It was an unplanned break for me, really. Quite long to go into the details, but it wasn't until the week before we left that I finally confirmed my place for this particular trip. And I'm glad I did. Sure it's fast approaching summer and the 20-something temperature with the scorching sun meant I'm now more tanned than usual, but the nights were cool, and well, it's the Gold Coast, always a fun place to be at, no? :)
We stayed at the Grand Chancellor Hotel (previously the Marriott), and it was simply perfect in terms of the location; right smack in the middle of the commercial centre, just a couple of minutes to the beach and with a spectacular view to savour. Allow me to share some after-dark photos...
The Surfers Paradise beach area had undergone a facelift recently, actually. I still remember that works were still going on during my last two visits there. Now the walkways are much wider with better facilities. Yup, there's more space for running, cycling and walking the dog!
And were we lucky to be there on Friday, which meant the pasar malam, or "beachfront markets" were there for us to explore.
FYI: " The Surfers Paradise Beachfront Markets are a local treasure. Explore around 100 market stalls on the doorstep of Surfers Paradise beach. Each stall features a variety of local, hand-made or grown products, including fashion, jewellery, accessories, crafts, artworks, photographs, beauty products and home wares. The markets ethos of make, bake or grow it, ensures that the stalls exhibit the best in local craftsmanship. Stallholders are proud to show their wares giving shoppers the opportunity to find unique, one-off pieces and providing a perfect way to spend a summers evening."
We were also lucky one night when the moon decided to make a truly memorable appearance.
And right at our doorstep too was Cavill Avenue, a lively piece of street lined with cafes, bars, restaurants and THE place for all types of street performances. Seriously, you can just sit there for hours munching on a kebab and simply enjoying the various sight and sounds.
And of course, the area's the best place to shop for souveniers and all things Aussie.
Up next: Paradise Country Farm & Movie World...