Surfers Paradise

May 14, 2010 · 7 comments

Before I came to Surfers Paradise, I got chatting to a girl who came down to Sydney through the East Coast. I remember her saying “It’s nice but it’s very artificial, a bit like Miami”.

Now I usually forget such comments, but I remembered this one because I had exactly the same opinion as her when I got here.

After cruising through town in the cheapest vehicle the city has ever seen I came across a district called yes… Miami.

Got Ice?

This is a place of ripped bodies, tans, shaggy blonde hair and surfers. I felt as comfortable as a Christian in a brothel. Clearly this isn’t my scene and I felt rather fat just being here. In fact those nutters who spend their time bush walking eating witchetty grubs in the outback seemed a lot more like home than this place.

View of the beach

OK, the beach is nice, and it’s actually big unlike Bondi beach (which is about 100 meters long). But seriously, its just a beach, I’ve seen better in Australia already, and the hotels lining the sea front just seemed to spoil it all. I saw them from a distance away and thought I was nearing Brisbane, this is the first non-capital city I’ve seen in Australia which has high-rises.

How I remember Surfers Paradise

I also felt this wasn’t a place for backpackers. While there is a few hostels, the hotels seem to dominate, the money is definitely here. Byron Bay just south of Surfers paradise seems to offer more (it’s a place where Captain Cook landed and has the lighthouse), and seems more suitable for backpackers, proven by the hundreds of camper vans lining the beach side.

Speaking of which, here is what people fly all over the world to see, the beach:

Surfers Paradise

Surfers Paradise Beach

Anybody else been disappointed in such an iconic place?

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Linda May 14, 2010 at 8:03 AM

How long ago were you there – That photo of the beach can’t have been taken this last week at least as I live not far north and the weather has been glorious ~
Surfers Paradise is both brash and glitzy – If you weren’t wearing your gold necklace, not surprised you didn’t ‘feel at home’!
But then we don’t travel to ‘feel at home’ do we, or we’d stay there LOL
We travel to see how people in other parts live and try to appreciate what rings their bells – As a consequence I don’t think we can ever ‘criticize’ another place – Rather observe, smile and move on –
Where are you off to next?
Linda

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Becs May 14, 2010 at 4:30 PM

Exactly the reasons I skipped it. I can see the appeal to the Europeans, but coming from the US, Los Angeles especially, it’s like, show me something new please!

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AdventureRob May 15, 2010 at 12:58 PM

Hi Linda – I was there about a month ago. Weather was good on the day just came across as cloudy on my camera.

I don’t go to places to feel ‘at home’. Maybe I should have replaced the phrase with ‘comfortable’ (although I don’t go to places to feel comfortable either!). Surfers Paradise isn’t for me. I’m not a surfer and maybe that’s another reason why.

I think I’m entitled to an opinion on the place though. And I critique anywhere I’m not happy with and likewise praise those that I am.

I am heading to Malaysia next and then home to UK for the summer.

Thanks for your comment ^_^
.-= AdventureRob´s last blog – I’ve Been Featured! =-.

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AdventureRob May 15, 2010 at 1:03 PM

Becs – There is plenty of better beaches in most of the European countries with a bit of seaside. France, Greece + Spain especially have some beaches that equal Surfers Paradise easily.

As I mentioned, I’ve seen far better beaches in other parts of Australia, so no need to go out your way for it, it’s nice enough if you’re local though :-)

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Linda May 15, 2010 at 2:48 PM

I’ve not long returned from Scotland where spring was in full swing – bluebells blooming and the trees sprouting fresh green leaves – Can’t beat blighty in the summer:)
Enjoy the rest of your trip!

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Kate May 16, 2010 at 4:51 PM

Your writing made me chuckle. And your description of Surfers Paradise vaguely reminds me of Aspen, Colorado, the place where I keep as post office box (albeit not a home, I’m kind of a professional gypsy). It’s a skiers paradise so overrun with Gucci and Dior that the skiing part is overshadowed.

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AdventureRob May 21, 2010 at 1:20 PM

Kate – Thanks for comment :-) It is a shame when things like that happen. It takes away what made the place special to start with.

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