LIFE IN PARADISE:
Overall, you can find everything your heart desires on the Gold Coast. I have to say that I actually find Broadbeach (a neighboring town to Surfers) a bit nicer than Surfers Paradise, as it has a lot of small bars and cafes and is a bit fancier than Surfers. But I really enjoyed my life in Surfers and I think it deserves the name “Paradise”. You can walk to the beach from any part of town (I lived on the outskirts of town and it took me 15 minutes to walk to the beach), the nightlife is great (there’s something going on here every day and there are great specials for girls), there are two larger shopping centers nearby (Australia Fair in Southport, Pacific Fair in Broadbeach), also theme parks (MovieWorld, Seaworld,…) are not far away and one is in an hour by train in Brisbane. In addition, the well-known and loved Byron Bay is also not far away. At the beginning of the semester there are trips to Byron Bay. These trips are highly recommended, even if a little too expensive for what you get. These excursions are the best way to get to know people and see one of the most popular destinations for Australians and tourists alike.
A surf lesson is also offered on this excursion. I advise anyone who enjoys it to buy a board straight away (cheap at gumtree.com.au). You can end up reselling it for the same price or a similar one and have the opportunity to surf every day. It just belongs to it and is a lot of fun!:)
From time to time there are good offers for the theme parks. We had a VIP pass for $ 80, which gave us unlimited entry to Seaworld, Movieworld and Wet’n’Wild for a year. Definitely recommendable! Admission to Seaworld alone costs so much.
It was also a tradition in our small group to go to Waxy’s every Sunday to eat $ 2 steaks and drink $ 2.50 coronas. The food there is amazingly good and very cheap.
You can also watch whales (whale watching season: June – November) and you should definitely go up to the Q1 Tower at least once. A one-time pass costs $ 17, the annual pass costs around $ 27. I chose the annual pass because I knew beforehand that I would go up several times. The sunset is incredibly beautiful. There is also a restaurant and bar upstairs.
We drove to Cairns with a rented van in the spring break. It was a great excursion and since almost all exchange students had the same goal, there were a total of 30 people that we met again and again.
Definitely DRIVE YOURSELF to Fraser Island on a 4 wheel drive !! You get stuck in the sand every now and then, but it’s really great to drive on the beach and with enough people it’s not a problem to push the car every now and then. Definitely worth the fun.
You should also go on a sailing tour of at least 3 days in the Whitsundays. During those days I experienced some of the best moments in Australia. I slept on the boat under the stars and was woken up by the sunrise on the sea. There’s nothing more beautiful.
- Visit beautypically to learn more about country of Australia and continent of Oceania.
After the semester, I went to New Zealand for two weeks (with a rental car and tent, skydiving there, swimming with wild dolphins and hiking on the Franz Joseph Glacier – all very recommendable!) Then I traveled in Australia for a month. I got myself a relatively cheap 4 wheel drive for this. A Mitsubishi Pajero. Big enough to live in with another person for a month. We had a double mattress in the back. Perfect.
Especially in Victoria there are many, also beautiful rest areas where you can stand for one night for free. So we had no expenses for rent, hostels or the like. We went to Adelaide, Kangaroo Island, Great Ocean Road, Melbourne, Philip Island (Penguine Parade is also recommended. At first I didn’t like it because you wait with 100th other people for the penguins. But if you are patient they will go Most after a few minutes. So we were finally able to sit in the first row. On the way back the penguins are walking around everywhere and only half a meter away. Furthermore, they are not fenced in. That’s why some are walking around in the parking lot. Very cute!), Sydney (New Year’s Eve in Sydney was amazing! The city was in a state of emergency, but without queuing or securing our place all day, we got a great place at “the Rocks” and saw both the bridge and the opera house. However, you should get a ticket for a club to party beforehand.), Byron Bay and everything in between.
All I can say is that going to Australia was the best decision! I definitely lived in paradise and didn’t want to go again. I made friends all over the world and found out a lot about myself. This makes you stronger and more confident. I even extended my stay and will definitely come back in the next 2 years. Surfers Paradise and Griffith Uni’s Gold Coast Campus were a great decision. I’ve seen many places in Australia but fell in love with this part. The name “Paradise” definitely applies:).