We are fortunate that as well as a vehicle we can use on Russell Island itself during our housesit, we also have access to a Jeep Cherokee over on the mainland.  This means that we only need to take the passenger ferry across to Redlands Bay rather than the vehicular ferry which costs considerably more.  We thought that whilst we had the opportunity, we might as well see some of the Gold Coast. 

The roads were easy to negotiate and we were soon down in the twin towns of Coolangatta and Tweed Heads, just over the state border into New South Wales.  I guess the trip was around 120 kms.  We parked up for a while and strolled around the towns before making our way northwards back to Surfer’s Paradise. Surfer’s Paradise seems to be full of young people, and from what we could gather is a hotspot for backpackers making their way around Australia.  We were keen to visit because we could remember when our son Daniel told us all about it when he returned from Australia after taking his Gap Year there in 2001/2002 (Wow…so long ago….. you are getting to be such an old bloke, Daniel). All of the resorts along the Gold Coast are open to the Pacific Ocean, with long sandy beaches making them ideal conditions for great surfing.  The rise apartment buildings of Surfer’s Paradise can be seen from miles away, shimmering across the water. 

After a lovely fresh fish lunch, we made our way further north to the town of Southport which is the home town of Casey Stoner who rides for the Ducati team in Moto GP, and who I have supported ever since his arrival into the sport from the lower classes.  All of the towns along the Gold Coast are very clean and tidy with many sea inlets and form one of the major destinations for Australian and international tourists alike.