

Okay, so you may not be seeing your fave stars in person, but HOTA, Home of the Arts, excellent cinema showcases the latest flicks. See your favourite celebrities on the big screen on their state of the art screens. 

Now you know more about Hollywood on the Gold Coast, it’s time you join Hopo for some celebrity spotting.

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Hopo free birthday travel (and other awesome freebies)!

HOTA | Marina Mirage | Sea World | Broadwater Parklands | Surfers Paradise

It’s your birthday, and Hopo Gold Coast Ferry is here to help you celebrate with a free Hop On Hop Off Day Pass! To redeem, show proof of your date of birth to the Captain onboard the ferries on your special day or the week following. The offer is for locals only so also have your proof of a Gold Coast address handy. And to help you make the most of your gift, we have compiled a list of other awesome birthday freebies at our five iconic destinations. 

The entrance into Australia Fair.

Southport ‘Broadwater Parklands’

Broadwater Parklands is more than just a park. Wander across the road to Australia Fair. Abundant with shops and eateries, there are plenty of freebies to collect.

Boost Juice – Join the Vibe Club and receive a free birthday Boost two days before or after your actual birthday! 

Muffin Break – Free muffin during your birthday month.

Nandos – Free meal on birthday. Anyone up for a cheeky Nandos?

Katie’s Katies Rewards member birthday voucher valid for 30 days from your birthday.

Mos Burger – Free treat on your birthday.

The bustling streets of Surfers Paradise.

Surfers Paradise

Surfers Paradise: The crown jewel of the Gold Coast. There is so much to see and do in one of Australia’s most famous cities, and here are tasty b’day giveaways to make your visit into Surfers.

Vapiano’s VIP – Sign up to their mailing list to receive a 2 for 1 pizza, pasta or salad at their Surfers Paradise restaurant. The voucher is valid for ten days after your birthday.

Gelatissimo – Looking for a sweet birthday treat? Score a free scoop of gelato in the month of your birthday. 

Krispy Kreme offers a free 4 pack of doughnuts on your birthday. Sign up to their inner circle at least four weeks before your special day. 

Baskin-Robbins – More ice cream, anyone? Double up on creamy goodness and enjoy another chilled freebie.

San Churros – Treat you and a special someone (or eat all yourself, I’m not one to judge!) to delicious free churros for two!

Lord of the Fries  – A vegetarians favourite, indulge in bonus free fries and any classic sauce on your birthday when you show your ID.

Subway – Join Subway’s Eat Fresh Club on their website, and wait for the voucher to be emailed to you the day before your birthday.

Gloria Jeans – Everyone loves coffee, and what’s even better is free coffee. Enjoy a cuppa joe on the house.

The vibrant colours of HOTA, Home of the Arts, art gallery.

HOTA, Home of the Arts

Now that you’ve overindulged in free and delicious goodies (it’s your birthday, treat yourself!), it’s time to get a taste of culture. Take the Hopo to HOTA, Home of the Arts. The Gold Coast’s heart of culture, HOTA has a range of fun (and free!) things to do.

Explore the brand new multi-million dollar art gallery. Head up to the top floor to see stunning views of the city.

If your birthday falls on a Sunday, you have to check out the Bundall Farmers Market, hosted every Sunday morning from 6 am – 11.30 am. The markets have no entry cost, and you can get the chance to score some free samples from many local vendors.

Now you know the best birthday freebies on the Gold Coast, it’s time to plan your day aboard a free trip with Hopo Gold Coast Ferry. All you have to do is hop on at any of our five iconic stops and show the skipper your valid ID, and away you go!

Kindly note:
You can travel aboard Hopo once during your birthday week.
Valid ID must show proof of Gold Coast residency.

View Timetable

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With fully accessible piers and vessels, Hopo is a fun and unique way to see the Gold Coast. Hop on or hop off at your heart’s content at five iconic locations or enjoy a relaxing two-hour loop and admire the Gold Coast canal system, iconic skyline, and landmarks. Take advantage of the special $10 concession all-day ticket pricing Monday through to Friday when you show a valid ID.

Listed below are ideas of how to fill your day hopping on and off at all five Gold Coast locations.

Surfers Paradise

Surfers Paradise is a hub of entertainment, dining, and home to one of Australia’s best beaches. Walk past historical sights such as the neon ‘Pink Poodle’ sign and Cavill Avenue, named after Surfers Paradise founder Jim Cavill. Indulge in a wide variety of bars and eateries such as Kitty O’Sheas and Eden Kitchen & Bar. Change into your swimsuit and go for a dip in the ocean or lay back on the golden sands of Surfers Paradise beach.

The esplanade comes to life every Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 4 PM for the Surfers Paradise Beachfront Markets. The open-air market features 100+ stalls, live music, and tasty eats.

HOTA, Home of the Arts

Enter into the heart of the Gold Coast’s art and cultural scene at HOTA, Home of the Arts. Wander the brand new, multi-million dollar art gallery, showcasing local and international exhibitions. The latest addition to the Gold Coast skyline, recognizable by its brightly colored architecture, the gallery is one not to be missed. Relax on the top floor at the Exhibitionist Bar, boasting stunning rooftop views of the city.

Across from the art gallery is the HOTA cinema, showing a rich blend of mainstream, art-house and foreign films daily. Show your Hopo ticket and receive 20% off your cinema ticket.

HOTA, Home of the Arts, hosts the Bundall Farmers Markets. Open 6 AM to 11:0 AM, weave through farm-fresh produce stalls and stock your pantry for the week.

Stock up on fresh produce from local farmers.

Marina Mirage

Marina Mirage is the Gold Coast’s ultimate shopping, dining, and lifestyle precinct. Organize your next lunch with friends at one of the many waterfront restaurants such as the delicious Glass Dining and Lounge Bar. Stop and smell the coffee at Patio by Sunset as you wait for your ferry.  Stroll the boardwalk and jetty and be in awe of the multimillion-dollar yachts. For those in need of a pamper, treat yourself at Neonails, show your Hopo ticket for 15% off a manicure and pedicure package.

Broadwater Parklands

The Broadwater Parklands is a bustling outdoor space with plenty to see and do. Refresh and go for a swim at the Gold Coast Aquatic center. Pack the picnic basket and head to the Great Lawn, a vast space of greenery perfect for relaxing in the sunshine. Bring the grandkids with you to adventure the playgrounds and splash in the rock pools.

Stop for lunch at The Fish Shak for delicious fresh seafood and chips. Present your Hopo ticket and receive a special fish and chips deal.

Hopo Gold Coast Ferry is a unique location for your next catch up

Sea World

Say hello to polar bears, stingrays, sharks, dolphins, and much more at Sea World Marine Park.  Learn about the ocean and the park’s conservation efforts through the rescue and rehabilitation of wildlife. Enjoy captivating dolphin and seal shows and the dazzling acrobatics of professional water-skiers at the Thunder Lake Stunt Show.

Don’t miss out on seeing the Gold Coast from the best seat in town. Purchase your $10 all-day sightseeing pass online or on the day as you board the ferry.  Seats cannot be reserved and are subject to availability.

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Hopo Gold Coast Ferry is the best way to see the Gold Coast, here’s why...

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The Gold Coast is arguably one of the greatest cities in Australia. Boasting an average of 300 days of sunshine, pristine coastlines, premier shopping, and theme parks, it’s hard to pass up. But did you know there is more to the city than just surf and sand? And the best way to see it all is not by road, but along the beautiful rivers that weave through the city.

Hopo ferries are a recent addition to the Gold Coast landscape. The iconic blue and white ferries are instantly recognizable as they drift across the sparkling waterways. Popular with locals and tourists alike, no visit to the Gold Coast is complete without a trip on the ferry, and here’s why.

Ultimate sightseeing experience

Start your day at any of the five destinations and hop on and hop off as you please. Hopo has stops at five iconic Gold Coast locations: Surfers Paradise, HOTA, Home of the Arts, Marina Mirage, Broadwater Parklands, and Sea World. These are five of the best highlights on the Gold Coast and can be seen in one day with a Hopo day pass. 

The best part of sightseeing with Hopo is that even the journey has its perks. The friendly skipper shares their knowledge and the secrets of the Gold Coast via the onboard commentary. Pass houses of the rich and famous, including everyone’s Kung Fu fighter, Jackie Chan or the ‘Thorpedo’ himself, Ian Thorpe. 

Bonus tip: The ferries conveniently depart hourly, seven days a week.

It’s the journey, not the destination

Picture a glorious, sunny day. The breeze in your hair as you cruise down sparkling waterways on the way to your next destination. Don’t picture it; live it aboard a Hopo Gold Coast Ferry. More than transport from one place to another, it is the perfect addition to your Gold Coast vacay or a locals day out. Hopo does all the hard work of travel, i.e. no more sitting in traffic or driving around to find a car spot.  

Bonus tip: Hopo has a small selection of alcoholic drinks onboard for you to enjoy a cold, crisp beverage. Put your feet up, wine in hand, and let your troubles drift away.

Perfect for the budget-savvy

Hopo ferry fares are an affordable way to see the Gold Coast. When you are on holiday, looking for something different to do in the city, or using it for your daily commute, Hopo Gold Coast Ferry has made it affordable for all your travel needs. With fare options to suit concessions and seniors, families, and ‘frequent floaters’, Hopo is an ideal choice. If you use the service regularly, save up to 40% on fares with a Frequent Hopper Pass.

Bonus tip: Concession cardholders can get a $10-day pass for all-day travel Monday-Friday.

“I’ll take them on the Hopo”

Have you ever had visitors from out of town and have been stuck on where to take them? Hopo is now your go-to for all of your guests. Hopo is something to be added to every tourist’s Gold Coast bucket list. For those with little time, a round trip is perfect for the bustling visitor. Complete a round trip and see the five must-see Gold Coast destinations without leaving the comfort of the ferry. For those with a whole day to spare, hop on and hop off at all destinations and see the city’s highlights. They’ll tick off their Gold Coast bucket list and thank you for being the best tour guide ever.

Ready to see the Gold Coast from the best view in town? Check out fare options and experience Hopo Gold Coast Ferry for yourself.

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Where to find the best parks and playgrounds on the Gold Coast

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Where to find the best parks and playgrounds on the Gold Coast

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There is no doubt that the Gold Coast is home to some of the best parks and playgrounds in South-East Queensland, and a trip on the Hopo ferry is the ultimate way to visit the best of the best. Like all great adventures, it’s about the journey, not the destination. Hopo ferries are an exciting way to experience the waterways. Your little ones will love the thrill that comes with being on a boat and can even help the skipper drive.

Broadwater Parklands

From rock pools, jumping pillows, and splash zones, there is nothing like the Broadwater Parklands. Children will be impressed by its playground, complete with a zip line, swings, and even a huge inflatable jumping pillow. There’s a kids bike track suitable for those new to wheels or who are self-proclaimed bicycle pros. Watch them tackle the obstacle course, weaving between poles and braving thrilling bike ramps. 

If you need a cooldown, check out the exciting sculptural Rockpools. Splash out in shallow water or play in the vibrant marine-themed fountains. Enjoy calm, natural swimming waters in the enclosed swimming enclosure.

When it’s time for a break, relax in the heart of the parklands on the Great Lawn. Visit the scrumptious Fish Shak for a coffee pick me up or a delicious lunch.

Hanging out at the Broadwater Parklands

Sea World Ferry Terminal

Hop off at Sea World ferry terminal and discover a world of natural wonders. Boasting more than The Spit, the northern side of Main Beach boasts beautiful green parks and walks

Wander through tree canopies along Federation Walk

Douglas Park

There is plenty to keep the kids busy at Douglas Park. Keep an eye out for hawks, pelicans and dolphins playing in the Gold Coast seaway. Bring your snorkelling gear and look for the variety of vibrant fish life swimming in the crystal waters.

Philip Park

Sitting across from Sea World is Philip Park, the perfect location for your next barbeque. Let the kids run wild on the green lawns or chuck on your bathers and head over to  Main Beach for a splash in the ocean.

Federation Walk Coastal Reserve

Sitting across from Sea World is Philip Park, the perfect location for your next barbeque. Let the kids run wild on the green lawns or chuck on your bathers and head over to  Main Beach for a splash in the ocean.

HOTA, Home of the Arts

Located in the center of the city, HOTA, Home of The Arts is the Gold Coast’s latest and greatest attraction. HOTA is a hub of culture situated along the Nerang River, offering stunning views of the Surfers Paradise skyline. Ample BBQ facilities and rich greenery make it the perfect family hang-out.

Don’t forget your bathers and miss out on the highlight of HOTA, which is the man-made lagoon, a sheltered swimming pool complimented with a small, sandy beach. Perfect for refreshing after a day of play, enjoy a dip in clear, cool water. Modern shower and toilet amenities are available onsite at your convenience.

Surfers Paradise

Lionel Perry Park

You needn’t stray too far from the Surfers Paradise ferry terminal to find a small slice of nature in the big city. Tucked away on the banks of Surfers Paradise is Lionel Perry Park. Kids can build sandcastles off the sandy shores or practice their best cartwheels on the lush grass. Your little ones can test their climbing skills on the rock climbing wall or reach new heights on the swings.

Marina Mirage

Hollindale Park

There’s more to the Marina Mirage stop than a luxury shopping centre. Wander across the road, and you’ll find exciting playground facilities. Hollindale Park is a beachside playground boasting a range of thrilling equipment. Ideal for little monkeys who love to climb, they’ll be excited to tackle the sizable red climbing frame. Take a slide down the unique tongue-shaped slippery dip. Check out Main Beach Pavillion for a bite to eat or bring your food to the beach for a picturesque picnic.

Hollindale Park

With affordable day and family pass options available, Hopo Gold Coast Ferries are the perfect way to discover the best parks on the Gold Coast.

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Free Hopo Ferry Travel for 50,00th Passenger Celebration

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Free Hopo Ferry Travel for 50,000th Passenger Celebration

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Haven’t tried the city’s new ferry service, Hopo? Now’s your chance! On Thursday, 29 April, ​Gold Coast locals will be able to travel for free to celebrate the service’s 50,000th passenger.

How do I travel for free?

Participating in the free ferry travel promotion is easy. Simply meet the ferries at any of our five stops located in Surfers Paradise, Home of the Arts (HOTA), Marina Mirage, Broadwater Parklands, or Sea World on Thursday, 29 April 2021, and present proof of a local address. Treat yourself to a cheeky beverage and learn about the Gold Coast waterways. View the timetable here. Kindly note that seats cannot be booked in advance and are available on a first-in best-dressed basis. Travel will be unlimited within all zones for the entire day.

Take in spectacular views, hop on and off at iconic destinations, spot local wildlife, and learn about the waterways through entertaining commentary by expert skippers. And if you are lucky enough to be the 50,000th passenger? You will be the recipient of an annual pass to the ferry service!

Surfers Paradise

Stretches of golden beaches, pristine waters and festive food and entertainment, the heart of the Gold Coast, Surfers Paradise, cannot be missed. One of Australia’s most recognisable locations, it is overflowing with things to see and do.

Take in breathtaking views from the Skypoint Observation Deck Image credit: Skypoint

HOTA, Home of the Arts

Nestled within luscious greenery is HOTA, Home of the Arts, the Gold Coast’s newest vibrant cultural precinct. No matter the weather, there is always something going on.

  • Catch the latest flick at the HOTA cinema, showing mainstream, arthouse and local independent films.
  • Take a splash at the tranquil man-made lagoon.
  • Picnic against the picturesque backdrop of the Gold Coast city skyline.
  • Admire artwork displays in the cinema foyer.

Beautiful green landscapes to explore at HOTA, Home of the Arts. Image credit: HOTA, Home of the Arts.

Marina Mirage

Feel luxurious at Marina Mirage, the Gold Coast’s premier shopping, and fine dining destination. Shop up a storm and re-energize at one of the many waterfront restaurants and cafes.

Stunning superyachts at Marina Mirage. Image credit: Marina Mirage

Broadwater Parklands

Play and stroll at Broadwater Parklands, a world-class community and cultural parkland. Loved by Gold Coast locals, the park boasts many things to see and do.

  • Take the kids and splash in The Rockpools Water Play with spouting water animals, water squirters, cascading waterfalls and large buckets that empty on unsuspecting guests.
  • Pack the picnic basket for a catch-up or romantic date, hanging out on the lush Great Lawn.
  • Run amok at the playground and jump on the giant Bouncy Pillow.
  • Soak in the views and stop for a bite to eat at The Fish Shak or Cafe Catalina.

The ultimate splash zone at Broadwater Parklands Rockpools. Image credit: City of Gold Coast

Sea World

Did you know that there is more than just the theme park when you stop at Sea World?

  • Access the northern beaches and recently upgraded Federation Walk Coastal Reserve.
  • Have a picnic BBQ at Philip Park.
  • Visit Australia’s favourite marine park, Sea World. Say hello to seals, penguins, dolphins and even polar bears. Get your adrenaline pumping with thrilling rides and shows.

Discover a myriad of sea life, large and small, at Sea World. Image credit: Village Roadshow Theme Parks

With so many ideas of how to make the most of your day of unlimited travel, what will you decide to do? Hopo passengers can present their tickets to unlock great discounts on dining, activities, shopping and more with our Hopo Discount Partners.

VIEW DISCOUNTS

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The Ultimate Valentine's Day With Hopo Ferries

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Hopo Ferries have got you and your sweetheart covered this Valentine’s Day.

Hopo Ferries are sharing the love with a 2-for-1 Hop On Hop Off Day Pass Special, meaning you can spend the day together on the Gold Coast waterways and visit five fab locations. Simply show this post on Sunday, February 14, to the Hopo Skipper to redeem this offer.

Surfers Paradise

White Rhino Valentine’s Day Sunday Sesh

Open from 11:30 am, White Rhino Bar + Eats offers $14.90 lunches and an extensive wine and cocktail menu, including six varieties of long island cocktail flavors. White Rhino’s modern decor makes it a great location to enjoy in a drink or two at their waterfall bar or dine against their picturesque garden wall, perfect for that Valentine’s Day Instagram pic!

Sunset picnic on the beach (free)

With picnic basket and rug in hand, treat your sweetheart to a romantic sunset picnic on the famous Surfers Paradise beach. Watch as the clouds change colour over the ocean in a dazzling array of colours.

HOTA, Home of the Arts

The Secret Life of a Love Song

Feel the love this Valentine’s Day at HOTA, Home of the Arts, sunset concert, The Secret Life of a Love Song. Featuring performances from The Brothers Calling with Wolfmother’s Ian Peres, Scott French, Alisha Todd, Geoff Green with special guests. Covering tracks by Bob Marley, Beyonce, INXS, Blondie, The Rolling Stones, and more, this special Valentine’s Day concert will warm your heart and bring the joy of music live from HOTA’s Outdoor Stage.

Enhance your experience and treat your loved one to one of HOTA’s gourmet hampers ($50) including hand-selected cheeses, bread, and antipasto delights with two glasses of your choice of red, white, or sparkling wine. After more? Upgrade to their indulgence hamper ($75) to include fresh Australian prawns and delectable chocolate-coated strawberries.

Bundall Farmers Market (Free)

Hold your lover’s hand as you weave through several local stalls and vendors at the Bundall Farmers Markets. Taste-test home-made treats, purchase fresh farm produce or surprise your special someone with freshly-picked flowers.

Broadwater Parklands

Kids DJ party in the park

Hit the dance floor for a Valentine’s Day DJ party at the Broadwater Parklands. Ideal for families, groove to favorites new and old, mixed by a professional DJ. Games and activities are also on offer, bringing fun for the whole family. It is located right near the big pillow.

Explore the Broadwater Parklands (Free)

For a more casual Valentine’s Day, take a stroll on the Broadwater Parklands. Pack a picnic basket and find the perfect spot on lush green grass to soak in the sunshine with your love.

Marina Mirage

High Tea

Spoil your sweetheart at Cafe Mirages at Marina Mirage. Including your choice of tea, coffee and a glass of sparkling wine on arrival, indulge in a selection of sweet and savoury treats. Choose from delicious mini eclairs filled with Chantilly cream, lemon meringue pie, scrumptious scones with jam and cream, mini savory muffins, an assortment of tasty sandwiches, and more.

Marina Mirage Jetty (Free)

The Marina Mirage jetty boasts incredible views of the stunning, multi-million dollar yachts. Wander the boardwalk and look in awe of the luxurious vessels or take in the sights from one of the many waterfront cafes and bars.

Sea World

Sea World Helicopters

Take your love to new heights this Valentine’s Day. Treat yourself and your loved one to the ultimate Valentine’s Day experience with Sea World Helicopters. Embark on a scenic flight exclusive for just the two of you over the stunning Gold Coast. Experience unforgettable views of the city’s towering-high rises and crystal blue coastlines. Enjoy a complimentary hamper pack including gourmet cheese, fresh bread, cold meats, and a bottle of Sirromet bubbles.

Federation Walk (Free)

Take a stroll across the road and wander the Federation Walk. Immerse yourself on a 3.5km nature track, sheltered by natural canopies the sound of the ocean, enjoy a moment away from the outside world. At the end of your walk, take a rest at The Spit, one of the Gold Coast’s much-loved beaches.

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Top 10 ways to cool off on the Gold Coast

By Blog, Home of the Arts (HOTA), Marina Mirage, Sea World, Southport 'Broadwater Parklands', Surfers Paradise, Uncategorized

Top 10 ways to cool off on the Gold Coast

Blog

The Gold Coast is famous for its golden beaches, relaxed lifestyle, and endless sunshine. When the summer sun gets too hot to handle, catch a Hopo Ferry to one of these five iconic locations and beat the heat.

Surfers Paradise

1. Surf’s up!

You could choose no better place in Australia to learn to surf than Surfers Paradise. One of Australia’s most iconic beaches, this famous beach boasts ideal conditions for beginners and experienced surfers alike.

2. Gain your sea legs

View the Gold Coast’s iconic landmarks from a totally new perspective. The Gold Coast waterways are home to an abundant variety of water-based activities departing Surfers Paradise. Enjoy a cruise on shimmering waters with Sea World Cruises, including lunch and dinner sittings, journey to Surfers on a Hopo Ferry or even satisfy the thrillseeker within on a jetski or adrenaline-filled jet boating experience.

3. Dip your toes

Surfing not quite your thing? Don’t worry, Surfers Paradise is perfect for a relaxing dip. Cool off in the waves and take in the stunning views of the city. Visit in the late afternoon to witness a beautiful, colourful sky as the sun begins to set.

Broadwater Parklands

4. Rockin’ rock pools

The Broadwater Parklands rockpools are the ultimate splash pad for kids. They will love exploring the nooks and crannies of the pools. Watch them smile in anticipation as a large bucket slowly fills with water to drench the target below. During opening hours, lifeguards patrol the rockpools to keep your little ones safe.

5. Olympic ready

The Gold Coast Aquatic Centre is a world-class swimming centre, boasting six swimming pools including a children’s splash zone and two Olympic sized pools. Swim for leisure or practice your freestyle, there is enough room for it all!

6. Makea splash

We haven’t forgotten the big kids! The GC Aqua Park is one of Australia’s largest inflatable water parks and it sure doesn’t disappoint. Fifty-minutes of non-stop action, test your agility on this aquatic obstacle course. Suitable for kids from 5 years of age, it’s the perfect place for the whole family to cool off.

HOTA, Home Of The Arts

7. Cool down and culture up

The hub of culture on the Gold Coast, HOTA, Home of the Arts, boasts more than theatres and galleries. Take a dip in The Evandale Lake, a beautiful man-made lagoon based in the middle of the HOTA parklands. Check out their state of the art facilities and brand new art gallery due to open in April 2021.

Marina Mirage

8. The height of luxury

Luxury stores, delicious food, and air conditioning? You can’t pass up Marina Mirage for a glamorous cool down. Shop to your heart’s content at an abundance of high-class brands. Eat until you’re satisfied at indulgent, fine-dining restaurants and cafes. Wander the jetty and soak in the stunning views of the jetty, admiring a bounty of impressive yachts and boats.

Did you know that the sails on the roof of Marina Mirage are not only an iconic part of the Gold Coast Skyline but serve as purposefully built natural ventilation?

Sea World

9. Become a pirate for a day

One of Sea World’s newest attractions, The Reef at Castaway Bay is one of Australia’s largest interactive aquatic zones. Keep cool in the shade whilst the kids splash about. Watch as they blast water cannons at each other and dodge surprise water spouts.

10. The local’s secret

Cool off at the locals favourite spot, The Spit. The very most northern tip of the Gold Coast’s iconic stretch of beach, The Spit is a well-loved resident treasure. Take a stroll down the iconic pier that looks out to the Gold Coast Seaway before you jump in and cool down in the surf.

Slap on the sunscreen and cool off at five iconic Gold Coast destinations. Skip the traffic and hop on and hop off with Hopo Ferries. Book now!

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The ultimate Gold Coast day out with Hopo Ferries

By Blog, Home of the Arts (HOTA), Marina Mirage, Sea World, Southport 'Broadwater Parklands', Surfers Paradise, Uncategorized

The ultimate Gold Coast day out with Hopo Ferries

Sightseeing

Take advantage of the beautiful weather this summer, skip the traffic and choose a day out with Hopo. Your skipper and crew are excited to have you aboard, offering informative commentary about the Gold Coast and slipping out secrets of the city. There is no better way to spend a full day on the Gold Coast than to travel by ferry to all the must-see destinations.

Surfers Paradise

No day out in the Gold Coast is complete without a visit to the famous Surfers Paradise. A hub of culture, food and famed golden beaches, there is always something going on. Unwind from the day and soak in a glorious sunset on Surfers Paradise Beach. The two-kilometre beach is the heart of the city and a must-do on anybody’s list. Satisfy your hunger at one of Surfers Paradise restaurants. Boasting a wide variety of cuisine, tempt yourself with the tastes of Italy at Salt Meats Cheese pizzeria or be mesmerised by Mexican delights at La Diosa Mexicana.

Home of the Arts, HOTA

Home of the Arts (HOTA) is the Gold Coast’s vibrant cultural precinct. It is home of live music, theatre, cinema, conversation and critical thinking, surrounded by leafy parklands and a tranquil lake perfect for cooling off in. A quiet escape from the hustle and bustle of the Gold Coast, enjoy a lake-side stroll, you may even discover the best well-hidden view of Surfers Paradise. Check out one of the many events hosted by HOTA. Their cinema screens the latest releases and familiar favourites. A passion for art and culture, watch live performances in their state of the art theatre or sit down and tap your toes to live music on their outdoor stage. Purchase all farm fresh produce and freshly baked goods at the Bundall Farmers Market every Sunday morning.

Marina Mirage

The height of luxury on the Gold Coast, Marina Mirage is  Queensland’s most iconic waterfront shopping, dining and leisure destination. A shopaholic’s dream, spoil yourself at high fashion and boutique stores such as Tommy Hilfiger, Witchery and Gant. Once shopping has worked up an appetite, it’s time for lunch. Marina Mirage is the Gold Coast’s premier destination for waterfront dining. An assortment of award-winning modern cafes and gourmet restaurants line the boardwalk, providing stunning views looking over the sparkling marina. Unwind as you sip on tasty cocktails at Glass Dining & Lounge Bar or catch up for an indulgent lunch at Sunset Waterfront Grill. On Saturday mornings, wander fresh produce and homemade treats at the Marina Mirage Farmers Market.

Broadwater Park Lands

The Broadwater Parklands is a much-loved destination with Gold Coast residents and tourists alike. The three-kilometre stretch of vibrant parklands is home to a wide range of activities including rock pools, playgrounds, barbeque and picnic areas and boardwalk. The Broadwater Parklands is a much-loved destination with Gold Coast residents and tourists alike. Ideal for families, summer catch-ups with friends or even a first date, the Broadwater Parklands seems to have it all. 

Sea World Australia

Bring out your inner explorer at Sea World, Australia’s #1 marine park showcases beautiful underwater life, thrilling rides and unforgettable shows. Visit the icey poles in Australia, saying hello to polar bears and playful penguins. Get up close and personal with seafaring creatures including rays, dolphins, and if you’re brave enough, sharks! Unleash your inner thrillseeker and tackle Sea World’s new Vortex Spin Coaster or brace the weather on their Storm Coaster. For the pleasure-seekers, immerse yourself in one of Sea World’s daily shows, from the action-packed Thunder Lake Stunt Show to the mesmerising Feature Dolphin Presentation.

BOOK NOW

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