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Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
Surfer's Paradise Beaches

 

 

Surfer's Paradise Beach, Gold Coast, Australia

Surfer's Paradise Australia, the Gold Coast.

 

Brisbane   Sydney    Cairns

 

Australia's famous impersonation of Miami, Surfer's Paradise (a suburb of the Gold Coast) is - like Miami - actually a pretty good place to hang out so long as you're not a die-hard nature fan. The sun shines a lot more than down south in Sydney, the water's warmer, the beaches are bigger, the sand is finer, the surf is steady and prices are reasonable.

If you can forget culture and cute low-rise Victorian architecture for a while the Gold Coast rocks and the waves roll, as many backpackers will attest though it's certainly true that this is more of a retiree and family destination than, for example, Cairns or Airlie Beach.

 

Gold Coast surf school, Surfer's Paradise,  Australia

Student surfers on big, light boards. Surfer's Paradise is a popular place to learn the how to handle waves, though sometimes...

Families and people looking for ditzy, glitzy thrills are also attracted by the Gold Coast's collection of theme parks second only to north Florida's cluster, starring Sea World, Wet 'n' Wild, Warner Bros Movie World and Dreamworld. When the mercury is high these parks are a kid magnet.

 

Freaky waves at Surfer's Paradise Beach, Gold Coast, Australia

...the waves are a little bigger and hairier than usual. These unruly rollers were the result of an offshore cyclone (storm).

 

 

The Gold Coast climate is practically identical to Brisbane's a few miles north, just a touch cooler in summer (November - February) and warmer in winter. Similarly summertime sees rain every other day and frequent cloud but winter (June - August) gets rain one out of every four days, albeit a short, brutal tropical storm type of rainfall rather than a British drizzle without end. In other words the Gold Coast gets better weather than Brisbane, along with less mosquitoes and more breeze. So...winter is our choice of best time to be in Surfer's paradise, failing that, the elbow months of May, June, September, October for a little more heat and a few more rainy days.

 

Gold Coast surf rescue team, Surfer's Paradise, Australia

On Australian beaches you can be sure someone will always be watching!

Gold Coast inland

A little know fact, by casual tourists anyway, is that behind the Gold Coast high rises lurk mountains, gorges, waterfalls and subtropical rainforest including 160km (100 mls) of hiking tracks and 15m high tree-top walks, award-winning wineries and a gourmet food and wine trail, but hey, who cares when there's glam 'n' glitz overload by the beach.

The Gold Coast generally is not a bad year-round destination though Surfer's Paradise becomes very noisy, pricey and overcrowded during the Christmas summer holiday December - January, and IndyCar race days in October when Surfer's is turned into a road-racetrack.

 

low tide surfer's paradise beach, Australia

Yes, it's a toddler's paradise too.

As for backpackers, the Gold Coast is much, much bigger than most cities in Australia and 'packers won't just stumble onto a budget hotel scene, they'll need to search for it as the coastal strip is lined with dozens of massive all-inclusive Gold Coast hotels that are well located for surfing, sun-lounging and shopping but provide nothing in the way of budget accommodation.

For Gap Year travellers and others looking for cheap accommodation and food they should look a little further south at Burleigh Heads or Coolangatta which are lower-rise and more laid back but still offer good surf.

 

 

Sydney Pictures, Australia

Surfer's Paradise central pedestrian area.

 

 

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