Australia & NZ

Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast, Australia

Surfers Paradise, known to Aussies as “Surfers,” consists of warm Pacific beaches with perfectly fine sand and smooth waves, friendly, welcoming locals, and enough resorts, attractions, and shops to tire even the most dedicated vacationer. Whether you’re staying for a weekend or for a month, Surfers Paradise feels like paradise. The perfect combination of fun city life and beautiful natural surroundings, is it any wonder that Surfers Paradise is one of the fastest-growing tourists spots in Australia, if not the world? Everyone wants an experience of this gem.

Fifty years ago, Surfers Paradise was just a small resort town, but due to its 10 kilometer stretch of Pacific beach, the close proximity of nature trails to the west across the azure Nerang River, and the isolated, peninsular feeling between the river and the sea, it has since ballooned into a tourism center to rival Sydney or the Great Barrier Reef.

When to Get There – Weather

Because the seasons are reversed from those in the Northern Hemisphere, the peak vacation time in Surfers Paradise is between September and April, with the hottest temperatures being around December and January. Our springtime (if you’re in the US) is their autumn, and vice versa, and both are great for enjoying 80-degree weather without quite as much crowding on the beach. Visiting Surfers Paradise in September through November and February through April, in other words, are great ways to either ward off the oncoming winter or to get a taste for the summer to come.

Weather in Surfers Paradise consists largely of what you might expect – lots of sunshine, cloudless days, and consistently warm temperatures. They don’t call it a paradise for nothing! Of course, make sure you bring plenty of sunscreen, a shade hat, sunglasses, and of course bathing gear! If you’re visiting in the springtime (Australia’s autumn), be sure you bring rain gear and umbrellas, as there are occasional thunderstorms. The rain is usually warm and even pleasant, but it’s best to be prepared just in case. With an average of 330 days of sunshine a year, however, it’s very unlikely that your trip will be rained out.

Fun Activities

When you’re vacationing in Surfers Paradise, the question becomes not so much, “what is there fun to do?” but “how am I going to get to every fun thing?” Indeed, the most difficult thing to do in Surfers Paradise is to fail to have an interesting day. With attractions ranging from indoor ice skating to bungee jumping to the Indy 300, as well as nightclubs, bars and restaurants by the hundreds, Surfers Paradise is a cornucopia of activities. Local arts and crafts markets abound, and if you’re a golfing fan, you can take advantage of one of thirty-six championship golf courses along the Gold Coast. You can go hiking in the Hinterland to the west, along the McPherson mountain range, or visit some of the smaller towns to the south if the bustle of Surfers becomes too much for you.

Springtime 2010 Happenings

Be sure to check out the street performances throughout the city. One of the most popular ones, Latin Street Dancing at Circle on Cavill, offers free Latin dance classes in addition to fantastic, professional-quality performances, every Friday from 7:30 to 10:30 PM through February and March.

Every Sunday through 2010, the Gold Coast International Hotel offers Summer Pool Parties. If you manage to get to Surfers Paradise early enough in the northern hemisphere spring, you might just make some of the last parties. DJs, drinks, and a swimming pool: what more could you need?

Some of the hottest hip hop, punk, and other modern music acts make their way through Surfers Paradise during the peak months of the season, so be sure to check your favorite musicians to see if they’re on a world tour. Chances are if they’re going through Australia, they’ll make a stop at Surfers.

Images courtesy of dafydd359, blink+, crampy_au (1 + 2), kevgibbo, obskura and avlxyz.

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