It’s one of life’s little ironies that Surfers Paradise on Australia’s Gold Coast, isn’t a particularly good location to surf. It doesn’t even make the top 5 surfing locations on the Gold Coast.
Nope, it’s all a clever marketing ploy to get the tourists flocking in, and it works. Surfers Paradise was known as Elston up until the 1930’s when the town was renamed in a bid to attract more visitors. Today, Surfers Paradise is the go to holiday destination not just for the Gold Coast, but probably the whole of Australia. It attracts millions of visitors a year both from overseas and interstate. As such, there is always something going on at Surfers, whatever time of year you visit.
Surfers Paradise is now serviced by light rail, which is possibly the best thing to happen to the area for many years. You can now easily ride a tram from Broadbeach in the south, up to Southport in the north, opening up the whole area. You no longer have to worry about staying in central Surfers, as all accommodation between Broadbeach and Southport is now just a 10 minute tram ride away from the hub of the action. The light rail has been installed in preparation for the 2018 Commonwealth Games which are being held on the Gold Coast, and by the time the games start the light rail will extend as far as Helensvale.
We recently spent a very pleasant day there in the middle of what they call winter (it was around 24 degrees Celsius). You could be forgiven for forgetting that it was the middle of winter watching people splash in the surf and stroll the promenade in short sleeves. As is usually the case, there were a couple of events happening the day we were there. The ‘Viva’ festival was on which paid tribute to music legends of the past (in particular Elvis Presley) and there was also a vintage car collection on display along the promenade. If you love your cars, or intrigued by a Japanese Elvis impersonator this was the place to be.
Another Surfers Paradise institution is the Meter Maids, clad in their golden bikinis and cowboy hats they remain as popular as ever with the tourists. If you would like to have a photograph taken with them there is a $5 charge, and they also sell various merchandise to commemorate your stay in Surfers Paradise.
You are spoilt for choice when looking for something to eat or drink in Surfers, with the high level of competition keeping prices reasonable (not cheap, but no more expensive than other areas on the Gold Coast). They have a Hard Rock Café, serving the usual burgers or you can explore one of the many Asian restaurants that cater to the ever growing Asian Tourist market in Australia.
We were a little disappointed to discover that our favourite coffee shop in Surfers had closed down. It was kind of hidden away which possibly contributed to its demise, but they did make great coffee, and we will need to find a new favourite. I’m sure it won’t take us long as Surfers Paradise always throws up something new each time we visit.
Do you have a favourite place on Australia’s Gold Coast? Where would you like to spend a winters day? Let us know in the comments below.