Updated: Oct 6, 2020
The golden beaches, endless days of summer, copious amounts of surf stretching all along the coastline. Seems like the dream for us all, right? The Gold Coast in Australia is regarded as a well-sought after place. Every year, millions of tourists flock the coast in search of that vivid dream. Surfers Paradise is considered the main hub/breeding ground to those looking for the ‘relaxed’ lifestyle. This Miami-mirrored city prides itself on the sunset dream and ultimate paradise.
This city is far from paradise.
You could say this is a form of Travel Notes flipped on its axis. Usually, Travel Notes include personal experiences and an almost promotion of the places described. It would be unjustified if Surfers Paradise received the same form of treatment while sugar-coating the grime and unorthodox culture this city has manifested. It's fake. Plastic. Booze-ridden. A playground for influencers to thrive and feed. When you strip back the layers to this place, it’s easy to notice the structures on which it stands are slowly crumbling apart.
On the outside, it’s a beautiful city. Without a doubt, there’s a calling to see what adventures lie ahead. The surf is great, this much is true. When compared to the Sunshine Coast, Surfers Paradise holds the better swell. The name Surfers Paradise is a dead giveaway. This place rarely lies flat. A perfect place to visit during the day and to surf and to surf only. Venture further down to Burleigh Heads and find some surf spots favoured by the likes of Mick Fanning, Stephanie Gilmore and Noa Deane. If you are looking for the better surf? Burleigh is the better option, but expect the horde.
As vibrant as this city is during the day, this sin city also flourishes at night. The streets are flooded with punters on a lucrative pub crawl to seek that inevitable blackout. The stag parties, hen parties, Wicked Pub Crawls, and Schoolies, all contribute to the alcohol-driven rampage that litters the streets. The witnessing of fights is inevitable while hitting the bars. The mood is tense, drug-fuelled with testosterone polluting the air as egos try their best to be the top dog. With the crowds already flying on edge, patience is nowhere to be seen. Make the wrong move in front of the wrong person and no amount of apologising will calm the situation.
The influencer scene is at large, its roots buried deep within Surfers Paradise. Within this city, everyone believes they are famous, and it shows. The pitch-perfect pictures, endless hours of poses for the likes, and the self-entitled impact one creates for their ‘followers’. This creates a false experience when visiting, there is always a lucrative hunt to score a better experience as people secretly try to outdo each other. It's false and pretentious, add in the plastic surgery, endless hours sculpting the ‘perfect body’ and unfolding your entire life online for a sense of fame. It's boring and embarrassing to witness deluded individuals feed the feed.
It’s a real shame as visually this city is beautiful, the waters inviting, and a little slice of genuine paradise. Over time, culture has stained and shaped the Gold Coast lifestyle to what it is today. It’s a dark turn around that does not seem to be slowing down soon, so dark in fact. If you were to ask any non-residents if they like Surfers, it’s a guarantee they do not. This 24/7 booze-fuelled city is the perfect invite for those escaping the norm, letting loose, and blowing off some steam for a while.
It’s a young person city with a desire to be rich and famous, but at what cost? The temptation to live and thrive in this place in your younger years can easily get a grip on you. This is from experience. As you get older, you will eventually see Surfers for what it really is; a child’s playground. Every experience, good or bad, is still an experience. Check out Surfers Paradise to see what the hype is all about and who knows, it might just be the place for you.