No theme parks for me. I’m way past that. No sea world, no zoos. I hate watching animals behind caged areas or aquariums. And absolutely no swimming here this cold winter. Oh, there were sunny spells the day after we arrived but the next day, it rained the whole day! Arrrrghhhh. Evenings, our nerves were soothed by the sound of waves lapping against the shore. The moon went hiding most nights, as did the stars. But sunrises never failed to enchant.
Gold Coast for kids. Check! Gold Coast for surfers. Check! Gold Coast for shoppers. Check! I’m none of these so what gives? Well, the warmer clime is most welcome especially in winter, despite the rain. And you can hardly notice how far you’ve walked because of the pleasant weather, the interesting skyline and the mesmerizing seascape. The shore stretches for many kilometers, with plenty access tracks. The G-link tram is one good way to hop from beach to beach if you’re not keen about walking.
The hotels here range from backpacker hostels and motorist inns to 5* accommodations. Ours was right smack in Surfers Paradise which is…… truly a surfers’ paradise. The day after we arrived when the sun was out, the sky clear, and the temps high enough, many locals and tourists took to the beach. Some donned their scuba gear, others their fishing gear, and some rode the waves in their surfboards. Still others put on their cycling shorts to bike around the ocean boulevard. Lovely, clear day also meant scoops of gelato. Yum.
Gold Coast runs a very efficient tram — and the cleanest one I’ve ever ridden! It was a breeze riding public transport from the Coolangatta Airport to Crowne Plaza Gold Tower. Buses waited just in front of the exit gate of the Domestic Airport Terminal. The 777 bus took us from the airport to Broadbeach South where we transferred to the G – link tram for Florida Garden. Right across the tram station is our hotel. How convenient is that! If you have the go explore card (Au$10 unlimited rides for a day) you go free on the buses and tram. With the same card, you can scour the whole length of Gold Coast Highway using the tram which stops at Northcliffe, Surfers Paradise, Cavill Street, all the way to Griffith University and the Gold Coast Hospital. Absolutely good value!
Be sure to get your Go Explore $10 Card for unlimited rides at the Gold Coast Airport (Coolangatta) or any 7 Eleven outlet. Failing that, you can just purchase paper tickets from the tram stations or as you board the bus. The same stretch (airport to our hotel) costs Au$8.60 for the single ride. Still way cheaper than the $65 fixed rate taxi ride, or the airport shuttle rate of Au$23 per person.