Gold Coast. Australia.
After 6 months in New Zealand we decided that it is time to visit New Zealands big brother Australia. Also it seemed very natural and convenient as we are much closer to Australia then if we would be in our home in Europe.
Also if you are a backpacker in New Zealand you know that winter (mostly July, August) is very low period for seasonal jobs, so the best time to take your vacation.
I started to plan our vacation in advance (bought the tickets 3 months before). We decided that we will use couchsurfing as much as possible. Two big reasons for that - you can better get to know the place with a help of locals and our New Zealand wages couldn't cover all the expenses (Yes, Australia is even more expensive).
The flight to Gold Coast from Auckland took around 3,5 hours. That seems a lot when you look at the map and see how close these countries look. But No! It is still pretty far. Comparing to our 16 hour flight (Dubai - Auckland) , I shouldn't complain. But I was sooo bored. So I decided to read my last Latvian "Cosmopolitan" number.
So we arrived in Gold Coast on August 6th. It was warm and nice evening. The only thing that scared me were poisonous creatures - ready to kill me as soon as I would step out of the plane. Yep, that was exactly how paranoid I was in the first night in Australia.
We checked in our first very cheap accommodation - Gold Coast Backpackers Hostel. It was right in the center of Surfers Paradise.
We used the next day to get to know the area. We were pleasantly surprised about the relaxed vibe and nice beach and promenade right next to it.
We had buffet breakfast in a Surf Life Saving club. It wasn't anything crazy fancy, just bacon, eggs, oatmeal, toast, yogurt and fruit, but the good thing is - you can eat as much as you want. And that's very important for Aldis. More food, happier man!
That night we decided to go up in SkyPoint tower (right next to our hostel) to see the city from above. Views were so breathtaking that we ended up staying up there at least two hours till the sun went down.
The city in the dark was even more mesmerizing.
Next day we decided to visit Ripley's Believe It Or Not! museum. We got our tickets discounted on www.bookme.com.au.
It was fun to see the exhibition. We were lucky because, it wasn't very crowded. That's why it's better to visit these type of places in the morning, better in the work day.
We really enjoyed to learn so many interesting facts about amazing human beings around the world.
These are painted grasshopper that looks like Michael Jackson.
Iconic Marylin Monroe and her stocking.
Tallest man in the world.
Can you believe that this is an actual human head - shrinked to fit in your palm.
I definitely will not touch these!
Very thin man. Felt a little chubby next to him.
Very suspicious facts about two presidents of United States.
After that we rented bikes to see the whole promenade. We were lucky to rent the bikes for 5AUD for unlimited time. The only thing was - seats weren't adjustable and pedals barely hold together. HA HA! Oh, Well, we drove around at least 4 hours anyway. My legs and my butt hurt like hell! But Hey 5 dollars for a bike...
We got to see a lot of nice places around Gold Coast while biking.
Maybe some of you have heard - better don't walk barefoot on the beach in Australia (especially Gold Coast and Sydney). Even if you see locals doing it all the time, maybe try to avoid it. After we saw special "sand cleaning" car trying to get out needles from the sand that drug addicts sometimes leaves behind, we knew - the rumors were true.
Although we didn't see any spiders or snakes I still wasn't convinced that it is safe.
At the end of that day we took a train to Brisbane... maybe something gonna eat me alive there...