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Surfers Paradise - A travel report by Julia
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Surfers Paradise,  Australia - flag Australia -  Queensland
3686 readers

julz83's travel reports

paradise for surfers?

  20 votes
I joined thousands of travellers to live for 6 months in Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast of Queensland, to see if I could live here to study at Uni. My time is nearing it's end, and I feel qualified to give my opinion on this strange place.


Surfers Paradise travelogue picture
20 kilometers of high density living right on (too close) the beautiful white sandy beaches. A shrine to greedy councils and soulless developers built around a relentless tourism industry.The multitude of hotels and resorts make for great holiday package deals for familys, and kids are provided with enough mindless entertainment for at least a week. For the adult visitors, surfers paradise provides a wide range of drinking venues from pubs to bars to niteclubs. For the thinking person, there is not much to offer other than observation and reflection of the many problems this place has. Everybody looks the same and all the shops are selling the same type of clothes. There are no interesting stores and the food is limited to fast food chains and resturants that have never heard of good service. As a women, when walking around in the evening, I found that wearing anything that made me look mildly attractive brought me an abundance of unwanted male jeering and lewd comments, much worse than anywhere else I have been.

Favourite spots:
In Surfers Paradise itself, the beach would have to be my favourite place, despite the minor disadvantage that you need to pick up your towel and move every ten minutes as the shadow from the highrises move with the sun. Around the Gold Coast, there are many beautiful areas to visit, such as Springbrook waterfall and the village of Tambourine Mountain. Main beach is moderately pretentious, but the beach gets some good waves. The best surfing is south of surfers paradise, places like Mermaid, Miami are decent, further down south it gets even better. Surfers Paradise is a good place to get those group surfing lessons, with good beginner waves most days. All the over-development certainley contributes to a significant lack of om whilst surfing, the majority of the Gold Coast is home to some excellent waves.


What's really great:
15 minutes south of surfers paradise
15 minutes south of surfers paradise
I found the most special aspect of Surfers Paradise to be that nobody else seems to notice the total absence of soul. I hope I don't come accross as too harsh, I appreciate the fact that humans do enjoy and even need places like Surfers Paradise. It is a designated party town, but I personally find alcohol and it's related pastimes not to my liking. As a short holiday I think it is a faboulous place for most of the population, but If I were to live on the Gold Coast for more than a week or two, ie to work or to do some serious surfing, I would live either in Tallebudgera valley, Mount Tambourine, Burleigh Beach, mermaid beach, Miami beach or Coolangatta. Surfers is too much for people like me!!(sorry to anyone who find me offensive).
It really does bring in a lot of tourism which is good for the government, but I feel that the environment is coming in to far behind everything else.


Sights:
Sadly, there is nothing remotely cultural or of historical significance.
The Wax Museum is the only place resembling a museum.

Accommodations:
Surfers Paradise travelogue picture
The skys the limit here, but the many backpackers would provide the best value for money. I would suggest staying a bit out of the centre, there is a nice backpacker inn on Pine Avenue, I forgot the name. It is a bit quieter there, if you like a bit of relaxation sometimes. Other than that, there is a lot of share houses, which work out cheaper if you decide to base yourself around here. We stayed at Bay Lodge, in Palm Avenue. If you really need to stay around the Gold Coast, I would recommend staying anywhere but in Surfers Paradise , unless all you want to do is party.


Nightlife:
I have been to Most of the clubs and they are all pretty much the same old same old. Pick up a copy of the local club newspaper, which you can find in the HMV music store on Cavill Avenue. The only club on par with clubs in major cities is Quest in Broadbeach.

Hangouts:
The O'Malleys irish pub is right near the beach, which helps it's ambience.

Restaurants:
Surfers Paradise travelogue picture
Surfers Paradise is really lacking in good resturants, rated on both quality and price. If you are a vegetarian you will be treated with suspician and probably get quite hungry. The best resturant I went to was a little bit out of the main area, Shogun Japanese Karaoke resturant. It is a teppenyaki resturant, with after dinner karaoke. It is really good prices and the chefs cook in front of you and do a really excellent show. They have a vegetarian set menu, which is really delicious.

Other recommendations:
If you get out of Surfers Paradise you can find nice national parks and a few interesting wildlife parks.
Surfers Paradise does make a great base for exploring the hinterland and Stradbroke Island, which is nice for camping. There are a few excellent health and spirituality retreats in the hinterland, several of which are eco-reatreats, with organic food and environmentally sustainable farms.
It's only a 45 minute drive to Byron Bay, where there is more of a community feel and an arts culture, although Byron Bay is whole other report about the folly of man.


Published on Wednesday November 17th, 2004


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Sun, Nov 21 2004 - 09:48 AM rating by gloriajames

nice insight on sufers paradise

Sat, Nov 20 2004 - 07:33 PM rating by krissie

very interesting page! never thought about it like that but i guess you're right! so if i ever make it to aus, i'll skip s.p. *lol*

Wed, Nov 17 2004 - 06:34 PM rating by rangutan

Great, not only for surfers!

Wed, Nov 17 2004 - 04:49 PM rating by picasso

I like your report ,and especially I love our community
Where travelers express not only positive ,but also negative
Fillings about their travel .*****

Boris

Wed, Nov 17 2004 - 03:13 PM rating by christianj.


Wed, Nov 17 2004 - 10:59 AM rating by bineba

Interesting report and I agree with Tim, there are too many overdeveloped places these days. Luckily there are still quite a few places left where you can experience nature and culture. Guess it's all in the mix. Is there any reason why you had to stay there for 5 months if you didn't like it?

Wed, Nov 17 2004 - 10:57 AM rating by magsalex

Interesting comments.

Wed, Nov 17 2004 - 08:12 AM rating by tbrickell

Julia,
As an Australian who used to go on holidays to Surfers Paradise with my parents when I was younger I found your report very interesting. I remember thinking even then that any natural beauty had been spoilt by overdevelopment and I doubt I would ever go there again.
This happens in a number of countries these days(think south of Spain) and is a real pity.

Still I guess it's a perfect place if all you want is sun, sand and alcohol.

Tim

Wed, Nov 17 2004 - 05:42 AM rating by downundergal

Being a Surfers Paradise local I find your comments interesting.
Surfers dosen't try to be a cultural capital and is a full on beach/party destination.
Personally I find Byron Bay overated & expensive but I guess that's what makes us all different.

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