I’m going to take you on a little holiday today, away from lovely Western Australia, and to the exciting Gold Coast in Queensland instead.
Why’s that? I hear you ask.
Well, the 2013 Problogger (blogging) Conference was held at the QT Gold Coast hotel in Surfers Paradise, and this year I was lucky to be able to attend along with about 450 other bloggers from all around Australia, including some US speakers who were flown over specially for the event.
I didn’t have a lot of time to spend exploring the Gold Coast, but I did manage to get sand between my toes when I walked along the awesome stretch of white, sandy beach on the day prior to the conference, and then afterwards when I was lucky enough to be selected by Queensland Tourism to do a photography workshop when we went out and about clicking the sights of Surfers Paradise under the expert guidance of professional photographer, Paul Broben.
Holding the Problogger event at Surfers was an inspired move by Queensland Tourism because not only did it attract people to the Gold Coast, but it brought many influential bloggers together, most of whom would share their experiences of the hotels and the area across their own blogs and social media platforms. By the way, if you are a blogger and missed the event you can buy a virtual pass to all the sessions right here.
9 Active things to do in Surfers Paradise
- Whale Watching
- Fishing Charters
- Wax Museum
- Indoor Karting
- Haunted House
- Tiger Moth scenic flights
- Jet boat rides
- Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum
Surfers Paradise may not be my first choice of holiday destination, but it was a great place for a conference because you could be walking on the beach one minute, sitting in a training session the next, and then out to dinner, or shopping before the stores closed at night.
There was a great buzz to the place, and the esplanade with its beautiful beach views and shaded promenade provided a lovely walk to blow away the stuffiness of being indoors all day. I think one of the things I really liked about Surfer’s was that everything was in such close proximity; the shops, the beach, the restaurants, even the highway leading to the Gold Coast Airport (Coolangatta just 30 minutes away).
On the first night a group of travel bloggers got together at the BMD Northcliffe Surf Club where we had an inexpensive meal in laid back surroundings chatting about travel and blogging and the fact that most of us hadn’t seen each other since last year’s Problogger conference in Melbourne. What was lovely was that it was only a 15 minute walk away, and the warm tropical Queensland spring weather allowed us to walk from the QT Hotel and enjoy the night buzz of Surfers.
Things you’ll enjoy about Surfers Paradise
- The beautiful long, white sandy beach that seems to go on for ever
- The many places to wine and dine (and club – if you will)
- The walk along the Esplanade
- The life surf stations along the main part of the beach
- The Sky Point Observation deck with its incredible 360 degree views (and a climb if you dare)
- Attractions inland such as Tambourine Mountain – so you can get away from the glitz and high rise buildings
- Its subtropical topography
What you may not like so much
- At night the streets feel a little ‘seedy’
- The traffic
- Architecture (some of which) is neither truly modern or applaudable
- Pot holes and roadworks (September 2013)
- The urban sprawl
- It’s lack of identity – I had expected more of a tropical flavour. Cavill Avenue looked drab, with its flat grey slabs of concrete and pavers, and as for THAT sign. Where is there any indication of Paradise or Surfers? Shouldn’t it be iconic? Could it not be tropical? How about a surfboard at either end? As a piece of art, nothing about it suggested surfing or paradise … what do you think, below.
First impressions of Surfers Paradise
- The lovely Esplanade walk
- Surfboards, skateboards, scooters
- The bright sunshine reflecting off high rise buildings
- The sea and the sound of waves.
From my diary
“The Esplanade is busy with walkers and joggers and mums with prams. There are skateboarders that appear out of nowhere from behind and send shivers down my spine, and bike riders who ride with keep-fit intent. It seems as if it all happens on the Esplanade, which is in fact rather lovely as it is sheltered from the harsh Queensland sun by trees and palms and is so, so close to the white white sand and the gloriously blue ocean beyond.”
“Cavill avenue is bursting with busyness this Sunday in September, and thongs, short shorts, rainbow coloured sarongs, dudes with surfboards, and fast food outlets are the sights that capture my attention. I enjoy looking at the old photographs dotted around the town, showing Surfers how it was way back when and comparing them to the scenes today.”
Until next time,