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The International Writers Magazine: Australia

The Gold Coast
Megan Giles


The sub tropical climate and bustling night life of Queensland, Australia’s Gold Coast continues to attract tourists all year round. And even though the Gold Coast has the nation’s highest rising population and reputation of Australia’s own St. Tropez, the at times undesirable seedy streets of Surfers Paradise at half past happy hour is enough to keep any well respecting coast native tucked into bed once the sun goes down.

The Gold Coast plays host to infamous Schoolies week, where end of high school leavers flock to the coast with dreams in their heads and cartons of booze in tow, screaming from high rise balconies and the Indy V8 Supercar Racing where stubby yielding men and incapacitated, midriff - flashing forty somethings go to get further incapacitated. Oh and there’s Indy Champ cars there too. Tempting? (Thanks to Sam Stafford for correcting that)

If this is not your scene however, why not take a stroll down Burleigh Beach where you’re sure to be harassed by one of the many nutcase homeless inhabitants, shaking tin cans as they selflessly collect money for charity. If this isn’t enough, parking in Surfers Paradise will mean your meter is topped up by tourist friendly, half naked underage girls. If you stop to buy a photo op they may even pretend to act interested in what you have to say. And if you’re luckier still you may be the victim of screaming profanities as delightful young gentlemen who’ve taken advantage of the scooter hiring pass by pedestrians. Bless their chivalrous hearts.

The Gold Coast proudly boasts a healthy- iving style attitude and this is made apparent by the numerous cyclists and joggers seen on her streets from Coolangatta to Runaway Bay every morning. If you plan on pulling on your trackie dacks and taking an early morning stroll down Surfers Paradise Promenade you may witness the finest of the Gold Coast’s youth stumbling out of night clubs still half blind and looking for a brawl. Don’t let this deter you from your exercise however, just keep your head down, don’t make eye contact and restrain from throwing scraps or using flash photography.

Despite what may seem, the Gold Coast does have, a little, more to offer than one night stands, blistering hangovers and tattoo parlours down every nook and cranny. The restaurants at upper end Marina Mirage and Tedder Avenue are enough to silence any cold hearted critic and the Gold Coast’s neat little location, close to beaches, city life and countryside up Mudgeeraba way means locals get the best of both worlds.

The Gold Coast’s fishing, boating and surfing spots will rival anywhere in the world.
For the traveler with a little more dosh to spend, the glitz and glamour of Palazzo Versace won’t go unappreciated. This luxurious five star hotel has housed guests from Hollywood celebrities to sports stars. For mere mortals rooms start from approximately $400 per night and will generally keep tourists away from the seedy underbelly of neighbouring Surfers Paradise for as long as the bank account permits.

If you’re planning to see out your stay in a more modest abode, hotels like the Red Lion offer discount rooms that are walking distance from Caville Avenue. Just be sure to peeping-tom proof your room as the ghost of Norman Bates may have found refuge between the Red Lion’s quaint but potentially haunted walls.

Getting around will require the assistance of the Gold Coast’s public transport system. Surfside Buslines offers a mediocre but generally reliable means of transport with stations in most Gold Coast suburbs and buses running frequently through Surfers Paradise and from Robina and Nerang train stations. Taxis are readily available in both Broadbeach and Surfers Paradise and most major shopping centres. Failing these why not rent a scooter and ride past fellow tourists cursing or better yet throwing eggs? After all, when in Rome..
© Megan Giles November 2006
megan giles <mgiles@student.bond.edu.au
 
Megan is a University Student from the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
 
 
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