A whim, a dose of serendipity, and a promo flight alert — that’s how most of my ‘adventures’ usually start. This time, the jaunt is brought to you by Scoot, the newest budget fleet to catch my eye. As soon as they offered their launch promo fares, I clicked-clicked-clicked my way down to the Gold Coast. So to all those who were curious: Yes, Scoot flies, and by golly, it lands too! In terms of cabin service, it’s still leagues behind counterparts like AirAsia and Jetstar, but they’re a young fleet and I reckon they’ll catch up.
Gold Coast is (in)famous for its plethora of tourist spots — from its naturally-seductive stretch of golden sand and waves, to the glitzy theme parks and malls that dot the city.
However, this particular tale is more about two wanderlust-y travellers who traipsed the city: let’s call them busybody Sheng and beachbum Ish.
Sheng, on her first trip to Oz, carped the hell out that diem! She danced on the streets,
got in touch with Australia’s wild side,
While, as for Ish, well, she went to the beach,
and combed the beach some more,
and yeah, returned to the Herculean task of bumming on the beach, which suited her just right.
I know it’s quite far from my I’ll-sleep-when-I’m-dead approach to getting to know a new destination — but with the sand on my toes, the sun on my face, the sweet music of crashing waves in my ears, I could barely tear myself away from the shore. (Actually, I never did. For my entire stay at Surfer’s Paradise, the farthest I kept away from the coastline was about 300 meters.).
When I did manage to resist wading in the water, Sheng and I did a lot of other fun things in the Gold Coast. Of course, beachwear shopping topped our list, followed by stuffing ourselves silly with candy, pastries and all-day breakfast combos. One of the trip’s unexpected highlights was getting to watch the hot shirtless drummer do his thing at the Surfer’s Paradise Festival.
We crashed at Surf N Sun Beachside Backpackers during our visit, a hostel that’s a mere 2-minute walk from the beach, and a 15-minute walk from the shops and the nightlife over at Cavill Avenue. Our flat was impeccably clean, plus it had its own kitchen and a very comfortable couch. Suffice to say, I have nothing but love for our digs.
If you still have energy after the day’s sun-worshipping, the hostel also offers tickets to the Backpacker’s Big Night Out on Wednesday and Saturday nights. You’ll hop aboard a party bus that will whisk you away to four happening nightspots at Surfer’s. Each one had its own flavor — whether your thing is dance-floor-blazing or beer-band-pool-chilling, you’re likely to find one to your taste. If you’re in Surfer’s Paradise to party (and it’s highly likely that you are), then the Backpacker’s BNO is definitely the fun way to do it. We took ours on a Saturday night; you can spend Sunday night going back to the one you liked best. (Sorry folks, no pictures of the BBNO. Sheng and I ditched the cams & phones, and decided that the night would be all about the memories. I’d say mission accomplished. =P )
Up to our last day, Gold Coast had us in high spirits. It was definitely fun to get to know its sunny, party side; what was unplanned was seeing its ‘heart of gold’ as well. On the morning we were to leave, I was doing my best not to panic when I realized I dropped my passport somewhere along Cavill Mall’s streets the night before. Sheng and I retraced my steps, all while my head was churning out the logistics of having to secure a temporary passport. A nice waitress directed us to the Surfer’s Paradise Police Station, and what do you know, a kind spirit has found my passport and turned it in! That was the clincher — I officially adore the Gold Coast!
Maybe next time I’ll give the theme parks a chance. Or even the skydiving, if fate permits. But many thanks, Gold Coast, for being so fun and kind. Will see you again!
2012-06 Gold Coast: Picasa Album
- Shuttle from Gold Coast Airport to Surfer’s Paradise – AUD 19 one way, AUD 37 return
- Lodging at Surf N Sun Beachside Backpackers – AUD 35 (USD 37.68)/pax for a private double room
- Surf Lessons at Cheyne Horan’s School of Surf – AUD 49 for 2 hrs beginner’s lesson
- Backpacker’s Big Night Out ticket – AUD 30
- 60-sec freefall skydiving at Byron Bay with Skydive Australia – AUD 349
- Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary Admission – AUD 49 for adults, AUD 33 for kids 4-14