When I had a chance to squeeze in a short vacation while in Australia on business, I could not pass up the opportunity to head to the southeastern region known as the Gold Coast. With over 40 miles of beaches, the area is known for some of the best surfing in the world. Besides, it had been way too long since I had been on a surfboard.
I had never been to the area and was only familiar with it from the Association of Surfing Professionals World Tour. I had seen many great pro surfers like Mick Fanning and Kelly Slater ride some amazing waves on television and looked forward to checking out the real deal. I arrived in the city of Gold Coast late Friday evening and settled into my hotel overlooking a beautiful, golden beach and a stretch of ocean that promised great things to come.
The next morning I headed out to rent a board and buy some clothing more appropriate than my business suit for riding waves. Surf shops were easy to find and board rentals were available just about everywhere. The hard part turned out to be resisting the urge to buy a board as the Gold Coast is home to a few well-known board makers like Dick Van Straalen and Stuart Smith. Van Straalen has been shaping boards for over a half century.
Once I was suited up and had a great board to ride, I headed down to Snapper Rocks, one of four epic breaks in the area. Snapper Rocks has become one of Australia’s best known surfing destinations. They say you can ride waves there longer than anywhere else in the world and that definitely was true while I was there. The downside is there was a lot of competition for the best waves as the water was very crowded.
Knowing the next day was my last day before getting back to work, I decided to try for a less populated beach without sacrificing quality surf. I considered South Stradbroke Island, but getting there takes some time. I opted instead for Burleigh Heads as some other surfers explained that even when it was bad, it was pretty good. Things were looking great that morning, but in the afternoon, the waves picked up and it became classic. It was a fantastic ending to my short vacation.
That night I had to fly down to Sydney to return to the real world the next morning. Leaving so soon was a drag, but I knew before leaving Australia I would find a way to return to the Gold Coast for a longer vacation riding waves.
Article by Dominic Godwinson.
Dominic is a financial expert working closely on travel insurance consultations with FastCover.com.au. When not messing with numbers, he’s spending his time enjoying adventurous travels all around the globe.