Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The Gold Coast in QLD Australia

In Queensland, the Gold Coast (GC) is a most popular destination among Australians and the recent wave of Asian tourists (Japanese, Korean, Chinese from Taiwan and Hongkong and Australiawide. Even for us who are already in Queensland, we love going to the Gold Coast. It is only an hour and a half drive from my house and an hour train ride from the City (Brisbane).

When we first came to Australia for a stop-over in 1995, and stayed in David's sister's house in Paradise Point in the GC for about 5 nights, I had a good glimpse of this part of Australia. On that visit, we decided that it is a good place to live as it is more bustling than the sleepy Napier(New Zealand) town where we had our home then. Although at that time, I was not impressed with the Brisbane International Airport (I thought that Loakan Airport was more presentable then) due to the old building and ongoing construction going on (though I think that I thought badly of it due to the kilogram of honey that was held by the customs- it was supposed to be a pasalubong for my dear mother in Baguio- actually customs advised that we can pick it up on our way to the Phils- but when the time came, our flight was at 6am and customs office opened at 8am- i was not impressed by their ill advise- the result of which is no honey for my mummy just a story of what happened to the world renowned manuka honey....we ended up buying her an american honey from john hay px store). So much for the honey story...

Why is the GC a favourite destination? It is the entertainment capital of Australia- for the kids, we have theme parks and the most popular are SeaWorld, MovieWorld, DreamWorld and Wet and Wild. I would not say that they are comparable to the Disney theme parks because they are not as large, but nevertheless, one can enjoy a whole day of fun and excitement with all the available rides and shows. There is a large number of Asian tourists visiting here everyday- mostly Japanese and Chinese. For the gamblers- GC has Jupiter's Casino- maybe it's not even comparable to Las Vegas or Atlantic City, but it offers the same amenities of gambling, dining, drinking and accomodation facilities. GC is known worlwide for its lovely surfs- it's Surfer's Paradise (which is actually the name of a stretch of beach in the middle of the city). Although there could be some riptides- just swim in between the flags and you'll be fine. The sand is very creamy but not as fine as Boracay Beach (Phils). The beach view is quite spectacular in a long stretch of road. It is also a shopper's paradise. As you know, tourism means good shopping centres- not just of merchandise but of food. Harbourtown is a label outlet. Pacific Fair is a big shopping Centre which is actually a conglomerate of small boutique label shops- big supermarkets are also present here- Coles, Woolies (Woolworths), David Jones, Myers, ToyWorld to name just a few.

Other features include great night clubs, nature sanctuaries(kangaroo, wombat, koala, crocs abode where tourists can go and see them- up close and personal), the Hinterlands, Versace Hotel (the only one in this hemisphere), wine tasting tours, and just driving up and down the GC Highway to observe the kind of activities that occur down there.

Maybe might see you there in the next Indy Race- held every October...