In honour of the tenth anniversary of the year I spent travelling around Australia and New Zealand, I am sharing these articles which were originally published elsewhere. I have to say, this one is pretty funny. Some of it I don’t remember, but it’s funny ready over what my impression of these things was at the time.
Surfers’ Paradise is approximately 1.5 hours on the train from Brisbane and is meant to be a hedonistic playground. In theory, that’s what it is. There is a Casino with its own dedicated monorail, an entire district devoted to clubs and pubs, and there are theme parks. The weather was not so great when I was in Surfers’, so I didn’t actually go surfing. I did go to Sea World though. I guess I wanted to see more animals. I saw birds such as Pelicans in “rehab”, Sea Lions in a lame yet entertaining show, polar bears, various species of fish including sharks, star-fish, and rays. The best and most impressive animals (to me anyway) were the dolphins. They are just so intelligent and love to perform. Their trainers love them too, because unlike most people, they are easy to train. I also enjoyed the waterskiing show. What would an American-style theme-park with its own man-made lake be without a waterskiing show? Sea World was the one theme park I allowed myself to go to. There were others, but I can only do one overpriced theme-park per 5-years and since this one was rehabilitating pelicans, dolphins, and other animals. Movie World, as far as I knew, wasn’t even rehabilitating movie stars.
This wasn’t the only thing I did in Surfers. I spent some time standing on the beach watching the waves and the brave surf-school students, and walking around just soaking up the atmosphere. The hostel I stayed at tried to go along with the hedonistic theme. They picked me up from the train station in a limo, which would have been nice if it didn’t seem like it was falling apart (maybe my standards for limos are too high). A limo is also fairly impractical for carrying people and their luggage, but one can squeeze a surprising number of people-with-luggage into this vehicle. The hostel also organized group nighttime outings, which were great for meeting new people. Overall, I had fun here and would like to return with a large group of friends and become nocturnal, or not sleep at all. It might just depend on the weather.