Oh! Hi! You’re still here! That’s so nice! Well, here’s our most recent post. I’ll try to add pictures sometime, but for now:
Towns we’ve visited and what we thought about them
…Now, to be fair, every town and city is divided into subsections – most Canadians would call them neighbourhoods, but here they seem to be somewhat more established and see themselves as actual towns. For the purposes of familiarity, I will refer to the larger centres, rather than smaller neighbourhood towns. (For example, we lived in Brisbane (city) but technically, our address listed the town/city as Clayfield. Go figure.
I’ll only review towns that we have stayed at least one night in.
Bundaberg – A little town with alcohol refineries and alright beaches and not much else. May have had some access to the Great Barrier Reef, but we didn’t do that.
Hervey Bay – A little town with a nice long beach and esplanade. The beach is broken up by huge pipes, but is nice enough. If you don’t mind huge pipes. There seem to be a higher than average number of smokers here.
Gold Coast – Lively, young surfer’s dream. One restaurant per resident, amazing shopping, sublime weather, friendly people and more. Small town feel with all the amenities of the city. Environmentally aware and vegetarian friendly shopping and dining. Older people pooh-pooh it.
Sunshine Coast – Quiet, retirement town with good op shops (2 points if you know what that is), mom and pop eateries and bountiful beaches. Older people adore it.
Tweed Heads South – A river city filled with hippies and bull sharks, superb quiet beaches. This is one of my favourite places. Good thing because we live near here.
Brisbane – A very hilly, city like most other cities. So-so public transit. It feels like every other city you’ve ever been to.
Sydney – A big, old-fashioned city. Lots of tiny shops lining narrow streets. Five million people, give or take and AMAZING public transit. Lots to see and do, but very cool in the winter. Dress warmly.
Coff’s Harbour – A quiet, sleepy little town with two fish and chip shops by way of restaurants and a grocery store and a couple of gas stations. Nice beach with squeaky sand. Also, what is up with squeaky sand!?
Coomera – Another quiet Aussie town, with friendly salt-of-the-Earth people who seem to care a lot about water. (Probably owing to this being a drought-y country). I only mention it because the woman we stayed at told us repeatedly to take short showers, there was a timer in the shower and a note in the bathroom to take short showers. Ok! We get it.
Kingsthorpe – A tiny tiny town outside of the tiny tiny city of Toowoomba. Kingsthorpe is a quiet, sleepy place that is much colder (even in summer) than the nearest coast, but boasts great views, wine and fresh fruit and veggies!
Murwillembah – Doesn’t matter what we thought of the town, what a name! Mur-Will-Em-Bah. God bless you.
Point Lookout, North Stradbroke Island – Very quiet, very remote island living. Everyone had a surfboard on their car, but no surf beaches were safe/open. Gorgeous scenery and wildlife (koalas, kangas, dolphins, turtles and my favourite: kookaburras)! Also some sizeable spiders.
Currumbin Waters – Nearby our favourite beach, this town is quiet and packed with gardens, blooming trees, cyclists and bats – and close to our favourite animal sanctuary.
Worongary – Off the beaten track a bit, we loved the remote, jungly feel. People are very friendly, but drive really aggressively.
Burleigh Waters – Sort of a part of the Gold Coast greater area, we found this community very suburban. Winding streets, lots of canals, where the well-to-do park their boats. Not us. We don’t have a boat.
Cudgen – This place was heavenly. Quiet, quaint filled with orchards and farms, rolling hills and countless birds. We loved it’s slow pace and the quiet that comes with.
Palmwoods – What can be said about heaven on Earth? Rolling, fertile mountains nearby the ocean? And don’t get me started on the people. So welcoming – they treat you like family. There is so much to see here – little touristy towns, dairies, orchards and everything in between.
Bilambil – Not far from the Gold Coast, this quiet town is a great place to stay, away from the hustle and bustle of Surfer’s Paradise.
Tweed Heads West – This is our current home and much could be said about it. We live on a river, and we love it. There are sharks and dolphins in our river, but we use it anyway. It’s quiet, green, a little bogan (redneck) and has a dark history, which I’ll share another time. The streets are wide and potholey. It’s a word. Look it up. Don’t look it up. It’s not a word. We’re 10 minutes from the beach. 10 minutes from another beach. 10 minutes from a bunch of other beaches. It’s a good life here.
Perth – Average city. There was lots of green space, absolutely wild drivers who weave in and out of the tiniest spaces, without signalling or checking to see if someone else is headed to the same tiny space. I’d say there was a bit more racial diversity than we’ve seen in Brisbane or the Gold Coast, so that was refreshing.
Fremantle – An odd mix of hipster and industry. Indupster. Or Hipustry. We liked the food choices and the arts scene. We got to visit the Fringe festival (one of the largest in the world if I heard correctly) and visited some of the quiet, calm beaches.
Adelaide – Great shopping, great weather, great food (ate a seafood stew, now I’ll admit I spent the rest of the evening on the “canister” but it was so worth it).
Melbourne – Colder than anywhere I’ve been in Australia, but more great shopping, really friendly people (including a bus driver who took me to the airport, even though I’d gotten on the wrong bus).
Townsville – Ahhh, a warm, sunny place to visit during the harsh Australian winter. Fine, not harsh. Great aquarium, so so beaches (everyone was on croc lookout or jelly watch) and excellent breakfast food. The waitstaff at every restaurant we went to, were the nicest, most helpful, most friendly we’ve ever met.
Stanthorpe – an inland getaway, friendly locals, GREAT gift shopping, cool festivals and a quiet, relaxed, environmental vibe.
This will have to do for now…