|Imagine Hawaii, only with wider, whiter beaches, and cheaper to stay and
eat, and not so commercialized, and weather just a little more temperate,
and Australian beer. Now you are starting to get the picture of Surfers
Queensland, Australia. With 70 km of beaches and several hundred
km of tidal rivers and basins, water sports rule Surfers Paradise.
Surfers Paradise is a town on Australia's
Gold Coast in
Colloquially known as 'Surfers', the suburb is famous for its many
high-rise apartment buildings and wide surf beach. The central feature of
the Surfers Paradise central business district is Cavill Mall, which runs
through the centre of the main shopping precinct. Cavill Avenue, named
after Jim Cavill, an early hotel owner, is one of the busiest shopping
Queensland, and is the centre of activity for night life and 'schoolies'
Many Australians believe that Surfers Paradise has been spoilt, and the
whole of the
Gold Coast area now has a somewhat dubious reputation for
being a place where foreign tourists go to get ripped off or locals go for
a night out in seedy strip clubs (which are plentiful). Although there can
be no doubt the area has been overdeveloped, this reputation is probably a
little bit harsh and in recent years many of the seedier aspects of the
Gold Coast have been redeveloped into more lucrative upmarket ventures.
The beaches are undeniably great but be aware that high rise developments
just off the main beach mean that every afternoon huge amounts of the
beach sit in the shadows!
Assuming that you want to experience the sea, the best time to hit the
Gold Coast in between October and March when temperatures climb.
Be aware that Schoolies Week is on in November, when the entire area is
invaded by tens of thousands of 17 year olds who have just finished high
school and head to the beaches to let off steam and celebrate. It's a huge
party - but if drunken 17 year olds aren't your scene then you should
avoid the area!!
There are 21 theme parks and attractions on the
Gold Coast, including Sea
World, Warner Brothers Movieworld, Dreamworld and Wet 'n Wild Water Park.
At Currumbin Sanctuary you can see hundreds of mountain parrots. If you
want to pet kangaroos and emus, then Fleays Wildlife Park is where you
As the name of the city implies, surfing is the order of the day. You can
check live surf cams and surf conditions here. Other water sports like
boating and fishing are also plentiful.
If you are going to swim make sure you swim in patrolled areas (between
the red and yellow flags). Each year hundreds of swimmers get into trouble
in the strong currents and it's always the tourists swimming outside the
flags who end up swept out to sea and drowning.
Plenty of the hotels around Surfers Paradise offer buffet all you can eat
seafood, which is normally quite nice and around $50 - $60 per person plus
drinks. Some offer lunch specials or early bird deals.
A great alternative to hotels is the plentiful supply of apartments that
are available for rental in Surfers Paradise. For a lower cost
alternative, you may want to check out hostels for backpackers.
As with all beaches in
Queensland you need to swim between the Red &
Yellow flags at all times. These flags mark the safest area of water in
which to swim & also the area in which the lifeguards are supervising.
Many lives have been lost due to people not swimming in the marked area.