As some of you may know Australia and New York seasons are opposite, therefore it’s winter from June-August. When I looked into the weather it still seemed like it would be relatively warm, so I wasn’t too worried. Unfortunately, this seems to have been one of the coldest starts to winter Queensland has experienced in a while (according to locals). Luckily on Thursday the weather was warm and according to the weather forecast Friday wasn’t going to be too far off so I thought it was the perfect opportunity to experience Gold Coast beaches. Unfortunately, due to wind it was a little colder than I had hoped, but that didn’t stop me!
I figured the high 70s was as warm as it was going to be while I was here and I knew I had to dip my feet into Australian sands and beaches before leaving so when Trish had a talk near a foot path to the coast I strolled down part of the coast filled with some of the most popular Gold Coast beaches. It was about a 3 hour walk I made into 4 as I stopped several times to enjoy the calm setting.
I started the walk by Palm Beach with very calm waters and paddle boats around. As I went further down there were several people stand paddling and plenty of surfers (I soon noticed how much Australians in this area love to surf) as there were a lot more waves on this beach. I got into the water in this area which was beautifully clear but it was too cold for me to dip my entire body in, although I did see some people doing it. It was interesting because these beaches all had forests right behind them but the moment I turned the corner the boardwalk of the beaches were surrounded by a more urban atmosphere. As I kept walking I passed Currumbin beach, Surfer’s Paradise, Bilinga, Tugun, Kirra, Coolangatta and probably several others whose name I missed along the way.
Like it is the winter time it was no surprise that the beach was much emptier than what I assume it usually is. There were a lot of people walking their dogs, younger folks laying in the sand, elderly couples walking along the shore (what I assume is their daily exercise) and lots of surfers on the beaches with the most waves .
As I got farther south on the Gold Coast I hit a 50s and 60s carnival that someone had actually just told me about at the clinic. When I arrived this far the sun was starting to go down and some of the shops were closing so I hope to be able to return and experience the carnival fully before it ends. As I was walking through 3 people, 2 of which I could tell had been drinking a bit came up to me to talk. I saw it as a great opportunity to engage with locals so I continued the conversation (something I would almost never do in NYC).
After a bit they told me there was a great place we could all have a drink and watch the sun set with a view over the beach, they convinced me to come along for a drink. And so my first drink in Australia was Vodka with Lemonade..oh but lemonade here is actually what they call Sprite. I’m fortunate to have met these people along the way because they’re kind of the reason I was even able to make it home thankfully…but that’s a story that deserves its own blog post.