When I can, I love to travel. Just something about a sense of temporary migration that appeals to the soul. Or perhaps a malfunctioning, obsolete gene forcing its way into my subconscious. Either way, that feeling was one reason why I found myself popping into a plane and flying up to the Gold Coast for 5 days before the ANZAC weekend. That and a lady friend of course.

The Cool Gray Coast.

The last time I went to the Gold Coast, I was 14 or 15 and dying to see the famed uncovered boobies that abound Australian beaches. Unfortunately, we didn’t even really go to the beach on our tour. I had the double misfortune of going on holiday with my parents and going on holiday with my parents in a package tour. Which pretty much meant I didn’t get to see the famed beach of boobies. Which sucks when you’re 14 or 15 and dying to see boobies after a decade and a half of conservative Asian appropriation.

I still didn’t get to see what I’d come to see half a lifetime ago as the pic above testifies. The fact that it was fall was probably to my undoing. It was pretty blustery down at the beach, which was a lovely long stretch, juxtaposed by a slew of tall buildings behind.

That’s the thing about the Gold Coast. It’s really just a long stretch of lovely sand beaches and not much else. Everything else is pretty much man made and man made for tourism. The place felt like what Vegas would be if it were at the beach. Tacky neon lights aplenty lit up the nighttime, which had an atmosphere perpetrated by the smell of tourists and an easy dollar. It was pretty much otherwise, quite dead. I would surmise summertime would be immensely more crowded with even more tourists and yet still retain a certain vacancy, even if it were diminished by the howls of obnoxious babies and children of parents who bring their kids on holiday.

Daytime was spent pretty much going for breakfast and then hitting a theme park before coming back for a nap, then dinner and bedtime. Sounds boring, I know. It wasn’t really. I enjoyed the theme parks and the lounging around. I’m not quite the party animal. Meals were largely terrible though. The theme parks serve expensive fast food that sucks whilst Surfer’s Paradise was filled with sub par restaurants. I knew there were probably better places to eat but unfortunately, I didn’t get to go to anywhere close to that. Instead, I relented to subjecting my tastebuds to mediocre and paltry experiences, safe in the knowledge that I’d get back to Sydney soon enough.

The Superman ride @ Movieworld.

The theme parks though, are fun enough. Movieworld is an ok pastiche of Warner Brothers related stuff, filled with stores and decent rides. The one above revolves around this idea of you getting into a train there being some kind of accident, only for you to get saved by… Superman himself, who pushes the train at lightspeed out of the tunnel and into the light. That initial blast apparently takes you to 4.2Gs because its superfast, then you drop immediately after, like 85 degrees or so. Its the biggest vertical loop you can see in the pic and whilst I neglected to include some scale references in my photo, it was high enough and fast enough to deliver a certain thrill.

Wet ‘n’ Wild was pretty fun too, basically a big waterpark, where there’s slides and tubes and water and bikinis. And the bikini’s didn’t automatically claim prominence either. Seaworld was a more languid exercise, with more marine life shows than rides. I didn’t even bother to take the coaster. I skipped out on Dreamworld and Whitewater world but I did drive and stop by for a looksee. Couple of the rides there certainly looked menacing.

On the final day of our trip, we also made a sojourn up to Tamborine Mountain, where we chanced upon a paraglider failing to take off and crashing into some kids as well as hanggliders narrowly missing some treetops. Also included was a trip to a “$1.1 million” glowworm cave, which was completely man made and about as big as a toilet in a hotel room. I then received a lecture in the help glowworms granted to cancer research and a treastise on environmentalism in a fake cave. Fascinating.

I have to say, the GC is one big bundle of bodaciousness. Between the shittiest fish n chips in the world and a barren beach, what else can could one ask for on a holiday?

Sometimes, my instincts hone me for the better by taking me to places which toughen me up. This trip has taught a valuable lesson aka “Who the fuck goes to the Gold Coast when its not Summer?”. One day, I will overcome my struggle with moron syndrome and disregard the wiles of women who tug at my sleeves in painted voices.

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