I always had an imaginary image of what Australia would be like, what it would feel like; I had not yet found it in the beat of the city streets in Brisbane, I had not found that imaginary place amongst the tourist trap commonly known as Surfers, but as the Surfside Bus approached the stop closest to my accommodation in Kirra Beach, I was ridiculously happy to discover that the place stunk of my make-believe Australia. Again the sun was shining down on me, the bustle had been left far behind me, and the houses were suddenly residential, taking the place of beach side hotel complexes so frequently seen along the stretch of the Gold Coast. I couldnt see it, but I knew the Pacific Ocean was very close, and the salty sea air was absolutely delicious.
It just got better and better that day, and I felt adamant that Kirra was my favourite destination so far as we walked through the gates of the tourist park. It was so quaint it should have belonged in a story book. We had opted for the cheapest from of accommodation, a lodge which merely consisted of one double bed, a single that rose above that, a small sofa, a TV and a fridge. It could not have been more than 4m squared, but I was in love instantly, especially as the toilet block was right next door, the camp kitchen about the 10 metres away, and best of all I loved the wooden bench outside our door, which looked out over a lake.
our outside area at the holiday park..
Kirra Beach is a few kilometres north of the town Coolangatta, the most southern town in Queensland, and is twined with Tweed Heads, having the border into New South Wales running straight through the two.
The town itself consisted of only a few dozen streets, with a large main street, failing to supply the ugly larger chain shops, leaving plenty of room for the local cafes and dairys. Even the people seemed different. The cosmopolitan youths had long since disappeared and had been replaced by sun-kissed surf chicks, and relaxed looking middle aged ladies going about their daily business. Many elderly people sat smiling at the bus stops, no doubt waiting for the friendly local bus driver, whom they had probably spoken to every day for years, to arrive. Everything seemed warm and inviting, sleepy and non-indulgent. After wondering the streets and convincing myself that leaving without sampling one of the home made pies displayed in the cafe window would be an unimaginable crime, we decided to walk back towards Kirra along the beach.
The gold coast sweeps along the Pacific in a long subtle curve, with Coolanagata being at the very bottom of that curve.
This meant that on a clear day, you could stand on the beach at Kirra and look out across the water, and instead of seeing a blue horizon, you witnessed the skyscrapers of Surfers Paradise, seemingly floating eerily upon the water ahead. I have never seen anything like it before, and at that point you were truly able to appreciate the contrast of the two destinations and despite being so close to one another, they really were worlds apart.
lake on the park