How would one go about visiting Australia? Presuming that you, like me, don’t have more than two weeks vacation at your disposal, how would you plan a trip to The Land of Plenty knowing it is the size of mainland USA and there is no way to see everything you want? Well, it all depends on what you’re after. Rather than trying to see it all, I tried to relax and thoroughly enjoy what I did see. And it was truly magnificent.
I`m not like most girls, I`m into rough, rugged and raw nature experience that the Outback (plus a big part of the continent) offers, but this time I decided upon a calmer, more comfortable vacation in Queensland, one of the six Australian states situated on the northeast part of the continent. Of course, it is not all concrete and glass. Far from it, actually, and among the most memorable of my impressions were the beaches. That was expected since I adore the sea, but I didn’t expect to fall in love with the Queensland coastline as much and as quickly as I did. However, I was hooked as soon as I set my eyes on the magnificent Great Barrier Reef, the largest coral reef system in the world and undoubtedly one of the most beautiful ones.
As Australia itself offers an incredible diversity for every tourist, Australian northern beaches offer something for everyone who loves the sea. If you are up for surfing, I sincerely recommend at least seeing the famed Snapper Rocks on the Gold Coast, widely considered one of the best, if not the best surfing beach in the world. “Infamous superbank”, as it is called on the official internet site of the Gold Coast, is home of annual Roxy Pro and Quicksilver Pro. Be sure to check them out if you find yourself nearby. If you don’t like surf, you will after you see the masters perform their magic.
Although Gold Coast beaches are undoubtedly beautiful, constantly changing conditions make them prone to currents, rips and gutters. They are great for a dip, but if you are decided on swimming, Sunshine Coast would probably be a better choice, at least most days of the week. Like in most of Australia, logistics of hosting a big number of tourists are fantastic and you will have every imaginable perk at your disposal. Kings Beach and Golden Beach, to name a few I visited, will certainly allow you to quench your swimming appetite with style. If you feel like going to a bit more secluded place away from the distinctive buzz of a busy, crowded beach, you have plenty of options there, too. A place called Main Beach, the most northerly one on the Gold Coast, offers a somewhat calmer experience that its more popular southern neighbors Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach, while not lacking any offers these too have up their sleeve. For this status of a “calm harbor” Main Beach has to thank to its position, as it is simply too far up north to attract the amount of tourists like the southern beaches.
Beaches, beaches, beaches. Basically, that is all I saw and wanted to see, save some occasional distractions in the form of dinning, seeing national parks and sleeping. And really there’s a beach for everyone. Some of these beaches are so popular that even Virgin Australia named their A330s plane after Surfers Paradise Beach. I promised myself that, when I go again (and I certainly will go again), I will try to explore some other parts of Australia a bit more further from the sea. Although, now I when I think about it, am not so sure about the “away from the sea” part anymore…
Mary Ann Keeling is a fellow traveler with great interest in Eco traveling. She fell in love with the East coast of Australia and in her mind she is still traveling along the seaside, even while sleeping.