Famous for fun

By | Category: Travel destinations

Surfers Paradise

UPDATE: 11/11/2011 The 2018 Commonwealth Games will be held in the Gold Coast making it the fifth time that an Australian city will have hosted the Games.
This is the slogan for the Gold Coast, a draw for Australians for decades. In the 1960’s they introduced meter maids, gold lame, bikini clad girls who topped up the parking meters if you had slightly overstayed your welcome. At this Queensland resort, they were as inventive in attracting attention to themselves then as they are today. (Remember it was Queensland which got worldwide publicity for advertising a warden’s job on an island in the Great Barrier Reef.) Even then, Surfers Paradise, the main tourist draw was where Aussies went for their winter breaks. Then came the visitors from South East Asia who demanded direct flights into the local airport and so an international airport was created. Unlike Heathrow or Manchester, this airport is small and you’ll be through it quickly and out into the sunshine.
Today the Gold Coast has had its busiest year since records began in 1999. Over 11 million visitors came last year and this is likely to be exceeded this year. Given the economic downturn you might say that this is quite an achievement. But Asia and Australia has not been affected as much as we have. Still this traditional Aussie family resort is now spreading its net wider and wants more of us to travel there.
The big attractions are the beaches, the islands and the almost guaranteed sunshine. But this whole area is geared for the tourist with over 65,000 beds, 40 golf courses, over 500 restaurants, a rail link for those who prefer not to drive and, of course, the airport. You can also get there via the rail link at Brisbane Airport which is only an hour away.
Nearby is the largest sub-tropical rainforest, Tamborine, where there is a skywalk showing that the area isn’t just about the beaches and the sea, watersports and the islands. Actually, it is. The rainforest is a bonus.
For Britons who consider going there as an add-on to another Australian destination, consider the bolt-on tickets you can get when you book a Qantas fare. For others, the two main domestic airlines, Virgin Blue and Jet* connect from most of the major ineternational hubs.


image courtsey of Tourism Queensland

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