Photo credit: gags9999 via Foter.com / CC BY
THE GOLD COAST AUSTRALIA-MY FIRST IMPRESSION
Arguably the most frequented holiday destination in Australia, The Gold Coast to me, has been simply a pretty picture on a post card as chance has ensured it has eluded me.
Recently, I was fortunate to have had the opportunity check it out with my own eyes. In my experience, impressions of this city over the years have been very much a mixed bag of extremes. Either they’d never go anywhere else, or they’d never go back.
I was very keen to ‘feel’ this city for myself and form my own opinion. Although I understand it’s almost impossible to judge the feel of a place in a couple of days, I was struck by the immediate impact it had on me.
One thing is for sure, this city was far from ordinary.
A city built on the beach, it was feeling a lot like a land of spectacular extremes.
An expanse of high rised apartment buildings lined the perfect, pristine white sand for as far as the eye could see.
I would really like to emphasise here, that the scenery is actually BETTER than a post card. None of the pretty pictures I have ever seen have come close to doing it justice, and I’m absolutely serious about that.
A truly spectacular, breath taking scene in its own special way.
I found myself unable to look away, as my eyes were captivated with the stark contrast of countless majestic man made monstrosities, and the absolutely most spectacular beaches I had ever seen without an ounce of exaggeration.
It appeared to be so perfect.
The outside air temperature was 30 degrees, the waves were perfectly real, with surfers lapping up the tubes, boogie boarders riding the white water, and swimmers paddling in between the flags. Beach goers lay on towels with coconut oil on their bodies, Ray Bans and a good book.
I watched a group of young surfers exit the waves with their boards. A total Aussie cliche. Bronzed skin, shiny sun bleached long blonde hair, an attractive body shape and a naughty, playful attitude only an Aussie ‘Sgeg’ could pull off.
Like the great Aussi pub on every corner in the outback, the Gold Coast has a night club, a surf lifesaving club and an apartment building on every corner.
So far, it exuded an energy that to me, was strangely addictive.
‘The land of the beautiful people’.
Coffee in the main drag of Surfers paradise overlooked the picture perfect ocean, and a professional game of beach volleyball, much to the absolute delight of the surrounding spectators.
Interestingly, the longer I sat, the more my impression of this place changed.
Maserati, Lamborghini, Ferrari. They were everywhere. Egotistical wealth oozed from every street corner.
Men draped in Gold, carrying loud music, followed closely by an entourage of women and young men dressed in black, moving with what I call ‘The walk’, with a fag balancing in their mouth and a cap resting backwards on their heads, stood around and claimed their position in the street.
Young girls all with blonde hair, short shorts, headphones, Botox bottoms, perky busts, and rollerblades decorated the footpaths.
I saw a 20 odd year old drunk, who could pass for 60 with a full beard, a brown paper bag, and a wasted mind, barely cross the street in search of the next drink I suppose, his only sure thing.
Sand shoes hung off power lines to indicate there was a dealer in the area, one street back from the beach.
So what then is my opinion of the Gold Coast, having now seen it?
Mixed bag. I’d definitely return.
Stunning. Worth visiting. Worth enjoying. An enormous expanse of natural beauty, high energy, youthful, exciting, unique, a place where fun has no limits, a place you just have to experience to believe.
Pretentious, wealthy, tragic, fake, egotistical, attracts enormous vulnerability and those searching for quick fix happiness.
It’s Australia’s Los Angeles.
I guess it all depends on what one is looking for, what one’s personal experiences have been, and what is one’s personal taste.