So over the weekend we waved goodbye to Tweed Heads and headed slightly up the coast for a couple days partying in Surfers Paradise with Ben Sammie and Frank.
It was a slightly reluctant decision as the feedback I’ve had about this town has been rather negative, and to be honest as we arrived I was prepared for the worst.
But as a traveller you have to head places with an open mind and try to avoid listening to too much hear say – one mans hell is another mans heaven and all that!
So I tried to put it to the back of my mind.
But as we neared it it became apparent that this was a major blip in an otherwise lovely part of Australia.
The high rise tower blocks and busy shopping malls became more frequent and soon the sky was obscured by an array of hotels, banks and penthouse apartment blocks.
Not the Surfers Paradise I was hoping for.
But we drove on to our campsite…slightly outside the main city on Main Beach.
I have no qualms with the campsite – it was within a stones throw of the sand and had everything we needed for a lush stay.
After being reunited with the crew we headed to the beach to sample the surf.
Again not quite what I was hoping for; heavy shore dumps with hefty rips, not ideal for a longboarder by any means – although there were a few hollow barrels occasionally.
The next night we decided to head into town after a day lazing in the pool, hoping the nightlife could redeem the city.
It was a 30minute walk into the centre – which is dead easy after aload of pre drinking with everyone at the campsite (including the new additions of Zoe and Amber) – and the first pub was ok, bit dead but you cant expect it to be too packed at 9pm on a Monday!
Afterwards we decided to hit the clubs.
That didn’t last long.
Despite me and Frank both wearing shirts and smart shorts we were right royally denied entry due to our flip flops, after the girls had got it wearing theirs!
What sort of supposed ‘Surfers Paradise’ doesn’t allow flip flops into a club?!
Is there some kind of shoe police that I don’t know about?!
Who’s that bothered with what’s on my feet anyway – isn’t everyone going to be dancing!?
So alternative arrangements were made into a club which was rather more liberal about our footwear.
In fact the only club that was going to let us in happened to be a strip club!hahaha!
….which didn’t really help “Paradises” reputation as there were an awful lot of them about.
….The drinks were cheap though so we hung around for a couple before giving up on the partying.
In fact we didn’t really bother trying the whole going out thing again. We simply entertained ourselves by the pool (which was much appreciated considering the consecutive days of 35degree+ heat we had) and drank goon and bantered during the night.
So all in all my experience AT Surfers was a good one.
But my experience and opinion OF Surfers was a bad one.
If you like big built up cities, ok-ish beaches and rowdy Falaraki style nightlife then Surfers is for you.
If however you are like me and have a rather better taste in location and are more laid back then I’d avoid Surfers like the plague.
But like I said – you might as well sample it, if only for a night, after all backpacking is all about experiencing a variety of culture.
And binge drinking Australia is certainly a different one!