I have one more pre-Australia Auckland post queued up, but I decided to call an audible and start with the Australia posts now. I haven’t quite decided how I’m going to divide these up, but I wanted to get the Aussie party started!
So anyway, my trip to Oz. The SPA (South Pacific and Australian) region of the International Churches of Christ held a retreat at the Gold Coast in late August. I wasn’t really planning on heading to Australia this early in my New Zealand adventure, but I wanted to go to the retreat on its own merits, so I figured I might as well make a proper trip of it. The fact that I would be meeting a ton of people I could then use for free lodging and guided tours was also taken into consideration :)
I spent my first night in Gold Coast (a midsize resort and tourist city about an hour South of Brisbane) in a resort hotel with two guys from the church in Sydney. This is the view from our balcony.
I understand that a golf course and artificial pond do not constitute the sort of natural beauty I strive to post here, but as a mountain boy, those peaks in the background are too beautiful to pass up.
The next morning, we drove up to a tourist-spot-within-the-tourist-spot called Surfer’s Paradise, referred to by locals just as Surfer’s — possibly because of the generally laconic Australian elocution, or possibly to avoid having Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise” run through their heads every time they say it. Surfer’s is the beach destination, which is a pretty impressive distinction for a town in an island nation. It also features many interesting tall buildings, most of which unsurprisingly seem to be hotels.
Despite it being Winter, we lucked out considerably on the weather. Queensland claims to be the Sunshine State, and having been to both Florida and Queensland, you know what? Queensland can have it.
Not exactly the Burj Khalifa, but it’ll do.
I’m not a surfer, but this area could make a plausible claim at paradise status for any variety of beach lover.
That’s my first impression of Gold Coast! There’s one more GC post coming next (featuring some hiking and rock climbing!) and then we’ll move on to Brisbane. See you then!