Living it up on the Gold Coast

Gold Coast Travel Blog

 › entry 31 of 42 › view all entries

Just a short coach ride from Byron Bay and we hit the Gold Coast, to stay with the lovely Brea, my flatmate when I lived in Wimbledon.

She lives in Southport just north of Surfer's Paradise, within walking distance to the beach which we took the opportunity to visit. The beach at Southport was very much quieter than at Surfer's which suited us fine. There were constant sea warnings telling you which way the surf was ripping and what type of undercurrent there was (or something like that!).

You could only swim in small sections and they really enforced it strictly. We waded into the water excitedly, it looked like fun and loads of other people were out there. Both of us are fairly strong swimmers and have never really envisaged getting into danger before, but suddenly it all got a bit serious as well before the water reached our waists we both had our legs taken from under us by an approaching wave. We persevered for a little longer but the current was way too strong and we sheepishly returned to the safety of our towels!

Despite being the next town from Surfer's Paradise, we could still walk down from the beach, it took about 30mins. As we approached it got busier and busier until we reached the main section and had to navigate our way round the hoards of sunworshippers to get off the beach. The town is predictably touristy, full of fast food chains and tourist shops.

Well, I love a good tacky shop so we spent an amusing afternoon marvelling at the multitude of plasticware.

Staying with Brea was fantastic, a real opportunity to feel 'at home' somewhere for a while. We spent a good deal of time watching DVDs, and generally chilling out in a home situation without having to deal with hostel constraints which was exactly what we needed. We did normal things like supermarket shopping, group cooking, wine drinking and generally had a lovely relaxed time. One night we went to the pub with her workmates and a couple of people I had met before when she lived in London. Needless to say Brea and I returned to form (old habits die hard) and we spent the next day or 2 feeling somewhat delicate...... Still a homecooked meal from her Mum and meeting the infamous Nana cheered us up no end.

On our last day Brea decided to take up up to Burleigh Heads for a picnic, so we packed lots of yummy treats and headed up for a late lunch.

We had heard reports on the news about a storm brewing but it seemed clear enough, until we sat down of course. But in true British style we were the last people left sitting on the grass when the rain started coming down around us! During the rest of the afternoon and evening we saw that it continued raining hard, but were very surprised to hear on the news the next day that the storm had actually caused widespread flooding and huge hailstones had damaged cars!

So far in Australia we have not been overly impressed with the weather. I think in England you assume Australia is blazing sunshine all year round, but it really isn't! We've experienced as much rain here as at home, it's just hot stormy rain. It is just as miserable when it is raining (maybe even moreso as it is so muggy), but at least when there are breaks in the rain the sun does make an appearance occasionally!

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Gold Coast
photo by: RJ1982