Queensland: The Gold Coast

After 10 months stuck in New South Wales I FINALLY made it out to Queensland. All you Americans may be thinking, what? why can’t you cross state lines? Well there is this thing called COVID19 and each state loves giving the middle finger to any state that has a small “outbreak” of cases. Currently as a country we are tracking 2 weeks at 0 cases locally so amen!

I first crossed over from Byron to the Gold Coast. This region is basically miles and miles of coastal beaches from Coolangatta all the way up to technically Cairns. I got myself a week Airbnb right in the heart of Surfers Paradise ready to swim everywhere.

Surfer’s Paradise is basically what a mini Times Square would be if it was sea side. There’s a main strip full of all the classic chains: Krispy Kream, 7-11, Baskin Robins. It is a bit unnerving actually walking around there. It is also a destination mostly for teenagers on their school holiday’s. I 100% wouldn’t recommend it except for the fact that it is really cheap and walking distance (read New Yorker walking) to all the other amazing beaches. If you do find yourself in the Brisbane area, head down to Gold Coast and check out these neighborhoods.

Burleigh Heads

This area hosts all the bars and restaurants and cafes you’d ever need. It has that beach town vibe with a little something extra. The Pavilion sits right on the water and transitions from a gorgeous spot to sip a beer and have a snack for lunch to THE place to party when the sunsets.

Olivia and I were luckily enough when we went out one night there. The line was down the street and we had no idea how long we would be waiting. As we were whinging (read complaining but in Aussie) these 6 Balinese guys offered for us to join them on line. We snuck in and met our new friends. They were celebrating their friend’s birthday and were worried since there were so many of them as a group of men they wouldn’t get in. Happy to be the decoy here.

We got in quickly and started to celebrate the birthday and the night. The boys bought us rounds and we danced to the DJ. A packed club with music and dancing hasn’t been allowed in Sydney for some time so I felt revived.

Besides the night life Burleigh Heads has the same beautiful blue green waters the whole Gold Coast hosts. It also is where the National Park walk begins. You walk through the beautiful trees seeing crystal blue water along the coast line. It ends where the ocean meets a creek, Tallebudgera Creek specifically. Here you can bask and lounge in the shallow waters without worrying about the waves only surfer’s dream of. Perfect for families or groups of Brazilians, of both there were plenty.

Nobby & Miami

The beach town next door became my personal favorite. Not that this beach is anything different because honestly from Surfers down there seemed no difference to me. What stands out here are the bars and restaurants. Normally your coastal beach town has a local pub, life saver’s club (also pub), and a “hotel” (also a pub). All of these have beautiful views and a chicken parma.

If you are after something a bit different Miami Marketta is the destination. This place is a converted warehouse with graffiti artwork on every wall. Each area is themed with a different design, style of furniture and beautiful 20ft artwork to go along with it. Besides that they have live music and a street fair style of food.

We ate gozleme (turkish dish similar to a quesadilla in style), barbecue pork, jackfruit and beef sliders, and thai all while a beautiful Brazilian man plays music on the stage. Basically everything I ever want in one beautiful location. Just around the corner are another host of bars with fun themes and delicious cocktails. Cambus Wallace is the place to go if you are desperate for a whiskey made right.

Spring Brook National Park

Besides eating, drinking, and sun bathing, there is hiking right by. Spring Brook National Park has many many hikes but we decided to test the waters with the short 4k Twin Falls hike one overcast day. The humidity was high when we trekked out down this mountain but it was worth it. Halfway in you are greeted by the Twin Falls. Pending the rain from the season this can be just one fall but luckily with La Nina this year Australia is seeing loads of rain.

We swam in the refreshing waters and listened to the water cascading around us. The walk is well maintained and easy enough for most families. There is a longer route available that I would love to give a try. Also if you come around sunset you can find glow worm caves but alas, that can be for another time.

With a week down in the Gold Coast it was time to say goodbye and make my way up to Toowoomba to search for sunflower fields. Traveling during a pandemic has been more spontaneous than any planning I have ever done before. The next day could bring a complete lockdown of whatever city I am in or some dramatic response regarding my tourist visa request. Either way I continue booking just one week in advance with a hopeful heart.

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