Published: April 13th 2011April 4th 2011
After leaving Brisbane it was time to head down to the Gold Coast to meet up with our ‘travellers in crime’ Claire and James, we were both really excited about catching up with them and seeing the famous Gold Coast!
We all met up in the plush surroundings of Surfers Paradise, Claire and James rocking up in their green camper or Sid as they like to call him. We decided to do what you should do on the Gold Coast - head to the beach! This was the first part of Australia where it was safe for us to go into the sea, so safe in the knowledge that no croc or stingray was about to take our life Paul dived in to enjoy the crazy waves. The Gold Coast waves are rapid and non-stop so we can see why it’s paradise for surfers!
Since Surfers is also renowned for its nightlife the next night we thought we’d check it out! Unfortunately the combination of being poor backpackers and Australia costs an arm and a leg to buy even a loaf of bread… we had to resort to drinking what all backpackers drink over here – ‘goon’! This doesn’t
taste quite as bad as it sounds, by the time you’re on your 9th glass it actually becomes drinkable! To be able to afford this night out we also had to sacrifice one of our campervans and sneak 4 of us into a campsite in one van – resourceful! We ended up playing drinking games with a couple of English girls in the campsite which was good craic, we all hit the town and then were back for a cosy night all 4 of us in one camper!
After staying in Surfers for a couple of nights our camper convoy continued down the Gold Coast stopping off at Broadbeach to watch the Aussie surf titles. From here we headed south to Burleigh Heads taking in the stunning view of the whole Gold Coast. The beaches up and down the Gold Coast are some of the best we have seen, at Coolangatta we almost had the beach to ourselves – Paul and James taking the opportunity to test out the waves on our newly acquired ‘boogie-board’ (mini surfboard!).
The English girls had told us of a crazy wee town called Nimbin, which is full of hippies and also the
place where police turn a blind eye to cannabis being sold (quite obviously!) on the streets! As soon as we arrived in the town we all had to burst out laughing, it was like we’d been time warped back into the 60’s – we’ve seen nothing like it before. The shops were all brightly coloured with names such as ‘Bringabong’ and ‘Happy High Herbs’ with Bob Marley being the icon of all the locals. After having a stroll along the main strip witnessing a woman whispering ‘cooooookies?’ every time we walked passed and Paul being offered ‘marijuana dude?’ around 4 times we had a quick lunch then decided to make a sharp exit!!
Byron Bay was the next stop, but before we got there we were woken up by a visit from what seemed like endless Japanese tourists at our overnight lay-by wanting to take pictures of our campers. Paul was actually in the middle of brushing his teeth in his pants just as they rolled up. Classy! Byron is another one of the East-coast ‘must-see’s’ which we have to admit we now know why. It has got a brilliant beach that was rammed when we were there but
was still really laid-back, the town has got a great atmosphere as well as a stunning lighthouse that looks out over the whole bay. We spent our days in Byron pretty much sunning it up on the beach and finished up with our own barbie.
The last stop before we had to part ways was Brunswick Heads – which was a small town on the coast. It is quite a quiet wee place but we managed to get ourselves into the local bowling club for a trivia night – score! Unfortunately half the questions were Aussie-related so the ‘Happy Campers’ trailed in last!
We travelled around with our chums for the best part of 2 weeks trying not to lose each other on the highway with all our wrong turns; we mainly spent our time parked up on free lay-bys, sitting on our camping chairs whilst drinking cups of coffee and munching on Woolworths home brand corn-flakes! It might sound a bit shabby but we actually all had a cracking time! This was the last time our paths will cross with Claire and James as their heading home to Edinburgh in a couple of months time… they’ve been
a huge part of our trip so far and it’s safe to say we’d have been lost without them at times so cheers again guys!
There are more photos below