What a change crossing a state line can make! After what seemed like weeks of cycling, we got to put away the ragged New South Wales map and open the crisp new Southern Queensland map.
Kingscliff to Gold Coast (46 km)
After a leisurely morning wake-up cycle watching the graceful paddle boarders near Tweed Head, NSW, we were immediately thrust into the frenetic energy of Queensland cycling up to a large Sunday morning surfing tournament just across the border. Loudspeakers blaring beach music and commentary about surfer stunts and wipeouts woke us from our reverie.
The cycle path was packed with sun worshipers and coffee drinkers. Looking out to sea were waves…lots of big waves…We couldn’t believe the change in less than one kilometer.
I couldn’t help but think that if Hollywood movies and television shows define American culture for Aussies, then the videos of surfers surfing huge waves, and surf life saving club competitions on long sandy beaches was my picture of Australia.
Seeing the Gold Coast vibe in person on a Sunday and during the Aussie winter school holiday where hundreds of families were enjoying their vacations made the bike ride even more entertaining.
Plenty of sunshine, pristine beaches, cycle paths, ice cream and coffee shops, tropical flowers and palm trees made the kilometers of this ride pass with little effort.
Even the rainy extra day we spent in Gold Coast did not dampen our spirits. We used the break from cycling to walk to the Australia Fair Mall where we watched the great movie “Inside Out” to pass the rainy afternoon.
Gold Coast to Garden City (77 km)
The goal of today’s ride was to stay on the V-1, the cycle route next to the M-1 motorway. There were lots of signs and most were helpful, leading us across traffic circles, under bridges, through parks, and along motorways.
We did very well navigating for the first 60 or so kilometers until near IKEA south of Brisbane. There we lost the V-1 and never found it again this day.
Luckily, just as my “witching hour” when I get grumpy and cold arrived (3:30 pm), we were found a nice, clean affordable motel located near the huge Westfield Shopping Center. After a burrito and a Pacifico beer, we called it a day.
Garden City to Brisbane 22 km
The final ride into the city was easy on cycle paths most of the way.
N.B. This ride from the Gold Coast to Brisbane could easily be done in one day. As a matter of fact, we crossed paths with another cycle tourist who rode the entire way from Byron Bay to Brisbane (around 200 km) in one day. But, I’ll bet he didn’t have time to stop for lots of coffees. 🙂