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Travel Notes | In Defence of the Goldie AKA Gold Coast

Two things to add some context before we crack on. Thing one; I live in a small inland mining town in Cornwall England that isn’t exactly the most glamorous town in the county and I was born in Birmingham, living there for the first seven years of my life. Thing two; Gold Coast doesn’t begin and end at Surfers Paradise and isn’t all about throwing shakas, big lips and fake boobs.

Give me Gold Coast any day over pretty much anywhere in the UK. It has Hinterland, and lots of it including Springbrook and Lamington National Parks. It’s got a coastline (clue’s in the name!) with tons of beautiful spots and lookouts where we saw some Whales splashing about, no big deal. It’s got nightlife, not that we opted for that but I am led to believe you can have a good night out in any number of spots from Coolangatta up to Surfers. It’s got a cool dam. It has areas where housing is affordable. Oh and it’s got The Collective and Stable that both do amazing food in their own rights…and…OUTLETS!

Gold Coast isn’t all about throwing shakas, big lips and fake boobs.

Our first week is in a hotel on Tallebudgera Creek in Palm Beach. First thing we (well, me!) spot is the nature, you get used to the bin chickens but at first seeing an ibis around every corner is pretty jarring as it’s a stunning bird that doesn’t really look built for bins. You’ll then see the kookaburras, preceded by hearing their insane monkey-sounding chants. Rainbow lorikeets and gigantic fruit bats are as prominent as pigeons are in England. Oh and miner birds, lovely birds that again Aussies just totally ignore. It’s like an Aussie going mad for a Jack Daw I guess.

The coffee and food is off the scale in the Goldie. With good coffee comes good breakfast and the two go hand in hand everywhere on the Gold Coast.

We ate in so many good places that I forget them all but some stand-outs in my memory are the aforementioned Stable and The Collective sitting proudly in my memories alongside Custard Canteen, OSushi, Binna Burra Tea Room, Robina Mall food court (everything there!), Hinz Dam Café and Hudson & Rosie’s Table just to name a few.

Close to our hearts at Part Wild is of course surfing and Gold Coast isn’t without its surf spots. Kirra is great with Elephant Rock and the nearby Creek for downtime. Snapper Rocks and Greenmount Point are easily accessible from any of the free parking bays in Coolie and Duranbah Beach can be accessed from the Tweed River side which was pretty quiet when we visited in Australia’s winter, better than most the UK summertime!

Back to nature. In our second week we headed to Hinz Dam, which became a semi-regular spot. As well as being backlit by the mountains of Lamington National Park, the water is home to pelicans and cormorants while the dry side of the dam is inhibited by Kangaroos and Wallabies in their natural habitat, which is a stunning thing to see for a Brit.

The weather. Gold Coast locals might have been wearing more than us but averages of around 22-23 degrees C with cold nights is perfect. We were there for 28 days and had three days of rain.

The people. Everybody is friendly, willing to help and sometimes offer you many a money-saving tip. Big props to THAT bus driver and THAT kiosk lady at the train station.

On that note, the public transport is great too. With a train line running from the end point of Gold Coast all the way to the airport it means it’s easy to get to Brisbane and a good option for your flights in and out. The buses are cheap and the Go Card system (similar to London’s Oyster Card) is super simple to use and cost effective if you use it a few times.

Lamington National Park will blow your mind. Stunning views and forest areas to hike around, I wish we had more time to explore. You can park at Binna Burra Tea Room and start and finish your day with coffee/tea/ale/wine and food. Natural Bridge at Springbrook is a must and decent walk into part of the National Park with a few circular options.

One final bonus reason and tip – head over with an empty suitcase and make a beeline for the outlets. The prices are INSANE and you can get yourself a new wardrobe while being able to buy the exact right clothes for the weather.

So Gold Coast is more than fine by me! Now enjoy some noisy miners, bin dippers, monkey impersonators and see what lies at the bottom of the tea cup...

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