The Meter Maids of Surfers Paradise – An Update

I made a post about the parking space trick a short while ago in which I mentioned the Meter Maids of Surfers Paradise.  I didn’t have a photo of any of them at the time, but I did promise you I would get one.  Well, today we went to Surfers Paradise to chill out.  And, of course, I got the photos. Would I let you down?


The Meter Maids at Surfers Paradise

The Meter Maids at Surfers Paradise

Please note: The guy on the Vespa continued safely on his journey.

I wanted the sea in the background but the position of the sun was not ideal, so here’s another picture from a different position….


The Meter Maids in a Better Light

The Meter Maids in a Better Light

Question: Why, all of a sudden, are people so interested in watching me take a photo?

Looking at these photographs, I got the impression they had posed before. Perhaps you have that feeling too? Turns out, that’s what they do. Here’s the deal. These girls wander the streets of Surfers Paradise selling a small selection of souvenirs and gifts.  If you want a photograph, it’s a five dollars. The girls get paid commission on the stuff they sell and the $5 contributions from photos go towards paying for the meters that they feed. There are currently 12 Meter Maids in the team.

Good, now I’m up to date. Oh, by the way, I took plenty of footage at Surfers and I’ll be making a video soon. So look out for that.

Carrying on, if I may, from yesterdays post; as last years winter got deeper, I couldn’t help wondering whether winters in Brisbane were better than summers in the UK.  So I decided to check it out. I went to my Google home page where I have it set to display the weather where I live.  Now, call me a nostalgic old fool, (or somebody who likes to quietly gloat) but I also have it set to display the weather where I used to live.

This is what I saw……

Weather Forecast Winter: London & Brisbane

Believe me, I didn’t have to hand pick the day. The very day I had the thought, was the very day I collected the information from Google.  I didn’t have to try to “fix” the result. Sure, the UK does have the occasional hot day, like 30°C, which is never (I don’t think) going to happen here in winter. But overall, I have to say, that I think winters here are better than UK summers. We certainly have far less rain and a lot more sunny blue skies.

Only one thing confused me about Google’s weather forecasts.  They seemed to think it was going to be cloudy in Brisbane.  I went into my garden on the 18th of July 2008 to look for those clouds.

To my left…….

Winter Sky - Brisbane 18.7.08

Winter Sky - Brisbane 18.7.08

And to my right…..

The Clouds

The Clouds

Aah! There they are.

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{ 27 comments… add one }
  • Jack Douglas September 3, 2014, 12:40 am |

    The meter maids are about to celebrate 50 years as a beloved tourist icon. It would be nice if the Gold Coast officials see it that way and back them a little. They ought to have a ceremony and some newspaper coverage. It would also be nice if Sports Illustrated did a photo shoot for the “swimsuit issue” they do every year, and include a story and some pictures of the meter maids.

    • BobinOz September 3, 2014, 9:36 pm |

      I hope do something special for them Jack, the whole meter maid thing is really quite unique and 50 years is a long time. Let’s hope they get the recognition they deserve.

      Cheers, Bob

  • Yorkshire September 1, 2014, 8:50 pm |

    I have to say those girls are looking good to say they’ve been doing that for 50 years!

  • Jack Douglas December 28, 2013, 2:13 pm |

    My wife and I vacationed at Surfers Paradise in February, 2013, and we had plenty of opportunities to see what the meter maids are all about. We had our pictures taken with them (I would gladly send you a couple if you want them and you may certainly post them if we do), and spoke with them. We also saw how they and other tourists inter-acted together. We were highly impressed by the meter maids. We thoroughly enjoyed them, bought two calendars and took a few photos. They appear to be a class act and it was obvious to me that the tourists love them. We plan to return and one of the reasons was the very favorable opinion we left with, in no small part thanks to the great tourist icon … those meter maids. They were great tourist ambassadors for the Gold Coast.

    Hit my icon and it takes you to my own blog. I have four blogs up and running, plus my law practice, and one of the four is about the Surfers Paradise Meter Maids, who get my total support. It’s a great tradition.

    • BobinOz December 30, 2013, 5:02 pm |

      They are pretty unique aren’t they Jack? I hope they keep them too and as you say, the tourists love them. Nice tribute website you have set up there 🙂

      Cheers, Bob

      • Jack Douglas December 30, 2013, 5:25 pm |

        Thank you. I think that it will be great of they survive and prosper. Surfers Paradise has something special in that little business and I think they should make them a big part of their promotions.

        Jack Douglas
        Bonners Ferry, Idaho

        29 December 2013

  • Jack Douglas December 28, 2013, 2:08 pm |

    I also have learned that recently they made a uniform change and were sent to Sydney to help promote the Gold Coast beaches. I believe that went well. I just think the Gold Coast would be mighty foolish to not keep them going. Lots of places have pretty white sand beaches, but only Surfers Paradise (and really the Gold Coast as a whole) has the Surfers Paradise Meter Maids. They are famous. Lots of good ideas are controversial, but that doe snot mean they are not good ideas. When we come back in 203 years all the way from north Idaho, in the United States of America, we certainly hope to see the meter maids still doing their thing and if they are not, then that will be a major turn off.

  • Jack Douglas February 4, 2012, 2:33 am |

    The meter maids are still hot. Keep the tradition alive. I think they should really expand their website on Facebook and allow more friends s that we can keep up with them. In the meantime, best wishes from the USA.

  • BobinOz May 9, 2011, 1:45 pm |

    Any idea how long ago that was Tom? I think when I spoke to them last, which would have been the same date as this post, they were already an independently run business.

    Lets hope they make a success of it and keep the tradition going.

  • tom May 9, 2011, 8:36 am |

    Hi again Bob. Since my last email to you I have learned that the Meter Maids have now been purchased by a lady named Roberta Aitchison.She bought them to run as a business ,and Im sure she has some very good ideas as to how she plans on keeping up their treadition. Roberta emailed me last week and I intend on keeping in touch if for nothing more tghen to wish them all tghe best of a good conversation piece. I have given many of my friends here in Wisconsin the email address to see for themselves. Have a great week Bob.Tom.

  • BobinOz April 6, 2011, 8:32 pm |

    They’ve been good for my blog 🙂

  • Jack Douglas April 5, 2011, 2:43 am |

    I suspect they make money selling things and posing for photos. Well, when we get there, I want my photo taken with them … just for fun. I think they’re good for business.

  • BobinOz April 4, 2011, 11:19 pm |

    I get the feeling they probably do know what they’ve got there, they have kept them nearly 50 years, although, I think they are self funded. Don’t they make their money selling souvenirs and charging for photos?

    Have a great holiday when you get their Jack.



  • Jack Douglas April 4, 2011, 2:00 am |

    Well, the people that run the Gold Coast have to understand what they have there, but it sometimes sounds like they don’t “get” it. They are a great attraction and it would be a shame to lose that almost 50-year tradition. My wife and I are headed to Australia in either 2012 or early 2013 for three weeks. Much of the trip will be on the Gold Coast. We plan to stay at Surfers Paradise and the tipping point is the meter maids. But for them, I would stay at a cheaper part of the coast.

  • BobinOz April 3, 2011, 9:02 pm |

    They sure are, as the popularity of this post proves. At the moment, it’s the 4th most read (or maybe looked at :-)) post on my blog.

  • Jack Douglas March 31, 2011, 1:10 am |

    Keep the tradition alive. The meter maids help to make and keep the Gold Coast special. They are a prime tourist attraction in their own right.

  • BobinOz March 31, 2011, 1:05 am |

    Something tells me you will return and it will be worth the trip. Surfers is waiting for you. Take care Tom and thanks for popping by.

  • tom March 29, 2011, 6:52 pm |

    I had the privelege of meeting the meter maids on my first trip to Oz for my daughters wedding in1997.Since i have returned two more times.I always get to surfers on my trips.One more will trip is in the plans. Its a bit far from Wisconsin ,but hopefully I will return. Best wishes.

  • BobinOz August 11, 2010, 10:13 pm |

    I’m with you on that one Jack, can’t think why anyone would disagree. In fact, this post is the third most read article of all time on this blog.

    Yes, a lot of people like the meter maids.

    • Jack Douglas December 28, 2013, 2:11 pm |

      April and I love them. This is so cool for the tourists. If the people running the Gold Coast could only see how special it all is … or maybe they do. Support Roberta and the cause.

  • Jack Douglas August 11, 2010, 4:41 am |

    The meter maids are wonderful. Keep the tradition and the class alive. The tourists love them.

  • BobinOz October 26, 2009, 12:20 pm |

    Hi Sunny,

    Sounds like you’re right.

    According to Roberta Aitchison, the owner of the Meter Maids franchise, “Every day the meter maids walk the tourism strip, feeding meters and being photographed by thousands of tourists……”

    So yes, seems they do. Of course, meter feeding is illegal back in the UK, once your time’s up, you got to go. Those girls would be in court before they could say cheese!

  • Sunny October 24, 2009, 9:00 am |

    HI there,
    Actually I saw them when they put few tickets to cars’s windows which haven’t got one, so they sometimes do this too. I like them very much too! They are Surfers best symbols!

  • BobinOz October 12, 2009, 7:49 pm |

    Hi Gerry

    No, I’ve never seen them go anywhere near a meter either. In fact I went up to them to complain about it, but when I got there I completely forgot what I wanted to say!



  • Gerry October 10, 2009, 8:26 pm |


    I have never seen a meter-girl at any meter. They just walk around at surfers and I like it.
    They are great, friendly and beautiful.


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