Mid semester break…..The Gold Coast

I’m halfway done with school and i have two weeks of break. During these two weeks some friends that i met at uni and i escaped to the east cost where the sunshine and crystal clear blue waters are. This blog is a little lengthy because it sums up what i have done over the past two weeks.
Me standing next to the river with the city in the background

First stop, Brisbane. I’m amazed how clean and beautiful this city is.The whole city of Brisbane is built around a river right along the coastline in the state of Queensland. The bridges here are massive. I have crossed at least 5 different bridges. I would love to live here some day. It is very green, clean, and engaging. Everyone takes care of the land and puts in effort to make a difference. There are random statues of things around the city. I saw 5 men making a campfire in the middle of the city, and two big steel hands in front of this one building. Art is a valued thing here, I believe.The hostels are clean and offer heaps of activities and advice for you to do. There is a coles (food store) right across the street which helps save money, rather than going out to eat every night.

One night I rode the Brisbane city Ferris wheel and saw the city lit up at night while listening to a complementary explaining certain historic sites. There was this man-made beach in South Parklands right next to the Ferris wheel. It had everything from palm trees to white sand. This fun attraction was located along the Brisbane River. That day we toured the city and explored the famous Sunday markets. I bought two headbands and had corn on a stick. Then, we went downtown and found a Starbucks! Apparently this is one of the few Starbucks in the whole country of Australia.
The big Brisbane City Ferris wheel

After a whole day of walking, we arrived back to our hostel and had dinner on the deck. This hostel felt like a hotel, it was the first and only hostel i have been to that has an elevator. We stayed on the top floor and had the most spectacular view of the whole city of Brisbane. The next morning we had continental breakfast served to us like a restaurant. After two nights in Brisbane we made our way to the famous town of Surfers Paradise!

This city is the “typical” place for bogans to live. Everyone walks around barefoot wearing board shorts. The skyscrapers are shaped like surf boards and are very tall. The environment is very laid back and chill, you feel like a surfer here even if you aren’t one. The hostel I stayed at is two blocks from the beach. We stayed here for two nights and did a lot of exploring around the city.
The surf board sky scrapers

One night we found this bizarre place called “infinity.” This was a mind blowing journey through a spectacular, futuristic maze. There were 20 rooms that we went through. One room made you feel like you were floating in space, another room made you feel like you were in a computer chip, and in this other room you felt like you died because you were walking towards a light. You can look at some pictures on this website to see what i experienced

The next stop was Byron Bay, an hour south of Surfers Paradise. Thanks to the convenience of our rental car we found a secluded beach. The waves were magnificent and the water was turquoise blue. That day was the first day the sun has been out for awhile. Rain or shine we were still determined to have a beach day. We stayed there for two hours lying in the sun falling asleep to the sound of the waves hitting the ocean shore. For a while we were the only ones on the beach, it was true paradise. It was nice to get away from the tourist traps and discover the “true” beach life of Australians. Only the locals hang out at this beach if any.
The shores of Byron Bay

After our exotic time at the secluded beach we decided to check out the shops in the small town of Bryon Bay. I had some fish sticks for lunch and a cold smoothie to cool off the hot humid air. Most of the shops reminded me of hippies and gypsies’. This town is very laid back and people walk around wearing swimsuits and big sunglasses.

Next stop…..Warner Brothers Movie World! My friend from Sweden, Nadja, experienced her first time at a theme park. We acted and felt like little 12 year old girls running around oohing and aahing at the cool features they had at the park. I met Bugs Bunny and Tweedy Bird for the first time in real life form! Of course we had to get pictures with them. We were in a line full of little kids eagerly waiting to meet the loony toon characters. I was surprised that the park wasn’t crawling with people. My friend Cat and I rode the “superman” roller-coaster 3 times in a row! We rarely had to wait in line for anything. “Scooby doo and his gang” did a live show down the main street around 2pm. In the middle of the park they had a huge TV screen that played movies. They also had wii games set up for everyone to play. The Warner Brothers Movie World was a great place to spend the day.
Hanging with Tweedy bird and Bugs bunny!

We took this really cool ferry to an island right off of the bay of Brisbane. We sat on the roof of the ferry and watched dolphins swim in the water. It took about an hour to get to the beautiful island. On the way there, we saw 5 dolphins. Once we arrived to the island we got our geeky snorkel gear and wetsuits on before we listened to the itinerary of our snorkel tour. The water was a little cold, so it was good that we wore wetsuits. I remember it being quite difficult to kick with the awkward fins on my feet. It was impossible to drown with the wetsuits on; they were designed to keep you floating. We explored the wrecked ships and saw all sorts of fish swimming around them. The guide gave us bread to feed the fish. I didn’t realize how strong and aggressive the fish were, they literally yanked the bread out of my fingers, it was a little scary. They also gave us gloves so we can touch the ship without cutting our hands. We had about an hour to snorkel around the sunken ships, and then we had to get out of the water because the current became intensely strong. The wetsuits were a lot easier to take off than put on. After we returned all of the gear, they provided lunch for us. The lunch was in a cooler (eskie) that we took down the beach to eat lunch. We had about 3 hours to relax on the beach before the ferry came to pick us up.
On our ferry ride back we spotted 2 humpback whales playing in the water! The tour guide let us go into the captains cabin and see how the boat operates with all the complicated controls. I got to sit in the captains seat and it felt as if i were in control of the boat.
The ferry we took to Morten Island

The Island!

Back to Bryon bay! This was a great place to spend my last day of vacation before I head back to school and hide my head in the books. We decided to hit the waves with the boogie boards the hostel provided for us. I had a bright green boogie board and cat had a bright orange one. This is only my second time ever body boarding. The water was nice and warm and the sun was starting to set over the horizon. I caught a few good waves, but being a rookie it was a little hard to find the perfect time to kick. I dropped off my board near my towel and decided to take a dip in the water. While I was swimming I found a few cool sea shells and a bright blue fish swimming gracefully through the water. I probably followed it for a good 2 minutes before it noticed me and swam away.
We had dinner at the beach hotel right and watched whales play in the water beyond the shores. Right now the whales are migrating so you can spot one all the time.

The journey to the east coast of Australia is the most memorable trip i have ever taken in my entire life. The amazing things i saw and the things i experienced will never be forgotten. Im so blessed and thankful that i had the opportunity to go on such an exciting adventure.

The rental car

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2 Responses to Mid semester break…..The Gold Coast

  1. Amy Johnson says:

    Hey Tiffanie – sounds like you’re having a great time – loved reading about your adventures to Brisbane :)

  2. Grandma K. says:

    So enjoyed your trip to Brisbane, I can imagine how wonderful it was to be there. Keep sending info. Love you.

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