Tag Archives: Surfers Paradise

Surfers Paradise By Night.

If my brain was somehow in gear, I’d write something about Surfers Paradise or “Surfers” as it’s known. I know a smattering about its history, which also weaves a thread throughout my own history going generations back. My collection to this stretch of golden beaches, its fun parks and nightclubs is coming here for holidays ever since I was a small child, although these days we prefer the serenity of Byron Bay…somewhere quiet and away from the action.

Here I am at Sea World around 1976. Not even a hint of fear!

I first came to Surfers when I was about 7 years old and my hair was too short for pigtails. Mum used to keep it short before I could have a say. I remember staying a few beaches south at Palm Beach and going to the local bakery. My brother would have a Neenish tart and I had a pineapple tart and we both wore Mickey Mouse thongs. Inevitably, we both got badly sunburnt and that’s what I remember most about that holiday…pain! As luck would have it, my Great Aunt and Uncle were property investors back in the Surfers’ property boom back in the 1980’s, which saw the place turn into unit city. That meant we had somewhere very flash to stay. We moved around from Pacific Point to the Golden Gate with it’s two golden yellow stripes down the front. I think it used to be the tallest building in Surfers back in the day.

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Yes! A photo wearing my much loved Mickey Mouse Thongs. My Dad’s mother made my dress.

After I finished my HSC exams and finished school, my friends and I flew up to Surfers and spent the week between the pool, the beach and nightclubbing. They had these motorised scooters you could hire and two of my friends crashed into each other, which dampened their holiday a little but they weren’t badly injured. I remember learning a dance called:  “The Bus Stop”, which took forever for me to learn the moves. No female John Travolta, I was much more adept at the “D & M”but I did enjoy trying to dance all the same. I also remember staying home with the guys who had a Cold Chisel party, while the other girls headed off to a strip show. I had a boyfriend during schoolies who didn’t go. That meant there wasn’t any romance on that trip but that doesn’t mean that Surfers doesn’t have any stories to tell. They’re just not going to be retold.

That’s probably the most important rule about Surfers Paradise. What happens in Surfers stays in Surfers.

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Sunset Behind Surfers Paradise.

I really enjoyed visiting Surfers the other night after my Sister-in-Law’s birthday picnic. I won’t lie and say I hated all the razzle dazzle. I loved it. Just like I loved taking the lift up to the 40 something floor of their hotel to stand out on the balcony and gawk at the view. This place crammed with bright lights, crowds of people along side a breathtaking surf beach, had lost its appeal. Or, a sense for me, of coming home.

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Moon Rising Over Surfers Paradise- Geoff Newton.

Is there a place where you’ve gone on holidays throughout the years that means a lot to you? I’d love to hear your tales and please add links to any relevant posts. After all, holidays have such a special magic and are so wonderful to share.

xx Rowena

Driving to Queensland Via The Long White Line.

This weekend, I finally found out what it’s like to be an Olympic swimmer. Not that I was swimming faster than a turbo-charged Marlin. Rather, I experienced what it would be like swimming up and down the pool hour after hour, fixating on that never-ending black line.

You see, we’ve been cast in an excruciatingly long horror movie driving up and down the Pacific Highway and we’ve been fixating on the broken white line for eternity. Indeed, I can barely remember what it was like to set foot on terra firma and roam free.

Indeed, I’ve been looking at this broken white line and the dull grey bitumen for so long, that they’ve now become permanently imprinted on my retinas. My goodness I’ll be seeing the world through road-coloured lenses for the rest of my life.

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Here I am in Queensland.

Well, you might ask why on earth any sane person would be driving two thousand kilometres over an extended weekend. It was my Sister-In-Law’s sixtieth birthday. I know it probably sounds crazy to drive that far for the weekend. However, we didn’t even think twice. It’s what we do. We love her and the smile on her face was more than worth it. Besides, we had a wonderful time gallivanting around between Byron Bay’s lush green hinterland, admiring the Gold Coast’s glitzy bright lights and savouring high tea Queensland style in Mudgereebah. With a name like that, you could only be in Australia.

What with all this driving, it’s only natural to ask why ecstasy is so fleeting, while tedium lasts forever.

I don’t know.

However, before you start accusing me of being a miserable glass-half-empty sod, I’m hoping we could possibly devise some kind of mechanical lever, which could permanently change the tide. Switch over to a perpetual paradise with only very fleeting, intermittent commercial breaks from all those undesirables…boredom, sadness, grief, pain.

It would be such a relief. If only I could access that lever right now and leave all of that far behind.

However, what we’re needing right now, is an oversized variation of Dr Who’s fabulous flying machine, the Tardis. That way, we’d only have to drive in, park and the next thing, we’d  instantly arrive home. I had considered converting the car into a modernised Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. However, after my application to add supersonic power was denied,  I had to change tack. After all, Chitty barely flies faster than Donald Duck and I want to get home NOW!!

However, I can dream on. We still have 3 hours to go and the hours are getting longer and longer, the closer we get to home. My goodness! We’ve all developed an unhealthy interest in road signs, as the agonisingly slow countdown continues. Nowhere near home, we’re either driving through dull green pastures or eucalypt forest and not one of us is asking: “Are we there yet?” We know. The end is nowhere in sight!

Anyway, we can’t complain too much about the drive. The car is decked out like a mobile entertainment centre. The kids have their electronics, books, colouring-in devices and snacks. You could even call it “fun”. I’ve actually managed to read Roald Dahl’s James & The Giant Peach and Danny Champion of the World as we’ve been driving up and back. Obviously, I’d be getting through my book pile a hell of a lot faster, if we did more of these interminable drives…as long as I was a passenger.

Thank goodness I don’t get car sick.

However, then the sun set and the story changed considerably.

Although we’ve had glorious sunny weather, which would be considered Summer in so many other parts of the world, the day length has been cut brutally short and the sun is setting around 5.00PM. This has left us with two hours of travelling in the dark. Even though my daughter and I both tried capturing all available street and moonlight to read, we soon gave up. The kids’ electronics were flat and so we had to do the old fashioned thing and talk to each other. Develop the fine art of conversation.

I took it as an opportunity to get them talking about their holiday, a precursor to writing their grandparents an old-fashioned letter. “What would you tell your grandparents about what you’ve been up to?” I asked.

When they weren’t saying very much, I launched off with my account. Then, my daughter said that I’d said everything and she had nothing more to add. Hence, she was silent.

All these gurus advising you to spend time listening to your children need their heads read. All I can think of is that infamous quote about NOT working with children and animals!

I was tempted to launch a round of I Spy but we’re all a bit over it. All we wanted to spy was our drive way and our puppy dogs.

Aside from catching up with family and having some fabulous conversations with people we met, here’s a brief photographic snap shot from the trip:

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Surfers Paradise, Queensland By Night.                    Photo Rowena Newton.

Kombi Family

Kombi Dreaming at the Bangalow Markets, Near Byron Bay.

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The Kids at High Tea.

Hope you enjoyed our trip without having to endure the drive!

xx Rowena