Surfers Paradise is a metropolis city built on an ocean town. Most of the buildings are high-rise condominiums with stores on the bottom floor. Everything is built up and the beach lines the cityscape. The name Surfers Paradise comes from the waves that are constantly rolling along this coast. There are plenty of surfers to watch surfing, from beginners to professional level.
It’s fun swimming in Surfers Paradise, the waves are strong. It’s not really swimming, it’s more of ducking before the wave overtakes your entire body. A couple of times I wasn’t paying attention and the waves got the best of me. Once I was looking straight ahead at the beach and the next thing I knew, my head slammed face first to the floor underwater and I came up facing another direction. The second time the wave literally picked me up off my feet, knocked my ankles together and put me back down on both feet.
There were stages set up and temporary fences put up along the beach. We stopped a police officer to ask what was going on. He said it was “Schoolies” week. A schoolie is a high school graduate. It was the last day of school and the new graduates celebrate the success of finishing high school. The only way to compare it is Spring Break in America.
The whole town was preparing for the thousands of young adults. Restaurants offered schoolie specials and the condos and hotels were booked for the upcoming week. A huge concert performance on the beach is just for the schoolies. We left the day they all arrived. We were told Byron Bay is the other city that gets hit the hardest with schoolies besides Surfers Paradise.
Things haved change since my last visit to Surfers Paradise. Now it is full of high-rise condo buildings and shops geared towards tourist and local condo life. I really enjoy the beaches and being on the Gold Coast in general.
Asian tourism is very popular in Surfers Paradise. We took advantage of that and dined at some of the local Asian restaurants. Not only did these save us money, the food was delicious. This is where we first tried kangaroo meat. The meat is served on a skewer and grilled on an open flame. This was some of the best meat I’ve ever had. I’m not sure if it was the teriyaki marinade or the meat itself but it was sweet and tender. After the second skewer, I felt horrible about what I was eating and couldn’t eat anymore.
One of my favorite birds in Australia is the Australian white ibis. The ibis is a large white bird with black feet and a long black neck and beak. I started seeing them in Brisbane but didn’t realize they were everywhere and considered pests to Australians. These poor creatures are mostly unwanted anywhere they go around people. Anywhere food is served, there they were. I fed them every chance I got even though it pissed people off. They look so prehistoric and exotic that it was hard to ignore them.
Seeing wildlife of any kind is a highlight for me. It’s great to see the progress of Surfers Paradise. I should have known it was too good not to expand into something huge. Even though there are tons of condominiums around, the beach and weather make up for everything.