Christmas day 2023 at Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast.

I experienced my longest delay inside an aircraft on 24 December 2023. Extraordinarily heavy rain delayed our take-off from Sydney to Gold Coast for more than 4 hours!

A rainy day at Central Station, Sydney.

Domestic Airport has two terminals.

My flight was booked on Qantas, but flown by Jetstar. I realised this when I went to Terminal 3 (which belongs to Qantas) and then realised that the first two letters on my flight were JQ. These are Jetstar’s flight code letters.

Terminal 3 is home to Qantas.

I arrived too early & needed to wait for check-in.

I also learned that there is no point arriving early for a domestic flight. The check-in process only happens after a designated time. I got there before my designated time and was advised to wait.

Terminal 2 in the Domestic Airport has a spacious food court.

My favourite time, reading before boarding.

Flights from airlines including Regional Express (REX), Tiger, Virgin and Jetstar depart from Terminal 2. I enjoyed the variety of food outlets once I passed security. There are the international fast food brands KFC, McDonalds and Hungry Jacks. There are also more sophisticated cafes and bistro venues where you can sit down and grab a proper bite. Asian restaurants like Lilong by Taste of Shanghai and Wok On Air serve savoury classics.

Fat Yak is a boutique beer brand.

I prefer being one of the last to board the aircraft.

If you’re fancying a drink, Fat Yak has a beer station just before the boarding gate hall. I always find it motivational to work on my laptop while facing a view of aircrafts lined up.

Functional seats on a Jetstar aircraft.

The food menu was surprisingly well represented.

I enjoyed the seating on this Jetstar flight more compared to the last time I was on another budget airline, AirAsia. It felt more spacious. The seats were also tall, stretching above most people’s heads. 

The Star casino in Gold Coast.

Mei Wei Dumplings is next to Harvest Buffet.

The Star Entertainment Group has three locations in Australia: Sydney, Brisbane, & Gold Coast. I noticed the similarity between the two I’ve visited, Sydney and Gold Coast. Both have a Harvest Buffet, and both have a luxury hotel called The Darling. I wonder if both of the darlings refer to the same darling.

Vegetarian options at Mei Wei Dumplings.

Oriental themed walls.

If you’re gambling, you’ll need sustenance. Along this line of reasoning, my friends and I guessed correctly that restaurants were open in The Star Gold Coast even on Christmas Day 2023.  

A classic wonton noodle soup.

Congee with Century Egg and Fried Breadstick.

Mei Wei Dumplings is a good choice for everyday, comfort Chinese food. The dishes we ordered, including Five-spice Chicken Wings, Garlic Shrimp Fried Rice & Seafood Laksa, didn’t let us down. There is Vegetarian Pad Thai too. Interestingly, Mei Wei Dumplings also makes bubble tea.

Seafood fried rice with a lovely smile. Thank you for letting me take a photo!

Surfers Paradise is known for skyscrapers along the beachside.

From the suburb of Broadbeach (where The Star is located), you can catch the light rail (they call it G:link) to Surfers Paradise. If you’re looking for a place to gather a group, you can Google map “Surfers Paradise Sign“. This directly faces the beach and the main walkway of shops. 

Find alfresco venues and vibrant nightlife.

The beach was busy and the sand super white!