Location: Gold Coast, Australia
Editor’s note: Whilst researching for her family’s Gold Coast holiday, Li Lin chanced upon the iVenture Card. Impressed with the cost savings it afforded her family for their holiday, Li Lin shares with us the Gold Coast attractions her family enjoyed using the iVenture Card – we’ve to agree that that Glow Worm adventure looks quite cool! And the savings too 😉
We discovered the iVenture Card during our trip to Gold Coast Australia in December 2013. There were quite a few attractions on the program that we had already earmarked (such as the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary) so we started researching more about the card.
The iVenture Card works like a stored-value card, and offers savings at selected Gold Coast attractions. Base on what you plan to do, you can choose to buy an unlimited plan or a packaged deal. It is offered in several countries, Australia being one of them.
After some research into the attractions and tours offered by the card, we bought the “Flexi Attractions Pass 3″ ticket, which gave us admission to three attractions or tours, out of a selection of over 35. I was recommended attractions I would not have otherwise known, and some were really unique to Gold Coast, Australia, such as a Glow Worm cave tour.
All three Gold Coast attractions / tours we did with the Gold Coast iVenture Card were fantastic – we thought the deals were great! Here’re the attractions we covered using the card…
Our first stop with our Gold Coast iVenture Card was the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. The card fully covers the admission fees to the Sanctuary.
As this was our first stop, we had to get our iVenture Cards validated by the staff. This was where there was some confusion – not all staff at the attraction seem fully aware of the process in validating the cards. The counter staff had to put us on hold, and checked around until she eventually found someone who knew what to do. Thereafter the card worked perfectly.
We spent almost a full day at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, where there were lots to do! My kids enjoyed patting the adorable kangaroos…
… and ogling at the Koala Bears. Our kids also got to cuddle the Koala Bears, which was a definite highlight for them. Over at the Lorikeet enclosure, we were also given plates of food for the kids to feed the birds.
Another fave for the boys – the huge playground within the sanctuary, which makes for good fun in between time spent with the animals.
While we were there, we also did the Adventure Parc High rope course – a Forest Adventure kind of place with lotsa rope obstacles, zip lines and skybox rides etc. They even provided overalls for us to wear when doing the obstacle course – we had loads of fun zipping through the trees!
(Editor’s note: Unfortunately, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary had advised that Adventure Parc has ceased operation as of Saturday 31st January 2015. The course is closed until further notice.)
Just down the road from Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is Superbee Honeyworld. Admission here is not covered by the card but since we were so near, we popped in for a live beekeeping show and some shopping. This was fascinating – you go into a glass room, and you’re immediately surrounding by tonnes and tonnes of bees converging on the glass dome. The beekeepers explained the process and demonstrated how the honey goes from hive to jar. Very educational, and well worth the side visit.
The second attraction we did with the Gold Coast iVenture Card was the “Catch a Crab” Tour. It was a really fun experience!
On the iVenture website, we were advised that the tour had to be pre-booked, so we dropped them an email to confirm the booking. The tour fee is covered by the iVenture Card.
On the morning of the tour, we were supplied with all the equipment we need for the activities – rods, baits and baskets. Then it was on to the boat and off on our cruise.
We sailed along happily and were taken to a mangrove swamp. There we disembarked…
Have you ever fed a pelican? That was the first thing we did! We were given little fishes to feed these giant birds, and they must have been anticipating the visit as they came up close to get their share of their morning tea. These birds are big! Watch the kids closely for this one.
Our catch of the day included yabbies and huge mud crab. It was the first time we did this, and the team on the cruise guided us along and helped us with our catch. We all caught something… The smiles on the kids’ faces said it all.
After the morning’s activities, we headed back to the cruise centre. There, we settled down and bought a seafood platter – crabs, prawns, tabbies, fish and oyster piled the plate. Our lunch was fresh and delicious – my son Aaron became an oyster fan thereafter.
The final tour we did with our Gold Coast iVenture Card was Nocturnal Rainforest & Glow Worm Tour, conducted by Southern Cross Day Tours. This tour usually cost AUD98 per adult and AUD65 per child. With the card, we paid AUS20 per person.
I was probably the most excited about this tour, and even volunteered to sit upfront in the jeep with one of my sons
We were picked up from our accommodation at 6.45pm, in our 4-wheel drive, and offered hot drinks at the Southern Day Tours HQ. There we were briefed on the dos and do-nots.
Then we headed off into the darkness of the forest, guided only by our night lights and the stars. The ride itself was an adventure – we were driven along dirt roads usually accessed only by the firemen when putting out the forest fires! It was a bumpy, adrenaline inducing ride, up steeps slopes and on unpaved gravel road – I loved it!
Our guide cum driver was very knowledgeable. There were around 10 – 12 of us in the group, and as we drove along, he gave commentaries on the flora and fauna we came across… Do you know that glow worms are not worms? Now we do, after his detailed explanations. Our destination was a “water wall”, where the glow worms gather nightly, out in the open forest. No photos are allowed here though.
We were dropped off at our hotel at about 10.45pm. The drive through the forest, on the private access roads, I felt, was already worth the price of the tour!
All in all, the iVenture Card for Gold Coast definitely offered a great value to the family. The total cost for the above excursions would have come up to AUD202 per adult, but we paid only AUD139 (AUD109 for the three-attraction pass and a AUD20 top for the Glow Warm Tour). For our group of four adults and three kids, the savings came up to quite a bit – basically, we enjoyed three tours for the price of two. If we’ve had more time, I would have bought the five-attraction pass as there were a couple more tours that interested us.
We also visited a couple of theme parks – Movie World and Wet and Wild. iVenture has some cards that offered admission to these theme parks but we found a better deal for the theme parks on their website, and hence did not choose these options.
iVenture operates in quite a few countries. Personally I find the deals offered in some countries not as attractive. For Australia however, the deals are great! Overall, great savings, easy to use – once the validation is done right. Their insightful website offered lots of information that helped us plan our trip – this is one travel secret I’d gladly share with my friends!
Editor’s note: You might also be interested in these travel stories and trip reports share by other parents in our community of their travel to Queensland.