Back in April I took myself to the Gold Coast for a few nights as a short break to see some theme parks and get away from work. I stayed in the town of Southport (or is it a suburb?) not far from the hustle and bustle of Surfer’s Paradise, the main Gold Coast town (you might even call it city) known for its high rise buildings, clubs, beaches and the like.
It was a reasonable location, I chose it principally as I saved a few bucks by not staying in the heart of Surfer’s. There is a tram/light rail that travels from Broadbeach South to Helensville (where you catch the buses for the theme parks) and it goes through Surfer’s and Southport on the way, so it’s reasonably well connected without having to take a taxi or uber which is really handy, and in fact, the whole time I was there I never needed a taxi/uber – Broadbeach South stop is connected to the airport bus, so it’s actually all pretty handy in my opinion.
Surfer’s has plenty for those who are looking for a bit of fun – there are pubs and clubs galore if you’re looking to party, it’s well known as a party hub and it’s the main place that those finishing year twelve head to for what is known as ‘Schoolies’ at the end of the final year of school – unless that’s you I do not recommend heading to Surfer’s Paradise around that time of the year!
For me, I only had a short time to check out Surfer’s this time around. It was a busy time of the year, and Surfer’s was truly busy too – I couldn’t get into the place I wanted to eat (and feature in the upcoming vlog which will be out in a couple of months) the Brazilian BBQ Bar and Grill, which I visited last time I was in town and it was brilliant. I wanted to have a look around the town, but with time a bit short I wasn’t sure exactly what to do.
What was there to see and do? I had been to the Q Tower before, but it was the best place to go for views and for a typical touristy thing to do in Surfer’s, and up to the Skydeck I went. This time around the weather wasn’t so good. It was overcast and it had rained on and off. It was getting to the end of the day too, but it wasn’t such an issue as things are generally open into the evening in Surfer’s Paradise.
The views were okay, but a bit gloomy this time around, and the price was $29, so on par with the Eureka Tower here in Melbourne, bloody expensive in my personal opinion. There’s a bit more room on the Skydeck though, it’s more spacious and I could enjoy a glass of wine whilst looking out over the Pacific Ocean, which was nice!
Anyways, I went for a walk along the beach, albeit a short one. Again, the weather wasn’t conducive to good photos, and there was a little bit of activity but not a heap. Considering this was Easter Weekend and parts of the Gold Coast were packed out, perhaps a surprise. I haven’t actually been in the Gold Coast water straight off Surfer’s – don’t know if there’s anything out there (well, if you go out far enough sharks) in terms of sealife. But the waves crash because, well, it’s called ‘Surfer’s Paradise’ for a reason I guess!
Inside Surfer’s you’ll find bowling, mini-golf and such places for a bit of light fun. Passed a couple of mini-golf places, outdoors so when the rain comes they aren’t so great. Star City is the main casino if that’s your vibe. I think we’ve already established it’s not mine so much lol!
There are countless options for eating. I highly recommend the Brazilian BBQ Bar and Grill if you’re a carnivore, the Shiraz Persian Restaurant and Bar is another place I tried previously which gains a big thumbs up for me. I wandered around a bit looking for a place to eat and settled on a place called ‘Steampunk’.
I liked the concept, it had a few things that were definitely ‘steampunkish’ – a little like the film ‘Wild Wild West’ which is famous for being bad but frankly I didn’t mind it. Copper pipes and wheels and so forth. What it exactly is a bit of a bar I guess with food. I had a pretty good steak there, a wine and a coke, and it came to just under $100AUD, so around $70USD, which frankly is a LOT. One of the reasons was that because it was a public holiday they charged an extra 15% I think it was. This is standard practice in Australia these days I should warn people, a lot of places charge this on public holidays and occasionally you’ll find places that charge extra for a Sunday. The justification is that staff have to be paid more on those days, however I think it’s a bit steep and will only end with people staying home on public holidays. I mean some places are so popular that it won’t affect them. And in a holiday location like the Gold Coast I guess it doesn’t any way. They changed the rates officially a few years ago an in hospitality you don’t get the same rates as you used to (it’s been lessened) for Sundays and Public Holidays, and if it really is affecting business’s bottom lines, well don’t open on those days.
Feels like a cash grab to me this place was pumping and it was early – I ate at 630pm. By the time I left the was a huge queue waiting for space to be free to be let in. So frankly, not struggling to make money.
As I ate my steak I looked across and I could see this sort of ‘big swing’ thing between two poles lit with blue light. People were being flung into the air and it looked like a pretty awesome thing to do on the Gold Coast. Not something I would do, I should say, but well, woah! Apparently it’s called the ‘Sing Shot’, which seems an appropriate name, and you are flung into the air at 160 km/h which is definitely something that I don’t need in my life. But hey – it might be YOUR thing! There’s also a centre called ‘iFly’, which apparently we have here in Melbourne, not attached to the sling shot, where they pump air upwards and you put on a suit and hover. I could conceivably try that one day I guess…
But I did want to try something a bit different, and at my hotel I had looked through all the different brochures and found one for a place called ‘Infinity’. It was inside a mall, and was a…. how do I describe it? An immersive laser experience in the dark. It was open late, which suited my purposes, so I thought I would give this a go.
There was a bit of a wait – I think about forty minutes. Again, another $29 which I’m not sure it’s worth. What the hell is ‘Infinity’, well you put on little protective booties over your feet and got into a labyrinth. There are lasers and lights, it’s a bit of a maze but not one you can really get lost in. Sometimes it’s really dark and you have to feel your way around. Sometimes the floors is like a jumping castle (most of the time it’s not), there’s weird new age music playing (sort of like ‘Guru Josh’ – remember that guy??? You probably don’t as it was 1990 – 1990s – time for the guru ah ooh ah ohh) Anyhoo, it took about 20-25 minutes to make my way through it and find myself at the exit. I guess it was fun, probably more fun for kids than adults although most of the patrons were of adult age.
So that was my exploration, albeit a brief one, of Surfer’s Paradise. Enough to keep you amused for a day or two, or if you like to party, much longer I dare say. Thanks for reading and popping by on this July day wherever you may be! Take care, and May the Journey Never End!