#GLAadventure In Australia: From Sunny Gold Coast & Blustery Coffs Harbour To Magnificent Sydney

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As we drove out of Brisbane early our plan was to get to Coffs Harbour. But we had decided that along the way we would first drive to the famous Gold Coast.

And yes it is literally on the way! A bunch of small and picturesque seaside towns make up the Gold Coast region though the actual city of Gold Coast is bang on the coast itself.

In Pics: From The Great Gold Coast To The Beautiful Beachside City Of Coffs Harbour

It is Queensland’s second biggest city after Brisbane and the most populous non-state capital city in Australia.

#GLAadventure’s Top 10 Places in Australia

A lot of the rich and famous and also the big business types from Brisbane own very fancy homes here, and it is a popular tourist destination too, especially given its just 42 kms from Brisbane itself. The city’s sea front has a distinct Miami Beach vibe to it. Once we got there it was blue skies, ocean breeze and seagulls overhead, so the lure of the beach was too much to resist. We kicked off our shoes and got our feet wet in the surf, before making our way to one of many cafes that dot Surfer’s Paradise – the beachfront road for a sumptuous breakfast.

We then strolled down the promenade dodging many a jogger, while Sirish got hugely distracted by ladies in yoga pants doing their stretches! Sirish then told me that Surfer’s Paradise was once called Elston. Imagine going half way across the world to the beaches of Elston, right? Well that is precisely why city fathers renamed the town after a groovy hotel on the shore. Surfer’s Paradise picked up in the fifties, followed by a construction boom in the seventies, and then arrival of unsavoury elements of all sorts. There are now, allegedly, so many mobsters around that you don’t want to get into a fender bender of any sort here. And so after breakfast was finally done – off we went in the direction of Coffs Harbour! But I highly recommend Gold Coast – for its nice laid back feel, great atmosphere, beautiful beachfront and plenty of golden sun! It will also play host to the next Commonwealth Games in 2018.

It was a 320 kilometre long drive almost dead south down along the coast to Coffs Harbour. And since we had left Brisbane we had driven down the Pacific Highway (960 km long coastal road that connects Brisbane to Sydney). Much of the road is undergoing upgrading – the plan is for it to become a 4-lane, dual-carriageway road and about 77% of it has been done. But lucky us – we caught pretty much all the rest of it I think! We passed a lot of roadwork and so the going was a bit slow due to reduced speed limits. But eventually we did get to Coffs Harbour and made it just before sundown.

It’s not always sunny down under in Australia! Coffs Harbour welcomed team #GLAadventure with cloudy skies. Coffs Harbour is a 6.5-hour drive north of Sydney and about 390 km south of Brisbane. It is well-known for its friendly, relaxed atmosphere, spectacular coastline, and its many attractions and events that can leave any traveller spellbound. #AustralianLife #GreatOverLandAdventure #RoadTrip #Tour #Travel #TravelDiary #Travelling #WorldTour #Travellers #GlobalTour #Thailand #Mercedes #GLACar #GLAadventure #Thailand #InstaTravel #Travelling #Travellers #Australia #TravelContest #WorldTrip #AussieLand #Sunrise #Brisbane #WhenInAustralia #BrisbaneLife #TravelDiary #Drifting #StuntDriving #InstaStunt #LivingInAustraliaBeLike

A photo posted by Great Overland Adventure (@glaadventure) on

The weather had turned on us though and we got a stormy, cloudy sky and a few fleeting drops of rain – besides severe gales. At the rocky sea though the views were spectacular just the same, even though at times I thought the sea would carry me out to sea! We also caught some of the atmosphere at the Coffs Harbour pier and also at its marina – packed with yachts and sailboats – before calling it a night. But what a gorgeous day we had – sunny beaches to rocky coastline and stormy seas!

In Pics: Coming to the Mighty Sydney

According to Sirish Chandran, Editor, Evo India Magazine who was with me on this drive:

“In Melbourne all views are equally depressing, so there’s no point in having one! No one in Sydney ever wastes time debating the meaning of life – it’s getting yourself a water frontage. People devote a lifetime to the quest.”

David Williamson, one of Australia’s best know dramatists is right – Sydney is all about the water. The view of the Opera House.The grand old Harbour Bridge. The bewitching blue waters that lap on to Darling Harbour. The seal that lazes on the steps near the Opera House. It is a spectacularly grand and opulent sight, and everything looks even better when you take a boat out into the harbour.

Whatever has to be said about the Opera House has already been said, so I won’t go into it except reiterating that it really is as dramatic as every travel magazine and blog has made it out to be. For me though the Harbour Bridge is an even more magnificent sight, a hulking great iron structure that looks like the heaviest thing on earth. The arch alone weighs 30,000 tons. Four great stone pillars support the bridge on either end. The metal plates and girders are held together by six million rivets, each nearly the size of a football. It’s an unshakable symbol of might – of engineering prowess and industrial strength. You don’t go to war with people capable of building such edifices.

Yet for everything that Sydney has to offer I prefer Melbourne. It’s the same Delhi versus Mumbai debate we have back at home and it all boils down to personal preference. Melbourne has a less hectic pace of life, all the random art installations dotted around the city make it more interesting, there’s a more cultural vibe to it, the bars we went to in the evening were more friendly and – I’m told – things are a fair bit cheaper too.

No one in Sydney ever wastes time debating the meaning of life – it’s getting yourself a water frontage. People devote a lifetime to the quest. - Sirish Chandran
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