Jennifer Tice's Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Gold Coast

It’s been two weeks since we arrived back in Surfers Paradise.  Our top priority in week one was landing an apartment – while sleeping on couches is economical, it doesn’t provide for a great night’s sleep! We started handing out resumes from day one though, knowing it might take a few weeks to land a job.  Luckily with internet at our new place it also made applying for jobs a lot easier. Today we are officially at week 2 plus a day and we are both still unemployed.  Andrew did get a brief stint as a waiter at a restaurant in Broadbeach, I won’t mention the name to spare them embarrassment, but they seem to be the worst run restaurant ever with a husband and wife on the edge of divorce running the show.

As for me, I have applied to every retail store and restaurant in the area with no luck, as well as numerous temp agencies and other online job postings.  I have even gone as far to start applying to commission only sales jobs – selling tickets/promotions on the street.  For me this sounds about as much fun as gouging my eyes out.  After a while you start to question your worth – how I am not qualified to sell t-shirts? Am I too old, too young, am I over-qualified, under-qualified? Or is it that they just don’t want to hire anyone who is not Australian born?  Whatever the case, being out of work this long is starting to take its toll. It’s quite the contrast from Sydney, where being there for the holiday season meant you could have your pick of jobs at any restaurant or store in the city.

It definitely has been a wakeup call – both in terms of perseverance and budgeting.  I would recommend to other travelers, that when looking of work outside of peak holiday times, it may take several weeks to land something.  Make sure you have enough cash to get you through that time, and you can never start too early.  For now, I am trying to keep my head up, and trying to think of this free time as a gift rather than a burden.  It’s funny, for most of us when we’re working, we always wish we had more free time to work on our hobbies or just relax, but not working for this long, can turn out to be too much of a good thing.  It looks like at that glitters is not gold here on the gold coast of Australia.

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When you add drinking, beach volleyball, a live band, kangaroos, parrots, giant lizards, boats and more drinking together, it all adds up to a university

Who says you can't drink before noon?

Who says you can't drink before noon?

boat cruise over to Stradbroke Island.  A number of Griffith University students have organized a boat cruise for a few hundred or so of their closest friends. For $40 bucks a ticket you get a boat ride over to the island with bar onboard, a live band at the island, a BBQ, free kayaks, and a very competitive volleyball round robin tournament.

It’s an early day with the boat starting to board at 10:15 am, which means by this point, most people have already been drinking for a few hours.

McLaren's Landing

McLaren's Landing

Everyone piles onto the boat after an extensive bag search and the party continues with music blaring from the speakers, cheap drinks, and a serious tournament of flip cup on the lower deck.  After about an hour and 15 minutes we arrive at Mclaren’s Landing, the main docking point on the island. The set up here is great – there is a large bar hut, as well as several others – one for the band, one for food and others just for getting out of the sun.

Feeding the Kangaroo

Feeding the Kangaroo

The place is filled with wildlife.  Just moments after arriving a number of people start to gather around a small kangaroo who is happy to be fed whatever scraps are lying around.  A few moments later a giant lizard, bigger than anything I have seen before pops out from behind the bush undergrowth.  It looks like we are going to have a face- off between kangaroo and lizard.  They both eye each other nervously.  No one is ready to make the first move.  The lizard creeps closer but then with one swipe from the kangaroo the match is over and the winner is declared.

Andrew and I were both lucky enough to get on a volleyball team at the last minute – “The No Names” what a fitting title.  It’s a strict elimination competition, although the losers do go on to play a few more games against the others.  It turns out I am the only girl on the team which is an advantage for me because there has to be one girl on the court at all times so I never have to rotate off.  We smash the first team we play, but lose our second game.  Somehow another team doesn’t end up showing up for the game (probably due to too many beers at this point in the afternoon) and we end up playing 6 more games against various teams, both as The No Names and the other team we have inherited.  It’s great to get back into the game after not playing for so long.

After 5 hours in the sun it’s time to board the ship to head home. Cost of the ticket – $40, price of drinks throughout the day $30, cost to replace lost flip-flops $20, perfect day on the island with friends – priceless.

So you’re travelling around Australia and decide you want to spend a few months on the Gold Coast.  You have two options: 1. Spend two months showering with flip-flops and sharing a dorm room with 7 other flatmates, or 2. Look for an apartment to share.  Getting an apartment is generally cheaper than a hostel, more secure and means you can stock up on groceries and shower without those flip-flops (hopefully!).  Start early and be aggressive, getting an apartment can take several weeks depending on when the previous roommates are moving out so don’t wait until the last minute.  Here are a few tips on landing a great place on the Gold Coast:

  1. Gumtree.com.au – this is by far the best online resource for getting a place.  Call whenever you can for a faster response and always send an email to follow up. You can also find roommates and jobs here, but I found the job section to be quite limited for the Gold Coast.
  2. Hit up the universities – both Bond and Griffith University have accommodation posting boards on their campus and online at http://www.bond.edu.au/accom/offcampus.htm and  http://www.gugcstudentguild.com.au/
  3. Hostels – you are likely already staying at one, there are dozens in Surfers Paradise most of which of posting boards and other people looking for roommates
  4. Gold Coast Accommodation Service – Located on Beach road right across from the main strip, they have postings of people looking to let a room in their apartment and they can help you find an apartment for longer stays of 3-6 months for those looking for their own place all free of charge
  5. Gold Coast Bulletin – Wednesday and Saturday edition of the paper has a classified section for housing and jobs, if you miss it the news agency on Surfers Parade usually keeps copies around for a few days
  6. Other websites for rental accommodations that were helpful include www.domain.com.au and www.realestate.com.au click the “Share” tab to find people looking for roommates

Good luck hunting! Don’t get discouraged as you will likely end up seeing a dozen places before you find one you like.  Keep your head up and don’t settle and before you know it you will be saying good-bye to dorm rooms and hello to peace and quiet!


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