The northen end of the Gold Coast – Southport and Main Beach – is an old stamping ground. Or should that be stomping grounds as my years there coincided with the start of the ‘60s pop revolution which included surfing music and the stomp dance craze?
After graduating from high school I started a journalism cadetship at the bi-weekly Gold Coast Bulletin. Covering the rapidly emerging pop scene was part of my “beat”. Attending craze-du jour “stomp” dances at Main Beach, Southport, where Little Patty’s “He’s My Blonde Headed, Stompie Wompie, Real Gone Surfer Boy” and other surfing-inspired hits blared out over the PA, was part of the job. Main Beach was also the location of two of my school holiday jobs – one as the “post mistress” a small agency attached to a convenience store and another making hamburgers (the good old-fashioned kind with beetroot) for hungry beach goers at a pre-fast-food era burgers café. No high rises silhouetted the skyline in those days.
With another generation of our family now north Gold Coasters I returned to a much-changed Main Beach for Christmas. The old convenience store and post office agency are long gone, as is the burger café, replaced by the trendy Tedder Avenue and many high-rise resorts. But Main Beach, The Spit and Narrowneck retain their allure and it’s impossible to tire of looking at that azure expanse of ocean and drifting off at night to the soothing sound of crashing waves. I particularly love Main Beach’s location with views to the Nerang River and Broadwater, down the length of coastline to Coolangatta and with the Hinterland and Border Ranges creating the backdrop, and its many Norfolk Pines gracing streets and the foreshore. It’s so close to the glitter strip of Surfers Paradise but blisfully quieter.
The Gold Coast has many excellent food and craft markets along its length and the northern end does not miss out. The Village Markets, acclaimed in various fashion and lifestyle media as one of the best in Queensland, sets up at the Paradise Point Parklands on the last Saturday of every month. Being the last Saturday before Christmas a visit and leisurely browse offered excellent gift buying opportunities.
A beachside holiday is never complete without a daily morning stroll along the beach, catching a bit of exercise and enjoying the random flotsam and jetsam stranded in the sand by the ebb and flow of the tide. The Main Beach strip bestows special perspectives as it captures the high rises of Surfers in the retreating waves.