What’s the first thing you think of when you hear the words “Surfers Paradise”? Before having visited Australia I would have said sandy beaches, surfers and sun. But after hearing what the locals think I began to envisage neon-lit nightclubs, fried food and binge drinking. Now, I’m not snubbing any of these three things – I love a boogie. I also love bacon. And I have been known to enjoy a tipple or two. But everything in moderation, right?
The more I spoke about Surfers, the more the recommendations to keep away from Surfers altogether flooded in. But I couldn’t go to the Gold Coast and not see it for myself. I did, however, bring the booking down to two nights and for the rest of my stay, I chose Coolangatta. And here’s why I loved it:
- Basking on the beautiful beaches – I may have ended up with a strawberry pink coloured tan line on my buttocks from too much sun bathing, but it was worth it
- Sipping coffee in Cooly’s quirky cafes – My favourite of which is called the Sunhouse. Grab an ice cold latte and log on to the complimentary Wi-Fi if you have things to do “on the line”
- Surfing / watching surfers – The latter I did more of, I’ll be honest. But it was awesome to give surfing a go at Snapper Rocks – even if it felt like I was being attacked by the waves 90% of the time. It’s also pretty chill to go down to Kirra or Snapper and watch others do it properly
- Feeling the heat – The weather was scorchio during my stay. But being by the beach made the sun more bearable. Worth noting that there’s a hole in the O-zone layer, so you need to be layering on that factor 50 every half hour…especially if you’re transparent, like me.
- Staying at Coolangatta Sands Hotel – This became my home for the week. It’s where I met an awesome group of people and had one of the best times I have had so far in Australia. The hotel is a hostel. Don’t let the name confuse you. During peak season it works out as roughly $200 for the week. There’s a great balcony area where most people congregate throughout the night and day – and this area was certainly what made it for me. Plus this hostel seems to attract like-minded, wicked people!