Brisbane & The Gold Coast

Trip Start Aug 15, 2008
Trip End Aug 14, 2009

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Saturday, May 2, 2009

2nd May - Brisbane & The Gold Coast

We travelled overnight from Sydney to Brisbane on the comfortable, but very slow, train - It took 16 hours to do 620 miles (less than 40 mph). It was a non-smoking train so at every stop, half the passengers got out to have a fag on the platform. We nearly had a punch up in our carriage between two long haired weirdoes which went something like, "He f'ing started it- no he f'ing did - no I f'ing didn't- yes you f'ing did" etc. etc. - very subtle.

We had a few days relaxing in Brisbane which is a pleasant city but without the buzz of Sydney. They have a Botanical Garden, theatres, museums & the South Bank Parkland with a pool & an artificial beach. They also have catamarans that ferry people across the river & "party boats" that take rowdy drunks up & down the river, accompanied by load music. The weather in Brisbane is supposed to be idyllic & we did have some sunny days, but the bad weather had again followed us, so it was partly cloudy with a bit of rain.

We did have some excitement on Sunday night, there was a big crowd gathered around a large TV screen in the shopping precinct, they were cheering like mad as Ricky Hatton, the British boxer, got 7 bales knocked out of him. There was a tour around the Castlemaine XXXX Brewery but we didn't go, we couldn't give a XXXX (remember the advert ?).

We had dinner with my ex-colleague, Andy Payne & his lovely wife Michelle, in their nice apartment overlooking the river. They have decided to give Oz a try, obviously fed up with Britain & who can blame them. Andy works for an IT company; he is now officially, a "Super Geek".

Gold Coast

We hired a car & drove down to Surfers Paradise, a town on the Gold Coast. The Gold Coast has miles of golden beaches overlooked by high rise apartments & hotels, with inland waterways just behind the coast road, very much like Miami & Fort Lauderdale in Florida. Surfers Paradise is the flashy, trashy, heart of the Gold Coast & the place to party, but they didn't have any geriatric bars, so we drove down & had a superb meal in the next town, Broadbeach, which caters for old wrinklies like us.

These miles of beautiful golden sands are ideal for surfing as the waves come rolling in from across the South Pacific but you can't swim in the water, it's too dangerous. They have tiny "safe areas" between flags, which are patrolled by Lifeguards, but all the rest of the beach is out-of-bounds.

Another thing that puzzled me was that Australians have one of the highest skin cancer rates & they advertise a lot about covering up & "Slip, Slap, Slopping" on the sun cream but nowhere on any beach do they have umbrellas for shade.

In Surfers Paradise they have a great scheme; young beauties, dressed in gold bikinis, feed expired parking meters to prevent visitors getting fines. It is sponsored by local traders & by donations, solicited by these "Meter Maids".
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holly08121 on

P Smith
Needless to say I have been to 'Surfers Paradise'! Liked the Meter Maid!

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