Beauty & Beast?

View from the 29th floor of The Hilton apartments. Copyright, Lexa

So beautiful, yet so hideous.Β Even after 2 visits, I am still genuinely unsure of what I think of Surfers Paradise.

Kiera Beach, with Surfers Paradise in the background. Copyright, Lexa

The “main” and surrounding beaches are undeniably stunning. I really do think it would be hard for anyone to put up a robust argument to the contrary. For me, novelist Frank Moorehouse sums up the place perfectly:

The Gold Coast resembles a city that has been designed as an architect’s model of a highrise city which had slipped off the table and washed up on a stretch of beautiful beach where it grows magically into real dimensions.”

However, if “the man on the Clapham omnibus“* was to be parachuted into the town centre on a Friday or Saturday evening, I think it is a safe bet that heΒ would say it is a foul and debauched den of iniquity. Fast-food-stinky, loud and full of hen and stag parties, for me at least, it is truly horrid.

Again, Frank Moorehouse sums it up so aptly:

Perfect one day, peculiar the next.Β Nearly every Australian has a story to tell about the Gold Coast. The holiday, after all, is itself something of an odyssey, the setting out from home to weave a personal fantasy involving adventure and risk an ordeal. The holiday is retold as a set of stories, shaped and embellished, and usually illustrated, by photos, postcards, T-shirt and baseball cap slogans – Gold Coast clothing tells its own stories.”

A large proportion of the high rise buildings – some built in the 1970s and 1980s – are past their best. Incongruous with the natural beauty of the area, the monstrosities are so out of place with the indigenous landscape that they are almost surreal. Yet the area has a certain hip vibe which is so tangible and contagiously that, all its flaws aside, you can’t help falling slightly in lust with the place.

If you are in Australia, you definitely have to visit Surfers Paradise. If only so you have your own story to tell about the place.



*An imaginary person whose opinions or ideas are considered to be typical of those of ordinary British people.

Author: Lexa

Enjoying life and the crazy beautiful things in it.

7 thoughts

  1. Many years ago I went to Australia a couple of times, my mum lived in Brisbane, and I just had to visit Surfers” Paradise. This was in 2000, and previously in 1980. It was just as you describe! You have to see it, but you might not like it. I remember there was a guy on the beach who sprayed sun tan lotion all over you, via a hose and nozzle! I was trying to think of places in Uk which you must see, but are tacky – probably Brighton fits the bill.


    1. Haha! Learning about the man with the suntan spray nozzle is absolutely fascinating! Thank you so much for telling me!. I didn’t see him on my visit – I wish I had. Especially as it would have been a great photo op! I am so happy that you took the time to leave a comment, thank you! I haven’t been to Brighton for years and years. Perhaps I need to revisit again this year. Have a lovely long weekend. The sun is out down here and we are already on the M25 to head north!!! Stop by again soon πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi! Hope you are well. My pleasure! It feels so weird looking back at these photos…back in a very cold, rainy and wet UK again now! So that holiday seems like a lifetime ago even though we have only been back in the UK less than a week! Have a great rest of the weekend. πŸ˜ƒ


  3. Yes, indeed, the beaches are breathtakingly beautiful….the main town / road itself not so much πŸ˜ƒ. But definitely worth a visit for a day or two if you are in Australia so that you can experience this fairly unique place. It is a pretty weird feeling to drive round the coast to Kirra beach (where the photos were taken), float in the gorgeous ocean and view all of those tower blocks πŸ˜ƒ.


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