Surfers Paradise: that guy at the party that actually is the party. He’s a blast to be around, easy on the eyes, and a smooth talker. He’s a little over confident that he can get any girl’s number (which he can) and uses a tad too much Axe body spray (but you don’t mind). If you had just one word to describe him, you'd pick "fun."
When my Greyhound bus pulled into our stop, the beautiful beaches, myriad of high rises right on the coastal line, and bustling nightlife I encountered made me confused as to whether I was in Surfer’s Paradise or Miami. The Gold Coast of Australia is known for its many tourist attractions, sunny atmosphere, and good old fashioned fun. Here's what to do to ensure you take advantage of your time here!
Learn to Surf
When in Rome, am I right? I took a two hour class at Cheyne Horan’s School of Surf. There are a bunch of surf schools in Surfer’s Paradise, as you would expect, but I recommend this one because of it's limited class size and staff expertise. There were only about 5 other people in my class, whereas a lot of the other schools we saw on the beach had around twenty. Way too many fish in the sea if you ask me. The bond I made with my three teachers, who were so dedicated to getting me to ride my first Australian wave, is what made this experience such a wonderful memory for me to take away.
Wet N’ Wild
My best friend Lauren and I decided to be nine year olds for the day and go to Wet N’ Wild. If you watched The Inbetweeners 2 yet like I recommended in my last blog, Byron Bay Breezes, you’ll see why we wanted to go. If you haven't watched it yet, stop dilly dallying! The rides are pretty much the same as any other theme park you've been to before, to be honest, but the atmosphere of the city makes the experience totally new.
Wicked Pub Crawl
One of the first things you’ll notice about Surfer’s is that every street corner has a pub crawl promoter. You should be warned that these guys are the most eager and flirty salespeople you’ll ever meet. Lauren and I were able to turn them down six times, but the seventh time we walked by a stand we inevitably caved in. The good thing about their avid solicitation is that you can negotiate down the price of the crawl, so please don't actually try to pay their starting price. I'm glad we caved in, because the crawl was a fun way to see different nightlife and meet a lot of other backpackers. The crawl I went on had food, bowling, beer pong, more food, and silly dance competitions.
Now, Wet N’ Wild and a pub crawl are not the most cultural or mind-broadening activities you could pick to do on your journey, but if you’re going to be indulgent, Surfer’s Paradise is the place to do so. Lots of nature filled adventures are awaiting you in the next town, Noosa, so for now, just have some selfish delights.
Hostel info: Backpackers in Paradise - 4 out of 5 suns. This hostel was really cute and easy going, with a very friendly staff.
cheap dinner options
Favorite person I met along the way: Tim, one of the instructor’s from the surf school who was very dedicated to our success.
Unfortunately, three of my classmates were not quite in their element in the water, no pun intended. They helped Tim prove that with great passion comes great frustration. The combination of his low boiling point (back at it again with the water puns) and my three schoolmates' powerlessness to the strong waves made for a TV- like sitcom. Picture Three Asian Stooges meet Chef Gordon Ramsey.
Fun fact: Each Friday and Saturday night 30,000 people visit the entertainment precinct of Surfer's Paradise. 30,000! Now you see why I put experiencing the nightlife as a must!