Is it really a Paradise?

Trip Start Aug 16, 2004
Trip End Aug 13, 2005

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Monday, March 14, 2005

So we arrived in Surfers Paradise on Wednesday afternoon and it is a lot like Blackpool, touristy and tacky and you wouldn't want to stay any longer than a week. Having said that, it does have a lot of bars, and our hostel is marvellous. It's a hotel that obviously has some rooms that are for backpackers and then some that are for the regular hotel guests. The rooms are ok, we are in a dorm of 5. They're en suite and have a fridge and TV. Also the hotel has a pool, spa, sauna, tennis and squash courts that we can use free of charge, so we have done alright for accommodation this time.

On Thursday and Friday we spent the days going to theme parks. Thursday was Seaworld and Friday was Dreamworld. Seaworld has mainly animal exhibits, but they also have a few rides as well. They do a really good dolphin show, and a water skiing show. The sealion show is really tacky but it does show off the sealions talents well.

Dreamworld is like your regular theme park, but if you've been to Alton Towers in the UK then you'll be disappointed. However, its best ride is Tower of Terror, which is brilliant. Rather than trying to explain it, have a look at the Dreamworld website.

We really enjoyed Seaworld, but Dreamworld was a bit small and not efficiently run. I guess we notice these things more because we worked in a theme park before.

We are sharing our dorm with two New Zealand lads and an English guy, who just happens to know one of the girls I was working with in Sydney. It really is a small world. Anyway our dorm and the people in the dorm next door decided to go glow in the dark bowling on Friday night. That was a bit different but I'm just as rubbish at glow in the dark bowling as normal bowling! We also went to see a bit of jelly wrestling, just for a laugh! On Friday nights they also have a market by the beach until 10pm. It sells all sorts of art and craft things and well worth a look. We didn't buy anything but a few of us decided to get our eyes read. Yes, instead of reading palms, this lady looks into your eyes and tells you about any health problems etc. Needless to say we were all intrigued and as it only cost $10 some of us decided to try it. Well the things she said to me were very accurate and after speaking with the rest of the group the general consensus seems to be that she knew what she was talking about!

Saturday we went to the beach. It's a bit less manic than the beaches in Sydney. The waves aren't so forceful and the water's not as cold. It's a lot hotter than Sydney though so we spent the afternoon indoors in the arcade instead.

Today, our last day here, we have spent at Harbourtown, an outlet shopping store. Some of the prices are really good, and we both bought a couple of items. The hostel we've been staying at gives you a free evening meal when you buy a drink so we have been doing that all the time, but the offer isn't on on Sundays so we have been to Hard Rock Cafe. This is the same one that the guitar on the front of the building burned down a few months ago. Doesn't seem to have affected the restaurant at all though!

Well, tomorrow we are off to Byron Bay to try and learn to surf. Wish us luck...
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