When we was booking up all our trips and tours for the rest of Australia yesterday, I came across a website called BookMe. It seems similar to Viator and lists local attractions at knocked down prices. If you book a trip just a day before it leaves, there’s some massive savings to be had. As I was flicking through I noticed a trip along the canals around the Gold Coast reduced from $39 to $12 so I grabbed it. This was our first stop today, the tour was leaving at 10:45 so we made sure we left our sleeping spot (at the 5 star luxury rest area on Highway M1) early enough to make it up to the Gold Coast.
The first thing we noticed on the cruise was the free snacks! We piled our plates with helpings of chocolate marshmallows and shortbread and made our way to top deck. The canal cruise started close to Chevron Island on the Nerang river and took us up past McIntosh Island, through Southport’s popular marina and then made it’s way back after reaching the famous Versace Palazzo hotel.
The properties on these islands are some of the most desirable in Australia, whilst they don’t have sea views, they do have lovely views of the rivers and can sell for anything up to £10 million. We was told of how one house owner spent £120,000 just on planting 4 palm trees to the front of their house, another had installed a copper roof and the majority of them had motorboats moored up outside, obviously :). A few famous faces have property in the area such as Kylie Minogue and Jackie Chan. We noticed one house that had a plot next to it that strangely hadn’t been built on, it was just a large patch of green grass with a playground on it. It turns out the CEO of Billabong bought this plot when he bought the plot next to it to build his house on, he only bought the 2nd plot so his kids would have somewhere to play (that’s probably a $1m play area!).
Next on the list today was a visit to Infinity. This is one of the top attractions in Surfers Paradise so we thought we’d check it out. I don’t really know how to describe it, perhaps looking at their website will help, but it was basically like a fun house full of optical illusions, lights, lasers, mirrors and weird noises. You walk through, from room to room, trying to find your way out. Each room has a different crazy illusion that sends your mind into overdrive trying to understand what’s going on. One minute we felt like we were floating around in space, the next we were in a retro disco with huge glow in the dark balls and strobe lighting around us. Yes, it was weird.
With our brains hurting a little we left the weird world of Infinity and went for a stroll around Surfers Paradise. It soon became our favourite place in Australia, the endless white sandy beach is gorgeous and all the way along the beach promenade are lovely park areas, free BBQ’s and wooden loungers. It has such a laid back, outdoorsy beach feel it and it’s no wonder everyone around looks so happy. The area has the look of a city with lots of modern skyscrapers, ample restaurants and shops but strangely doesn’t feel busy, a perfect place to live.
Before the sun set we went for a run around Marina’s cove and then had the standard shower on the beach (it would be so nice if the camper had a shower!). It wasn’t too bad showering in cold water this time as it came with purple skies above the Gold Coast skyline as the sun came down, which made for pretty shower time viewing :).