Surfers Paradise doesn’t sound like a bad place to visit when you need a break from busy Sydney, am I right? Unfortunately, I didn’t get to surf because of strong winds, but I still made the best of my two-and-a-half day excursion to the Gold Coast.
After checking into my hostel, Surf n Sun Beachside Backpackers (which I highly recommend) I went for a quick swim in the ocean and checked out downtown. The Surfers Paradise sign at the end of Cavill Avenue is a must see photo-op.
The hostel did a great job hosting and getting everyone ready for the night’s activities. Thursday night at Melbas is a great atmosphere, plus the $3 AUD Coronas isn’t a bad deal for the traveler on a budget. After Melbas, Michele (a girl in the hostel from Canada) made our way to another club where Sean Kingston was randomly performing! Ironically, we got fire burning on the dance floor.
The next day I adventured to a neighboring town called Burleigh Heads and went for a coastal walk through Burleigh National Park. The park gives beautiful views of the Gold Coast skyline. You can also come across wild turkeys and bearded dragons!
Burleigh Heads has a lot of awesome shops and restaurants. I ate at a place called California Tacos, which was exciting because Australia is lacking big time in Mexican food. The girl working the counter was from San Diego as well; small world! This was the first burrito I have had in Australia that actually had french fries in it, so definitely recommend!
Next stop was the SkyPoint Observation Deck, a lookout on the 77th floor of a skyscraper. For $25 AUD and a 30 second elevator ride you get amazing views of the city, and a breathtaking selfie (or three). Go around 6 p.m. so you catch the sunset!
- When flying from Sydney get the train to Mascot Station and walk to the airport (if flying domestic) or Uber/cab if going international (this will save you the $15 fee for taking the train to the airport). By doing a simple google search you can usually find a cheaper way to any airport (when flying home I got to Brisbane airport for $4.73 because I took the train and bus to a shopping mall where they had a free shuttle going to the airport).
- The GoCard (public transportation card in Gold Coast/Brisbane) cost $10 AUD but you get that back (and any remaining balance) if you return your card at select stores.
- If you’re planning to do Gold Coast/Brisbane together, plan to leave Gold Coast on the train to Brisbane on a Saturday/Sunday because the train is only $7 AUD.
Thank you for reading! And remember, don’t be afraid to walk your own path!
Dillon Morgan is pursuing a bachelors degree in kinesiology. This fall he is studying functional anatomy, exercise rehabilitation and sport medicine at University of Technology, Sydney.