A Travellerspoint blog

Surfers Paradise

sunny 28 °C

I arrived in Surfers Paradise on Saturday afternoon. I had heard more negativity about this particular location than anywhere else on my East Coast travels. Most people I spoke to didn’t enjoy their experience and recommended as little time as possible. Unfortunately with 3 big theme parks I couldn’t resist and had to book myself in for a few nights. I expected the worst and thankfully it wasn’t all that bad at all. Yes there are sky high apartment blocks that remind you of the ‘2 Key’ apartments from Gran Canaria. The city centre is packed full of restaurants, bars and clubs – for a moment you could almost think you’re back in Lanzerote on a cheap packaged holiday deal with Budget Travel. In comparison to all the previous places I have been to, this was my least favourite destination.

On my first evening I decided to try out a pub crawl organised by my hostel. You pay 30 dollars, get taken to 4 clubs and get 4 free drinks. It was like being back in college. Only I didn’t know anyone. The night was alright – I met a few people and had a few laughs but as there was over 50 from my hostel alone not to mention a number of others in the local area joining in. I was missing my group from the Whitsundays and Fraser. You were very much a number being ushered in and out and each club as quickly as possible. I decided to call it a night just before the last place as I had an early start the next morning.

The weather forecasted when I arrived in Surfers could not have been any worse – torrential rain for the following week. Why did I have to get the Wet Season year? I wasn’t going to let rain stop me so on Sunday morning, out I went in the lashing rain to Seaworld, my first park. I had to laugh walking to the bus stop - only I would be determined enough to do a theme park in the lashing rain. It wasn’t long before I got myself a poncho and a golf umbrella – despite looking incredibly silly, I would have been lost without them. Visiting a theme park in the rain is not very fun – but hey I had little choice so I made the most of it. This Seaworld was nowhere as good as the one in Orlando. It was a lot smaller but had the usual mix of marine wildlife and a couple of average rollercoasters thrown in as well. The only highlight for me was the Dolphin show – it was brilliant. I love Dolphins! That evening I went to see the new Narnia film – I shouldn’t have bothered it was the worst one so far. But I was expecting that as I’ve read the books. Oh well. On a sidenote, it is so humid here - because of the rainfall and clouds everywhere it is boiling hot in my hostel room so it's windows open and the fan on at all times. No air conditioning unfortunately!

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Monday morning and it was time for Dreamworld – I woke up to more torrential rain! I headed out anyway and met up with Christian and Anne, a Danish couple from my Fraser Island trip. It was nice to see some friendly faces again. The park itself was another let down – not a lot of brilliant rides but we still had fun. The highlights for me were The Claw (a swinging pendulum), Alien vs. Predator (think Q-Zar in an Alien/Predator setting, it was really cool) and the Big Drop (the highest I have ever been on, it was freaking scary!). What looked like the best ride i.e. Tower of Terror II was closed due to the rain – booo. That evening we had dinner at Hard Rock Café where I tried guacamole for the first time – yep I’ve never had it before as I thought it looked like baby poo! I really liked it. After dinner I persuaded the Danes to come to Dracula’s House of Terror (a walk through horror attraction) as I didn’t want to do it on my own. This was a lot of fun and we got a few good scares along the way.

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Tuesday morning and my last full day here – the final park left to visit i.e. Warner Brothers Movie World! This was by far the best park of the three and had some great rides e.g. Superman Returns, Lethal Weapon and Batman - quality. The weather also cleared for the day so I didn’t have to walk around in my ridiculous looking poncho, hurray! That evening I went to see the new Harry Potter film – I’m not a big fan but it was the best of the lot by a mile, far darker than any of the others and a lot more action. I've just arrived in Byron Bay this afternoon, my second last stop. The sun is beaming down and I've run into the two Swedish lads from my Fraser jeep group - I just hope the good weather lasts.

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Posted by mattld 20:56 Archived in Australia

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