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Hell in the shadow of the high rise

Yesterday I visited the bowels of hell and it is actually a rather dull and dreary place that is far from being as glamorous as its public image would suggest.

You see I had to go to Surfer’s Paradise   so that my daughter could spend some time with her friend from Tasmania who was on holiday with her family there. The drive there and back  was nice for the conversation with my daughter , terrible for my back ( I am likely to be bed bound all day today as a consequence of the journey) but as it has been many years since I have spent any time on the Gold-Coast  I spent some of my time there at looking at just what sort of place it has become in that interregnum.

The overwhelming impression  one gets is of squalor with a veneer of tat  and pretence.  The footpaths are an unending patchwork  of different surfaces and pose a great risk to anyone, like yours truly,  who walks with a cane.  Once you raise your eyes to the many people on the streets its hard to see much real joy among them.  It seemed to me that most were trying very hard to  “have fun” with a rather grim determination.

To give my daughter the most time with her friend I spent most of my day reading  ” Dexter is Delicious”  I finished the book as it happens and in many ways it was a most apt read for the day because the Miami setting Of Jeff Lindsey’s novels are so very similar to the place were I was reading his clever prose. I also could not help but wonder about the lives of those people who serve the tourists because I did not see even one person in the shops and Cafes who looked even vaguely happy or even marginally cheerful .

By my calculation it must be more than thirty years since I have been to Surfers Paradise  and if I manage to go another thirty years before I again visit I will consider that  to be too soon for this old codger.

Cheers Comrades

Now this is a proper holiday destination.

Now this is a proper holiday destination.



  1. Paul Murray says:

    The highrise resort hotels that throw the beach at surfers into shadow every afternoon is one of the finest examples of why one of the jobs of governments is to restrain private enterprise. Letting the free market just do its thing so often results in someone dropping a turd in the swimming pool.

    Behind that thin strip of glitz, Surfers is a depressing country town.

  2. Iain Hall says:

    While i sat next to the beach I had the chance to observe the people’s behaviour with regard to the Highrise shadows Paul and strangely enough it seemed to me that more people were happy to take advantage of them than were trying to escape them. Heck even I moved my observation spot so that I could be out of the glare of the sun while I read my book. That said I tend to agree that allowing higrises to overshadow any beach just seems so wrong. On the other hand there is just a whole lot better beachy place just north of Brisbane at the Sunshine Coast the place lacks the sleaze factor of the gold-coast and frankly the beaches are nicer too

  3. Jeff G. says:

    Surfers is a dump and the Gold Coast is full of cashed up bogans and annoying tourists. Most of Queensland is overrated, for that matter. It’s either tacky crowds or stifling humidity or (if you go north) mangroves, crocs and stingers. There are some very nice coastal towns in NSW that match anything in Qld. The WA coastline is also worth visiting, beauty with more peace.

  4. Iain Hall says:

    Well I think that my experience of Queensland beaches is probably greater than yours Jeff so I disagree with your general dismissal of both this state and its beaches, the beachs at Caloundra and further up the sunshine coast to Noosa are all quite nice as is the ocean side of Bribie Island (not usually visited by you Mexican tourists) When you get futher north the Whitsundays are very nice indeed. That said I have enjoyed many holidays on NSW beaches, in fact the footer image on this post was taken on one such beach , Brownie points to you if you can guess where it is 😉

  5. Jeff G. says:

    I didn’t “dismiss” Queensland Iain I just said that a lot of it was overrated. To hear some Qlders talk you would think they lived in paradise, which is drawing a long bow. But I agree there are some very nice spots, if you do your research. I can’t abide the tourist traps like Surfers, Gold Coast, Cairns, Hamilton Island, etc. with their crowds, overpriced cafes and general bollocks. I prefer peace and quiet in my cantankerous old age. Used to love Fraser Island before it was “discovered” by the great unwashed.

    I don’t know where your pic was taken, maybe Coffs?

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