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Previous Blogs: Day 1 Portland & Honolulu | Day 2 Oahu | Day 3+4 Melbourne | Day 5 Williamstown | Day 6 Launceston | Day 7 Cradle Mountain | Day 8 Road to Hobart | Day 9 Port Arthur | Day 10 Apollo Beach | Day 11 Port Fairy | Day12+13 Southern Ports | Day 14 Kangaroo Island | Day 15 Kangaroo Island | Day 16 Kangaroo Island | Day 17 Adelaide | Day 18 Adelaide | Day 19 Adelaide Hills | Day 20+21 Uluru | Day 22+23 Alice Springs | Day 24 Darwin | Day 25 Darwin | Day 26+27 Port Douglas | Day 28 Daintree | Day 29+30 Gold Coast | Day 31+32 Brisbane | Day 33 Brisbane | Day 34-36 Hawaii

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We had an 6 am pickup (ARG!) at our hotel in Port Douglas and then an hour drive to get to Cairns where we flew out to Gold Coast. The road to Cairns is winding following the coastline and is quite beautiful.

This is a beach swimming area in Port Douglas, the barriers are to keep the salt water crocodiles out - nice!

It was a little rainy at the airport. Sadly our flight was delayed by an hour and a half so we had a lot of sitting time at the airport. On the left is our actual plane sitting on the ground  We flew with JetStar so no free meals like we have been having on Qantas.

The food on Qantas even on a domestic flight is actually pretty good, except that Aussies are such meat eaters no vegetarian or fish options are provided.

Just MEAT!  MEAT! MEAT! MEAT!  I love it. 

When we arrived at Gold Coast Airport I thought for a moment the pilot had got lost and landed in Fort Lauderdale!

This is the view from our 22nd floor hotel room. Quite spectacular!

Gold Coast is a beach town! Not the typical city we would go to on our trips, but for me, we came here as more of a nostalgia trip as it is very similar to the city of Durban, South Africa, where I am from. It even has the same nickname: Surf City.

Like Durban, is it a huge surfing destination and beach vacation spot for Australians.

It has a population of half a million, but gets 12 million tourists a year.

It is only 50 miles from Brisbane, the 3rd largest city in Australia.

Looking down on the rather nice swimming pool of our hotel.

Directly  below us is the Clock Hotel, which has a clock that plays bells every half hour and gongs the hours every hour. Gets irritating after a while!

Our hotel is located right in the "happening" part of town with bars, shops and restaurants every where. This area is called "Surfer's Paradise".

Today is actually Australia Day, their version of our 4th of July, so we got Australia flag tattoos and went out to an early dinner, only the SECOND time we have gone to a sit down restaurant in the entire trip which is already over a month.

We thought it would be appropriate to go to an American restaurant! Plus We really wanted a burger as we have not had one in literally months!

We then returned to our hotel for beers and great views from our balcony.

There was a fire works display but we were on the wrong side of the hotel to see it.

But plenty else to observe, especially if you carry binoculars, like I do.

Wendy calls me a peeping Tom, I call it people watching!


This morning it was time to go on a river cruise. Gold Coast is very, very similar to Fort Lauderdale Beach. Beautiful beaches on one side, canals with waterfront homes on the other. Like Lauderdale, all these canals where man made in the 60s.

The hour and half ride was only $15 - it would be double that in Clearwater Beach!

There was lots to see from Mega Yachts to Mega homes

Most people who live on the water want a dock... not this guy... note the helipad!

This house belongs to Jackie Chan, he comes once a year for a month.

There were some low bridges... don't stand up!

There were people riding fly boards...

There were boats hanging out at a sand bar, just like we do at home!

And Wendy got to drive the boat too!

I swear there are more helicopters per square mile in Australia than anywhere else - heli-tours are a big deal!

They also have marine patrol just like us!

Slip rent is pricy at about $350 per WEEK! However moorings are only $200 A YEAR - but there is a 15 year waiting list.

This was once a very nice, very expense catamaran sitting on a mooring ball, but if you don't tie it up right, or let the mooring lines rot, you are in for a surprise when you come back.

Then it was time to walk the beach and town

Below left is the tallest building in Gold Coast and the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere!

78 floors. The penthouse occupies the entire top floor and sold for 18 million when it was built.

You can pay $19 to go to the observation deck and $50 to take a walk of over 240 steps to a spire on top the building. Uh... no thanks!


Wendy with Wonder Woman Koala!

And finally...

Now, this is the way to get beer served at your table. It's three feet high and has it's own tap!!

Fish and Chips are Vietnamese fine foods... who knew??

Now we know what Gold Coast is REALLY about!!