Wandering around Surfers Paradise
Strange that VT expects whatever I add here is a "Favourite Thing"! Surfers is a great place for people-watching as I have mentioned, but it’s also interesting just to look at the high-rise developments which have taken over. Most of these are apartment blocks, either for rental by tourists or for permanent accommodation. There are hotels to backpacker hostels, catering for all levels of financial status.
I do have to wonder though, at the need for all these high-rise buildings, which I find totally incompatible with my idea of what beaches are about. Most of all, apart from the need to say “ours is the biggest” whatever justification is there for buildings such as the Q1 tower, Australia’s highest building at 77 floors and (as it is claimed) the highest residential tower in the world?
During your walk around Surfers, you also will no doubt see the sign just above the entry to the famous beach. It may not quite rank in terms of global recognition or scale with the big sign saying “Hollywood” on the hills, but it is well known in this part of the world. That’s it in the top photo for this tip.
Tweed Heads Clubs & Pubs
Coolangatta (In Queensland) and Tweed Heads (New South Wales) are completely alongside each other, but separated by the State border defined in 1863 – and now marked by the large concrete structure (monument?) in the main photo. The border check gate (for agricultural pests) has long disappeared and Coolangatta and Tweed Heads now are often referred to as the Twin Towns.
But the border has had some significance over the years at a social level. One of Australia’s curiousities is how different States have had diffferent laws in certain areas: and how the population have responded! Look again at the border marker in photo 2 and you will see, on the right, a large sign welcoming you to New South Wales. Immediately behind the sign is a largish modern building. There’s a better photo of it in photo 3, where you will see that it is in fact part of the Twin Towns Club. This became a very popular destination for Queenslanders and other holidaymakers when NSW introduced poker machines many years ago – but other States did not at the time. So gambling produced a surge of visitors to Tweed Heads and the Club membership and facilities grew enormously with dining rooms, concert halls, sporting facilities and so on.
A somewhat similar custom applied years earlier, when Queensland had a legal drinking age of 21 while south of the border it was 18. “Rumour has it” that crowds of young people headed south to the pubs and clubs across the border for their first ‘legal’ drinks.
While you are driving throughout Queensland's Gold Coast, remind yourself to stop off and take a few pictures. There are plenty of turn offs in the road, so you should feel safe.
This shot is from the roadside between O'Reilly's Guesthouse and Binna Burra in Lamington National Park. In the background you can really see the blue haze that is caused by the Eucalyptus trees. Luckily for us, the Koala Bears are doing a great job eating as much Eucalyptus as possible before this blue air starts affecting us too greatly.
Thank you Koalas!
Brisbane International Airport
Although Brisbane Airport is not the closest airport to the Gold Coast, this is typically the airport you will end up landing at if you are coming from further than Sydney or Melbourne. Brisbane is the International Arrival Airport for Queensland, so it is important to know about it. Brisbane's Airport Code is BNE, so if you are searching for flights on Zuji or one of the airline's websites, you can effectively search.
The most popular airlines that service Brisbane are:
Air New Zealand
On the border
The Latitude 28 Cafe is right on the Queensland/New South Wales border at the geographical location of its namesake.
Their address is at Coolangatta in Queensland but you could take one step to the side and then be at Tweed Heads in New South Wales.
So you could be having your breakfast in one state while the guy sitting right next to you could be in another!
But it's a great location to enjoy a bite to eat or a freshly brewed coffee while you enjoy the view over the wide expanse of the blue Pacific Ocean.
Open 7 days a week from 7am to 4pm. Sausages and eggs with crisp pieces of fresh toast spread with real butter and hot coffee.
Breakfast - $10
Coffee - $3.00
View - priceless