Thursday, June 14

The Gold Coast and Surfer's Paradise

After nailing all of this morning's chores in record time, my friend decided to treat me (although
I think he needed a break from all the preparations too) to a trip down the Gold Coast. This is
only an hour's drive south from Brisbane so we got there pretty quickly.

Specifically, we headed to Surfer's Paradise. And to be frank I was amazed by it. Now when I first heard the name "Surfer's Paradise", I was expecting a more regular tropical kind of beach; you know, beach houses, the minimum of amenities, perhaps a promenade or pier or something. I couldn't have been more wrong.

The first thing you notice on approaching the coast is the sky line. We're talking a range of high rise buildings as if you're approaching a more regular city. But not because unlike, say, Brisbane, whose buildings are centred around a point, here we had them making a line a couple of miles long along the coast. It really was a wonderful sight, especially considering what I was expecting.

Crossing the buildings takes you to the beach. And what beach it was. Unlike Bondi which was pretty tiny really, the Gold Coast stretches for miles; from Surfer's paradise you can't see either of its ends. The sand was clean and fine and unlike your typical beach in the UK there were no nappies, fag ends or empty beer cans. Hell, it had to be clean if even I was willing to walk a mile or so through it bare footed. From this side the buildings seemed even more of a contrast, but in a charming way, giving Surfer's Paradise its own unique and slightly schizophrenic character.

After lunch we grabbed a respective coffee and hot chocolate at the nearby Palazzo Versace, a hotel run by the fashion house. It was pretty opulent yet nothing special to write home about. And so I won't.

Pictures up in the usual place.