A Night at the Gold Coast.

With another Elizabeth sleepover on Saturday came a further opportunity for a childfree evening in a drinking hole for me and the wife, and this time we decided to stay out all night.

Surfers Paradise is probably Australia’s most popular holiday destination. It’s on the Gold Coast and only about an hour and a quarter drive from Brisbane.

I wouldn’t say it’s Australia’s best beach, but it may be one of the most commercial. The beach at Surfers looks like this…

Surfers ParadiseWell, usually it does, but yesterday it looked like this….

Gold CoastThat was the view from our hotel balcony; you can see the sea just behind the tennis court. Look closely and I’m sure you’ll be able to distinguish the grey of the ocean from the grey of the sky.

It wasn’t the best of weekends to be going to the Gold Coast.

But why were we there?

We were celebrating a friend’s 40th birthday and a group of around 10 of us met in a place called Saks.  It is described as “Saks Restaurant and Bar: Waterfront Dining and Lounge Bar on the sunny Gold Coast in Australia” on their website.

A very accurate description of the place apart from, of course, the sunny bit.

It turned out to be an excellent choice of venue. It looked a bit posh but the prices were actually very reasonable. One gin and tonic, a vodka and soda and two 375 mL beers came in at $25. I think the beers were six dollars, which would be equivalent to 9 dollars a pint and the shorts with mixers were $6.50 each.

We also ate there and the food was excellent too. I went for the 300g Grilled Eye Fillet at $36.90 which was faultless and Mrs BobinOz chose the seafood pizza at $28.90 which, she tells me, was packed with super fresh seafood. So, great meals but also very reasonably priced.

Translated into English, that’s two top-quality meals, served in a posh place overlooking the water for under £45 at today’s exchange rate. And if the pound were ever to recover, it could become under £35!

In American, where the USD is almost one for one with the AUD, it’s about $74.

We started our evening early, around 7:30 PM, when the bar was quite quiet. But as the evening wore on, the music kicked in and people began to dance. Our group just tended to stagger around the bar.

It was approaching 2:00 AM by the time we made our way to the taxi rank to take us back to our hotel. So what does a Hotel cost?

We stayed at the Grand Chancellor, a four star hotel very close to the beach and in the heart of Surfers Paradise. We paid $199 for the night. Not bad, we thought, considering it was a Saturday night during school holidays.

I checked the price of hotels in Blackpool, surely England’s most popular seaside holiday resort, and saw hotels available at between £65 and £160 per night. So with our room costing a current equivalent of around £117, hotel prices here seem similar to those in England.

So now the school holidays are over.

And as predicted here just last week, the weather has dramatically changed on the very day the school gates have been reopened. Today temperatures just about touched 30°C and the clouds have been rapidly thinning out. Normal service appears to have been resumed. It’s hot, sunny and (almost) clear blue skies…..

Back to schoolHow did I guess this would happen? Years of training in England.

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