Due to my slight error in bus bookings we arrived a bit later than planned in Surfers Paradise. We were supposed to be on the bus leaving Byron at 10:15, however when we got there I discovered that I'd somehow booked for the 16th April instead of the 9th. What a wally. Luckily there were spaces on a later bus, so we ended up having an extra day in Byron! Weather was beautiful so we walked up to the lighthouse (apparently the most powerful one in Australia!). On the way we spotted a pod of wild dolphins and also several turtles!
We missed out on an afternoon in surfers, however we still had a full day yesterday to explore the place. From chatting to people in various hostels who had already been there, I'd heard that it was definitely not a paradise. Some people said it was full of young people, others had said it was full of OAPs, so I wasn't really sure what to expect!
Surfers Paradise is one of the major cities along the Gold Coast, but I wasn't expecting it to be as big as it is. Skyscrapers dominate the esplanade but then there's a long beautiful beach as well. I didn't think the place was as bad as some had made out though. The centre was full of nice shops and the seafront had loads of information on about the history of the city. We went up one of the skyscrapers to an observation deck and cafe on the 77th floor. Views were amazing, we could see right the way down the Gold Coast. The pancakes were also amazing. In the afternoon we explored the centre and ended up in Timezone which is a massive amusement arcade, so we spent a while throwing some money away in there. Good fun though and we won ourselves a tiny tiny koala each so it was totally worth it.